Sustainable Futures

Paperback - December 2014 - AU $39.95

eBook - December 2014 - eRetailers

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Describes world-leading research in population, resource scarcity, climate change and food security and their effect on Australia.

Sustainable Futures explores the links between population growth, diminishing resources and environmental challenges, and the implications for Australia's future. Written by leaders in their field, and based on presentations from the 2013 Fenner Conference on 'Population, Resources and Climate Change', this book is a timely insight into the intertwined challenges that we currently face, and what can be done to ensure a sustainable and viable future. + Full description

The book identifies the major areas of concern for Australia's future, including environmental, social and economic implications of population growth; mineral and natural resources; food, land and water issues; climate change; and the obstacles and opportunities for action.

Accessible, informative and authoritative, Sustainable Futures will be of interest to policy makers, students and professionals in the fields of sustainability and population growth.

- Short description


"Australians have been prepared by their history to accept the proposition this continent needs more people. To challenge this idea is probably the most radical position an Australian can take about their country’s future. Yet at the same time, Australians seem to accept rapid population growth comes with terrible searing costs – mainly the loss of so much of the natural world that renders Australia special and loveable in the first place. Everything comes back to the challenge posed by more and more humans. On the bottom line, this book argues a simple proposition: it is indeed the numbers."
Professor the Hon Bob Carr

"the book is relevant and timely and offers perspectives on some of the most important challenges to environmental sustainability of our time."
Michele Morrone, Population, Space and Place, 22, 2016, pp. 119-120

"the book provides an excellent exploration of the links between the major issues which will impact on the sustainability of Australia's future."
Trish Douglas, Interaction, 44(1), 2016, p. 40

"Sustainable Futures... addresses the hard choices achieving real sustainability - ecological sustainability - presents and tries to come to terms with what humans must do to reverse the damage they are doing. The book has the courage to look at causes of problems rather than divert to symptoms."
David Johns, Biological Conservation, 199, 2016, pp. 185-186


Paperback | December 2014 | $ 39.95
ISBN: 9781486301898 | 232 pages | 245 x 170 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Line Art, Photographs

ePDF | December 2014
ISBN: 9781486301904
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


Chapter 1 It's the numbers, stupid!
Chapter 2 The environmental implications of population growth
Chapter 3 Whither wildlife in an overpopulated world?
Chapter 4 The outlook for population growth in Australia
Chapter 5 What population growth will do to Australia's society and economy
Chapter 6 Ageing paranoia, its fictional basis and all too real costs
Chapter 7 The propaganda campaign against peaking fossil fuel production
Chapter 8 The coming radical change in mining practice
Chapter 9 Coal: nails in the global coffin
Chapter 10 Save the soil to save the planet
Chapter 11 Food, land and water: lessons from the Murray-Darling Basin
Chapter 12 Balancing water use for food and the environment: Looking to the North based on lessons from the South
Chapter 13 Human health: bottom-line integrator of the impacts of the population, resources and climate change nexus
Chapter 14 Climate change: beyond dangerous
Chapter 15 Theology Confronts Global Warming and Population
Chapter 16 Denial as a key obstacle to solving the environmental crisis
Chapter 17 Why can’t we win on population?
Chapter 18 Thinking at species level
Chapter 19 Nor lose the name of Action!
Chapter 20 Reflections on the Fenner Conference


Editors: Jenny Goldie is national president of Sustainable Population Australia and also active in peak oil and climate change organisations. She is a former science teacher and communicator. Katharine Betts is a sociologist and author, recently retired from Swinburne University, Melbourne, who has researched population growth for over 35 years.

Contributors: Bob Birrell, Paul Collins, Julian Cribb, Chris Dickman, Rhondda Dickson, Ian Dunlop, Michael Jeffery, Gary Jones, Michael Lardelli, David Lindenmayer, Ian Lowe; Tony McMichael, Sharyn Munro, Mark O'Connor, Jane O'Sullivan, Paul R Ehrlich, Anne H Ehrlich, Roger Short, Kelvin Thomson, Haydn Washington.