The Lucky Country? Reinventing Australia
Can we reinvent the Lucky Country? Fifty years ago author Donald Horne described Australia as 'a lucky country run by second-rate people', adding that our leaders are mostly unaware of events that surround them. The good fortune continued when our wide brown land proved to contain bountiful resources of saleable minerals, allowing successive generations of second-rate leaders to create an illusion of economic progress by liquidating those assets. But a crisis is approaching, driven by irresponsible encouragement of population growth rates typical of poor developing countries. Our domestic problems will be compounded by the global issues accurately projected forty years ago. It remains possible for Australia, still having a relatively small population and plentiful natural resources, to transform our nation into a model of sustainable development that would set an example to the rest of the world. The opportunity to do so, however, is being squandered by the current generation of second-rate leaders, still largely unaware of the events which are influencing their decisions. In this polemic work, Ian Lowe will assess the state of Australia and whether we can retain our status of the Lucky Country. What kind of future do we want for our country?
Professor Ian Lowe AO is president of the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University in Brisbane, as well as being an adjunct professor at Sunshine Coast University and Flinders University. His previous books include A Big Fix, Living in the Hothouseand A Voice of Reason. Professor Lowe has been a referee for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program and the Millennium Assessment. He attended the Geneva, Kyoto and Copenhagen conferences of parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. He was a member of the Australian delegation to the 1999 UNESCO World Conference on Science and has served on many advisory bodies to all levels of government.