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Pests are species that, when they become overabundant, have unacceptable effects on humans. Ironically, humans themselves have greatly increased their abundance in the last century. Although this increase, together with concomitant scientific and economic growth, has brought many benefits, it also imposes great costs on ecosystems. Lands, waterways, the atmosphere and biodiversity are all greatly affected at both local and global scales. In fact, current human demands exceed Earth's renewable productive capacity, an inherently unsustainable situation. Consequently, achieving humanity's overarching goals of universal human wellbeing and ecological sustainability is not occurring. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly improbable since much more population and economic growth is certain. Since, humans depend totally on healthy, functioning ecosystems, this situation is unacceptable; humans have become a pest species. Moreover, because of their pervasive negative effects on other species and ecosystems, humans can be considered the ultimate pest.

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Contents

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References

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ABS 2006 Australian Demographic Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 3101.0 (www.abs.gov.au).
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Anon. 2005 Drought's Growing Reach: NCAR Study Points to Global Warming as Key Factor. National Center for Atmospheric Research & University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. News Release 10/1/05.
Archer, J. 2005 Twenty Thirst Century - the Future of Water in Australia. Pure Water Press, Pearl Beach. 159pp.
Arrow, K., Bolin, B., Costanza, R., Dasgupta, P., Folke, C., Holling, C.S., Jansson, B-O., Levin, S., Maler, K-G., Perrings, C. and Pimentel, D. 1995. Economic growth, carrying capacity, and the environment. Science 268: 519-528.
Atiyah, M. and Press, F. 1992 Population growth, resource consumption and a sustainable world. Statement issued jointly by the Royal Society of London and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
Australian Academy of Science. 1995 Population 2040. Australia's Choice. Proceedings of the Symposium of the Annual General Meeting of the Australian Academy of Science, Canberra.
Australian Academy of Science 2002. Annual Symposium: Transition to Sustainability. www.science.org.au/sats2002/contents.htm.
Australian Academy of Science 2004. Fenner Conference on the Environment. Understanding the population-environment debate: Bridging disciplinary divides. www.science.org.au/events/fenner.
Ayensu, E., Claasen, D., Collins, M., Dearing, A., Fresco, L., Gadgil, M., Gitay, H., Glaser, G., Juma, C., Krebs, J., Lenton, R., Lubchenco, J., McNeely, J., Mooney, H.A., Pinstrup-Andersen, P., Ramos, M., Raven, P., Reid, W.V., Samper, C., Sarukhan, J., Schei, P., Tundisi, J.G., Watson, R.T., Guanhua, X. and Zakri, A.H. 1999. International ecosystem assessment. Science 286: 2.
Bailey, R. (ed). 1995 The True State of the Planet. Free Press, New York.
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Betts, K. and Birrell, R. 1994. An optimum population for Australia. In Australia's population ‘Carrying Capacity’: One Nation - Two Ecologies. Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee for Longterm Strategies. AGPS, Canberra.
Birrell, R. 2006. The Productivity Commission on the economics of immigration. People and Place 14: 1-7.
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Boulding, K. 1971. Kenneth Boulding, Collected Papers Vol. II.
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Brown, L.R. 2002. Eco-economy: building an economy for the Earth. Presentation at Colloquium on Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development: Harnessing Action for the 21st Century. www.earth-policy.org/Transcripts/TERI-4-02. (accessed 16/5/03)
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Butler, C.D. 2003. Population and Environment in Australia: 2003. A report commissioned by the Population and Environment Research Fund Committee of the Australian Academy of Science.
Cairns, J. Jr. 1977. Aquatic ecosystem assimilative capacity. Fisheries 2: 5.
Cairns, J. Jr. 1999. Assimilative capacity - the key to sustainable use of the planet. Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Stress and Recovery 6: 259-263.
Calow, P. (ed.). 1998 The Encyclopedia of Ecology and Environmental Management. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford. 805pp.
Catton, W.R. Jr. 1987. The world's most polymorphic species. BioScience 37: 413-417.
Chapin III, F.S., Schulze, E.D. and Mooney, H.A. 1992. Biodiversity and ecosystem processes. TREE 7: 107-108.
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Cocks, D. 2003 Deep Future. Our Prospects for Survival. McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal.
Cohen, J.E. 1995 How Many People Can the Earth Support? W.W. Norton & Co, New York.
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Costanza, R. 2000 Conservation Ecology 4(1): 5. Online URL:http://www.consecol.org/vol4/iss1/art5
Costanza, R., d'Arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O'Neill, R.V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R.G., Sutton, P. and van den Belt, M. 1997. The value of the world's ecosystem and natural capital. Nature 387: 253-259.
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CSIRO. 1994. Submission. In: Commonwealth of Australia, House of Representatives Standing Committee for Longterm strategies. Australia's population ‘Carrying Capacity’: One Nation - Two Ecologies. AGPS, Canberra.
CSIRO. 2002. Climate Change and Australia's Coastal Communities. www.dar.CSIRO.au/publications/coastalbroch2002.pdf.
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Daly, H.E. 1991. Sustainable growth: an impossibility theorem. National Geographic Research & Exploration 7: 259-265.
Daly, H.E. 2005. Economics in a full world. Scientific American, September 2005: 78-85.
Deffeyes, K. S. 2003 Hubbert's Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage. Princeton University Press.
De Leo, G.A. and Levin, S. 1997. The multifaceted aspects of ecosystem integrity. Conservation Ecology (online) 1: 22pp.
Denniss, R. 2000 Tracking Well-being in Australia. The Genuine Progress Indicator 2000. Discussion Paper 35. The Australia Institute.
Devine, M. 2006. A debate begging for more light. Sydney Morning Herald 23/03/06.
Diamond, J. 1994. Ecological collapses of ancient civilisations: the golden age that never was. Bulletin American Academy of Arts and Sciences XVLII: 37-39.
Diamond, J. 2004 Collapse. How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive. Penguin. Where published
di Castri, F. 1996. Biodiversity. In World Science Report 1996, edited by H. Moore. UNESCO, Paris.
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