Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


Australia, We Are Killing Ourselves

Monday 28 January 2019

Every where we look we are being given clear signs of the blatant stupidity and arguably outright criminality of a toxic system of decision making. The Menindee Lakes and Darling River disaster is one example

A couple of years ago I was invited to speak at a Private Equity conference at a lovely resort in NSW. My remit was to discuss emerging issues and opportunities from a futurist's perspective.

Along the way I noted water challenges and the implications of insecure water in Australia and stated that in my view Cotton should NEVER be grown in Australia, a position I'd stated in a published paper I wrote in 2004 (A Drop in the Ocean for Foresight Practitioners). An attendee from the floor pushed back firmly and initially claimed I was one of those types against cotton. I also pushed back and said I have no issues with cotton as a fibre. I DID have a significant issue with it being grown in Australia given the lack of water available and that in my view, there were far better uses for that water.

Attendee stated that '..they only grow it when there is lots of water..' I said 'not the point, that water should be allowed to flow down stream to replenish ALL parts of the system'. Attendee continued to push back, So I said 'well I've stated my bias, in this country there is NO justification for growing cotton - what's your bias - where do you stand?'

'Private investor'

And now we see the implications writ large - toxic rivers upstream and a lack of water flowing into South Australia downstream. Aquifers not getting overflows to replenish; private deals and illegal siphoning; farmers of non cotton and communities being pitted against growers of cotton. It's the EXACT same challenge as the 'Eat OR Extract' concept I've proposed regarding farmland or mining - you can't have both and Australia needs to choose.

Cotton is an EXTRACTION model. With the Darling Basin area providing about 65% of all food grown and using about 50% or so of all water in Australia, creating toxic lakes and rivers can only be seen for what it is:

We are killing ourselves

See more events...

Keep informed - Sign up

Look ahead for your business - sign up for your exclusive updates.

email address


Before I Was Me - thoughts on what aging might hold
Saturday 12 March 2022
Sometimes the words come to you readily and this small piece has me thinking about what I'd like to say at a time when maybe I've lost the cognitive ability to do so
Why the Future of Vertical Farming is Two Decades Ahead of Expectations
Wednesday 2 February 2022
Like lab grown meats, Vertical Farming is going to be part of the future of food. For now it might be best to compare them to small scale battery storage on the electrical grid that can help balance out spikes of demand in the system and provide an output directly where needed.
My Personal Experience of #Covid19 (thus far)
Saturday 15 January 2022
Five days ago I tested positive for Covid. Here's a bit of what the story has been like so far