Monday, April 28, 2008


Stephen Hazell,
Executive Director
Sierra Club of Canada
April 28/08

Mr. Hazell,

In your latest solicitation you enumerate the number of results that Sierra Club volunteers and staff have achieved this year owing to my support. You mention postponing the Kearl tar sands mine pending environmental impact assessment (climate change). You mention stopping the Digby Neck mega-quarry in Nova Scotia that would have proved harmful to right whales. You say you convinced the federal government to develop a new water strategy.You kept global warming at the top of the agenda by advocating "strong" action at Bali and providing needed criticism and analysis of the Harper governments (non) actions following this up. And then you successfully urged the Ontario government to "Grow the Greenbelt" and protect millions of acres of "environmentally sensitive" and "agricultural land" in Southern Ontario.

It sounds like, Mr. Hazell, that you and your team have been busy. Busy like a hyperactive janitor mopping a floor but ignoring that the tap is left wide open to continuously pour water over your work..

Do you remember the IPAT equation? Probably not, I suspect you were not even born in 1970 when the Sierra Club and the whole mainstream environmental movement accepted it as conventional wisdom. "I" (Environmental Impact) equals "P" (Population level) times A (Affluence or per capita consumption) times "T" (technology) Still makes sense to me. But no longer to the politically correct, who have taken the "P" right out to render environmental degradation incomprehensible.

Lets illustrate. We will have to cut global GHG emissions 60% just to make up for the increased emissions brought about by population increases globally in the next four decades. In Australia the population increased 30% from 1990-2006 and its GHG emissions increased by exactly the same number during that same period. In the United States, the population increased 43% from 1970 to 2004 and its GHG emissions increased 43% during that same period. The correlation is clear, is it not? Yet Sierra Club "analysts" in commenting on the governments emissions targets failed to even note Canada's immigrant-driven G-8 leading runaway population growth of 1.08%. Just as they were completely silent following the release of the March 07 census report. A stunning omission for an "environmental" organization..

Environment Minister Gordon Miller said that Southern Ontario can expect to have to jam another 6 million people into its agricultural region in the next 25 years if immigration rates are not curbed. And you want to "Grow the Greenbelt". How? "Smart Growth?" (Smart growth, Smart clear-cuts, Smart extinctions etc.) Check out what is happening to British Greenbelts, once 14% of the UK, now crumbling under development pressure. If Portland Oregon went down, anything will. There is no sanctuary from relentless population and economic growth Renewable technologies? The energy produced by the 900 wind farm at Sarnia will be erased by the energy demands of 23 days of immigration. BC Hydro claims that if every British Columbian household turned their lights off for one hour it would provide enough power for 4000 households for a year. But the population growth rate in BC is such that in just one year everyone would have turn their lights off for 6 hours a day to power those 4000 households and in four years time everyone would have to leave their lights off permanently. Recycling is also futile. A British study revealed that one new citizen via the maternity ward or the airport wipes out 80 years of responsible re-cycling.
I could go on. You get the point Mr. Hazell.

No, no. The point is not to quit recycling. Or to abandon the search for more efficient technologies. Or not to make more efficient and rational land use decisions. Etc. Etc. Rather, it is to point out that without population stabilization all of those worthy goals are pointless. That is why the Sierra Club of the United States was committed to it for most of its recent history and why one third of its current membership are trying to restore that commitment, led by a group of Sierrans called SUSPS (Sierrans for US Population Stabilization).

But I doubt, if you are a typical Canadian like me, that you will be interested in rocking the boat.

So get back to your mop and whistle your happy tune. Who knows, maybe Walt Disney was right, if you wish something to be true and avoid nasty thoughts and phrases like "over-population", "immigration", "limited carrying capacity" and "over-shoot" your Al Gore fantasy just might come true. By living greener lifestyles and vesting our hopes in renewable technologies, you might wish away the fact that there are twice as many Canadians here now as when I was born and pretend that doesn't make a whit of difference to the habitat they're destroying. Just whisper the magic words, “Aba-ka-dabra, Smart Growth!”, and presto! Done!

PS Is there a technological fix for an extinct species?

Tim Murray

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