The Beautiful Western Australia Teaching The World How To Live More Sustainably




Jörg Imberger
















12 September 2020



















        Executive Summary

1.0     Introduction

1.1      Geology and Climate…………………………………………………………………………….……4

1.2      Human Settlement In Western Australia …………………………………………………….5

1.3      Nature…………………………………………………………………………………………..………….5

1.4      Definition of Externalities………………………………………………………………………….8

1.5      Suicide Rates As A Measure Of Wellbeing……………………………………..…….…… 13

1.6      Learning To Adopt A New Culture: ……………………………………………..…………… 15

1.7      The Implications Of Living In A Finite World: ………………………………..………….17

1.8      Need For Hope…………………………………………………………………….………….………21

1.9      The Definition Of  A Successful Vision…………………………………………………….…21

2.0: The Building Blocks For “That Sustainable Place Down Under”….26

2.1      Definition of  Place to Strive For:  ……………………………….…………………..  ..……26

2.2      Sustainable Housing………………………………………………………………….………..…..28

2.3      Swan-Canning Estuary.……………………………………………………………………..…….32

2.4      Water Resources…..…………………………………………………………………………………36

2.5      Energy……………………………………………………………………………………...…………….40

2.6      Creative Loafing: Community Support: ……………………………………………….….41

2.7      Entertainment Industry……………………………………………………………………………44

2.8      International Tourism……………………………………………………………,…………..……45

2.9      Global Warming……………………………………………………………………..…,,,…….……45

2.10   Mineral Resources………………………………………………………………………………….50

2.11   The Food Bowel Asia……………………………………………………………………………….

3          The Money Stream…………………………………………………………………

4          Index of Sustainable Functionality………………………………………….

5          Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………

6          References…………………………………………………………………………….



2.6 Entertainment Industry: The thing that made Hollywood successful was the weather and the landscape in Southern California.  Now compare Western Australia. In Perth you get, on average, 8 hours of sunshine per day, we have the world’s most diverse endemic biodiversity and we have the world's most beautiful beaches and general scenery. The conditions are perfect for setting up in entertainment industry. Three initiatives already  stand out. First, the successful film venture “The Red Dog” second, the incredibly impressive activity by a Virtual Reality start up company and third, by a Perth modern film production company . All are developing some pretty amazing new few features in this technology of the future.

    By combining the above activities with an aboriginal initiative, with the great woodwork and art activities in the Margaret River area, with the already open air movies shows, the various country festival and the Fringe Festival this all would take off like a rocket. I say this because of the setting WA has to offer. We can offer a setting second to none. The beautiful weather, the biological diversity, the beautiful beaches, and the exotic outback that is totally unique in the world, would allow the already world famous educational art activities in Perth to blossom with even only a very modest up front investment. Supposed it reached 1/3 of the income of Hollywood, then that would add another A$100B income to WA per year.





Executive Summary: Humans are without doubt the most invasive species on earth. As my ecological friend told me: “If insects became extinct the world would collapse, if humans became extinct the world would flourish”. Now that technology has given humans global instantaneous reach and action and  also the internet, together with social media, is beginning to interfere with the ability of humans to make rational decisions, it has become urgent to take stock and examine human behaviour and our relationship with nature. Recent research results indicate that if humans continue in a business as usual mode then life for humans will become more and more stressful. The objective of this paper is to highlight the wonderful opportunities we have, living in the beautiful Western Australia, to show the world how to change direction in its behaviour towards nature. Humans are more able to respond to such major challenges when  their social and physical health is in good shape. I use the suicide rate as an indicator of social wellbeing as it is a convenient and available statistic to measure social wellbeing and show that the Western Australia can be turned into “That Sustainable Place Down Under”  and the State Capitol, Perth can be transitioned into the “Garden City of the World”. all leading to an incredible income $ 4T per annum.



1.0      Introduction


1.1      Geology and Climate


FIG 1.

1.2 Human Settlement In Western Australia: Homo sapiens arrived on planet earth approximately 100,000 years ago and the first humans reached Australia during the last ice age, about 60,000 years ago when the sea level was low enough for them to be able to walk most of the way down from Indonesia. The first Australians, the Aborigines, respected nature for the simple reason that they were totally and absolutely dependent on nature for food and shelter. They  may also be credited with being the first agriculturalist in the sense that they used fire instead of a bulldozer to modify the landscape to suit their agricultural needs.   Further, they were nomadic so that if an area of land no longer suited their needs, or they had over exploited their local food sources they simply moved to another location. This environmental strategy and being totally dependent on their local environment for food and shelter instilled in them a strong sensitivity towards nature that remains with them today. This sensitivity and respect for nature has long been bread out of the white fellow.

        Given, that their total population numbers were relatively small and their food harvesting tools were limited to fire, the situation remained relatively static for over the 60,000 years. However, even with their small numbers and very limited destructive capacity Western Australia changed, over this period, from a completely forested area to  what the first Europeans, who reached WA found on arrival. WA was still covered by native vegetation in the North and the South, but in the mid latitudes had changed to desert (Fig. 2).

1.3      Nature: The functioning of Nature is still not fully understood. The general thought is that nature is a passive set of organisms without any means of communication or decision making. People who are strongly religious believe that God created every species on earth and every single organism is a result of his intervention. This type of thinking has been extremely useful for humans who live in societies that have a strong religious order, they have much better social statistics! Unfortunately, it is fraught with many contradictions, that are currently being brought out by the social media communication avalanche to the detriment of any society of strong believers, leading to dramatic decrease in the number of people who regularly go to church. Further, there is no evidence that strong believers are kinder towards nature.

          On the other hand, evolutionists view the world as being made up set of species that have their origin in a random deviation in the normal  species reproductive process. In brief, each time a species reproduces there is a chance that something goes wrong and new genes are formed. If the environment suits the new baby and it as has a competitive advantage it will survive and thrive and  a new species is born. However, recent research results have shown that neither view is correct and we need a major update of our understanding of how nature functions. It is becoming clear that all organisms in nature communicate with each other to an extent that facilitates their wellbeing and all are clearly struggling to compete against the human invader. Further, researchers have very recently discovered that many animals and plants communicate rather effectively with each other. By way of example, it appears that trees communicate with each other in order to facilitate rainfall downwind (see Fig ). Trees use communication technology in the following way. The Australia native trees have the ability pump water from the surface groundwater aquifer into the atmosphere at a rate up to its own weight per day, the rate at which transpiration takes place varies between species and Banksias appear to have the highest rate transpiration. If a banksia tree has a total weight of say 5 tonnes, it  will, on average, pump 5kL of groundwater out of the surface aquifer, using solar energy both to pump the water and to convert the liquid groundwater into  vapor and eject it into the lower layers of the atmosphere.  So, the way trees colonize a country is as follows, baby tree downwind of mummy tree communicates back a cry for more water, mommy tree acknowledges this by passing the word upwind so the trees upwind transpire more water, put more seeding particles into the atmosphere and generally facilitate rainfall downwind. This strategy of communicating and then responding and adjusting their evapotranspiration rates has allowed trees and vegetation in general to propagate up to 15,000 km inland from a coast.  This has been documented in Brazil, Russia, Germany and  Australia.

       Hence, if we compare the life philosophy of  trees with that of humans, the contrast is stark! When trees colonize a country, they bring with them  water for themselves plus enough water for the rest of the food chain, they make homes and places for meditation for all species ranging from ants, etc. in the soil, to mammals and plants at ground level, to birds in their canopy. The places of shelter, are made of carbon trunks and leaves, so this is carbon extracted from the atmosphere. On reflection everything that trees do is designed to benefit others, ranging all the way from providing shelter and food, to providing an atmosphere that is calming and beneficial for humans and presumably for other species as well. Contrary to human behaviour they also clean up after themselves. For example, the water they take from the ground is liquid and when it comes out from the leaves, back into the atmosphere it is in the form of vapour, so a tree  is both a solar powered water pump and a solar powered distillation plant. Further, the trees drop leaves on the ground to seal the ground and so preserve water. The leaf mulch on the ground, also acts as a recycling plant, where the initial growth nutrients, originally extracted from the  ground are recycled  and fed back to the tree via the roots.

        In summary, trees live a lifestyle that is beneficial to all living things in their immediate environment, including humans. Trees sequester carbon, construct wonderful shelters and spaces to live in and provide food for the rest of the food chain and lastly, they clean up the water and the air we live in in for the benefit of others. It is very difficult to imagine that all this can go on without vegetation have a purpose and thinking capacity

       It is perhaps useful to quickly summarise the attributes or functions nature, in general, provides for humans:

1.0       All our food still comes from nature

2.0       Most of our material to construct our places of shelter (wood, clay, steel etc)

3.0      All plants transpire water vapor into the atmosphere. This is in effect like  a water pump couple to a purification system.

4.0      Animals and plant have a very soothing impact on people’s mental state

5.0      The great majority of medicines are from plants.

6.0       Many creature, eg. Sheep dogs, blind dogs, horses, camels etc. all provide a direct service to people

             However, nature does not charge for any of its services, nor does it have any legal standing and so the services, provided by nature  are rarely valued by humans. This was brought out with great clarity when the first European settlers arrived in Australia. They removed any right of the indigenous  people simply by classifying then as part of nature. This was never actually formalised in any legislation, but white people acted in this way and it is only very recently that Aborigines have made a legal challenge to this assumption.  The other aspect of nature we should stress is that nature is hierarchical and closely connected in the sense that every species requires, for its existence, other neighbouring species either for food or friendship or for some other function of its own life. This is very similar to human existence on this earth. At the bottom of the species bank are bacteria and it must never be forgotten that every single function that we, as humans, carry out depends, on a whole range of species. At the bottom of this list of slaves are bacteria, viruses and pathogens. Even a casual examination shows that bacteria are important to humans for pretty much everything we do, what  we eat , how we cope on the toilet, how  nature  manages our waste and how nature helps to clean the air we breath. The close interconnectivity between nature and human life suggests that humans should take a much more holistic view of nature and be careful not to interrupt the  work of the over 10 million  slave species of nature who service us every second of the day.

         In summary, historically, humans evolved in an infinite world with very limited tools for destruction. Nature could defend itself against human aggressive actions by healing faster than humans could destroy through their actions and  their externalities and so humans and nature were on par for about  60,000 years ago. Humans evolved in direct response to the constraints that nature applied. The male of the species evolved as the master of destruction of nature in order to create a suitable shelter and a source of food for his tribe. He achieved this by simplifying any problem and formulating a single action to achieve the desired result. The most successful males learnt not to be distracted by  side issues.

    1.4 Definition of Externalities: An externality of any action is simply a legal term other species on earth, desired only food and shelter to exist and they set up shop close to appropriate locations that provided the food and the shelter. In modern times various forms of transportation have removed the necessity of living close  to a location that can provide both food and shelter. The two necessities of food and shelter can be transported to any location on the planet provided the user has the necessary purchasing power. In the first instance money was simply invented to allow trading for necessities. The introduction of money then quickly led to the obvious idea that people could provide a service to each other in exchange for money and money also allowed individuals to accumulate  wealth. This led to changes in the human value system. Food and shelter are assumed to be available to all and are no longer the main focus of human aspirations; these are assumed to be available. Humans now expect and strive for luxury items and services; items that everyone wants, but few actually need. Also, most importantly, wealth has taken on importance all of its own, because wealth represents power and influence. This observation has recently really come to the fore as a result the coronavirus episode.  It is clear that people invest a huge amount of time and energy to obtain an education that allows them to provide a service or product to other people that is not related to basic food or shelter. This transition all began about a thousand years ago as evidenced by the opening of the first University in Bologna, Italy. The Bologna University was  established to allow student’s brains to develop in order that they could become leaders in society as well as provided a service to other members of society. On the technical side,  to teach students how to best provide services or manufactured products, indicating that the value system of humans started to transition about a 1,000 years ago  from simply having  food and shelter availability to food and shelter plus a huge range of luxury items.

              This trend of changing values took a huge leap when the internet became a public tool in the late  1960s early 1970s. The internet was originally designed, by some electronic engineers working for the US military, for the sole purpose of facilitating quick communication. We all have experienced the success of its design!  Even a few years ago you could not  have dreamt of being able to do what you can do now. It is now an everyday action  that one goes to the Google search engine or some other database and inquires about a certain curiosity. The returns from the Google search engine can then be followed up by sending authors who, the search engine had identified as contributed to original curiosity, an email, In order to obtain copies of the original documents is the database had cited. Thus, anybody in the world can obtain all that is known about a particular question in a matter of minutes.

         Now compare this with the experience a person would have had to go through in the 1950s. First, he or she would have had to undergo a lengthy process to determine who was working in this particular area of curiosity. This was usually done by asking around among friends if they knew of any potential person who would have some knowledge in the area of the  curiosity, or maybe consult a reputable encyclopedia, then you had to write a handwritten letter to these particular people and you were lucky get answer maybe six months 8 months. For all but the most obvious questions, there would have to be a number of exchanges of letters, meaning that the total time before the person would have a reasonable answer for  the original question was well over a year.

      The contrast between these two approaches is ofourse enormous, however the damage being done by the delay in the 1950s is far thank you very much sorted health plans like attack and marketing team meetings I'd like to know and HBF in particular alright thank you good thanks for concern me call back later which is the form OK .externally of the Internet in it's pretty good instance is that a large national companies and interest groups are now putting in for the same information on the Internet web sites in huge numbers so the truth has changed from an absolute concept to something that is said often enough and this is having devastating impacts on the way society rOK come on ijust kind of just ground graph that mobility child I found out where it is must ask you just this is something we do pay in the next room for HBF they just like to know that we've had our little chats and we gotta plan no problem it's just a sign there something with your credit

.  what is known about the certain curiosity however, externalities of the internet are enormous. Wealth inequity, mental illness and people losing their jobs due to online shopping are all recognized as being consequences of the internet has led to a value system which is solely based on money . Money seems to have become be adrenaline for humans. Using money to quantify services and products, however, allows humans to compare each other’s performance and this can  lead to incredibly harmful externalities. The consequences of this comparison is expressed predominantly through the male ego, a characteristic developed over literally thousands of years of evolution. This externality often leads to huge damage to humanity. The Second World War led to millions of people being killed for the simple reason that a few egotistical leaders were elevated into glory status by their followers, simply because they provided job and money for the whole population. By quantifying the difference between humans in terms of money, new goals emerged very quickly and that is that the more money a person has the more freedom of action he/she has. This is also the event in human development that saw the birth of the social media

    The female of the species, evolved to create a family and then ensure that the environment in the family was such as to be conducive for a healthy and happy life. This often involved a very difficult balance for the woman because, on the one hand she would applaud the aggressiveness of her male partner in bringing nature under their control and on the other hand she would often become the victim of her partner’s aggressiveness. The thing that set mammals apart from most other species on earth, is that they have a larger brain which allows them to do deductive thinking. The human brain is the largest which means, issues arising from thinking, rather than simply reacting are most amplified in humans.

         The human brain is structured to act like an enormous digital computer attached to which are a whole series of powerful analogue computers that process the signals from our senses. The physical configuration of these computers is determined in the first two or three years of a person's life, the brain doubling in size and connections of neurons almost every year. Psychologists tell me characteristics such as greed, envy, ego and so forth, are characteristics which form the foundations of the  value system of a person and these are thus determined by the neuron wiring. Hence, if the wiring determines our value system , which in turns determines a human’s response to the outside world then that is good news ,as the wiring of person is determined by the child’s environment in them first 5 year of the child’s life.  Thus by simply analogy we can think of the wiring or connections  “If statements” in the software in  a computer.

         It is clear from the trends in human behaviour there is an urgent need to rewire our brains in order to have better outlook on life. Technology is any mechanism that humans have developed in order to increase their reach and action and this has increased in leaps and bounds in the last 100 years. The last 100 years has seen the introduction of motor cars, aeroplanes, the computer and really anything of significance that we use today was invented in last 100 years. Most inventions reached maturity in the last generation.  My own career is an example of how much life has changed in just in one generation. When I first  started my University engineering degree, I was still using a slide  ruler, a gadget that today’s youth would not even know what it was. By way of a further example, the impact that  technology is having on people’s lives is illustrated very nicely by the transitions a secretary, who started in the 1960’s, had to undergo in the last 50 years in his/her profession. In the 1960s a secretary would sit next to  her professional colleague  with a pen and paper and use shorthand to make a transcript of his/her dictation . A typical letter to another colleague would consume approximately an hour of the secretary's time and half an hour of the principal’s time.  The secretary would then put the typed letter in an envelope, address it and the postman would pick it up twice a day. If the letter went overseas to a colleague it would take around six weeks to be delivered to the colleague and for the sender  to receive a reply would be of the order 15 weeks or three to four months. Therefore, communications were much more carefully thought about and  screened before being enacted and  sent. The rate of communication has changed to where today a well organised individual can transfer billion dollars in millisecond or clearing a major forest in another country . Further, the way the secretary prepared the letter has changed radically.  The preparation of the documents changed from being typed on old fashioned typewriter taking another hour, to using an, IBM ball typewriter to a dedicated computer and now secretaries are simply using a desktop machine that is more powerful than the most powerful computers in the 1950s.  The other revolution in the communication industry has been the storage of data. In the 60s and 70s powerful computer would have a memory of maybe 10 kilobyte . The computer that I'm typing this communication on has a data storage capability of  4 terabytes . These two examples illustrate the main impact of technology has had on humans, both leading to huge increase in the exchange of information between people, leaving very little time for them to think about the consequences of their communication or for personal contact  time.

              The engineering profession has formalised the above, by teaching students to focus on the specific actions for which the design is catering to and not get “distracted” by externalities.  Students receive no training to even identify externalities of their designs, let alone design to mitigate them.  It is probably reasonable to assume that most students graduating with an engineering degree from University today would probably don't even know the meaning of the word externality and that it is the legal expression for any consequence that may be attributed back to particular action or design

              The aggressive characteristics in human behaviour were imparted to us over thousands of years of evolution and they may loosely be described as tribal behaviour. On the other hand, technology is evolving over time scales of tens of years. This is increasingly imposing an enormous challenge for humanity. We seem to have two choices if the human race is to survive. At present we are still totally depend on nature for our livelihood so we either overcome this dependency on nature by producing food and shelter completely synthetically or we curb our aggressiveness and live in harmony with nature. The first alternative is not really  as, discussed above, an option as we derive many other life essentials from Nature apart from food.

             So, the first thing that humans, in a finite world, need to learn is not to proceed with actions, no matter how attractive they seem to the proponents in term of making money, until all externalities have been identified and their mitigation measures  are included in the cost of the action plan. Further, if some  strongly negative externalities cannot be mitigated then the action should not allowed to proceed. This scrutiny should be the main function of a Government. This will be very difficult for humans to accept, because our whole evolution has been in a world where externalities were never even identified and certainly never  considered. (examples ?). This challenge has become even more severe recently, because technology is increasingly allowing individuals to define the truth. This means the consequence of negative externalities can be hidden or falsely turned into positives, making it difficult for stakeholders to make a rational decision.

              It is clear that humanity has not learnt to include the impact of the externalities of their actions. Recent research clearly shows that, by not accepting that we need to change our behaviour to accommodate the impact of new large  externalities, imposed on us by the use of the new global communications technologies, and we continue in “a business as usual” mode, will lead to the extinction of humanity in the next 30 to 50 years. The two most severe externalities of this change in communication technology are that wealth  inequality is increasing at alarming rate and  second, leaders in both politics and industry are being forced by the media to help their stakeholders (shareholder of multinationals} to become more wealthy and more influential and are there not for the good of their electorate. However, it is most important, that issues  are not addressed with any sort of inflexible force. We need to keep remembering what justice Kennedy said a good law is one that people want to obey, and so we need to bring up children in a way that they become citizens who want to do the right thing. The answer definitely not does not lie in a system where people continue to do adverse things and then get punished increasing punishment is expensive irreversible also doesn't solve the problem.  In my view this is the most important aspect.

1.5 Suicide Rates As A Measure Of Wellbeing: Hence in order to save ourselves from extinction and save nature from our destructive behaviour we need to understand how to reprogram our brains in order  to live more harmoniously and more relaxed. A tribe that is content is more willing to adjust its behaviour towards nature than a group of people who are stressed by economic and social stressors. Suicide rates provide a quantitative measure of the metal wellbeing of a society. Understanding the magnitude and the  reasons for  change in the suicide rate at  any particular time thus provides the basis for managing a location with the objective of optimizing living conditions of the humans  and  changing human behaviour towards nature to more sustainable state. Such a change requires humans to change the software in their brains and  this can only be done in an environment that makes the brain receptive to  change.

            Suicide has always been a problem in Australia with an annual rate that has hovered between 8 and 30 suicide per 100,000, in the last 100 years, the statistics reflecting the stressors and unification factors of the times. During periods where humans have an external threat, such as war times, the enemy provides a bond between tribal members and the suicide always drops. For instance in the 1940, during the war periods Australia’s suicide rate dropped to less than 8 per 100,000. By comparison the harsh economic times the 1970’s and the young Australian culture, lacking cohesion has forced an increase in the suicide rate to around 20 for males and 10 for females, especially among people who were not sheltered from the reality of losing their jobs or gaining promotions. The recent dramatic increase in suicide rates among the younger people may be explained by the same loss of personal connectivity as caused by the increased activity in social media replacing the dynamic bonds supported ­­by all our senses with emotionless internet bonds. (Hebrew University).

              The biggest increase in deaths from suicide between 1921 and 1998 has been in the 15-24 years age group for men (rising from 8.6 deaths per 100,000 men in 1921-25 to 27.7 in 1996-98, and in the 75 and older age group for women (from 2.1 per 100,000 women in 1921-25 to 6.2 in 1996-98). The need to bond may also explain the hugely larger suicide rate among indigenous people in general and particularly here in the Kimberleys and the Northern Territory.  Mental wellbeing is a very complicated issue as for instance women, in general, have an attempted suicide rate nearly double that of men, but only about a quarter of the actual suicide rate. Further, evidence is provided by a comparison of the suicide rate by married and single individuals. The average suicide rates for males who had never married is more than twice as high as those for married males, and the rates for widowers and divorced men were about three times  higher. Similar patterns were observed for and women and men.

     Evidence thus points to some relatively obvious generalizations. For a society to have good mental health, all levels of government need to provide opportunities and the atmosphere that foster friendships among people from all socio-economic parts of society, and ensure that parents have the resources to bring up their children in a way that will allow them to graduate into responsible adults. 

      Iceland, has provided some hard fact to support the above generalizations. Issues remain and must be researched, for instance why does the suicide rate varies dramatically from suburb to suburb in the Perth metropolitan area from a high of 26.7 in Bassendean to a low of 8.2 in Victoria Park.  The other area that would be very interesting to explore is the ratio of male and female suicide rates.

          Questions that need urgent  answers if we are going to design a better place to live in. Why is women's overall suicide rate so much lower than that of men? Second,  why ,in the 1920s during the Great Depression, did suicide rate for men go up but not for women? Third,  why, as seen in Figure 2, did the suicide rate in the 1970s between women and men track and both showed much the same response to the economic hard times. Fourth,  what has been happening with the younger generation in the 21st century? The general consensus is as we discussed above that is the social media, but these issues have not been fully understood and we must have a careful look to make sure that if we re-engineer  WA, we do it right! Thus, the most urgent further task is to clearly understand what are the necessary components of an education programme for the zero to five and 10 year olds so that when they graduate they  have  respect and affinity for nature and their fellow humans.

           Issues that remain and must be researched, are for instance why does the suicide rate vary dramatically from suburb to suburb in the Perth metropolitan area from a high of 26.7 in Bassendean to a low of 8.2 in Victoria Park.  The other area that would be very interesting to explore is the ratio of male and female suicide rates. Looking at Fig. 3 it would also be interesting to know why is women's overall suicide rate so much lower than that of men? Second,  why the 1920s during the Great Depression, did suicide rate for men go up but not for women? Third,  why, as seen in Figure 3, did the suicide rate in the 1970s between women and men track, both showing much the same response to the economic hard times. Fourth,  what has been happening with the younger generation in the 21st century ? The general consensus is, as we discussed above, that is the social media but these issues have not been fully understood and we must have a careful look to make sure that if we re-engineer  WA, we do it right!    

          As seen by the comparisons chart, shown in Fig. 4, Australia has many mental health issues, but social science suggests that  suicide rates is a good statics to capture the general state of mental of a society. Again, having shared a life among hippies in the 1970s in Berkeley CA and now seeing the effectiveness of the Iceland experiment, makes me confident that WA could relatively easily management an improvement in its social statistics, by activating the vision outlined below.

1.6 Learning To Adopt A New Culture: All that is known about shaping human behavior suggest that the life in Australia, and especially Western Australia, provides a good environment for developing such a new education system. I went through a similar change of behaviour when I came to Australia, with my parents, in 1948 as a 6 year old German immigrant. Looking back to my childhood it obvious that a 6 year old can rewire his or her brain much more easily that say a 21 year old person (my wife) or a 45 old (my parents). Thus, all the evidence points in the same direction, research at the Hebrew University, the Iceland experiment and my own experience of adjusting into a new culture. The human brain is most easily adjusted in early childhood between 0 and 5 or maybe up to10 years. My parents came to Australia seeking a better life. It was immediately obvious to myself and my family that immigrants were expected to fit into the culture of the country. However, being the youngest in the family I had the easiest time, my parents never really lost the German accent and continue to mix socially only with their fellow German immigrants. The first few months were extremely difficult for me for the simple reason that my parents sent me to school in what was very German clothing, leather pants, white socks and a white shirt. I was the first foreigner who attended that school and the kid’s families had experienced great hardship during the war so it was totally understandable that there would be antagonism towards this German boy who had come to join their school.  I am grateful to this day that there was no ambiguity in the message from the kids and from the teachers: “Fit in or go home” was a simply message, that the 6 year could easily understand.

       The initial transition was further complicated by the fact is my parents, who were too old to fit in quickly, retained their German culture and habits until the end. I do not remember my parents ever mixing socially with any Australian and typically any social functions such as a birthday party consistent only of the Templers. On one such occasion  we we're all sitting around talking to each other at my auntie's birthday party. Suddenly, my aunties voice could be heard loud and clear : “Oh it was wonderful until 1942”.  The 50 odd people at the party all nodded in agreement and the conversation by everyone quickly turned to  reminiscences of how wonderful Germany had been under Hitler’s rule. Not a single adult at the party had made any effort to fit into their new country. I was horrified because I had already begun to fit in very effectively as an 8 year old child. The second incident in 1956, illustrating the same point. I remember the same group of people had gathered outside at around 10 o’clock at night to witness the passing of Sputnik. Suddenly the satellite appeared in the sky and great excitement broke out. I could hear my uncle shout out “oh you can just see it is made in Germany” referring to the fact that a lot of the German space scientists were taken to Russia as prisoners of war, at the end of the war. My cousin who was about the same age as me tried  to make a joke and he shouted out:  “ Yes Dad, look on the screw it says made in Germany”. His joke was not well received!  These incidents also remind me of an experience I had in Macedonia working Lake Ohrid.  We used to go down the market and have a cup of coffee. The locals were very friendly and people would always invite us to join them at their table, very quickly the conversation always turned to how wonderful it was under Tito.  The same sort of message, people simply are not adjusting to the rate of change to technologies on  imposing on us.    

          As a 6 year old it was really easy for me to fit in. I learnt the language, learnt to play football and cricket and Australia became paradise. Compare my experience to the present situation where we are expected to fit into the immigrant’s expectations. This has led, in my view, to a major decline in cultural cohesion. Clearly a society can only absorb immigrants at a certain rate and still retain its own cultural identity.  It is important that we do research, in parallel with the development of the “The sustainable place down under” envisage below,  to find out what rate, immigrants can be absorbed without jeopardising the dream of building our sustainable society.

          I shall never forget, my wife and I, driving across the unpaved track from Adelaide to Perth in 1964 in a Land Rover Series 1, to take up a position as tutor in the Mathematics Department at UWA.  As we crossed over the escarpment, we saw some roof tops far in the distance, close to the ocean. My wife said something along the lines: ”What is that small village over there to the west,?” As we got a little closer we quickly realized that the “village” was Perth, a city of about 460,000 people. The UWA had booked us into the Captain Stirling Hotel in Nedlands, that was our introduction to paradise! We had just recently been married, Perth was simply wonderful!  So why was it so wonderful? Certain things remain with me to this day and we can learn from the past.

       It was safe. We rarely locked the house at night and usually left the car key in the ignition. This is backed up by violent crime statistics that show, for 1964, there were about 1,000 criminal incidents for the whole metropolitan Perth (see table 1). We now have seven security cameras throughout our property in Dalkeith, because of one attempted burglary and one trespassing incident that occurred round 2 years ago, that were quite frightening. The statistics also support this, Perth has grown to about 2.1 million, but violent crimes have risen to about 18 thousand or about 5 time higher per capita than in the 1960

1.7      The Implications Of Living In A Finite World: The evidence thus points to some relatively obvious generalizations. For a society to have good mental health, all levels of government need to provide opportunities and an atmosphere that foster friendships among people from all socio-economic parts of society.  Iceland, has provided some hard fact to support the above generalizations. The difference between now and even just 20 years ago is that technology has given individuals global reach and  action. This has been amply demonstrated in the last few months during the covid pandemic. We have seen how people have continued to function professionally and have facilitated significant actions all around the world simply from behind a single computer. This means that people can initiate and do enormous good, as well damage just by being there traditional selves, via the internet.

     However, the biggest difference between executing an action through  personal contact and through an internet connexion is that through the internet connexion there is no personal feedback. By way of example it is common practise these days for a bank official to send a farmer an email informing him that the bank will foreclose on his farm. This is happening fairly regularly even to families who have owned the farm for many generations. Receiving such email is devastating for the family and has contributed considerably to increase in suicide rate of farmers during times of recession. The sender also incurs enormous emotional stress as the lack of any  discussion make him /her feel responsible.

        In the 1960’s and 1970’s life in Australia seemed much more straightforward, people said what they thought and did what they said. The politicians of the day, as well as industry leaders, may have not always expressed opinions that I agreed with, however people like Sir Charles Court, Sir Robert Menzies and all the way to Gough Whitlam, certainly came across as being honest and caring about their electorate. Again, the mainline media and social media have totally changed this situation.  Politicians and industry leaders need to spend these days  most of their time manipulating the news and the political climate because, if they didn't watch their backs, they would be out of a job almost overnight.

           As seen by the comparison shown in Fig. 04., Australia has many issues, other than suicide,  that need to be  resolved, before we can head off on a new journey. Why for instance is the illicit use of amphetamines and other drugs use per capita 10 times higher in Australia than in Europe? Again, having shared a life among hippies in the 1970s in Berkeley CA and now seeing the effectiveness of the Iceland programme, I'm confident that WA could relatively easily management an improvement in its social statistics, by activating the vision outlined below.

         So before proceeding with developing and presenting my vision for  Western Australia let me first summarise what I perceive are the major issues that need to be identified, and quantified, now that the world is finite. If we are not to head off  in the same direction as the  rest the world it would be prudent to  address these issues in any new vision management plan. The most important issue for modern societies is how to impart, in the next generation, a social conscience so that they grow up to be happy and respectful of nature and each other and they are more willing to follow the axiom expressed by Justice Kennedy “A good law is one that people wish to obey” . Instead of playing a constant blame game, humanity must learn how live more peacefully, for the simple reason that global reach and action has become available to even the craziest individuals. In brief, solution that have emerged from the pioneering research being done by the Hebrew University and that have recently been successfully trialled as part of the  Iceland’s social experiments should be expanded  and turned into practical solutions by city planners the world over. Combined this new insight may be used to formulate the following five aspects for a successful vision in a finite world:

A.         Hope: It must articulate an atmosphere of hope in order for people to see positive ways of supporting their tribe.

B.         Emotional Connectivity: It must clearly define pathways that lead to social and emotional connections with family, friends and acquaintances, especially in the first 5 to 10 years of our lives, in order to lead to an emotionally stable society, when we become adults.

C.         Community Support: It must include provision for “free” access to community facilities for education, for recreation, physical exercise and relaxation places for simple downtime, in order to keep the body and the mind correctly connected.

D.         Jobs: It must clearly demonstrate that meaningful jobs will be automatically be created by the execution of the vision, compatible with the free education programme

E.         Pride: History has taught us that pride, expressed predominantly by the male ego, is probably the most powerful motivator for the human species. Wars have been fought, extinction programmes have been executed,  as well as positive things like the space race, were all very much  motivated by pride in what the tribe is doing. However, as the above examples illustrate pride is also probabl  y also one of the most dangerous motivators, so one has to take care when using it, to keep the impact of the externalities under control. However, a vision that does not generate pride, maybe too incompatible with the tribes ambitions and so will not lead to the  desired result.

           I have worked in over 50 countries around the world, but I have never experienced a place that is as rich, as Western Australia, in terms of opportunities and the objective of this document is to highlight the connections that could be developed between what is available in WA and what is needed in order to lead humans into  a more sustainable way of life. As with any social change the initial steps are always the most difficult and therefore in order for them to be successful we need to initiate such behavioural changes in people together with a visible reward system. It is well documented that's one of the main reasons why Hitler was successful in devastating the world is that he was able to bring down  the German unemployment rate from 40% to 3% in a matter of two years. This gained him the confidence and support of all Germans for them to  carry out he most atrocious crimes against humanity; I still struggle with the thought of how one man could change the ways and values of one of the most sophisticated group of humans at the time, to basically a gang of murderous thugs. Just Imagine if Hitler had ruled in a world that was finite and had any had access to  atom bombs, the results will be absolutely devastating

        The situation we're dealing with here is very similar in terms of the gravity or the extent of the problem, except that the change we are trying to initiate is in reverse, bad to good rather than from good to evil.  The issue we are facing at the moment may be formulated as follows. The larger human brain gave humans slightly better technical skill than the rest of the environment around them. This meant that they automatically elevated themselves in their minds about the environment thus raising themselves about their environment intellectually.  This value system  was formalised first in The Book of Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, is an account of the creation of the world, the early history of humanity, Israel's ancestors, and the origins of the Jewish people. Its Hebrew name is the same as its first word, Bereshit. Most prophet led religions formalised the idea that humans are the custodian of their environments and ordered their believers to be serious about being good parents or custodians. However, in the last 100 years technology has also changed this behavioural trend and humans are simply out of control in terms of their custodianship abilities, both for the children and for the environment.  

    Many of the above ideas were motivated by a conversation with the former Water Commissioner of Israel, Meier Ben Meier, walking along the shores of the Sea of Gallilee about 25 years ago. I was expressing my frustration about the poor custodianship humans were showing towards nature, when he stopped and turned to me saying: “Jorg, forget all this romantic nonsense, humans think and live according to a definition of a developed country that states: A developed country is one where you can waste as much as you want, when you want and what you want”.

         Understandably, my first reaction was one of horror and it has taken me years to digest the implications of what this wise man said and to see that it was total true. His statement changed my life’s thinking! The origins of the truth of this statement may be sourced back to the fact that human behaviour was formed when the world appeared infinite to the human individual and exploitation was never a real issue. If it became too severe locally, all you had to do is to move to another place. However, human reach, political constraints and actions have now all become truly global so wastage and destruction is now also global and increasingly controlled by a few. Yet, as discussed above, over the last 2000 years, our social tribal behaviour has not adjusted to this new reality. Sitting in any restaurant near to Patterson Stadium watching the people coming back from a football match, feels like being in a movie of the “Gladiator”. The Roman and present day emperors build the stadiums, the working slaves go to watch the entertainment and the global rich control the scene and make the money!

         The contrast between the way humans and trees treat their local environment could not be greater. Trees are just one other example of a species at the top of that species food chain, so in that sense the comparison is worth following up. Humans, are, without doubt the most invasive species on the planet. Over their whole life span humans are the most wasteful creatures in the environment and what  my friend John Watling told me that  “If insects became extinct the world would collapse, if humans became extinct the world would flourish”, certainly sounds true.

       However, the  social change we are talking about is of a  very fundamental nature and may better be described as a change in our values rather than just in our behaviour, the behaviour will change once our value system is turned so that all have an environmental conscience . We must organise our education system so that young people who graduated from it have developed a genuine world view similar to that of the trees and have discarded the egotistical manners of their grandparents.  Humans need to catch up with the rapid technological changes that they have introduced, especially in the communication industries, and get their brains rewired so that they can function in the new world retaining a good healthy social and environmental conscience. Humans need to urgently change from their typical, stone age, tribal behaviour and core values  to allow for nature to have more of a say on how the planet should be managed.

             So, the first thing that humans, in a finite world, need to be learn and their Governments need to govern for, is not to proceed with actions, no matter how attractive they seem to the proponents, until all externalities have been identified and their mitigation measures  included in the cost of the action plan. Further, if some  strongly negative externalities cannot be mitigated then the action should not allowed to proceed. This will be very difficult for humans to accept, because our whole evolution has been in a world where externalities were never even identified and certainly never  considered. (examples). This challenge has become even more difficult,  recent advances in communications technology have introduced yet another major externality of the way we communicate. It has become a relatively simple matter for wealthy individuals, by using the global internet to both hide or amplify the consequences of their actions to their own advantage. The internet now allows the transfer of money, either visibly or under cover up to a billion dollars in a millisecond. This allows the rich to gather money from every living soul on the planet without being identified. Further, with this same technology, a single person can now influence the wellbeing and wealth of a whole nation, either by manipulating wealth or by disseminating information.

                        The income streams, outline below, together with a stable WA population of around 3 million would provide, on average, every single WA citizen with an annual average income stream of around  1.5 million dollars per year. Naturally word would get around very quickly globally and we would be inundated by legal and illegal immigrants.

         1.8 Need For Hope: Western Australia has all the necessary ingredients to allow us to learn how to change our behaviour and then when the next generation has developed the necessary environmental conscience, Western Australia has the necessary resources for us  reach out internationally and teach the rest of the world how to live more sustainably. In a modern Society hope may be quantified in terms four main aspects:

·           An easy to understand VISION of the future, that defines the way forward.

·           An environment that provides both natural and built recreational opportunities and opportunities for meditation, contemplation and adventure.

·           A guide for humans showing how  to lead a happy, content and hopeful  life journey with enough flexibility  to form their own interpretation and participation of the Vision without being exposed to overwhelming financial stressors.

·           Access to  a meaningful job. Regular work provides a number of critical necessities other than simply a salary. A regular secure job provides social equality. As Norman Swan so clearly articulated many years ago, the most damaging mental stressor for humans is not poverty, but relative poverty. Humans have  a need to feel important and a regular job, where other people come to depending on the person in question, is probably the best strategy for generating this feeling of satisfaction and pride which, in the long term long term, leads to human satisfaction. Further, a regular job keeps people mentally active and connected to other people with similar responsibilities, providing an opportunities to interact with other people and so form friendships and marriage contacts, all important for mental stability .

 So let us consider options for a vision that are available to our present politicians in terms of developing a great economic income embedded in an environment that provides the necessities for a happy, sustainable and stable  lifestyle: A world’s best sustainable Vision: an example for the rest of the world to follow


  1.9  Definition of a Successful Vision: The human spirit has a strong  need to meet challenges posed by nature  or by their fellow humans better and faster than anybody else.  This competitive spirit differentiates humans from nature. Examples abound, building the largest company in the world, becoming the most important academic or become the richest person. On the recreational side people like to climb the tallest mountain, be the best in a competitive sporting event, or shoot the biggest  lion with a high powered rifle and then taking a selfie while sitting on the dead lion. This is behaviour, that was learned in the stone ages, has it not  changed. However, the consequences due to technological changes have changed enormously and we need to learn to change this behavioural characteristic because technology has changed the consequences or externalities of such actions.

         In broad terms this characteristic is a positive feature of humanity, however often very competitive people do not see that they are doing harm to other when in pursuit of their own objectives. In a finite world this harm can be global,  but rather than suppress the enthusiasm we should  redirect  the actions towards a goal that benefits all. Western Australia is a big State with big opportunities. These opportunities mainly come from the fact that the area of WA is more than ½ of the total EU, about a 1/3 of the USA and or Brazil. Further, it is part of a geologically very old continent, with the world’s highest density of endemic species, situated in the mid latitudes with arguably the lowest human population density on earth. These facts have endowed us with the opportunities arising from a huge biodiversity, mineral resources and enormous sources of energy, allowing for enormous enthusiasm to be let loose. However, these opportunities also pose enormous threats from multinational large companies, for obvious reasons.

      Two thousand five hundred years ago the religious leaders of the day (Genesis 1:26-28). declared that God had said to them “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds in the air and over every living things that moves on the earth”. I guess they already knew their people! In today’s time we need to add “before a multinational takes over the opportunities”.  I grew up in Boronia, Victoria and used to go down to the Kew Townhall to listen to Robert Menzies speeches during his election campaigns in the 1950 and 60’s. In those the fear was from foreign countries, not multinationals and On numerous occasions, to raucous applause, he articulated that Australia must develop the North West to keep out the “Yellow Peril”, a term first coined by Keiser Wilhelm in the 1880.

            Over the last 20 years The West history and economy  has become extremely dependent on overseas trading partners in the form of multinationals. As detailed below, the remedy does not lie in exclusion, but rather in better control of our own economy,  creating a better home for WA’s biodiversity, setting right the wrongs we did to the first nation people, getting ready to accommodate some of the GW refugees and providing an example of sustainable living that the world Respects and wants to follow. If we do this right the 2 million West Australians can save the 6 billion or so people from what the pundits predict, extinction.

        Let me now focus on how we're going to pay for the vision that involves introducing free education and ample availability of jobs and no more stressed financial boring. It is most important that we keep in mind, at all times, that the money should only be a vehicle towards achieving the objectives of creating one place on earth where nature and humans live in harmony, rather than an end in itself.  

              The hope is that, by showing there are solutions to our needs other than to waste, solutions that factor in the global impact and that strengthen personal involvement at all economic levels, we will educate ourselves to want to do the right thing for our genetic continuity. We may formulate a strategy for a better life built on the foundations of following building blocks:

1.      Accept the fact that our past behaviour is no longer compatible with the needs of a finite world. We need to change if humanity is to survive. You cannot solve  a problem unless you see and accept that there is a problem.

2.      Ensure that all opportunities acted upon, involve benefits for all in our society and for nature, not just the proponent of the development. We must accept nature and humans are equal and humans, the self-appointed custodians,  should strive to live in harmony with nature.

3.      Accept that human rights must be amended to cater for a finite world.  All humans must be given equal rights with respect to those actions that impact on the environment, living space, greenhouse gases emissions and material consumption, irrespective of wealth. Social and legal mechanisms that fosters wealth equality opportunities for all humans must be put into place. This is probably most important facet of the proposed vision. Wealth must be controlled in way that that does not involve force as in socialism. Wealth accumulation must control itself in the same way Justice Kennedy suggestions for the ingredient of  a good law.   

4.             Follow only leaders who act on behalf of the electorate, not their own self interested stakeholders.  We seem to have totally forgotten that by definition a leader needs followers. To ensure a more visionary class of leaders, require potential leaders to publish a formal vision position paper before any election, that addresses the key issues of the election. Preparation of these papers would be the responsibility of the electoral office.

5.             Learn to resist temptation by having to respond to the externalities of one’s actions. This needs to be learnt at an early stage in life in a social system that rewards freedom of thought, action and speech.

6.             An educational system that is free and one that emphasizes creativity at all educational levels from kindergarten, to schools, to trade training, to Universities.

7.             Currently, every aspect of our life is being governed by some administrative structure, that mostly has its roots in controlling bad behaviour. This needs changing because the financial burden of “Death by Administration” is enormous.

8.             Support a strong, diverse and enduring economy, connected globally, but under our own control.

            When thinking about how to govern a State like WA, it is important that any vision is coupled to an image. By way of example, everybody immediately knows that Silicon Valley in California is the place where electronics, IT and intellectual activity are being actively being pursued. The obvious image to develop for WA is a place where the sustainable thinking is being developed and practised on the foundations of incredible amount of geographic space, an extraordinary biodiversity, the most beautiful and diverse landscape in the world and a  very long history of totally compatible practices by our traditional owners who pioneered the first agricultural practises using fire instead of the bulldozer to change the landscape in order to suit their food and shelter requirements, without totally wrecking nature. By keeping this in mind the thinking of the indigenous elders WA could provide a continuity in sustainable thinking that originated almost 60,000 years ago, the image to convey to the world would be:        “The Southwest of WA is the place in the world,  where sustainable practises are being researched, developed and practiced. Central WA and the Northwest could serve as the place where the theories, developed in  the Southwest, are trialled and evaluated. Then, by simply bringing some of the beautiful biodiversity of WA down  from Kings Park across the city and Elizbeth Keys, all the way towards the airport, the capital of the state, Perth, would quickly become known as the “Garden City  of the World” and WA as “That Sustainable Place Down Under”.

            The proposed vision would project a progressive action plan embedded in 60,000 year of history. This would have a dual impact. First, it  would project Western  Australia as the  key focal point of global interest and attention around the world, a place that you need to visit if you are curious how your own country  could be made more sustainable and second, a place where you can learn how 60,000 of sustainable thinking evolved! The second objective is to open people's minds to a much clearer understanding of the relationship that could be developed between indigenous people and the white invaders

         It is clear that most of the legislation so far passed and we pay homage to, is based on just clearing the white man’s conscience. This assertion is clearly verified if one looks at the Mabo case. In all these legal cases aborigines have only been given “so called”  land rights, but on closer examination these land rights really only involve the transfer of a small amount money. In practice the traditional owner are never given real rights to decide what should be done with land. Further, the  amounts of money paid to the indigenous people are miniscule compared to the money being syphoned off by foreign shareholders of the big companies or for that matter the amount of money that he big mining companies still owe the Australian government in unpaid royalties.

                        However, the bigger issue given the above discussions about suicide, is that aborigines have received no concrete substantial legal rights in terms of the use of the land.  Thus, by not transferring the full associated land rights within an established legal framework they have been left with the stress of relative poverty and this is leading to huge suicide rates among the indigenous population. The clear solution to this is to involve Aborigines in a concrete business way and not expect them to change their culture and fit into the white man's world in order to be paid back their legal entitlements.

            Developed countries exercise this same arrogance towards nature that that the aborigines have experienced in the last 300 years. Humans expect nature to fit into the white man's world before receiving any sort of legal standing. This is despite the clear evidence that throughout the evolution of nature, in periods when nature remained  in equilibrium, the input and output of basically all mass fluxes remained of the same magnitude for every biogeochemical process in the food chain. Nature does not seem to have the capacity to heal major stresses without changing processes themselves, and the time scale for healing tends to hover around 1,000 years. The two most essential items for life, water and energy, are no exceptions, to this observation. By way of example, the regeneration time of the Australia native forest to full maturity is approximately 1000 years. This is the time it takes for everything from the bacteria in the ground, to leaves in the trees to come back once totally cleared. If all the genetic material is also destroyed and  removed then the genetic recovery  will take even very much longer and there is no guarantee that, because the environment has changed, the same genetic species will come back. This is the threat currently being faced by the aquatic biodiversity in deep lakes around the world.

                        In conclusion, as discussed above, money has become the sole and only indicator of success among humans. Hence any of the above points raised can only be achieved if a very strong and durable local economy accompanies the proposed new educational programme. Clearly, without a strong economy, the other building blocks cannot be achieved! However, the strong economy can appear to be only functioning on traditional money values when viewed from the outside world, but internally it must drive itself without the interference of political philosophies. Further, a strong, diverse local economy and a harmonious co-habitation with nature, requires access to an enduring, sustainable and secure supply of local water and energy. All living things on this earth, plants, animals and humans, couple the use energy and water for communication, transportation, thermal regulation and sanitation; the details may differ from one organism to the next, but the overall strategy remains the same throughout the food chain.

                        Nature,  almost exclusively uses solar energy and water, to support life. However, as with humans, the timescale for using and sourcing energy and water in nature mostly different, thus a storage mechanism must always also be present. Solar energy is available on earth at predominantly on two timescales, seasonal and diurnals. This means that nature also needs to store energy and it does this via the energy required to change the chemistry and or the phase by converting the various phases of carbon compounds from gases  to liquid to solids recovering the energy, from the transitions. Nature uses water as transfer medium to bring food to where it is needed and remove waste from where it is causing a problem. Further,  nature uses water to transfer heat from the equator to the North and South poles, a transfer mechanism that controls the climate of the planet. In the atmosphere nature uses the heat released when water change phase from vapour to liquid as a mechanism to inject heat in certain localities that causes the cumulus clouds we observed before the rain. Lastly, because water has such a large heat capacity it makes an ideal home for the aquatic world sheltering it from any fast extreme changes of temperature. The time scales for storage of energy range from interglacial  (oil and gas), to interannual (vegetation growth) to seasonal, (leaves, flowers)  to diurnal (algal blooms).

                 Further, in order to mitigate  the impact of a continuous input of solar energy and so support a stable energy environment on this planet  nature stores energy in the form of fossil fuels, which is chemical energy, at the same rate as the net solar radiation input. By contrast, for the last two hundred year  humans have liberated the present  buried dormant energy pool back into the atmosphere, thus upsetting the, natural, present balance.

              We also examine, in detail, strategies for the solution of the so called “water shortage” in Western Australia and show that if we follow nature and treat water and energy as an interconnected challenge then new, very attractive, solutions present themselves. Then, we illustrate the stimulus the water and energy solution will provide to the economy of Western Australia. Once the economy is strong, globally interconnected and strong enough to be able to determine its own destiny, we show that the additional building blocks become accessible, the only question remaining being whether we can muster the courage to formalise them!


2.0: The Building Blocks For “That Sustainable Place Down Under”:  So we have now discussed in some detail what is required to educate humans to treat the world a little more kindly. The critical focus of this  new world are the children from the time they are born did have a 10 living in an environment the allows the brain to develop and develop not just social conscience, but also an environmental conscience. Further, it is important that when they emerge from their brain development years that they can resist the intellectual contamination from outside of the state, that they have the ability to consolidate their point of view and develop a very  strong and resistant character

2.1 Definition Of The Place to Strive For:  A good way to determine what attributes a particular living space should have in order to optimise the living experience for the local residents would be to make every resident feel that every day is a vacation. So why do people go on vacation? The different reasons for going on a vacation may be grouped together in the following categories. (Included in the list below are places in the world that vacationers currently frequent, when seeking a particular vacation plus places in  WA that presently or in the future that will make West Australians feel they are having the  same vacation. (These are marked in red )

a.         To have a break and get away from the daily routine. No agenda no programme, just simply a time to relax and meditate  (eg Bally. Margaret River, Broome, Lake Agyle )

b.         To recover from an illness or trauma  (eg Bally, Munich, Perth, South West, Lake Agyle)

c.          To catch up with family. (PlacesE of origin: UK, Europe and mor recently the middle  east and Asia.  Home towns in WA)

d.         To experience the direction humanity is moving (Silicon Valley, South West)

e.         To find  a partner (Eg Vietam, Russia , Perth)

f.           To have an opportunity to misbehave away from friends and or  family so the bad behaviour is not catalogued. (eg Bally, Mandurrah)

g.         To spend time with a particular person(s) in order to develop a relationship (Nepal, North West)

h.         To follow up an idea that could range from:

b.         Reliving a certain moment in history  (Rome Italian, Kununnura, The new South West, Berkeley, California (Hippy)

c.          Living In a different environment just for a change (Margaret River))

d.         Living In a different environment for a practical assessment or changing place of residence  (Silicon Valley, North West)

e.         Pursuing hobbies such as photography, skiing , surfing  (Austria, Perth, Margaret River, Pilbara, Kimberleys, Lake Argyle),

    The only difficult with this philosophy is that humans always want to have the above in a mode of surprise in other words when people go on vacation they go consciously to be surprised, they are constantly seeking new adventures, in order to find release from the day to day stressors. Living in a city that has all the above attributes, is therefore alone, not a completely  recipe for happiness in the home. For a vision to be successful it must It must also lead the residents of the area into adventure. These adventures must allow planning the joy of visualising, anticipating and then realising the sought after goal.

          Iceland programme has resolved this issue by providing a whole range of free recreational facilities for the general public to use. Further, it has issued every poor person in the country a $1000 euro credit card every year,  in order that he or she can participate in various private recreational venues. These two which is similar to travelling to another country for a vacation. This is something that people had never been able to do before and therefore it provided the necessary Initiatives have provided an opportunity for people to venture outside their own social circles challenge of surprise . This aspect of the Iceland programme has been a great success overall, with the illicit drug problem going from the highest use per capita in Europe to the lowest in a matter of five years.

          In Australia in general, and in WA in particular, we do exactly the opposite we reward the gladiators rather than injecting money into primary and high schools and  public recreational  facilities that people can access for free. By supporting the rich, the Government is fuelling “the relative poverty” stressors and this only makes things worse. This is exactly opposite to the what Iceland experiment showed to be effective in helping society as a whole. In 2000 and 2019 WA in the federal and State governments invested something like 20 billion dollars to build the stadium which was something like 10 times more money than was invested in all the public schools for the improvement of their sporting facilities for instance.  The same bias is carried by the government’s taxation rules. Large multinationals, specially mining companies, in Australia receive very much  larger tax breaks whereas small family owned business have basically no access to tax breaks.      

         Consider, now the capital city Perth. Next time you have a coffee at Matilda Bay look across towards Perth and imagine that Kings Park, extends its green beauty all across the horizon. (figure 3). 

      2.2 Sustainable Housing: The above building blocks must be coupled to sound and secure water supply and source of energy together with fundamental resource that allow external money to be earned. The three most important resource that WA possesses for our own living are space, water and energy. We have more space per person than any other place on this earth. We should look after that space in a way that is optimum for harmonious sustainable living of people, plants and animals in the one environment, instead of simply running our lives using the same value system as humans in totally different environments are doing. Money is not the only thing of importance and we, in WA, have options that  are unique.

         However, none of the above will be accepted by the people unless the vision provide them with a pleasant home to live in. So, instead of scrambling to push for more dense redevelopment of the Perth suburbs and incurring the enormous cost of mental health externalities coupled with deterioration of our environment, let us remember our ancestors. The 1940’s Anglo Saxon city planning allowed inner city suburbs to develop with quarter acre blocks, three or four bedroom houses and very large greenspace areas. This fostered a wonderful lifestyle that seems to have been forgotten. Many people, of influence, are now suggesting,  that inner city areas be rezoned to allow high rise buildings for apartments and shopping centres to be erected with justification that dense living would decrease the greenhouse gas emission footprint. Suburbs that are made of quarter acre block will have higher emission statistics, for the simple reason that people will be commuting for longer times every day. On average  an Australian household emits around 12 tC/yr in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, of which about 40% is due car use (4.8tC/yr).   Now on average Australian native forest sequesters about 10tC/Hc/y, hence to offset the increased emissions due a doubling of commuting emissions, for  a  city of say 1 million quarter acre block living would require  a replanting programme of an area of approximately 4,800 sqkm. or less than 0.2% of the area of WA

             This replanting could be divided into backyard vegetation as show in Fig 7,  in the form of recreational  parks, replanting to bring rain back in the hills catchments (see §2.4)  and providing habitats for some of the native fauna and flora. Such a revegetation programme would not just be beneficial for enhancing our greenhouse gas  footprint,  but it would also securing our water  supply in the hills reservoirs and enormously help the agricultural industries in the South West to remain competitive, foster the ideal  backyard for children to grow up in and help build the garden city of the world. Further, it would lead to incredible improvements in our social healthl. The enormous social, health and the economic costs of raising children in environments that are not conducive to shaping growing children’s minds would also disappear. By way of example a child growing up with no green space to play in, in the first 5 to 10 years is 10 times more likely to commit a crime and later life.

        This is another example where short-term money gains ruling the decision process, can lead to devasting externalities for the human race. The further things that seems to be totally forgotten in this process is that reversing these decisions are extremely difficult, for the simple reason that once a high rise building has been built or property has been developed it is difficult to return the land back to nature as humans simply don't have the capacity to so. The other main obstacle that is raised by such developments is that the property values become so large that younger families lose their choice of where to live.

              This is illustrated by my family's own example. My wife came back to WA in 1978, a few weeks before I could come back from United States and in that time she had decided to buy a house in Dalkeith for approximately one year salary for $75,000. To quote her, she bought the cheapest available house in the best suburb and street. It was perfectly liveable and my son and I did some renovations, making it, what my wife and I think, is a wonderful home; small house, large garden and lot of wildlife. A property valuer friend recently told me  that the block alone is now worth about 2.3 million dollars. Assuming a house value of around $350,000 means that our living space represents approximately 20 years of salary for a professor. This is a clear example of what the problem is with society as a whole. Couples are being forced to both work in the external workforce today, simply to pay off enormous debts, leaving the children to be looked after by some nanny and the parents being exposed to extreme financial stresses. As discussed above, this stress is leading to enormous hardships as well as enormous costs for societies in terms of health care, policing and punishment for bad behaviour. a clear example that using money as the only criteria for evaluating human actions is likely to also initiate very costly externalities with severe negative consequences for humans and the environment.  Despite these obvious facts every evening in the news we hear  house prices going up as good news stories.

            The other major issue presently facing the development of suburbs in Perth is that all the decisions rest at the local council level and most of the council electees come from a real estate agency background real estate background thus have many vested interests. This plus the fact that an expensive development on a particular suburban block brings in more rates for the council and this possible arrangement to prevent wealth leading to a conflict of interest  situation, would be to issue ever human at birth, a birth certificate, a space entitlement certificate and a net pollution emission certificate. Once an individual has used up his/her entitlements they get put into a sustainability home and their wealth would be  returned to the State.

    Living In Perth are also some of the world's leading innovators in terms of housing, beavering away under very stressful situations, simply because the atmosphere here in Australia is not supportive of innovation;  the tall poppy syndrome reigns supreme! All the inventors mentioned in the article, including yours truly, have been jumped on for the crime of have a creative idea. In the middle ages the Inquisition went after people with new ideas of religion. All over the world, as globalisation takes over local ownership of property, ideas and sense of place, a new inquisition is taking hold focussed on the eradication of the intellectual.


To name a few

·           Doust Plumbing Products:, A company that has just patented a rainwater filter and rain tank configuration that cleans and stores rainwater to degree that makes the rainwater drinkable. Suppose the roof area is 250m2, then 750mm of rain will provide a house with this average roof size with 187kl of water that is as good a scheme water This represents about  41% of what of the total water  use by  a family of 3.35 in Perth. However, the same family uses 42% of the supplied scheme water inside the,  house, 56% outside for gardening and swimming  pools and 2% is lost  in leakage. Hence in summary the Doust filter could provide nearly 100% of the water used inside the house by the average Perth household.

·           ARI WATER is another inventor relevant for suburban water supply. The  second major invention that has Perth as its home is the ARI WATER storm water filter. This filter clean the water running down the Perth streets to an extent that the filtered water is clean enough to water the garden in a sustainable way. So instead of routing the dirty street water down into the stormwater drainage system and then ultimately let it exit into the Swan Estuary to pollute the Perth Coastal margin, this filtered water could be used to water the gardens of Perth. To see this consider a typical 16 house  Western Suburbs  housings block plus the street area of about 22,932m2.. The area  per property, not captured by the 250m2 roof area is 1083m2. Thus if the AIRW filter captures all the water that does not already fall directly onto the garden which means that rain which falls directly onto each residential property plus on the streets amount to about 887kLyr-1 has a total area of 1, 433m2. The area per ¼ acre property that is occupied by the street and the back lanes plus the street  verges has  an area of around 422m2. Most of the rain falling on this paved area would run off into the street drains be cleaned by the new AIRA filter becoming available for the garden watering, after being stored in  the surface aquifer. Using again a rainfall intensity of 750mmyr-1 would mean a new source of clean garden water of around 316.5kLyr-1 which represents about 22%  more that is currently being applied to the garden by the average single resident Perth ¼ house.

  This opportunity should be contrasted with current situation, where the storm water containing all the street rubbish is simply flushed underground and ultimately released into receiving water such is the Swan River or one of the lakes around Perth. The leaves contain a huge amount of phosphorus lead to algae blooms in the receiving waters and of course plastics and other things in the street then will also end up in the oceans. The AIRWATER filter  can prevent all this from happening. People are simply unaware that all the leaves and rubbish that goes down the street drains ultimately ends up in the Swan River or other water bodies and from there goes to the ocean. This water carries an enormous amount of nutrients and of course plastics. The situation is even worse because the rubbish that goes down through the pipe networks tends to block some of the pipes causing water ponding, a wonderful homes for mosquitoes. WA already has dengue fever malaria mosquitoes here all that is needed now is one person with these diseases to be bitten by one of these mosquitoes and the rest us will become possible victims of these diseases.

·                   Iron Matrix: Household Solar Energy: This amazing company has perfected the integration of solar panels with house construction so they form an integral part of the walls  and roof of the house. However, solar energy is intermittent and thus an energy storage is required, the current solution is use batteries. Back in 1800s my great, great uncle in Jerusalem built a house which in the basement had a basement storage room, a water tank and heat exchanger. Surely if farmer 1800’s could make this work we can make it work again.  For reference one kilogram of  water can  absorb 4.2KJ of heat (1 calorie) for every  1° temperature increase. This means the daily energy used for house and water  heating of about 30kWhrs could  be service by  installing heat exchanger water tank in the basement of say 2m3 tank with  a temperature fluctuation between 70ºç and 90ºC.  This would reduce the house’s energy needs by almost 60%. The remaining 40%  could most likely all be met in Perth by direct solar energy feeding directly into a small lithium battery storage unit. Another technology that could be developed to further aid the base load issue is to design an energy recovery technology from the leaves dropped in the garden. Leaves are nothing else but solar energy converted to carbon and so this if energy could be recovered in a small unit for base load energy, this would be yet another solution.

·           Building Sustainable Housing: There are two major building initiatives taking place at the moment in Perth. The first, is building an ecovillage in Witchcliffe and the other one is a regular builder in Perth, who together with a Swedish company, is producing some the world’s most innovative sustainable houses. This could all be put together to form a housing industry that is second to none.  Clearly the value of this industry will depend on the way it is managed. However, a rough estimate would be to assume an annual construction of say 10,000 house both in Australia and internationally at a unit cost of say A$300K, leading to an industry value for around A$3B per year. Such an industry would also, feed very substantially into tourism and education.


  2.3 Swan-Canning Estuary:   According to geologists, the Swan-Canning River Estuary, in its present configuration, was formed around 10 million years before present and remained an ecologically functioning river estuary system until about 20 years before present. About 50,00 years ago the aboriginal people started to settle the area. It is now recognized that their fire practices had some impact on the functioning of the river system, but by all accounts when Captain James Stirling first explored the Swan-Canning River Estuary in 1827, it was still an ecologically healthy, brackish estuary, low in nutrients with extensive fringing vegetation, sandy substrate, Billabongs and with the ocean water being kept at bay by a limestone bar and sandy shoals at the mouth where Fremantle is now located. An extensive series of billabongs protected the aquatic freshwater biodiversity in the dry summer months, the high concentration of tannins from the native fringing vegetation protected life in the river against algal blooms and river flows were periodically high enough to completely flush the system.


The Swan-Canning is typical of all Australian south coast estuaries, all facing similar low tidal amplitudes, relatively energetic surface wave climates, low nutrient waters both ocean and fresh and extremely variable river flows. All leading a fragile existence before European settlers arrived, all now battling increased nutrient loading, reduced river flows and in most cases severe alterations to the sand bars controlling the ocean entrances.  Their stories differ in detail as do the origin of the stresses to which they are exposed, but in large all suffer from the same transition from a water body with only weak salinity layering, low biological productivity and high water colour to a salt wedge, nutrient rich environment with the organisms in these systems evolved accordingly.  Now obese with nutrient, devoid of annual cleansing river flushing as river flows are either depleted because of lower rainfalls or diverted for agricultural purposes and robbed of the sun block lotions (the colour in the water from native vegetation tannins) they are dying of asphyxiation. These observations apply to the Murray Basin estuary as well as to the Swan-Canning Estuary, indeed to most of our beloved estuaries, were we like to build our mansions hoping to look down of nature’s beauty; alas soon the waters in the estuary will flow silently as in the Coorong, The Swan, The Peel Harvey and Wilson Inlet, peaceful as a cemetery!

     The well known engineer, CY O’Connor, constructed the Fremantle inner harbour and by the early 1900’s the depth of the estuary at Fremantle was kept permanently open to a depth of greater than 4 meters allowing the sea water to enter and fill the estuary from below (sea water being heavier than freshwater). In the last 100 years the estuary water has undergone a seasonal cycle where in spring, as the river flows recedes, sea water progressively fills the estuary from Melville Water to up to Midland, leaving the estuary almost completely filled with seawater by autumn. As the winter rains cause water to flow in the Avon and Canning rivers this freshwater enters the estuary, but finding itself lighter than the resident sea water, flows along the water surface in a thin layer towards Fremantle and out to sea. The extent and depth of the freshwater overflow depends on the severity of the river flows. In a flood year, such as 1958, the strong freshwater flow would have pushed the seawater back out to sea.

       Whenever the estuary becomes layered in salinity, such as shown in Fig 1a, the exchange between the surface waters and the deeper bottom waters is inhibited, due to seawater being heavier than freshwater. The surface and bottom waters will only mix when there is a stirring agent; in the estuary this can be a large tidal velocity or a strong surface wind. Energy is required to mix the heavier bottom waters with the lighter surface waters, analogously to stirring the sugar in the bottom of a cup of coffee or tea into the cup as a whole. When the stirring agents are weak, as in the Swan-Canning Estuary, the waters mix only weakly and the bottom waters become isolated from the free water surface. This has many consequences, the most important being that the waters at Fremantle, whereas for a relatively low flow year such as 2011, the fresh water are made it, as a thin surface layer, to Fremantle, as seen in  Fig 1a. Point Walter to the Reid Bridge life has been asphyxiated below about 2 to 4 meters and once dead all creatures can only return by migration; this appears the reason for people no longer finding prawns and crabs in the river, a common enjoyment 20 years ago.     

      There seems to be tendency, by government and from some members of the general public, to deny the severity of this situation with comments such as “this is a temporary situation”. This is a well-known psychological first response to death, but the reader should remember there is no such thing as “temporary death”

              We are only just fully understanding the functioning of the estuary, but it appears that with reductions of rainfall, the river inflows have decreased and the freshwater inflows are now arrested around Point Walter, as shown in Fig 8, by what is technically called a hydraulic control. The time the water takes to travel from the upper reaches of the estuary to Point Walter is about one month, the time necessary for photosynthesis to drain the nutrient, originally introduced by fertiliser application in the catchment, out of the water column into the phytoplankton biomass in the surface waters. These algae then settles to the bottom where they decompose and in the processes deplete the oxygen in the underlying water body. This model would suggest that, year after year, nutrients that enter the estuary with the inflows are sequestered into the estuary bottom muds where they are available for recycling into the water column whenever a mixing event takes place following a few months of low oxygen. Such a situation is clearly evident from the water sample analysis results depicted in Fig 8c, that shows nutrient levels in the bottom water about 3 times higher than in the surface waters, ready to fuel a summer algal bloom. In simple language the Swan Canning Estuary has been asphyxiated by a surplus of food, death by obesity! The only reason we are not seeing huge algal blooms throughout the estuary is that the tannins in the water, the brown colour, are robbing the algae of light so they cannot thrive continuously. However, recent results indicate that certain types of algae do grow at depth in very low light conditions and when in moderate concentration produce oxygen at depth breathing life back into the deeper waters by out competing the loss of oxygen due to microbial action breaking down the organic material in the water. The function of the Swan Estuary has thus changed from that of a predominantly freshwater/brackish system with low stratification and low nutrients being flushed annually by vigorous river flows, to a system that is held in a precarious balance between microbial activity feeding on the dead carcases of plankton and zooplankton and consuming oxygen in the process and the algae photosynthesising thereby introducing oxygen into the water column.  Much has been made of the estuary health indicators not showing a decrease in ecosystem health over the last few years. However, it must be remembered these indicators measure only fish diversity in the upper waters and then only at selected times; fish are transitory and come and go through Fremantle at will, searching for food and habitat at a time when the ocean waters are becoming depleted of both. Suggesting that these indicators are a reflection of ecosystem health is a bit like counting visitors to a cemetery and then suggesting, when visitor numbers are up, the cemetery is a healthy place! For indicators to be meaningful they must include the abundance and diversity of all the bottom dwellers, little or no work has been done to include these in the Swan Estuary.

         The danger now is that as the freshwater, carrying the tannins, recedes the water will clear, the high nutrient levels will come to the surface, the water will warm further (see Fig 1b), the perfect cocktail for massive algal bloom!

              Unfortunately, it is not simply a matter of reducing the inflowing nutrient levels because, as suggested above, there is now a store of probably close to 50 years of food supply locked in the sediments, becoming available whenever the bottom waters become anoxic (lacking in dissolved oxygen). The long term solution lies in reducing the nutrient inflows, but the short term fix, maybe semi permanent, is to prevent the salinity stratification from forming and maintaining a homogeneous water column that is readily mixed by the tide and the wind, preventing the bottom water from depleting in oxygen. This could be easily achieved by building a barrier underneath one of the bridges is near Fremantle as shown in Figure 8 . The construction cost of which would be less than around A$0.5M

              The other danger that awaits the Swan-Canning Estuary and us in the future is global sea level rise. In Fig. 9 we show simulation results based on a hydrodynamic model of the inundation level referenced to the Australian Height Datum (AHD). The model combines a superposition of the high tides experienced in July 2011, river flows of about flood values in 1983, an uncontentious 50 cm sea level rise due to global warming and a coastal wave surge of 50 cm as was recorded when Tropical Cyclone Alby passed along the coast in 1978. Not included is the known rate of subsidence observed in Fremantle. This is a realistic scenario, and maybe compared to the levels reached in the past at Fremantle in many years, most recently in 1988, 2003 and 2004. What these simulations show is that such events will become more common place with even quite small rises in sea level; so climate change sceptics please read and think before, yet again going ballistic!





 Fig 9Flood levels for upper Swan River Estuary



Fig 9b: Flood levels in the upper Canning Estuary

















Fig 9 c: Flood levels in central Perth area.





2.4 Water Resources: In §2.2 We saw that over 90% of the  so called water shortage has a simple solutions in not requiring external water resource to be launched in the country. There is enough water available, with little bit of management initiative, to allow our dream lives, with  completely unrestricted water household water supply, to continue. There is a need to stop wasting money on the so called global warming alleviation measures and instead put the  money to good use in bringing the rain back to the Hills reservoir catchments. As discussed above this can be done quite easily by limiting the house to block ratio and encouraging residents to replant vegetation in their backyards. This initiative should also be coupled, as discussed above, to setting up nice residential parks around the Perth suburbs and then finally adding a major native vegetation replanting in the effort to bring Kings Park down across the perimeter of the Swan River, all the way to the airport, in an effort to create the dream Garden City of the world. Greening the whole Metropolitan area in this way would therefore have many advantages, the main one being to attract more international tourism.


         Over the last 20 years or so there has been a lot of discussion and anguish about rainfall in the Hills reservoirs decreasing to the point where desalination water is required to meet the demand. As discussed above, just a little thought in the design of both houses and the city plan would solve all of the water problem  plus it would provide a living climate which is infinitely better than any other city in the world.

    But again, politicians are using excuses in the sense that they're blaming global warming, the devil,  for the decrease in rainfall, whereas in actual fact research has shown that  the rainfall decrease in the Hills catchments has nothing to do with global warming until very recently. This same research has shown that clearing native vegetation along the coastal strip in the 1950 to the 1970’ was the main reason for the reduction of   rainfall in the hills catchments.                                

       The explanation of this is given above, trees are gigantic water pumps and good distillation plants, Suppose each hectare of bush has about 100 tonnes of vegetation on it and we assume  a very conservative pumping rate of 25%, the from each hectare of bush nature would pump 25kl/d/hc of clean water into sky every day or a pumping rate approximately  9,125kL/Hc/yr. Now suppose the rainfall efficiency of the tree pumping is only 1% then to bring back 100mm of rain in an area of 150kmx 50km would require to replant an area of around 822 Hc. By comparison the Kwinana desalination plant produces around 140,000 kl per day, which is approximately equal to water from one half square kilometre of bush. To bring this pumping action back will require a replanting program of native revegetation along coastal strip. Three steps are required. First, some modelling is required to ascertain the exact location where the land should be reclaimed  and second a revegetation programme should be initiated asap. Third, we should use the water from the South Yarragadee until the rain return to the hills catchments, as a result of the revegetation programme And mothball the dissemination plants in case of future emergency.  According to the Department of Water South Yarragadee aquifer has over 1,000 years worth of total water needed by a Metropolitan area of drinking water quality. So, with a little bit of imagination bringing water back to the Hills reservoirs could result not only in rainfall increasing in the Hills catchments, but also create a number beautiful parks and gardens with lots of vegetation and with all the benefits discussed above.

              The political climate has changed so much this is not an attractive for a Minister to solve an actual problem. The strategy for a Minister to be successful is to quickly respond to a problem identified by the general public and present a solution that is consistent with the following steps:

·           Agree with the general public that there is a problem

·            Identify something or someone to blame.

·           Set up a budget to provide financial support for a so called solution.

·           The money should not solve the problem but rather the expenditure should be very visible, in order to remind the general public the government is doing something . It is not a good thing for ministers to actually solve a problem because then the electorate will be happy and forget about him or her. This strategy is well illustrated, as discussed above, by the present situation put forward by the West Australian Water Corporation. They have coined the phrase that we need to be “waterwise” meaning we should all take shorter showers and replace our garden lawns with plastic lawns, all in the name of a “waterwise” water consumption policy! . This is simply a fraudulent attempt by the government to collect more money from the tax payer.

          However, in the age of social media and the Internet this is a successful strategy to keep the politician elected. Rather than actually solving a problem it is much easier to blame the devil, spend some money on random things and then when the problem remains and they can keep spending the money, the people keep electing them. Global warming is a perfect example of this strategy. Globally the world spends over 500 billion dollars and so called global warming research and alleviation measures, however when you ask simple question what determines the 100,000 year periodicity of the ice ages you will not find a single paper that actually has the answer. This behaviour should be contrasted with my dealings with previous ministers such as Julian Grill who always told me exactly what he wanted and what he could and could not do. Together we were able to solve many of problems in a satisfactory and uncontentious fashion

              If we go even further back to the days when I had just come back from completing  my PhD at University of California, Berkeley I had the privilege to get to know the then head of the Public Works Department , Mr Bob Hillman. He was clearly a Master of his field, yet was open to a conversation, as equals, with a young person who had just graduated.  Bob Hillman and the then Minister for Water Resources, Andrew Mensarus would quite often take me in their car down to  Augusta to look at water problems in the South West. I still distinctly remember how each drive ventured and continued. I used to get in the car and Bob would explain some problems he was facing at the moment leaving me to think about them on the way down. He then instructed the Minister what he thought should be done  and Andrew listened and accepted that Bob was the knowledgeable engineer and that he, as the minister, saw his position as an interpreter of the technical language and workout how to communicate the recommended solutions back to the people and also embed the solution into the local cultural fabric. By the time we reached Augusta, around a 3 hours drive, both were on the same platform and they had agreed on particular research needs which were then formally posed to me over lunch. On the drive back to Perth I wrote out a budget and by the time I got out of the car in Perth, we had agreement what research they wanted and needed and the necessary budget. Next day I received a formal letter from Bob with the money. Under such a system, Western Australia’s infrastructure was developed for genuine need and not for the glory of a political structure and or a global company’s financial interest. Both Bob Hillman and the Minister acted totally in the interests of Western Australia, respecting each other’s role. I was really impressed!

              We now live in a system that is exactly the reverse. The politician, with no technical training in the field, acting either on directions from a global interest or for his or her own glory tells the head of an organisation what should be done! But make no mistake, the nature of the person in charge of a large organisation has also changed dramatically. In general such “leaders” are no longer the Master, but are simple a servant to the politician, facilitators of advisor’s advice, desperately trying to preserve their position in the organization.

              Almost every day we hear on television or in the press that we, in Western Australia, are short of water, that the situation will get worse, that it is the devil’s work (global warming) and the only solution is to let the garden, the icon of WA living, die and to stop having a shower and learn to tolerate smelly people.  Where has the spirit and culture of WA in the 1960 and 1970’s gone? When diversity of opinion was the culture of the day and not political correctness. Open your eyes, my fellow West Australians, to the richness and beauty that is Western Australia. Take water! There is no shortage, even for the metropolitan region, simply a new challenge, a routine interest for an engineer, but seemingly an insurmountable obstacle for the present politized system.

Research shows: The hills  reservoirs could overflow regularly again, and the wheat belt could be assured, of an adequate rainfall as Mark Andrich has shown,  simply by revegetation part of the coastal margin. Trees pump water out of the surface aquifer and inject it, as vapour, into the atmosphere where the wind carries it downwind making rain inland. The Wellington Reservoir still overflows regularly, but the water is too salty for either human or agricultural use. The reasons for the increased salt concentration, as was shown by Adrian Peck 40 years ago,  is the rise in the water table bringing the salt, resident in the soil column, into contact with the runoff. Farmers have to cope with the consequences of this salt contamination on a daily basis.  The solution to the salinity problem is obvious, lower the catchment water table a few metres to where it was before the land was cleared. This can be done in one or a combination of three ways. First, replant enough native vegetation to pump out the surface water, second, as proposed nearly ten years ago by Peter Coyn, drain the salty water to the ocean via deep channels or third, pump the salty ground water out using the Thorp hexagonal, solar powered tanks. These methods are complementary. Replanting native vegetation is the long term permanent solution that has the further advantage that the regrowth would assist with bringing back the rain, The deep drainage channels could be used as the main drainage conveyers and these could be fed by the Thorp tanks. This would provide an almost immediate solution with the added benefit that the solar energy generated by the Thorpe tanks would be more than needed for the water clean up and thus provide carbon neutral electricity to a whole catchment such as the Blackwood. The Wellington Reservoir could thus be managed to provide at least 50Gl/yr of potable water at about a third of the cost of the desalination option.

              About 2 to 3 km beneath most of the South West is a basin containing, according to Department of Water figures, about 1,000 yrs of  potable water, at current utilisation rates. The water is over 50,000 years old and has little connection with the surface waters of the region. Water from this source would again be about one third of the cost of the desalination option. The Thorp tank invention could also be used to reticulate all of Western Australia, bring water security to the whole state using the surplus water of the north.

              This can  then all be integrated with solutions offered above in the design of our sustainable house and WA would have more water than people would know what to do with

              Clearly the problem is not a shortage of water, nor does the problem lie with a lack of creative ability, there are still many West Australians who have the courage and skill to come up with practical solutions, as is evidenced by the above discussed inventions. The problem is, as demonstrated by the above, pioneering inventors and creative ideas are no longer welcomed by the managers of our society, the politicians, CEO’s of multinationals and large government departments.  As one of my ex-students succinctly expressed: , “ when I was in charge of a group of 10 to 20 people I chose team member who showed curiosity, were independent thinkers and doers and person who exhibited loyalty to Western Australia. Now I oversee 3,000 people and the only attribute I require of an employee is the willingness to conform to the consensus.” Hence another very urgent challenge for building a new societies is to stop this death by administration where individuals in the workforce are no longer encouraged to use their own knowledge and discretionary powers to make decisions. This trend is strongly motivated by legal profession consists of helping individuals blame somebody and in the process make money . Clearly, the two professions that are most responsible for the ills of our society  are first, the engineers who are not willing to take on the responsibility of the externalities of their designs and are quite content to follow the wishes of their paying master and second,  lawyers who play games with people’s lives simply to make money.  Lawyers are the main instruments for “death by administration” that is rapidly leading to extinction.


2.5 Energy: If you take total energy sources that could be developed in the North West of Western Australia, from tidal energy, to solar energy, to geothermal energy it amounts to approximately 5 to 20 times the total energy needs of the whole world. The world uses approximately 6 x 1020 joules (1.7 x 1014kWh) of energy per year. If this energy were all sourced in WA at a retail price of, say, 25c/kWh, that would produce an upper bound annual income to WA of around  A$42,500B about 26 times the GDP of all of Australia. The transmission technology is currently available to transfer electricity over 15,000 kilometres at 1,000,000 volts DC. Using just this presently available technology  would allow us to service all of Australia and most of Asia yielding an immediate income of about A$4,000B/yr. The recommendation would be that th06e State Government set up a steering committee to look at the implementation of this energy supply Initiative as there are some dangers that country is receiving the power may get jealous and certain frictions could result. On the other hand if the supply of energy we're integrated into the better living philosophy that we're trying to create then it could be nothing else but a positive move.


2.6 Creative Loafing: Community Support: The Iceland experiment clearly showed that easy and free access to community facilities for recreation, physical exercise and relaxation places for simple downtime, in order to keep the body and the mind correctly connected, is of central importance for good mental health of the community. Here again Western  Australia has enormous advantages over the rest of the world, as we have one of the world’s most beautiful coastline.  Just  by installing a few rockpools along the coast we could open a series of gateways to nature. The rockpools envisaged  are not concrete basins as on the East Coast , but basins with porous rock boundaries designed to allow the wave energy in the offshore ocean to pump ocean water through the pool and so flush the whole pool  every six hours or so, eliminating the need to chlorinate the water bringing the pool and the people in it, much closer to nature.

      Further, given that many older people have arthritis and therefore cannot go swimming in a cold water there is an infinite source of hot water underground and this could be pumped into the pool so the pool is maintained that say 28 ºC all year round. By adding a gymnasium and some restaurant facilities at the boundary of the pool this could become a true gateway to nature. A typical design is shown in Figure 11. Preliminary feasibility studies have shown that such gateways to nature could be sited at  Hillarys Harbour, Cottesloe, Mosman Park, Fremantle, Bunbury, Margaret River, Albany and Esperance, each allowing tourist and locals to experience  different aspects of Nature:

·  The pool and special facilities for handicapped and older people as well as small pre-schoolers at the shore line boundaries. Automatically this would provide an environment where young and old and competitive and casual would mix, exactly what the Iceland experience suggests is good.

·  The pools envisaged would be self-flushing using the wave energy impinging on the outer pool wall that would have the right porosity to attenuate the waves, but enough to make the water flush through the pool every 6 hours. This would give bathers the feeling of being in the ocean, but without the imagined fear of sharks or unpredictably large waves. Lastly, the ground water about 1km below the pool is quite warm and could be used to heat the pool, helping the elderly to swim all year (Iceland 2 &4).

·  Given the pool would be self-flushing, self-heated and unchlorinated means that the maintenance costs would be very low and also it would be a world first, providing a focus for tourists. If we then use our imagine and bring Kings Park down along the shore of the Swan River to the Causeway presenting the unique biodiversity of Western Australia, the Perth would become the place to travel through the gateway to Nature and learn how to live more sustainably. Perth would quickly become known as “The Garden City of the World”. (Iceland 4). This could also serve as the start of a new world focus on the South West of WA that could be built up to become the place where sustainable living intellectual engineering is being pioneered, equivalent to Silicon Valley the South West could get the name “Land Of Sustainable Living”. This would become the place where people come to, from around the world, learn about harvesting rain water, cleaning storm water, turning organic waste to energy, controlling their own brain towards a happier existence and learning how to live in harmony with nature. In brief international tourists would come to recover from the stresses of the world!


       Thus in brief Perth,  The Garden City of the World, would consist:

 of a beautiful River running through the middle of  the city, with nature and people sharing the space in a very large number of recreational facilities including 3 or 4 ocean rock pools. The Southwest city would provide it beautiful backdrop to the city the wheat belt to the East and the various ocean playgrounds in the South. Taking a queue form the Provence in France the state government could simply set up a budget where a farmer could be given a choice of how to make  living, by growing food, by growing biodiversity, by growing carbon or by simply welcoming and encouraged people to visit their farms as an educational experience. If this were then coupled with the series of research institutes branches possibly branches of the CSIRO and a number of universities it would make the Southwest an intellectually challenging and interesting place to visit .

     Lastly, this proposed development of the Southwest were coupled, using the aboriginal cultural connections, with the proposed  development of a food bowl in the Pilbara and the exotic landscape of Kimberlys, WA  would quickly become an irresistible destination for national and international tourists.  

     The developers of a prime real estate area such as the foreshore around the Indiana Tea Rooms are not only confronted with a very considerable financial opportunity, but they must also recognize that they have a very large social responsibility to do the “right thing”. First, the fundament research, published by the Hebrew University, clearly shows that the first 5 years of our lives, physiologically sets the patterns of our brains. Second, the recent experience made public by the Iceland authorities ( see, provides conclusive evidence that bad behavior is learnt and can be turned to good behavior with the right parenting, availability of good recreational facilities, association with the right peer groups all embedded in an environment that fosters tolerance. Australia’s social statistics are some of the worst in the world and getting worse by the day. These two sources clearly shows that that the four main factors that lead to better social statistics are: 

1.   Parenting providing continuity between generations and facilitating friendships with other humans and animals, providing a reference framework for our lives. Teaching strategies for success and most importantly teaching us the meaning of the word “no”. Teaching is the transfer of knowledge from one person to another and this take time and a suitable atmosphere in order for the teacher to feel inspired and the student to be receptive. Good teaching invariably also leads to more creative thinking, because there is no better way to learn and create than through the act of trying to explain something to another person.  The English used to call this “creative loafing”, Such creative teaching rarely involves a class room, nor is it a formal process, a casual remark from the teacher can convey more substance than 100 formal lectures. By way of example, I learnt more mathematics from my mentor Harry Levey, on the golf course that I did in any classroom.

2.   Availability and participation in organized or casual extracurricular activities such as sporting activities, choir groups, play acting; any activity that involve more than one person.

3.   The behaviour of the peer group you associate with. As we grow up we very much assimilate the behaviour of those we associate with. This is similar to the “casual comment” statement in 1 above.  Further, we are most sensitive to pressure and love from those we associate with, so the peer environment has a huge influence on how we end up as adults.  Historically humans always have belonged to a tribal structure, nested over the family tribe. We get our behavioural bearing from other members of the tribe we belong to.

4.   The environmental and social space that we grow up in; green space is calming and provides direct contact with nature. Clearly, all the above points are dependent the environment we live in and grow up in. The environment must be calming when needed, provide space and atmosphere for the parents to be teachers by example, foster togetherness, foster community recreation and cultural activities and is populated by tribal members of the right character. Above all, when growing up we need to have the opportunity to experience nature, both as in beautiful plants with their colourful flowers and singing birds in order to learn and what they need for their survival. This is

2.7 Entertainment Industry: The thing that made Hollywood successful was the weather and the landscape in Southern California.  Now compare Western Australia. In Perth you get, on average, 8 hours of sunshine per day, we have the world’s most diverse endemic biodiversity and we have the world's most beautiful beaches and general scenery. The conditions are perfect for setting up in entertainment industry. Three initiatives already  stand out. First, the successful film venture “The Red Dog” second, the incredibly impressive activity by a Virtual Reality start up company and third, by a Perth modern film production company . All are developing some pretty amazing new few features in this technology of the future.

    By combining the above activities with an aboriginal initiative, with the great woodwork and art activities in the Margaret River area, with the already open air movies shows, the various country festival and the Fringe Festival this all would take off like a rocket. I say this because of the setting WA has to offer. We can offer a setting second to none. The beautiful weather, the biological diversity, the beautiful beaches, and the exotic outback that is totally unique in the world, would allow the already world famous educational art activities in Perth to blossom with even only a very modest up front investment. Supposed it reached 1/3 of the income of Hollywood, then that would add another A$100B income to WA per year.


5.   All the above are made even more complicated by the introduction, 40 year ago, of the smartphone and the internet. The scientific literature in the social science area is generally very pessimistic about the prospect for human survival. This pessimism seems to be based on the fact that these modern technologies are cutting the parallel, and direct connections between people and between people and nature, that are based on our five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch and that support points 1 to 4 above. Technology is rapidly replacing these senses in a way, such that most of us now see and experience the world through the internet which is a simple series data stream, a change that evolution has not prepared us for. Psychologist have shown that this is leading to a huge increase of mental illness, flat decision making and excessive drug use, all factors that contribute to a life style that is unstable.

Our children will pay a heavy price for our capitulation to laziness of thought.


      2.8 International Tourism: Consider being a citizen of a large city like Beijing, London or Washington or any other major international city. Both parents are working hard to keep the family in reasonable shape and paying off all the mortgages. You have finally saved up enough money to go on 2 week holiday So you go to your travel agent and they point out this place called the “sustainable place down under” where you can enjoy the following: You land in Perth And check into a five star hotel. From your hotel room window you can see the Swan River River  Any decide to go for a walk along the riverfront ended up in a nice restaurant near the keys . Next day you decide to go to the zoo to say hello To say hello to the Kangaroos and Wallabys . Then in the second half of the first week you rent a car and drive South stopping every now and again To visit one of the new research institutes focusing on sustainable living or maybe take your children to an educational farmland where they can see the chickens legs, the beef Being harvested or maybe who eat being grown. you're surprised that the impact this is having on their children who really who they only do it by diversity their scene is in the supermarket now they see the real thing it changes that all outlook  Then after one or two days you arrive in Margaret River, a most beautiful surfing place Well you can relax in the sun to do the surfing in the evening enjoy one of the world's biggest choices and most beautiful wines for dinner. When I travel around the world most people know Margaret River as the place for surfing and for wines and a little bit of hippie atmosphere. However, burger is also becoming the home of some world 1st intellectual activities for instance there is a company called flying fins that is producing the surfboards for all the world leading surface and it's growing by the day . I would not be surprised if this is the first of many companies to start up in that area provided the vision that I present is actuated.

You come back to Perth a day earlier than your flight leaves back to home and you go for a walk in Kings Park . There you will see a sign which says a half hour  walk in Kings Park Allows you to  see the same number of endemic species as you see if you walk from London to Moscow. The two weeks stay  in WA will remain in your memory for your life and your children will keep talking about it and report  to their school friends the amazing vacation they just had to their parents.

Places I mentioned above are just a few that are worth visiting .  There are many other remarkable places that you could visit in WA. I say remarkable as a friend of mine recently went to Broome and  came back raving about the Garden of Eden he had just experienced. With a little bit of the right management Western Australia could be turned into prime vacation resort destination for anybody in the world who wants to experience the world the way it could be.

2.9 Global Warming “Historic climate change agreement reached at COP21”

            Let’s analyse a little more closely what was said to have been agreed upon in the “Deal” signed off in Paris and examine possible implications and externalities for developing countries and small remote places such as Western Australia with their strong reliance on a single commodity economy or cheap labour.  Media reports provide a summary of the “Deal” under the following bullet point:


1.             To limit global warming to “well below” 2ºC, aiming for 1.5ºC from those in 1900.

2.             Eliminate the use of coal, oil and gas for energy

3.             Greenhouse gases emissions need to peak “as soon as possible”, followed by a rapid reduction

4.             Fossil fuels to be replaced by solar and wind power

5.             Developed countries to provide $US100b a year from 2020 to help developing countries.

            On the surface of things, the above points sound great and are designed to give the general public hope that something is being done about this threat to humanity. However, while I am fully aware that the bearer of bad news is no longer welcome in our society, I do hope I can convince the reader that the “Deal” is, put simply, based on wrong assumptions and is really more designed to consolidate economic globalisation rather than to ameliorate the threats posed by global warming. Further, irrespective of ones point of view, climate change will usher in a period of rapid change, political, societal and environmental. The “Deal” totally ignores the extraordinary economic opportunities that will arise due to such rapid change. Let me discuss each point in turn, highlighting the flaws in the arguments and then give some examples of opportunities missed:

            To limit global warming to “well below” 2ºC,iming for 1.5ºC from those in 1900: In the last 100 years, based on hard data, the earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1ºC. Again, fairly simple calculations may be used to show that the cause of this rise, is the measured rise in the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases. The origins of the increased greenhouse gases are, however, varied and direct emissions by humans is now only one small component.  If global warming is to be brought under control, all sources must be reduced and this is where the “Deal” is badly flawed

            Currently, humans directly emit approximately 10GtC/yr (measured as pure Giga tonnes of carbon (Gt) per year, with a gigatonne being equal to 1,000,000,000 tonnes). By comparison, the feedback that the 1ºC temperature rise has triggered in the last 50 years, due to the permafrost melting and venting methane and other gases, amounts to about an additional 10GtC/yr , about equal to the direct anthropogenic emissions. Added to this, is that our fetish for removing algal growth from the world’s lakes negates approximately a further 10GtC/yr from being extracted from the atmosphere, with a further 2GtC/yr sequestration being lost due to increased land clearing. Lastly, as the ocean warms, it vents more greenhouse gases, roughly at a rate of an additional 2GtC/yr. So we see that if we stayed in bed tomorrow, turned on no lights, heaters or air conditioners and hibernated all year it would really make little difference to the rate of global warming. The genie is out of the bottle, with approximately 24GtC/yr being vented indirectly as a result of our past actions. The message is clear. By 2055, the earth will have warmed by at least another 1ºC to a total, since 1900, of about 2ºC even if ALL direct anthropogenic emissions are eliminated.

            Clearly, this non-binding deal is ineffective as well as putting all the burden on the poorer sectors of humanity. What is necessary, if such a target is to be achieved, is a massive effort to extract greenhouse gas from the atmosphere at roughly three times the rate of the direct anthropogenic emissions together with a serious reduction of consumption by the wealthy parts of humanity!

            Eliminate the use of coal, oil and gas for energy: It is certainly true that burning fossil fuels contributes the bulk of the direct anthropogenic input of carbon to the atmosphere, but apart from being totally unrealistic given the World’s reliance on cheap fossil fuels, removal of this material as fuel will also not solve the issue of global warming. Further, as has recently been shown in the literature, changing from fossil to renewables put a heavy burden on the poor and lower middle class, so will, in addition, contribute to social unrest.

            Greenhouse gases emissions need to peak “as soon as possible”, followed by a rapid reduction: As I indicated above, even if all man made carbon emissions were stopped immediately, the earth would still continue to warm unabatedly. For emission control to have any effect we must negate the emissions from the permafrost melting and degassing of the ocean and revegetate the earth and standing waters. And we need to do this including all the externalities, something humans have few skills. By way of example, consider what happened in Milan, Italy and the Adriatic Sea. Historically, people in Milan and the Po River Valley, went to the toilet, flushed the excrement into a sewage pipe and the contents ended up flowing down the Po River (pardon the pun). There was little or no wastewater treatment carried out. The Po River empties into the Adriatic Sea where the phosphorus and nitrogen, contributed by the toilets of Milan, a city of about 1.5 million, gave rise to a very productive fishery. Indeed the cycling was perfect. The phosphorus flowing down the Po River was approximately equal to the phosphorus returning to Milan, courtesy of the fish landing in the Milan markets from the Adriatic. Further, the algal growth supported by these same nutrients in the Adriatic pretty much sequestered an amount of greenhouse gases equal to those emitted by Milan. The real problem was never the phosphorus and nitrogen loadings, but rather the pharmaceuticals, drugs, birth control pills, etc being flushed down the toilets of Milan with human waste.

            Over the last 30 years the EU has pressured Italy to install wastewater treatment facilities. They effectively have removed the nutrient loading to the Adriatic with the result that the water in the Adriatic now looks clean. Unfortunately, the fish population has crashed in the Adriatic, Milan’s emissions are no longer fully negated and the pharmaceutical pollution has not improved much. By excluding consideration of the externalities more damage than good was done.

            The EU as a whole is currently on a binge to clean its standing waters, the impact of which, in term of greenhouse gas emissions, is outweighing the good that is being achieved by moving to renewables. So, instead of curtailing the indirect emissions the EU is actually going backwards

            Further, the accelerating land clearing that is still going on around the world is the terrestrial analogue to removing algal biomass from standing waters. There no reports in the media that stopping land clearing was a high priority at the COP21 meeting. AS discussed in §1.3, land clearing of native vegetation has an impact on emission in three ways. First, forests directly sequester carbon at a rate ranging from 2 to 8 tC/yr/Hc. Second, trees in a forest are water pumps, they pump water out of the ground and put it back as vapour into the atmosphere to foster rain downwind, providing conditions for the forest to spread downwind, facilitating more carbon sequestration. Third, native fauna and flora provides green spaces for humans to regain their mental balance, providing them with an ability to make long term decisions, exactly what is needed if we are to win the war against global warming.

            Consider, by way of example, Western Australia (WA), with which I have some familiarity. Suppose all of WA were revegetated with native bush, as it was before humans came here 60,000 years ago, then WA could, all by itself, pull out of the atmosphere 2Gt/yr, of carbon contained in greenhouse gases. This represents 20% of direct total global anthropogenic emissions. Trees are pumps that irrigate themselves, so the present arid condition are not an obstacle! If WA negotiated a carbon deal with other polluters around the world at say a modest price of A$50 per tonne of carbon, then WA would earn an assured annual income from the bush, roughly matching WA’s current Gross Domestic Product. People in WA could all be on a continuous vacation and let the trees grow! Further, given that WA’s endemic biodiversity is larger than that of all of greater Europe, the potential for tourism is equally staggering.

            In short, exotic places around the world, such as Western Australia, could become examples to the word in terms of the carbon issue and at the same time set up world institutions of learning focusing on the importance and beauty of nature! What an opportunity!


            Fossil fuels to be replaced by solar and wind power: The world uses roughly 630,000Peta Joules per year (PJ/yr) of energy per year (one hundred and seventy five million million kilowatt hours per year or two hundred thousand million units of electricity per hour per year)). In order to put things into perspective as discussed in §2.5, if all the sun’s energy impacting on Western Australia could be harnessed, we could generate, using current efficiency estimates, 820,000PJ/yr, more than the whole global energy consumption. Then, even a casual look at tidal energy potential of the Western Australian northern coastline puts that source at 4,809,000 PJ/yr or about 8 times the total global consumption! This is not to mention the huge, but not quantified, potential for geothermal and surface wave energy generation that exists in Western Australia.

            What is clearly required is a detailed global assessment of such energy sources, coupled with the development of long-distance, high efficiency energy transmission. Once perfected, remote place, such as WA, could become the energy providers for the world!  If properly integrated new wealth opportunities would abound.          

            Developed countries to provide $US100b a year from 2020 to help developing countries: The developed countries must surely, volunteer to curtail their consumption and agree to a global per capita carbon emission level. At the same time as the energy sources become realigned and integrated we must reassess our consumption as a whole. My good friend the late Meier Ben Meier, the Israeli Minister for Water Resources’ observation is certainly correct, see §1.7 humans are their worst own enemy. A simple example, is the ever-increasing size of the houses in Western Australia and around the world. A large house is not a need, not even a convenience, it is simply a crude assertion of wealth, power and influence.  . 

            Wealth should not be a vehicle that allows people to abuse their responsibility of not being a burden on planet Earth. People in developed countries should curtail their consumption so that people in developing countries may aspire to raise their standard of living. The developed countries have a moral responsibility to help developing countries for the simple fact that developed countries were the first to pollute and so are responsible for triggering the feedbacks discussed above, now the main driver behind global warming.

            Bringing together, to discuss climate change, over 100 countries in Paris must be recognised as a major achievement. The main recommended action, by developed countries, of setting up a $100b annual fund was motivated by “to address the needs of developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation.” In other words use tax payers money in developed countries to help people in developing countries. The action seems well intentioned, but there is a huge  danger in its the implementation. On the surface the proposed action appears patterned on what was recently done in the Middle East to help the victims in Iraq. The USA used tax payers’ money to fund multi-nationals, vehicles of the developed countries, to construct new infrastructure  and setting up educational and health facilities. The net effect, as we saw, is that the money from the taxpayer in the developed US mostly ended up in the pockets of a few wealthy individuals running global companies. If Australia is a guide, the wealthy companies and individuals in developed country pay little or no taxes and even the middle class avoids its fair share of tax responsibilities, if the latest reports from the Australian tax office, are to be believed. The irony of this proposal is, therefore, that the working class in the developing countries will be paying the wealthy multi-nationals on the pretext of helping the poor in developing countries. The net effect is that the working class in the developed countries are cheated and the poor in the developing countries get dispossessed by the multi-nationals!

            If this fear is realized then under the guise of “addressing global warming”, global climate change will be used to allow multinational companies (who caused the problem in the first place) to dominate the developing countries, just as is currently taking place in Australia. The multinationals of the developed countries will do to the world what the European settlers did to the indigenous population here and third world populations will become bar-coded slaves for the multinationals.

            From the perspective of developing and or places with small populations  (such as Western Australia), should seize the initiative and develop their own strategies. This could involve providing innovation incentives for those able to develop new industries out of local opportunities and take advantage of local icons, such as the biodiversity in Western Australia. For instance the rich biodiversity in Western Australia could form the foundation for eco-tourism, educational initiatives, cutting research institutes focusing on all aspect of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and as environments for high end industries that require their workers to be in an environment that promotes creative thinking. Another central initiative could be to set up a global carbon market, based on a global carbon inventory with easy access for developing countries and small places to sell credits to multi-national polluters. Other promotions of real action towards caring for the environment would be to make cities like Perth the garden cities that provide places of peace, education and energy for the world. Set up joint ventures to develop energy transmission technology initiative and then supply energy poor neighbours with clean energy. Follow the example of Norway and use opportunistic wealth gains to set up sovereign wealth funds. Set up serious institutions for learning of how to live in the future on a finite planet, away from the congestion of industrial countries.

            Above all, those places on earth that still have space, should not make the mistake of thinking prosperity comes from population density. That concept has no relevance for life on a finite planet. Equally we should all foster sources of cultural diversity and not be hell bent on making every place on the planet the same. As is well known by evolutionary biologists stability is achieved by diversity. Let’s all develop a way of life that is different, better and more creative, but above all leads to a greater tolerance for diversity. Genetically, we have evolved to live in competing tribes with strong aggressive male leaders. We must  discard this genetic trait if humanity is to survive!

            Here again WA is the home of one of a world leading, internationally recognized, start up company, (, illustrating yet again that the right sort of innovative people live in WA.

2.10       Mineral Resources

2.11       The Asian Food Bowel

), illustrating yet again that the right sort of innovative people live in WA.

3.0 The Money Stream: Given the complexity of the above proposal it is useful to summarise the financial aspects of what is proposed. As discussed above, nothing is accepted by humans unless there is monetary reward. Most of what I suggested has nothing to do with money, but it is important, as we all know, that it appears  and stands scrutiny from the outside  as a financially sound venture. This will motivate people to participate and to support what we're trying to do in WA . Financial implications are absolutely enormous!




Capitol Expenses

Expected Annual Income ($B)

Externalities that must be guarded against


Sustainable Housing

Rainwater filter/house

Stormwater filter/ drain

Iron matrix/ house

Witchcliff EcoVillage

 /50 house

Serneke/ house





Water Resources




Multinationals at 4 income countries wishing to take ownership


World Energy Supply






Global Warming: Reforestation

New Developments

Replacing Existig huses





International Tourism

2.3 Swan-Canning Estuary

2.6 Creative Loafing





Entertainment Industry






Creative Industries






Mineral Resources






The Asian Food Bowel

























4.0     Index of Sustainable Functionality: Keeping Stakeholders Involved

5.0     Conclusions




#EIE19 Keynote - Dr. Jonathan Haidt

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