What is a "useful" immigrant? Is it one who has a degree in engineering, medicine, a tradesman in construction, a surveyor, a businessman with experience in land development/subdivisions?
What does "contributing to society" mean? In the old fashioned days when wilderness was the rule and civilization was the exception, building bridges, railroads, providing medical care to growing populations was considered good for society.
But times have changed.
Immigrants may have ‘built this country’ but this country doesn’t need any more building.
We have already paved over the most biodiverse treasures our country had to offer.
Our lifeboat is full and adding passengers (immigrants account for 2/3 of Canada’s present population growth) will compromise our ability to survive the resource scarcities of the very near future. At this point, there is no more sustainable development or ‘smart’ growth. They are oxymorons.
What will the superficial environmental groups come up with next? “Sustainable extinctions”? “Smart pollution”? “Managed clearcutting”?
Groups like Sierra Club, Green Party, NDP, Nature Conservancy of Canada, World Wildlife Fund, Ontario Nature, Friends of Clayquot Sound, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, The David Suzuki Foundation, Canadian Nature Federation are all dependent on being politically correct to maximize their donations from the ignorant public and large business entities which are pro-immigration/pro-population growth.
All these "green" groups care about is maintaining their high salary jobs and their yuppie, feel-good approach to environmental issues. Many of these said organizations promote the concept of "smart growth" which is the absurd idea that population growth can be environmentally benign if new housing is stacked up (highrise apartments) instead of sprawled out (subdivision homes, cul-de-sacs). This so-called "smart growth" would only be smart if people didn't need to consume
resources in order to survive or if earth was infinite. If people could survive without consuming resources and producing pollution or if the earth itself was infinite, we could have an infinite human population on earth. However, we know better. Unfortunately the earth is finite and people consume finite resources and therefore, there are limits to the human population. The more humans, the less wildlife is an accurate rule of thumb.
If we ignore these limits we will convert an ecologically rich planet into an impoverished planet and worsen our quality of life to the point where war, disease, and famine become the norm for the majority of the population and the already ubiquitous "too many people chasing too few resources" reality will become obvious to an absurd degree.
A litmus test for any Canadian environmental organization is to ask them if they see a connection between immigration and environmental degradation. If they don't see the connection, they are not an environmental organization.
The following, among others are NOT environmental organizations despite their claims:
Nature Conservancy of Canada
World Wildlife Fund
Friends of Clayquot Sound
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
The David Suzuki Foundation
Canadian Nature Federation
None of these organizations have a simple public policy statement to the effect that Canada is overpopulated and humans are out of balance with the rest of nature and it is therefore necessary to reduce Canada's population as well as the global population. Importing immigrants has the opposite effect on Canada's population and the global population.
Ecosystems are collapsing, species are being marginalized and lost forever and the only way to resolve this problem is to have an end to population growth and therefore a ban on immigration. Population growth on a finite world by definition is unsustainable. These organizations only work on incidental symptoms of overpopulation and population growth, such as when a swath of mixed wild forest is made into a Wal-mart or a parking lot. Such efforts will only slow down the inevitable loss of wilderness. In order to prevent the loss of wilderness, you have to stop population growth.
"Canada is the most immigrant-friendly country in the world, accepting twice as many immigrants per capita as the next most welcoming nation, many of them people about whom little is known." according to Stoffman.
Consequently, Canada has the fastest decline of real wealth per capita in the western world.
We are liquidating our forests, fish, freshwater, minerals at rates that jeopardize our future by destroying Canada's biodiversity.
Immigration to Canada is almost always involving immigrants from countries with low per capita consumption. Of course once they arrive in Canada, their consumption skyrockets. This is a bad multiplier effect from an environmental perspective.
Allowing human population to spread from countries with scarce resources per capita (UK, China, Taiwan, Holland, Lebanon, Vietnam) to countries with a relatively abundant resources per capita like Canada, only serves to maximize the global population by efficiently spreading humans over the land without borders to impede human expansion.
Unfortunately Canada cannot solve global overpopulation single-handedly. By stopping immigration and providing incentives to Canadians for not having children, Canada can provide some desperately needed environmental leadership on the global stage. However, history has proven that no lands are protected when the population surrounding them is growing. This applies to countries, national parks, islands, or whatever. Once growing populations that surround pristine areas reach a tipping point, the demand for the resources of the protected area will become so great that all safeguards, laws, or barricades will be obliterated and the resources will get exploited.
In Canada 80% of immigrants are unskilled and take more benefits from our revenue system than they pay in taxes. In the US, each family of the 20 million illegal immigrants costs American tax payers the equivalent of one Mustang convertible annually.
I couldn't care less about artificial constructs like the economy. The biosphere is real and the economy is only an abstraction of this. If we are beyond our carrying capacity, we've got much worse problems than economical problems.
American and Canadian immigration is driven by the big businesses who profit from the cheap labour and additional consumers.
These big businesses fund political campaigns and dictate government policy on immigration.
The average North American has to put up with an ever more competitive workforce as hoardes of cheap labour immigrants arrive. The jobs of today aren't like the jobs of the 1950's. The educational requirements are higher. Scholarships are scarce, tuition is greater. A middle class person of the 1950's who wants the priviledge of pulling his own weight by growing his own food could afford a huge amount of prime agricultural land to do so. A modern middle class person could work his whole life just in order to afford a smaller amount of marginal land in a poor climate. In
the 1950s anyone could hunt moose without a license. Now you have to pay to enter a lottery for the right to 1 hunting tag for 1 moose. Resources per capita are becoming scarce.
In the UK there is barely more than 1 acre per person. They have a net ecological deficit. With roads and infrastructure rendering much of Britain's land useless, it is clear that Brits can't even feed themselves without being dependent on foreign food imports. Will Canadians learn anything from the British failures? Or will we grow our populations, plunder our resources, all while making more stringent laws until there is scarcely anything left to protect?
Hearing the CBC Radio's The Current this morning with Anna Maria Tremonte, they were talking about the boreal forest in Canada and even the so-called environmentalist they interviewed was only shooting for protection of 50% of the boreal forest since over 50% of this is scheduled for clearcut logging. The Minister of Natural Resources was interviewed and said the token statement: "We take the boreal forest very seriously" and assured listeners that the aboriginal residents would get a piece of the profit from the clearcut logging of the boreal forest north of the 51st parallel near Red Lake, ON as though that is some sort of consolation to destroying Canada's natural wealth and biodiversity.
Of course, the CBC "the thought police" avoided interviewing any environmentalist that would state the obvious that human populations are out of balance with the rest of nature and to make matters worse, human populations are still growing, and no intelligent discussion on limiting human expansion ever enters the environmental debate.
As a side note, CBC no longer broadcasts any new episodes of "The Nature of Things". Perhaps this is because David Suzuki is 70+ years old. This was one of their few programs that had any connection to nature and how Canadians interact with their land.
Wouldn't it be prudent to get a new host and broadcast new weekly episodes of The Nature of Things year-round? Ideally they would select a host this time who was not afraid to be politically incorrect by saying that Canadian population growth is making permanent environmental protection impossible.
In summary, as long as our planet and her resources are finite (last I checked they were) and so long as human beings must consume these finite resources in order to survive, the only good immigration for Canada's environment is none at all. April 10/07.
Brishen Hoff’s blog http://ecologicalcrash.blogspot.com