2006 May 13 Saturday
Environmentalists Split On Immigration Driven Population Growth

Some left-liberal environmentalists strike the pose of moral superior protectors of the environment while they support massive immigration that cuts into wildlife habitats and worsens the condition of air and water. By contrast, a smaller faction of environmentalists still accepts that population growth cuts into habitats and therefore fights against immigration.

"We've got to talk about these issues - population, birth rates, immigration," says Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which confronts whalers, seal hunters, and those who poach wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. "Immigration is one of the leading contributors to population growth. All we're saying is, those numbers should be reduced to achieve population stabilization."

Mr. Watson also was a Sierra Club board member.Last month, he resigned in protest just before his three-year term ended because he thinks the organization ignores immigration as a major factor in population growth.

The Sierra Club is useless. Upper middle class environmentalism amounts to "just don't build in my neighborhood but make an exception when I want to add another floor to my McMansion".

If immigration keeps up at current rates then the US will gain the equivalent of California's population every decade.

Over the past 60 to 70 years, US population doubled to nearly 300 million. If current birth and immigration rates were to remain unchanged for another 60 to 70 years, US population again would double to some 600 million people - the equivalent of adding another state the size of California every decade.

California has about 37 million people. See below. Also, note that of course immigration drives population growth regardless of whether the immigrants are illegals or legals. The United States should let in only a small number of highly talented people. The rest should be kept out.

Dan Walters says all of California's most pressing problems come from immigration.

BY PURE happenstance, on the day that hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of California to demand rights for immigrants — however those rights may be defined — the state issued a new report on population growth that demonstrated anew that immigration accounts for virtually all of the state's human expansion.

The Department of Finance's demographers calculated that as of Jan. 1, the state's population had reached 37.2 million, up 444,000 over the previous year and continuing California on a track to approach 40 million by 2010 — and 50 million by the late 2020s.

That growth, a more than 50 percent expansion since 1980, lies at the root of virtually all of California's pressing public policy issues, including traffic congestion, land use and water conflicts, air pollution, public school performance, health care access, college crowding, and the state's chronic budget deficits. And the state's politicians have been extraordinarily lax in both acknowledging that fact and confronting the issues that it generates — in fact most of the time acting as if the demographic facts didn't exist.

All California population growth is driven by immigration.

When Department of Finance numbers are merged with Census Bureau numbers and birth and death data collected by the state Department of Health Services are added to the mix, showing that half of all births are to immigrant mothers, the inescapable conclusion is that foreign immigration and births to immigrant mothers together comprise all of the state's net population growth. Or, to put it another way, without foreign immigration California would have virtually zero population growth.

Peter Slovenski says population growth is obviously the biggest threat to the environment.

Our population has doubled in the past 50 years from roughly 145 million to 290 million. We'll reach 400 million by the middle of the 21st century. Our national fertility rate is very close to zero population growth. Most of our population growth comes from record-high levels of immigration that we have allowed and encouraged in the past 20 years.

Any serious environmentalist believes that population growth is as destructive as anything else we're doing to the environment such as driving cars an hour to get to work. A real environmental movement would work to keep highways from getting wider and work to reduce sprawl by trying to stabilize our population growth. It might make an environmentalist feel good to campaign for better auto mileage, but population growth puts more cars on the road and more emissions into the atmosphere.

Environmentalists are hypocritical when they preach less dependence on foreign oil while supporting population growth through immigration. One sure way to make us more dependent on foreign oil is to increase our population. I'd like to hear some creative suggestions for population control from our environmental leaders such as trading welfare benefits for sterilization, or using immigration only to keep our population from declining.

The modern environmental movement ignores population growth, and concentrates on politically correct forms of environmentalism such as auto emissions and suburban planning. Suburban planning in the face of population growth is futile. The paving over of America has been relentless, and housing density won't stop it in the short run or the long run.

When people come from less developed nations to America they use more fossil fuels energy and generate more pollution. Plus, they have more babies. Immigration amnesty causes a rise in fertlity and therefore more population growth, both in the United States and in the world as a whole.

Scientists and engineers can develop technologies that reduce some of the impacts of population growth. But that is at best an argument for allowing in the smartest scientists and engineers. Even if all industries and vehicles could operate with technologies which are totally non-polluting (and such technologies still lie somewhere in the future) population growth still causes the areas of human habitation to grow at the expense of wildlife habitats and at the expense of those who enjoy wide open spaces.

The Open Borders crowd likes to argue that immigration has been beneficial to the United States. But benefits do not accrue to all. In California immigration has benefitted welfare bureaucracies, prison guard unions, cheap labor using businesses, and a few other special interests while inflicting costs on net taxpayers (people who pay more than they get back in benefits), smarter children who have worse schools to attend, parents who have to pay for private schooling to get their kids away from the dummies and thugs, victims of crime, people stuck in traffic jams, people who can't afford decent housing, and those who get paid less because they face more competition in the labor market.

If there was a net benefit from immigration 100 years ago clearly the trade-off in costs and benefits has shifted for a myriad of reasons. The country is far more crowded than it was 100 years ago. There aren't as many natural resources such as timber and oil to tap. The average intelligence level of immigrants has dropped markedly. The loyalties of immigrants have become less toward the United States and much more back toward Mexico. The mix of immigrants, by being so heavily weighted toward Mexico, reduces the effect of cancelling conflicting loyalties that characterised earlier immigration waves.

The Open Borders traitors in the White House and Congress and the business and ideological factions that support them are doing serious deep long term harm to the commonwealth.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2006 May 13 11:53 AM  Immigration Demographics

Wolf-Dog said at May 13, 2006 3:13 PM:

The following article is about the new European movement to recruit only the most qualified immigrants. Many countries inluding France, are introducing very strict tests, measuring the aptitudes of the immigrants, in such a way that family reunification on the basis of kinship, will also be severely restricted. Because this subject is very important, I am pasting the entire article without abbreviating. Note that this means that unless the United States uses the same method, the new European system of immigration will reduce the number of high quality immigrants to the United States, since these people would go to comfortable European countries.


France tries to attract higher qualified immigration

In Short:

Immigration and labour market experts are reservedly positive about France's proposed new immigration law, which favours granting access to better qualified workers.

Brief News:

While Germany is realising that its 'Green card' scheme is not doing enough to attract well-qualified workers from abroad, French Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed, on 3 May 2006, a similar approach for his country.

Workers with good qualifications would be granted a three-year limited residence and work permit. At the same time, immigration for lower-qualified people would be made harder. Immigrants would have to learn French and take lessons on French society and values, and they would lose the right to a long-term residence permit, which up until now is granted after ten years stay in France.

France, like other EU countries, is competing with the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland when it comes to attracting highly-qualified workers and scientists on the global labour market.

Sarkozy quoted research according to which half of labour immigrants in Canada and the US are holding university degrees. In France, by contrast, most immigrants have not finished their secondary education. In a recent policy brief, Jacob von Weizsäcker of Bruegel recommended that France should adopt a points-based immigration scheme like the two North-American countries, in order to do better in what he calls "the global competition for talent".

The Commission recommended, in 2003, for member states to adopt immigration policies including incentives to bridge the qualification gap in immigration. However, faced with high unemployment, governments have difficulties explaining the necessity of fostering immigration of workers in high-qualification sectors like ICT and science, as well as in some notoriously understaffed sectors, like catering.

John S Bolton said at May 14, 2006 2:22 AM:

Another difference between the immigration of 100 years ago and today, is that public education per student cost only 1/10th as much in today's dollars, back then. The link from Thursday 5-11-06, on education costs, shows this. Today, an immigrant with just one child in public school, and median income for foreign-born, wallops the net taxpayer for $10,000.
Public, especially political, debate has failed to address the essentially hostile character of immigration cohorts in this context. We are treating the net taxpayer in a way that we dare not treat the natural environment; as a limitless, insensate resource to be plundered as efficiently as possible, and then just move on to the next frontier of logging the old-growth for firewood.
To do this to people is aggression. Foreign-born are twice as likely to have children in public school as the general public, census.gov 's 'facts for features: back to school' tells us that this 10+ % of the population, accounts for 20+% of public school enrollment. This may explain why immigrants' political and cultural leaders never say 'we come in peace' or 'we mean you no harm', because they do intend aggression on us.

Wolf-Dog said at May 14, 2006 7:51 AM:

"Foreign-born are twice as likely to have children in public school as the general public, census.gov 's 'facts for features: back to school' tells us that this 10+ % of the population, accounts for 20+% of public school enrollment. This may explain why immigrants' political and cultural leaders never say 'we come in peace' or 'we mean you no harm', because they do intend aggression on us."

Absolutely none of this will be true if the immigration quotas are revised to accept mostly the extremely well educated and the brightest immigrants, with no further room for family reunification (unless, of course, the family members abroad also have excellent qualifications.) The "immigrants" with advanced degrees (from top schools in the world, not mediocre
schools), and IQ-equivalent scores above 135, will not have too many children while in school, and instead of being a burden to the tax payer, the taxes that they will pay will exceed what it takes pay for their education. It is the below average immigrants that are the burden.

Christian said at May 14, 2006 10:05 AM:

"Public, especially political, debate has failed to address the essentially hostile character of immigration cohorts in this context. We are treating the net taxpayer in a way that we dare not treat the natural environment; as a limitless, insensate resource to be plundered as efficiently as possible, and then just move on to the next frontier of logging the old-growth for firewood."

This will change soon...the American public is about to get the SQUEEZE. See Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis.

The middle class, which has shouldered incredible record debt to date, will simply get squeezed out of existence by the tax burden, credit burden and national debt. Think it can't ever happen; you should look into chaos theory.

The real question should be...when we are plunged into a terrible recession and the tit has run dry...what do you think is going to happen with our 'poor immigrants'. Do you think they are going to readily 'understand' that we are completely tapped out for the next two generations? They already feel so entitled to so many of our rights and financial resources, how are they going to rationalize that there isn't anything left for them? What is going to happen when a 40 million people who feel that they have a definitive RIGHT to our countries resources find out that the tit is dry? It isn't going to be pretty. Our politicians are counting on this uneducated voting base to swing elections in their favor...however, as I am always eager to point out, you can't 'control' 40 million people, they control you. What a mess!

We are experiencing unprecedented violence, drug use, and social issues with illegals, what is going to happen when the money runs out? Think they will 'just go home' as I heard a prominent politician say recently...or think they are going to begin 'taking' what they think is their right to have. It going to be brutal.



Bob Badour said at May 14, 2006 2:59 PM:

Christian, why stop at just illegal entitlement? I don't see how the legal kind is any better from a moral, demographic or economic standpoint.

Christian said at May 15, 2006 9:09 AM:


I guess I don't mind regular entitlement because I pay taxes (my grand and great grandparents, etc paid taxes all the way back to the inception of taxation and when we weren’t paying taxes, my family has fought and died for this country since the mid-1600’s) ...and I expect to get something back (not personally, I am doing very well financially) but I expect that my country WILL take care of its citizens who are elderly, temporarily disabled, veterans, etc. because they belong to me in the same way that I belong to them. I absolutely expect that because I am very well off, my taxes will go to help Americans who truly need them. The entire welfare system is such a terrible fiasco that I don't truly think its 'helping' anyone right now. And, I do receive things back in terms of entitlements, the government subsides farmers...my produce and grains are cheaper (I don't think this does much to help that particular situation) but I can't turn around in America without receiving some sort of entitlement, whether I want it or not or even need it. Nor can I refuse it, the system is too big for me to grapple with or straighten out. Can you imagine trying to explain to a grocery clerk that you didn't want the subsidize price on the Wheaties you were purchasing? They would probably call security...or at least have no idea WHAT you are talking about.


Kurt said at May 18, 2006 11:55 AM:

The basic problem with the environmental movement is that it has been hijacked by left-wing ideologues such that it is become largely a smoke-screen for anti-industrial, anti-Western, leftist ideology. For this reason, I no longer consider the "environmental" movement to be useful for the purpose of promoting rational debate on immigration or any other issue of substance.

The real problem with immigration and environmentalism is succinctly presented by Steve Sailor in a posting around 1999-2000. You can find it in the archives on his website. I highly recommend everyone to read it.

In it, he says (which is historically correct) that the environmental movement is an outgrowth of the romantic philosophical movement that originated in Northern Europe in the late 1800's. Environmentalism and the reverence of natural beauty is philosophically "fragile" in the sense that it never travelled far outside of the "nordic" world and is not widely regarded in much of the rest of the world (i.e. Latin America, South Asia, Middle East). Evidence to support this is the fact that less than 1% of the visitors to our national parks are hispanic, despite the fact that they make up around 13% of our population.

In fact, "environmentalism" is regarded as a disguised form of racism through out much of the world. This is due to both its history as well as the fact that it has been largly hijacked by anti-industrial "leftists". Environmentalism and the Malthusian "limits to growth" ideas were key intellectual concepts that fuelled the growth of Nazism in Germany. This established the link between racism and environmental protectionism. This link has been reinforced by the leftists using "environmental protectionism" to slow or prevent any kind of economic growth in the developing world. Typical examples of this are the opposition to GM crops and the more widespread use of DDT to combat Malaria. Many third-worlders view these forms of political activism in racist terms (understandably so, in my opinion).

I do not believe that immigrants with this mindset can be conducive to protecting America's wilderness areas.

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