The former Green Party leader of Ontario, Ron Yurick, scolded Immigration Watch Canada for what he called "insulting" commentary on immigrants rather than focusing on the simply the ecological impact that both they and native-born Canadians together inflict on the country's environment. If IWC would deploy their energies in that way, he argued, he would be open to their message of restricting immigration and stabilizing or reducing Canada's population level. His is a seductive argument to those like me who definitely have their eye on the environmental ball. But I have reasons why I think that matters of culture, or the ethnic composition of immigration, must warrant concern and examination for purely ecological reasons. My argument will follow Yurick's, which I now present:
Hey, Dan Murray and IWC, I wish you'd take the ethnicity out of these postings you keep sending me. I personally am all "for" limiting this country's population numbers, but I am very uncomfortable with the racial intonations of your writing, to a degree I find offensive, and want you to know that I don't want to be associated with that kind of politicking in any way. If you continue using such language, please remove my name from your circulation list.
Yes, money is being spent on assisting many of the immigrants who come to this country, and wouldn't it have been nice if the primarily Anglos who were running this place back when many of our forebears emigrated here had had the decency to help them? [Quite frankly, if I were of Aboriginal stock, I would be royally teed that my ancestors even allowed your folks (or mine, speaking now as a non-aboriginal) to enter the country.] But we got into Canada, and it's largely us who buggered it up. That said, something you and I should be working at is trying to repair the damage, and I agree that more humans living here -- especially with our obscene things levels of consumption -- isn't helping matters.
However, as long as the country's policy is to entice people to come here -- something with which I am at great odds, by the way -- I will continue to say that we have an obligation to make their transition into becoming Canadian as reasonably welcoming as possible. Still, rather than immersing yourself in insulting commentary about how immigrants sometimes don't have the language or social skills to move seamlessly into mainstream Canadian culture, we should be working on reversing what is a far more pressing problem, and that's our collective impact on the natural environment. That's the real problem, caused by almost all of us who live here, and it's a subject on which your organization would do well to direct the majority of its energies. Period.
Past President, Green Party of Ontario
Ontario Green Party
Hey, Ron. I’m Tim Murray, a director of IWC, but no relation to IWC head Dan Murray.
I, too, am uncomfortable with the “ethnicity” postings of IWC. I wished ethnicity would go away and hide under a rug.
I am uncomfortable with having opinions that PC people find socially outrageous or odious. I am uncomfortable with being characterized at best as a “sincere extremist who thinks he is an environmentalist” by one Green politician and as a racist who cloaks his racism with environmentalism by another. This despite more than 25 years of volunteer work in conservation and a family that includes four people of Asian ancestry.
In short, it is not fun being me. Ostracism is not a hoot. But my hang-up is that I would rather be ecologically correct than politically correct, and my loyalty to the truth, as I see it, is more important than my popularity. I would rather be shunned for telling the truth than loved for telling lies. For daring to point out for example, that in the matter of nature appreciation and the conservation ethic, as measured by their wilderness park visitations and their participation in environmental or conservation organizations, not all ethnic groups are created equal. More importantly, for telling the shocking truth about differing ethnic attitudes toward fertility. As there can be no climate change without climate changers, there is no longer any procreative “right”. Cultures and religions are fair game. Or for parroting the racist lessons of White Guilt 101 in college as taught by Kevin Kostner, that somehow aboriginal peoples are invested with an innate wisdom as ecological custodians and managed the continent beautifully until “we” messed it up. A cursory look at the facts would disabuse the objective researcher of these romantic myths. As even the Great Fraud Himself, Suzuki, observed, the pre-contact Haida would have clearcut the Charlottes had they had chainsaws. It was the want of our technology, not some reverent mystic bond with nature, that constrained hunter-gatherers here, as witnessed by the appalling buffalo jumps that took place long before European contact.
I am not a racist because I believe, like Paul Watson, that all homo sapiens are inherently flawed, and the design problem goes beyond language, culture and of course, skin pigmentation. We have NEVER in our species history, in any significant way, acknowledged limits, and my friend, we will not establish them by moral suasion and lectures about how irresponsible we are by over-consuming. Limits are imposed. By external agencies, natural or human. What luck did we have getting smokers to voluntarily butt out? “Affluenza” and hyper-consumerism is an addiction of equal pull. 60% of the people polled in the world’s most affluent society, Sweden, said in 2006 that they would not sacrifice one krona to fight climate change. But like North Americans, the great majority of them would agree to limit or stop immigration. The “P” is the one variable in IPAT that is most easily manipulated, and the one avoided like the plague by the green movement, with few exceptions, like you.
I care a lot about what you think, but I don’t give a damn about how you feel. Whether you are “offended” or “insulted” is purely a function of choice and subjective interpretation. I have often felt hurt and enraged, but no one has ever hurt or angered me. I chose to react that way. You can either chose to read IWC bulletins and chose to be offended and insulted, or not to be, or, and I want to alert you to this option-- exercise the delete function on your email program. I continue to get emails from the Sierra Club and the NDP years after telling them to desist, but after complaining, I realized that instead they offered comic value, and now I am glad that they are more irresponsive than any telemarketer I ever encountered.
In closing, I want to say that I am elated to read that you are the 4th Green Party member in all of Canada whom I have heard of who is actually green. That is, you actually make some sort of connection between immigration and environmental degradation. You apparently are not of the belief that we can welcome 50 million climate change refugees to our shores as long as we, in the words of Ms.Elizabeth Open Borders May, “live like Ghandi.” To come to this realization, despite being a Green Party member, is an achievement akin to the discovery of cold fusion. If I knew where you lived, I would send over a crypto-zoologist to throw a net over you and hold you in captivity to prove that intelligent life does exist on Planet Green after all. Bill Hulet and Brian Gordon were not flukes. Getting you elected to a parliament would be the next challenge. But that will have to wait until the die-off.
Have a Happy Green Party secular humanist un-Christ-mas devoid of meaningful spiritual content so as to appease the perceived sensibilities of foreign-born cheap labour consumers who make up the rich texture of our superficially multi-cultural society.
If you want to know what my take on multiculturalism/racism is, check out the Links section under racism on http://biodiversityfirst.googlepages.com/index.htm
BTW, has Frank de Jong made up his mind on population growth yet? In the early winter of 2007 he told us privately that it was his guess Canada was overpopulated by “a factor of 4 to 10”. But half a year later he told an Australian audience that “population is a red herring”, a phrase that he has used in Canada on one or two occasions. I find that the essential difference between the Greens and the other parties is that the other parties are consistent about their ecological illiteracy, whereas the Greens exhibit flashes of insight. Some Greens “get it”. The vast majority don’t, like every one else. It is a marvel to me how you can co-exist with people of such differences. How can a Bill Hulet live beside an Erich Jacoby-Hawkins in the same party? That is why we, in Biodiversity First, place no trust in parties and see no remedy in proportional representation. Power to the people, not parties. Direct democracy.
PS For further reading how culture affects the population issue read the following 3 articles. http://sinkinglifeboat.blogspot.com/
“When Hunting Growth, Culture is Fair Game”
“Is Multiculturalism Bad for the Environment?”
“The Messy Topic of Culture Can’t Be Ignored”