Friday, April 24, 2009

EARTH DAY FOUNDER BETRAYED BY ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT

On Earth Day 2009, all environmental organizations should have done some moral accounting. In particular, they should have decided whether they have abandoned the original objectives of Earth Day which was Co-Founded in 1970 by the late American Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson.

Mr. Nelson was an environmental pioneer with great foresight. Mr. Nelson's Earth Day is now celebrated around the world. To him, a continually increasing U.S. population, primarily driven by immigration, meant massive environmental degradation. In contrast to most of today's timid environmental organizations and many elected officials, Mr. Nelson advocated major reductions in legal immigration and strong border controls to stop illegal immigration. His goal was to achieve population stabilization in the U.S.

In Nelson's lifetime (1916 to 2005) , the U.S. population tripled from 100 million to almost 300 million. Its most dramatic increase occurred between 1960 and 2005 when it grew from 180 million to 296 million.

Recognizing the danger of unchecked population growth very early in his career, Senator Nelson authored the U.S. Wilderness Act (1964) and a number of other state and federal environmental bills. As Wisconsin state governor in the 1950's, he used a cigarette tax to buy and protect hundreds of thousands of acres of parkland, wetlands and other open space. In the U.S. Senate, Nelson championed conservation policies, including legislation to preserve the Appalachian Trail and create a national hiking system.

Mr. Nelson became the inspiration for the U.S. Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. In responding to conflict between economic and environmental interests, Mr. Nelson once characterized a country's economy as "the wholly owned subsidiary of the environment". In his view, the health of all life as well as that of the human economy depended on the health of the environment.

Do most Canadian, American and international environmental organizations, in whose countries immigration is the major factor in population growth, warn about the dangers of continued population growth? The answer is "No".

The most notorious case of an environmental group which has denied the population/environment connection is the U.S. Sierra Club. For years, many people were suspicious of why the club did not speak out against record increases in U.S. population (largely due to legal and illegal immigration). In 2004, the truth surfaced in a Los Angeles Times article in which a major Sierra Club benefactor, David Gelbaum, said that he had recently contributed over $100 million to the club. He also stated that years earlier, he had made it clear that his generosity would end if the club took a stand against immigration.

After Gelbaum delivered his ultimatum, the Sierra Club dropped any mention of immigration. Instead, it focused attention on reducing American consumption levels. As critics of "greenwash" have stated, this approach is fraudulent. The wastes generated by population increases soon negate any gains from reductions in consumption.

Are Canadian groups acting similarly? The answer is Yes. Almost all Canadian environmental groups remain silent about immigration. Some, through spokespeople like Elizabeth May, even trivialize population increases such as Canada's post-1990, immigration-driven population increase of close to 5 million. Most think that all population growth can be "managed". They promote so-called "smart growth". An unknown number of others take large donations from profit-driven corporations such as RBC that promote huge immigration/population increases. For example, in 2007, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NC), with around 30,000 supporters here, received $1 Million from the Royal Bank of Canada.

The David Suzuki Foundation (with 40,000 donors) behaves in a similar way. It takes donations from RBC Foundation and the BMO and it too says nothing about immigration. For instance, in 2006, the Suzuki publication, "Forever Farmland", justifiably warned about the loss of agricultural land in British Columbia, particularly the province's best farmland located in or next to Metro Vancouver. By saying that 85% of all population growth in Metro Vancouver is caused by a shameless vote-getting immigration policy, the David Suzuki Foundation could have shown some leadership. Why did they not advocate immigration reductions and population stabilization for British Columbia and all of Canada? Why did they not proclaim that Canada, despite its size, has a very small amount of agricultural land and that, through senseless immigration, it endangers its own future food supply and its potential to feed others?

Ontario's Environmental Commissioner has been one of the few environmental figures to show some leadership. Undoubtedly, he knows that Ontario has lost around 1 million acres of farmland as a result of accommodating Canada's post-1990 immigration tsunami. Furthermore, he has stated that Southern Ontario does not have the water resources to support its projected population increase--which will be primarily immigration-driven.

Sounding like Earth Day Co-Founder Gaylord Nelson, he has asked the key environmental question for his province : Why must Ontario's population keep growing?

On Earth Day, 2009, all Canadian environmental organizations have to answer two important questions : (1) Have they been silent about the dangers of continued population growth, primarily driven by immigration? (2) Have they accepted financial support from corporations or individuals like David Gelbaum who demand silence on immigration and some of whom actually promote high population and high immigration?

If an environmental organization cannot answer "NO" to both questions, then it has abandoned and betrayed the original objectives of Earth Day.

These questions are the litmus test for all truly green organizations.

Dan Murray, Director, Immigration Watch Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CALCULATING THE GROSS NATIONAL TRASH

By Joel Makower, March 20, 2009 http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/03/20/calculating-gross-national-trash

More than 15 years ago, I received some data that changed the way I looked at trash. It came in the form of an obscure presentation by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official to a September 1992 teleconference hosted by the Center for Industrial Services at the University of Tennessee.

The document was an eye-opener. According to Jim Lounsbury, then in the EPA's Office of Solid Waste, the pile of trash that had become the focus of public concern -- the so-called "landfill crisis" -- municipal solid waste, or MSW, comprised only a tiny piece of the overall waste disposal picture. There were several much, much bigger piles of trash created by industrial activity to which no one was paying attention.

I've been writing and speaking about that larger trash pile -- which I dubbed the Gross National Trash, or GNT -- repeatedly, including in my recent book, Strategies for the Green Economy. As I explained it, MSW -- which consists of newspaper, cardboard, yard clippings, bottles and cans, other packaging, and various other things people toss out -- represented only about 1.5 percent of Gross National Trash. The rest consisted of a long list of industrial debris, including various manufacturing wastes, construction and demolition waste, sludge, hazardous waste, and many other things.

Problem was, that 1992 study was never updated. And while solid waste experts I consulted assured me that the relative amounts probably hadn't changed much, the age of the data bothered me nonetheless.

But I've just stumbled over some much newer data -- 15 years newer, to be exact -- and while the overall point I was making hasn't changed, the numbers have changed a great deal.

And that raises more questions than answers.

Indeed, it makes me more than a little suspicious.

Here's the gist of the problem. The 1992 data showed that U.S. industry created 13.2 billion tons of GNT. In contrast, MSW that year equaled only 195 million tons -- about 1.5 percent of the total.

In 2007, GNT equaled only 2.6 billion tons, while MSW grew to 252 million tons -- representing nearly 10 percent of the total.

So, industrial trash dropped by 80 percent, while consumer trash grew by 30 percent. This, during a time when the U.S. population grew by 18 percent (from 255 million to 301 million people) and the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, more than doubled (from $6.2 trillion to $13.5 trillion in 2000 dollars).

There are two possible explanations. One is that industry has gotten magnificently more efficient over the past decade and a half, producing a lot more stuff while creating just a fraction of the waste.

The other is that the government -- and the rest of us -- don't have a clue about how much waste companies produce.

I'm inclined to go with the latter.

Not that the first version doesn't have some merit. Over the past 15 years, companies have gotten much more efficient. For example, in our 2009 State of Green Business report, we tracked year-over-year decreases in the amount of paper and packaging used per dollar of GDP. So, improvements are taking place.

But not to the extent that these data show.

Take industrial non-hazardous waste, for example, a classification that includes effluents from pulp and paper, iron and steel, stone, clay, glass, concrete, food processing, textile manufacturing, plastics and resins manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, water treatment, and other industries and processes. In 1992, the EPA calculated 7.6 billion tons a year of the stuff (39 times more than all of the MSW generated that year). In 2007, says EPA, there was just 214 million tons -- a roughly 97 percent decrease (and roughly equal to MSW that year). Where did it all go?

During that same period, hazardous waste -- a witch's brew of nearly 500 toxic ingredients found in paints, pesticides, printing ink, and in hundreds of manufacturing processes -- plummeted from 240 million tons a year to just 9.6 million tons, a 96 percent decrease.

You catching a theme here?

What's the point? It's that most of us have been focusing on the wrong pile of trash. The principal concern isn't primarily the roughly quarter-billion tons of MSW that we toss out each year, though that's no trivial sum. It's the much larger pile, somewhere between 2.6 billion and 13 billion tons -- or maybe more. No one really knows.

But we need to know. The amount of waste we produce -- hazardous or not -- has implications on our health, wealth, and well being. It impacts our energy, air, and water, and the production of greenhouse gases, among other things. Its mere presence signals manufacturing and marketplace inefficiencies -- processes and trading systems in which the creation of waste is an acceptable, affordable outcome.

That's anathema to an economy seeking to become lean and competitive on the world stage, and to a world seeking to use energy, water, materials, and other resources far more wisely while addressing problems like air and water pollution, food security, and climate change.

But how can we aim our economy in the right direction if we don't know where we are?

There are implications for companies. As I wrote in my book (citing the 1992 data):
It’s only a matter of time before the story of GNT gets told, and the public recognizes that for every pound of trash that ends up in municipal landfills, at least 65 more pounds are created upstream by industrial processes -- and that a lot of this waste is far more dangerous to environmental and human health than our newspapers and grass clippings. At that point, the locus of concern could shift away from beverage containers, grocery bags, and the other mundane junk of daily life to what happens behind the scenes -- the production, crating, storing, and shipping of the goods we buy and use. And interested parties may start asking questions.

The disparate 1992 and 2007 figures on the Gross National Trash are troubling for us all. For all the talk about competitiveness, environmental responsibility, accountability, and public health, we're missing an important piece of the picture.

By the way, the 2007 trash data I fell into recently have never been published. Nor were the 1992 data collected by an EPA employee, since retired. (You can download the Tennessee teleconference document here in PDF; the data in question are on page 10.) The 2007 data were unearthed by an industrious researcher for a magazine article I recently wrote. So, the EPA is collecting this information -- albeit sporadically -- but not doing anything with it. Given the seemingly poor quality of the data, that's a mixed blessing.

How much trash does U.S. industry really produce each year? Your guess is as good as mine.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Postscript T. Murray
-
This should have important implications. If a source with the Stockholm Environmental Institute says that one immigrant (or newborn) wipes out 80 lifetimes of responsible cycling, then imagine that immigrant's impact on the volume of industrial waste--which is far more toxic. Each consumer generates 65 times as much garbage (per pound) in the industrial process he supports through his consumption than he does from the waste he personally discards to the landfill. 65 to 1. OK, it should be a matter of taking the average amount of waste each Canadian generates 0.71 tonnes of industrial waste. Then 265,000 immigrants will contribute188150 tons of industrial waste. Divide by 65 to establish personal trash. Immigrants therefore will contribute 188,150 tons of waste at the curb side, if we prorate American data. Don't trust my math but you see the point. We could do our own calculations re. Canada and find out how much each Canadian saves from the landfill and how that gain is wiped out by pop growth.

THE GREEN-LEFT BOBSY TWINS MIGHT FOLLOW THE SWEDISH LEAD---NDP-Green Partnership Marriage Made in Heaven

It used to be said that California was at the cutting edge of all social and political trends. It was always where we wanted to go or the place whose lifestyle we wanted to have or emulate. But for many, it was Sweden that was a beacon for progressive, civilized living. Free, compassionate, egalitarian and prosperous at the same time. An oasis of sanity in an insane world. And for such people, it still is. It has maintained that image, largely because those living outside of it never probe or investigate its true contemporary nature. It is not a utopia, but a dystopia. It is not so much a role model for the masses but a bell weather for where we are heading. It is the vanguard of the new totalitarianism.

Tell me that its political parties are at the vanguard of thinking of parties and organizations elsewhere, in other countries. Try this:

According to “Fjordman”, the Green Party favor ideological Globalism in its purest form. They want a “world citizenship” to replace the national citizenship, totally free migration on a global basis, global taxes and a strengthened United Nations to ensure a just world order. Example from their program,

“We do not believe in artificial borders. We have a vision of unrestricted immigration and emigration, where people have the right to live and work wherever they please….We want Sweden to become an international role model by producing a plan to implement unrestricted immigration.”


This is the Green Party that Social Democratic Party leader, the Olivia Chow of Sweden, Mona Sahlin, wants to form a coalition government with in 2010. This stands to reason. For as Fjordman stated about the Socialists of Europe:

“As usual in Western countries, Socialists who undermine their own countries are de facto allies with Big Business interests, the same business interests that have championed the borderless EU common market, who desire bigger markets and an abundant supply of cheap labor, and tend to view defended national borders as an obstacle to both”.

Alistair McConnachie, editor of Glasgow-based “Sovereignty”, would agree. In his words,

We're expected to show "solidarity" with the massive influx of immigrants, especially the illegal ones -- which the Left like to call "irregular" -- and bogus asylum seekers, and to put from our minds the political, social, economic and ecological consequences of this immigration invasion -- for the greater notion of "solidarity".
In that sense, "solidarity" is simply a slogan being used to undermine my rights and to prevent me articulating them and to stop me standing up for myself, and my group's interests. It is in this politically perverted sense that the Left today almost always use the term.

Why do the Left insist on doing this?

Why do they seek to geld opposition to neo-liberalism from the working class by misusing the idea of "international solidarity" when it is not appropriate to the circumstances, nor the interests, of the people to whom they are speaking?

The reason is because the Left's over-arching ideology of "equality" demands that they put "equality for all" before the interests of any specific element of the working class.

Therefore, if working class people in England are being displaced from apprenticeships, or jobs, by already qualified Eastern Europeans, or Somali refugees, then the Leftist will not stand up for the English indigenous working class because his doctrine of "equality" mandates that he cannot and must not "discriminate" between people in any way.

Therefore, he will argue that the Somali has a right to this job too and that the Englishman needs to see himself, not as part of a national citizenry, but rather as part of an amorphous "international working class" in which he is "equal" with this Somali and shares "solidarity" with this Somali "working class person". Viewed this way, the Englishman can only lose.

To promote "equality", the Englishman is expected to deny his interests, forfeit his rights and cede his space in the name of "solidarity" with someone he's never met, who is likely not a citizen, and is probably a law-breaker!

As a consequence of its ideological obsession with "equality", the Left cannot and will not oppose free movement of labour and so it must try deliberately to pervert and misuse the idea of solidarity in order to neuter any working class opposition to the open-borders of neo-liberalism.
(Sept. 06 edition of “Sovereignty”)

So in this context the coalition partnership of NDP and Greens with the Liberals that was proposed in Canada’s House of Commons makes complete sense. An NDP—Green alliance would be a marriage made in heaven. As I wrote a while ago,

“Greens say they stand for "social and economic justice".
The NDP says it has a "Green Agenda".


They look very much like the Bobsy Twins to me. Yet they are always fighting, always claiming they are so different from one another. Freud had the answer. "The Narcissism of Small Differences". When two tribes have so very much in common ----hypocrisy, self-delusion, self-righteousness, schizophrenia, myopia----they highlight their tiny differences and inflate them.

That God for that. The Green-Left Bobsy Twins, the NDP and the Greens---if united to form a growthist tag time of contempt for our national culture and national identity, as flows from an unspoiled landscape that is the bedrock of our soul, would be a formidable force. Sweden might show them way.

NDP ENVIRONMENTAL UNDERSTANDING: Example No. 24

Letter from federal NDP candidate Shawn Lewis

Just so you know Tim, I have corresponded with Brishen on this issue before and I think you both have raised some excellent points. Like you I am not optimistic that this problem can be solved, I recognize the problem, but we are battling against a human culture that has thousands of years of increasing gluttony into its social history. My goodness, we can barely get wind turbine farms approved because of selfish NIMBYism.

Like both you and Rob, I happily acknowledge the Earth has a finite carrying capacity, I don’t want to get into a numbers game, because frankly I don’t think anyone can fairly say what the optimum capacity is. If we are not already over it, we must be dangerously close.

My primary concern is that a) we cannot address this issue over night, we simply do not live in a culture prepared in any way shape or form to generally acknowledge the problem (though the fact we are having this discussion shows some people are starting to acknowledge it) b) if we rush head long into this we run the dangerous risk of destroying the only viable political party in Canada capable of eventually championing this issue c) we need to be willing to compromise on some shorter term battles in order to continue to build the political credibility needed to start the discussion.

Democracy is great on paper, but it is a slow and messy process in reality.

Anyway, enough for me this evening, I will forward your reply along to Rob.

In solidarity,
Shawn Lewis
Federal Vice-President
NDP London-Fanshawe
www.ndplondonfanshawe.ca
londonfanshawe@ndp.ca

Let’s review Shawn’s logic:

“My goodness, we can barely get wind turbine farms approved because of selfish NIMBYism.”
So it is “selfish” to oppose an energy “solution” that doesn’t solve anything? That is a proven failure because it cannot guarantee the delivery of a consistent and dependable energy flow and must therefore be supplemented by conventional energy sources (nuclear, coal or hydo)? An energy solution that does not address the problem, which is the generation and growth of energy CONSUMPTION? A problem for which social democrats and Greens only prescribe “conservation” as a remedy? In other words, a reduction in PER CAPITA energy consumption. As we are tired of explaining, this kind of constraint is meaningless in the context of unrelenting immigrant-driven population growth. As Brishen Hoff concluded in the spring of 2007, the supply of energy provided by the proposed Sarnia wind farm would be mopped up by just 23 days of business-as-usual immigration.

The only solution to our energy shortfall is a reduction in our TOTAL consumption. This can only involve a sharp reduction in immigration, with conservation and technological efficiencies a complement. Neither Shawn Lewis nor any New Democrat in a leadership position evidences any understanding of this.

“I don’t think anyone can fairly say what the optimum capacity is. If we are not already over it, we must be dangerously close.”
Duh. Shawn presumably has noticed the deforestation of his “Forest City” so that it may accommodate population growth. He has seen the loss of orchards so that people may be housed. Has he is also noticed that now London supermarkets must carry apples imported from Mexico to replace the ones once grown around London? Does he think that those Mexico apples, along with other “exotic” produce, will be available when oil-fuelled transportation networks break down? Is not aware that the GTA, the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan, among other Canadian localities, have also fallen prey to sprawl? Is this predicament of losing our food security “optimum” for Canada? Ontario alone is losing 60,000 acres a year of its prime farmland to population growth. At what point would Shawn Lewis and his New Democratic colleagues decide that we are “dangerously close” to our carrying capacity? After we have made this country into the image of NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow’s hometown?

The NDP, like the Greens and the Liberals, want to see immigration intakes at least a third HIGHER than what the Harper government has decided to allow this year. From 265,000 per annum to 330,000 plus per annum. Their famous “1%” target. Since none of these “opposition” parties would dismantle the Alberta Tar Sands project, the bald fact is, this “green coalition”, as it was once ready to become, is MORE unfriendly to the environment than the Conservative government. If they won't or can't shut the tar sands down, they could save our food security by shutting down mass immigration with a zero-net-migration policy at the very least. One new applicant comes in the door when one citizen emigrates. Of course, Mr. Lewis would not doubt borrow from the Greenpeace-Sierran-Suzuki-May handbook of pat answers and retort that Greenfield acreage could easily be saved by “smart growth” measures even in the face of our runaway population growth (fastest in the G8). But the fact is, land use planning is a local, not a federal matter. And guess who finances nearly 75% of municipal and city election campaigns? That is right, developers. And in too many Canadian towns, they have the gall to sit in the mayor’s chair. The NDP knows this, as does Green Party leader Elizabeth May. Yet they prescribe rapid population growth as if it were not a reality.

“… we need to be willing to compromise on some shorter term battles in order to continue to build the political credibility needed to start the discussion.”Is that what “credibility” means? Selling out to the enemy so that the media will give you the coveted label of “Moderate”? For me, credibility comes with integrity, and integrity means NOT accepting something that is fundamentally wrong. How is it that our political culture became so decadent that popularity is equated with “credibility”, and that quisling organizations like the Sierra Club advertise themselves as “respectable” simply on the basis that they are respected by the power brokers of growthism?

“if we rush head long into this we run the dangerous risk of destroying the only viable political party in Canada capable of eventually championing this issue.”


Can anyone believe that the NDP will “eventually” champion genuine sustainability, on the basis of the statements made by Jack Layton and Lorne Calvert to the effect that “growth is good” so long as its “benefits” are equitably shared? In other words, that it is OK to cut down an apple orchard outside London if social housing is built in its place? Does the NDP record in government give us cause for optimism? Does the party of Glen Clark, the premier who called those who opposed the clear-cut logging of old growth forests “enemies of BC”, inspire confidence? The same party that made Lorne Calvert its leader and premier for 17 years while GHG emissions went up 60% during his reign? Who looked the other way so he could reap the royalties of uranium mining? The party that rivals the Greens and the Liberals in their shameless advocacy of mass immigration, the key ingredient of our environmental degradation, contributing FOUR TIMES more GHG emissions than the tar sands each year, as well as gobbling up farmland, threatening endangered species with the subdivisions it requires and depressing the wages and displacing the jobs of the Canadian workers it claims to represent? (cf. May 2007 Stats Can report and the 1985 Royal Commission on the impact of immigration on jobs).

I would respectfully suggest that we would be better off if the NDP, the Greens and the environmental NGOs WERE destroyed, for their existence gives too many of us a false sense of security, an unfounded confidence that our GREEN “WATCHDOGS” are faithfully guarding the environment and keeping corporate greed at bay. But the fact is, they are barking at shadows while millions of consumers pour in through the front gate.

CAN DEMOCRACY SURVIVE OVERPOPULATION?

Hyper-population growth dilutes our nation's republic

http://www.examiner.com/x-3515-Denver-Political-Issues-Examiner~y2009m3d6-Hyperpopulation-growth-dilutes-our-nations-republic

By Frosty Wooldridge
In a laser-sharp column in the Corvallis, Oregon Gazette-Times, M.Boyd Wilcox presented readers with the harsh reality of hyper-population growth. “Population growth dilutes our nation’s democracy” brought a fresh understanding to our current dilemma.
“On March 27, 1972, this nation was given the benefit of a thorough and compassionate effort that would greatly assist progress toward long-term security and sustainability,” said Wilcox. “Tragically, the advice offered was ignored and we are still paying for this avoidance.”
What, you ask, were those words of wisdom?
“No substantial benefits will result from further growth of the nation’s population…we have not found any convincing economic argument for continued population growth…the health of our country does not depend on it…nor does the vitality of business nor the welfare of the average person…and that the gradual stabilization of our population would contribute significantly to the nation’s ability to solve its problems.”
“Environmental and natural-resources issues are constantly in the news,” said Wilcox. “Progress made seems to counterbalanced by reports of additional discoveries, such as endocrine disrupters in water, the loss of farmland (2.19 million acres annually), and urban sprawl; the continuous, seemingly intractable conflicts over saving tiny remnants of ancient forests; and the ongoing efforts to prevent the loss of endangered species. The struggle persists to define a truly sustainable relationship with the natural world.”
Wilcox continues, “What about the man-made resources; the social-psychological-political glue that holds a nation and society together and allows it to cope? What about our most cherished operational myth, the one of democracy, the one we depend upon to assist solving our most difficult dilemmas?
“Alienation from the political process is at an all-time high. Voting in national elections has plummeted from 80 percent at the turn of the century to less than 50 percent today. A well written letter to one’s representative elicits a computerized form-letter reply designed for that ‘category’ of issue, with little personal attachment or acknowledgement of specific questions or ideas expressed by the constituent.”
The higher our population, the lesser one individual means in the mix of our civilization.
Isaac Asimov said that democracy cannot survive overpopulation, “It's going to destroy it all. I use what I call my bathroom metaphor. If two people live in an apartment, and there are two bathrooms, then both have what I call freedom of the bathroom, go to the bathroom any time you want, and stay as long as you want to for whatever you need. And this to my way is ideal. And everyone believes in the freedom of the bathroom. It should be right there in the Constitution.
But if you have 20 people in the apartment and two bathrooms, no matter how much every person believes in freedom of the bathroom, there is no such thing. You have to set up, you have to set up times for each person, you have to bang at the door, aren't you through yet, and so on. And in the same way, democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, but it disappears. It doesn't matter if someone dies."
Wilcox said, “The original ratio (in Congress) was 1-30,000. Not only has our nation’s population increased over 270 times since the founding of the Republic. It would take 8,700 member of the U.S. House to restore that original ratio.
“How much more diluted can democracy get? Is there any credible argument that more people contribute to a workable democracy? If democracy is not working, what can we count on to solve our problems?
“It is time we revisited how population pressure affects overall quality of life in this country, including an investigation of forces that continue to push our population higher and higher. We need to get on with the business of establishing a National Population Policy designed to place the nation on the pathway to a stable population, at a level or range deemed sustainable for the long-term future.”

Finally, “What will our future hold if we cannot gain the political will to do this,” Wilcox said. “Will the already-attained size and complexity of our population prevent a consensus from being reached? Is it already too late?”
Wilcox asks the most important question for the United States in the 21st century. With present immigration-driven hyper-population growth in the U.S., this nation expects an added 100 million people by 2035, a scant 26 year from now. Our children face a daunting future if we fail to take action toward a stable and sustainable U.S. population.

IMMIGRATION TO CANADA NOW THAT WE HAVE GROWN

The following appeared as the April 4/09 bulletin of Immigration Watch Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org

Gov't Ignored Predictions That High Immigration Would Lower Income Growth. Canadians Have Paid The Price

John Meyer, a Canadian businessman and a past-president of Zero Population Growth, is the author of the article ("Immigration To Canada Now That We've Grown") featured in this bulletin.

Mr. Meyer's observations are particularly relevant in this deepening recession :

(1) In the 1970's, it was predicted that higher rates of immigration would lower per capita income growth. Recent OECD stats on this issue show that Canada has under-performed every other OECD country and that the prediction has come true. High immigration to do the so-called "dirty low paid jobs that Canadians reject" was a clear attempt to expand and perpetuate low-paying work.

(2 The move to raise immigration even higher is a "smoke stack era policy" which ignores social and environmental effects. High immigration makes environmental goals, such as a commitment to Kyoto, worthless.

(3 Creating millions of low-paying workers means creating a group which contributes minimally to our tax pool. This makes it impossible for Canada to both balance budgets and maintain full social programs.

(4) The impact of mass immigration on deficits and the environment has never been officially calculated. High immigration supporters such as cheap labour employers (supported by huge indirect subsidies) and land speculators lobby our governments to keep things that way. Canada, now likely a net food importer, has moved from feeding the world to consuming the world.

(5) Canada's accounting system remains cash-flow based. It values negative things such as sitting in traffic and paving farmland because these activities increase paid activity. Our GDP does not present a true picture because it fails to measure much more important factors in our economy.

(6) Canada needs to advance to a real-wealth accounting system which values environmental assets and considers the true and total effects of high immigration. Our current system hides all these negative effects and allows Canada's immigration lobby to control immigration policy. We do not permit the tobacco industry to write health legislation. We should not allow the immigration lobby to control immigration policy.

(7) "Knowing what we are measuring , looking down the road and developing integrated policies are core competencies for a democratic government--as is keeping a full set of books." Canada does not have any of these "core competencies" in place.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GOV'T IGNORED PREDICTIONS THAT HIGH IMMIGRATION WOULD LOWER INCOME GROWTH. CANADIANS HAVE PAID THE PRICE

(Immigration to Canada Now That We've Grown)

By John Meyer
From "The Social Contract"
Volume 14, Number 3 (Spring 2004)
Issue theme: "Richard Lamm: a life in public service"


Thirty years ago immigration to Canada was given its broadest examination -- in a national context -- in the Green Paper. The economic studies forecast lower per capita income growth with higher rates of immigration. Public opinion surveys showed very strong support (2:1) for a moderate population size and for very low levels of immigration.

Despite the clear delineation of public interest and public will for a balanced level of immigration which would have seen Canada's population stabilize at around 27 million, back room policy makers chose to implement the highest rate of immigration in the world.

Now three decades and five million additional people later, as predicted, Canada has under performed every other OECD country in per capita income growth as our productivity has been left in the dust by nations focused on investing in their people. After all, importing cheap labor "to do the dirty low paid jobs that Canadians reject" was a policy designed to perpetuate low paying jobs and their inherent low productivity and poor working conditions. It worked.

Canadians economic well-being stagnated or declined but in simple GDP growth terms - still used as our main social and economic barometer - the economy boomed. Our national policies reflect what we measure and although GDP represents only a fraction of the wealth creation process, much less social well-being, it is still our main yardstick.

Immigration is the engine of a rapid population growth strategy, unique in the world, that no one seems to be willing or able to explain. The Canadian level is twice as high as that of the U.S. and four times that of Europe. And Immigration Canada is working toward boosting levels even further by 50% to 320,000 annually with escalating levels forever as called for in the Liberal Party Red Book. Such a smoke stack era policy assumes unlimited natural resources and ignores any negative effects on a myriad of social and environmental issues.

Fulfilling Canada's Kyoto commitment to carbon emissions 6% less than our 1990 level would be possible if, by 2012, we had the 1990 population. But we won't. We will have seven million more consumers with a resource-intensive industrial base geared to building one additional Regina every year. By 2050, the Red Book level pushes Canada's population to 52 million and our carbon emissions to1230 mega tons - almost 2 times our Kyoto target of 520.

With our current annual level of immigration around 230,000 (much less 320,000), any commitment Canada makes to Kyoto is worthless. But as one immigration policy maker remarked years ago, "The environment is not our responsibility."

And neither, it appears are stagnant per capita incomes or the deficits/program cuts that result from a cheap labor economy. Boosting hundreds of thousands of people into more productive, higher paying jobs would increase per capita income, reduce deficits and bolster social programs. But creating millions of low paying jobs, as Canada has demonstrated, makes it impossible to both balance budgets and maintain full social programs. An expanding pool of cheap labor fuels deficits as well as simple GDP growth.

It is safe to say Canadians want reduced working hours, higher incomes, longer vacations, more family time, cleaner air, less congestion, lower crime rates, and a full slate of social programs. High immigration impacts none of these areas positively. Knowing what we are measuring, looking down the road and developing integrated policies are core competencies for a democratic government - as is keeping a full set of books. Despite this, the impact of mass immigration on environment and deficits has never been officially examined, and for good reason; comprehensive analysis is not flattering. Immigration stands unchallenged, unscrutinized and unaccountable.

Where does the current policy come from? Follow the money. Cheap labor employers are supported by huge indirect subsidies and mass immigration makes markets for land speculators. The immigration lobby shouldn't be allowed to control immigration policy any more than the tobacco industry should be allowed to write health legislation.

Canada has matured and, with 32 million people and a rapid loss of prime farmland, is most likely now a net food importer. Few of our resources are being used below their sustainable levels. When did we change our national vision from feeding the world to consuming it?

Thirty years after the Green Paper, we are no longer asking questions about immigration and are locked in a downward spiral of dumbed down social policy fronted by a very controlled, murky, and detached political process.

The world is entering an era of climate change and resource exhaustion as our apparently once stable environment goes dynamic. Yet Canada's accounting system remains cash flow-based and positively values events such as the Quebec ice storm, crime, paving farmland, and sitting in traffic because these events increase the level of paid economic activity. We need to progress to a real wealth accounting system which values both environmental assets and unpaid human time so we can forge comprehensive and socially relevant national policies - of which limits on immigration are an integral part.

THE COST TO MENTAL HEALTH OF "SMART" GROWTH

The hopeless fragility of the Smart Growth panacea seems obvious in the face of pressure from rapid population growth, developer-greed and corrupt local government. It does not particularly reap any ecological benefits either, contrary to conventional wisdom and the strident convictions of some environmental NGOs, Greens and social-democrats.

Cost to mental health

But there is another cost. The cost to mental health. There must be archives laden with data that draw a connection between population density and various negative social and psychological indicators. What do studies reveal about violent and non-violent crime rates in urban vs. rural settings? Suicide, divorce, single parent families, drop out rates etc etc. What do they say about psychological afflictions urban vs. rural?

It is counter-intuitive to me to suggest that claustrophobic conditions do not promote these problems.

Industrialization as a force to break-up families


More fundamentally, what about Emil Durkheim’s work on anomie more than a century ago? I read his seminal book Suicide as an undergrad. Irrefutable and devastating in its critique of industrialization as a force to break up extended families. He showed, essentially, that rural folks are happier than city folks. Peasants in Algeria did not commit suicide at nearly the rate as industrial workers in France living as they did in relative isolation from broader family and intimate village contexts.

Durkheim's insights confirmed

Now new data seems to confirm Durkheim’s insights. Insights that many of us have when we compare “boring” rural localities with the so-called “vibrant”, densely packed cities.

And, sociology professor James White of UBC just publicized his studies on loneliness in Canada.

As I interpret them, the frenetic urban lifestyle that of long work hours (to meet the urban cost of living), technology that encourages impersonal communications, and the mobility that comes from an unstable and dynamic free market economy, whose investment in social services never keeps pace with the profits it generates, all lead to great disconnections among people.

The rural paradox is that though people enjoy larger physical buffers between them (more space), they also enjoy more intimate relationships with those they meet in town and more cooperative relationships with further flung neighbours. This is not to white-wash the negative facts about intense gossip etc. in such environments. Professor White had this to say about the last two decades of Canadian social evolution:

Among the 45-64 age group, those who said that they had at least a couple of friends in 1990 were 3% fewer in number than those who made the same claim in 2006. Just 33% of Canadians who live in the large urban centres say that know all or some of their neighbours. The number of people who said that people can be generally trusted was, in 2006, just 53%, while 43% declared that “one cannot be too careful”.

One must remember that this in the context of more urbanization during this period.

More and more Canadians, as elsewhere, are living the Greenpeace dream of being concentrated in cities.

A 2006 study from Drake University and the University of Arizona who confessed that they have no one with whom they can discuss important matters almost doubled in the last 20 years. From 1985 to 2004 the mean number of friends with whom people could have an intimate, candid conversation dropped from 2.94 to 2.08.

Losing one third of your close friends is not a statistic that our soft green opponents would like to trot out in their euphoric descriptions of dense urban living in the smart-growth utopia of the future.

Canadian Green Party member, Mr. Erich Jacoby-Hawkins, lobbies for a massive population increase, fed by immigration, so that our cities can be even more packed, just so it becomes more economical for eco-friendly mass transit to replace the private car.

I will take a private car with three close friends over a life with two close friends and monorail commuting where no passengers dare to even look at each other never mind chat. Ever sat in a doctor’s waiting room--same experience. In the waiting room of the medical office in my village, 15 people will break the silence with a spontaneous group discussion.

Face to face communication accomplishes things that electronic connections don’t.


Don’t pin the blame on “technology”.

The anomie that comes just from too many strangers living so closely together has only created a demand for impersonal avenues of communication. And of course, these technologies—blackberries, cell phones, personal computers, in turn accentuate the divides.

Take one example from my mother’s experience. She was born in Vancouver in 1911. She observed that before the telephone became a household amenity, people dropped in on friends across the city or immediate neighbours too, who received them with typically friendly hospitality. Tea and bakery was proffered with enthusiasm. It was common for Vancouverites to carry “calling cards” with them in the event that the people they were visiting were not home.

When telephones became common in the late twenties, all this changed. People became more formal and found reasons to feel impatient and inconvenienced by unsolicited intrusions.

But before World War Two, even before 1960, hospitality and personal interaction still prevailed over the kind of withdrawn and threatened posture that we encounter today in our urban encounters. As a boy in the 50s, I remember loud, vocal, friendly exchanges between neighbours and even strangers while riding the bus home.

In Vancouver, of all places, Canada’s capital of cold anonymity.

THE DEFINITION OF VEGETARIANISM IN A NUTSHELL

The PC cult of vegetarianism is just another efficiency that leads to higher population growth, thus erasing its alleged collective benefits. By allowing more people to be fed from a given parcel of land, it accommodates population growth. More people fed, more people left to breed. These extra vegans will exact a greater environmental toll than the fewer number of omnivores who were fed by the “inefficient” allotment of land for grazing beef, now assigned to grain production. The constraints applied by scarce agricultural land are one of the crucial limiting factors that check population growth. In this, vegetarianism is just another example of Jevons paradox in another form, but practiced by sanctimonius Green hypocrites who chastise meat-eaters for socially irresponsible behaviour, while typically harbouring domestic cats and dogs who consume meat.

Tim Murray
April 11/09

FIRST A CREDIT CRUNCH---WILL A PENSION COLLAPSE BE FAR BEHIND?

Making predictions is a risky business, particularly economic predictions. I am certain that the growth economy is not sustainable, and by extension, neither is the superstructure of social services that are built upon it. Health, education and pension security are all dependent on the tax revenues drawn from an economy that is fuelled by petroleum products. And even if a fossil fuel economy could be sustained, a livable atmosphere and biodiversity services could not, under that arrangement. But short of the impending oil shortage, it looks as if the crisis in the Debt Money System may shrink the economy in the interim. How bad will it be? The following scenario suggests that it will be much worse than we imagine. Is it alarmist or prophetic?

What's Dead (Short Answer: All Of It)
http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/852-Whats-Dead-Short-Answer-All-Of-It.html
Thursday, March 5. 2009
Posted by Karl Denninger in Editorial at 10:57

Just so you have a short list of what's at stake if Washington DC doesn't change policy here and now (which means before the collapse in equities comes, which could start as soon as today, if the indicators I watch have any validity at all. For what its worth, those indicators are painting a picture of the Apocalypse that I simply can't believe, and they're showing it as an imminent event - like perhaps today imminent.)
All pension funds, private and public, are done. If you are receiving one, you won't be. If you think you will in the future, you won't be. PBGC will fail as well. Pension funds will be forced to start eating their "seed corn" within the next 12 months and once that begins there is no way to recover.
• All annuities will be defaulted to the state insurance protection (if any) on them. The state insurance funds will be bankrupted and unable to be replenished. Essentially, all annuities are toast. Expect zero, be ecstatic if you do better. All insurance companies with material exposure to these obligations will go bankrupt, without exception. Some of these firms are dangerously close to this happening right here and now; the rest will die within the next 6-12 months. If you have other insured interests with these firms, be prepared to pay a LOT more with a new company that can't earn anything off investments, and if you have a claim in process at the time it happens, it won't get paid. The probability of you getting "boned" on any transaction with an insurance company is extremely high - I rate this risk in excess of 90%.
• The FDIC will be unable to cover bank failure obligations. They will attempt to do more of what they're doing now (raising insurance rates and doing special assessments) but will fail; the current path has no chance of success. Congress will backstop them (because they must lest shotguns come out) with disastrous results. In short, FDIC backstops will take precedence even over Social Security and Medicare.
• Government debt costs will ramp. This warning has already been issued and is being ignored by President Obama. When (not if) it happens debt-based Federal Funding will disappear. This leads to....
• Tax receipts are cratering and will continue to. I expect total tax receipts to fall to under $1 trillion within the next 12 months. Combined with the impossibility of continued debt issue (rollover will only remain possible at the short duration Treasury has committed to over the last ten years if they cease new issue) a 66% cut in the Federal Budget will become necessary. This will require a complete repudiation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, a 50% cut in the military budget and a 50% across-the-board cut in all other federal programs. That will likely get close.
• Tax-deferred accounts will be seized to fund rollovers of Treasury debt at essentially zero coupon (interest). If you have a 401k, or what's left of it, or an IRA, consider it locked up in Treasuries; it's not yours any more. Count on this happening - it is essentially a certainty.
• Any firm with debt outstanding is currently presumed dead as the street presumption is that they have lied in some way. Expect at least 20% of the S&P 500 to fail within 12 months as a consequence of the complete and total lockup of all credit markets which The Fed will be unable to unlock or backstop. This will in turn lead to.... • The unemployed will have 5-10 million in direct layoffs added within the next 12 months. Collateral damage (suppliers, customers, etc) will add at least another 5-10 million workers to that, perhaps double that many. U-3 (official unemployment rate) will go beyond 15%, U-6 (broad form) will reach 30%.
Civil unrest will break out before the end of the year. The Military and Guard will be called up to try to stop it. They won't be able to. Big cities are at risk of becoming a free-fire death zone. If you live in one, figure out how you can get out and live somewhere else if you detect signs that yours is starting to go "feral"; witness New Orleans after Katrina for how fast, and how bad, it can get.

The good news is that this process will clear The Bezzle out of the system.


The bad news is that you won't have a job, pension, annuity, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and, quite possibly, your life.
It really is that bleak folks, and it all goes back to Washington DC being unwilling to lock up the crooks, putting the market in the role it has always played - that of truth-finder, no matter how destructive that process is.
Only immediate action from Washington DC, taking the market's place, can stop this, and as I get ready to hit "send" I see the market rolling over again, now down more than 3% and flashing "crash imminent" warnings. You may be reading this too late for it to matter.
In 3 minutes, what's coming.....

My Financial Advisor comments:
Like all articles like this, they are based on what is happening today and extrapolating it to the most dire outcomes. Yes things are bad but not that bad. This recession has not hit the depths of the last several recessions and definitely not the depression. And in the depression we did not have any where near the calamitous effects forecast by this writer.

Historical Experience is Apparently No Cure for Left Wing Naivety

Is there any cure for chronic Left-wing naivety and infatuation with promising “progressive” Messiahs?

In the wake of Obama’s $825 bailout plan announcement and California State Controller’s revelation that his state government now has debts that cannot be liquated by tax revenue and credit lines, Paul Craig Roberts asks:

“How can President Obama even think about fighting wars half way around the world while California cannot pay its bills, while Americans are being turned out of their homes, while, as Business Week reports, retirees will work throughout their retirement (which assumes that there will be jobs), while careers are being destroyed and stores and factories shuttered.” http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01292009.html

My answer? Because he accepted $389 million dollars for his Democratic nomination campaign largely from Wall Street corporations. As I wrote during his nomination:

Barack Obama took in $102.1 million for all of 2007 and by February 22, 2008 had raised $138 million, including a million from private equity firms and $9 million from corporate law firms. And hold on to your seat belt. By the August 28/08 Barrack Obama had raised $389,423,102. Friends, that money most assuredly did not come from cab drivers, hairdressers, carpenters, supermarket clerks, gardeners or the working families sitting at the kitchen table …It came from ordinary, down-to-earth corporate goliaths like AT+T who gave $168,613 to Obama. And City Group who gave him $389,989. And Microsoft who gave him $274,375.


With Obama’s perseverance with the war in Afghanistan and continuation of unauthorized attacks on Pakistani targets, it now looks like the people in the Defense Industry are getting what they paid for when 52% of their $8 million dollars of nomination campaign donations went to Obama’s Democrats. Is a war against Iran on tap? If it is in Israel’s interests, I would bet my depreciated house on it. Obama has consistently sung the McCain tune, and will no doubt follow the Democratic Party tradition of subsidizing the apartheid theocracy---now at $10 billion a year.

One wonders how any American politician could have the chutzpah to tell the world that Muslim fanatics took out the Twin towers because “they hate us for our freedom and democracy.” I guess then the murder of so many innocent Lebanese by the shelling from the USS New Jersey, to cite just one incident, or the deaf ears to Palestinian misery are examples of the “freedom and democracy” that these fanatics hate. As veteran American Indian activist Russell Means said, “The Palestinians are the American Indians of the middle east.” He observed that while Obama was selected to improve America’s global image, the reality was exposed by Obama’s pro-Zionist appointments.

Stayed tuned for Microsoft’s reward. Obama will not doubt remain faithful to his pledge to bring “the best and the brightest” IT workers from the world (the south Asian world typically) to satisfy Bill Gates’ ambitions to widen the HB-1 visa pool. That quarter of a million bucks to the 2008 Obama nomination campaign will look like a steal when American-born IT workers---the ones still working---are brought down to the HB-1 wage level of 60 rather 100 thousand dollars a year.

Folks, this man is not Martin Luther King or Jesse Jackson. He is from the Chicago School, one of Milton Friedman’s anointed ones. Three days after Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, and before the market meltdown, the unregulated market so favoured by Friedmanites, Obama declared: “Look, I am a pro-growth free market guy. I love the market.” Again, the Edgar Bergens of Wall Street were assured by that comment that they did indeed, get what they paid for too from this Charley McCarthy. Many of the people who voted for Obama are racist dupes. In defiance of Dr. King’s prescriptions, they judged him by the colour of his skin, not for his policies. He who pays the piper calls the tune. For every two dollars that went to McCain, Wall Street gave three dollars to Obama.

For most it is counter-intuitive to think that Democrats are the party of plutocrats, for their campaign rhetoric, as always, is populist and progressive. Yet if one follows the money trail (try www.opensecrets.com, the source for all of these stats ) one can see that both major parties are indistinguishable from each other in their commitment to the corporate agenda of outsourcing working and middle class jobs and importing cheap labour, with complete indifference to the environmental impacts of runaway population that comes with it. As Russell Means remarked, “Americans cannot continue the lifestyles of consumers when there is no production. Low income jobs and menial jobs are the only ones left.” Then, reflecting upon the environmental mess wrought by corporate empire, he continued, “Our grandmother the Mother Earth is tired of the human race. She is going to eliminate it and I champion her, Mother earth.”
http://www.counterpunch.org/norrell01122009.html

Yes, McCain was a fool, but his foolish orientation was little different than is Obama’s. Amnesty, blind support for Israel and imperial adventurism in the Middle East. Voters may have thought that an African-American of grace, intelligence and polish would mend historic divisions, but soon the whole nation will be wrought with even more division---the kind that economic and ecological ruin will bring to all ethnicities. Fasten your seatbelts America, with Obama you still will be on track to add another 100 to 150 million footprints by 2050 to your land.

In drawing attention to the sordid commonalities of left and right, I have always been rebutted by the classic clich├ęs of the “you have to play with the cards you are dealt” school. In Canada the refrain from the left is precisely the same as the refrain from the right. “You have to vote for us, despite our ugly blemishes, because the alternative is worse.” But as Harper’s post-election budget of late January 09 reaffirmed, supporters often get the opposite of what they vote for. Conservative voters thought they voted for balanced budgets, but got a Keynesian dog’s breakfast of record deficit spending instead. Much like socialist voters finding that a vote for the left brings the remedies of the right: back-to-work legislation, austerity measures, cut-backs in social services, freer trade etc. Best advice, if you must vote, vote for the party that represents what you find most distasteful.

Seriously, this opportunism does not come from the flaws in an outdated electoral system. It comes from the fact that representative democracy denies the common people control of government. Proportional representation, the flavour of the month in Canada for decades, only rearranges the distribution of political power between parties, not between the parties and the people, who must wait three or four years to rectify their mistake of voting for the “best alternative” among dictators by, of course, voting for another “alternative”. The Soviet bloc offered the same kind of choices too. Our ballots offer only three options, Growthist Party A, and Growthist Party B. With the marginal Party C promising “managed” Growth.

Yet despite this merry-go-round, one is confronted by the same rationales. “We can’t go forward unless we make the choices on offer today” said one voice. It was the same voice that said that a vote for Kevin Rudd was an imperative to rid Australia of the corrupt Howard legacy. Now look at Rudd’s growthist immigration record. Then I was told that a vote for Obama was necessary because “It is essential that US voters at least emphatically repudiate Bush’s legacy by electing the only possible alternative…” Afghanistan is now about to expose this “alternative”.

In summary, I apparently must choose between unpalatable options, as if I am a starving man who must choose between McDonald’s and Wendy’s. But why should I prefer one junk diet to another when I know that I will end up with malnutrition or heart disease and barf my guts out after every meal? Fasting might be the better option. It might drive the fast food hucksters out of business, while we habituate our selves to wholesome menus, menus that we prepare for ourselves, a menu of direct democracy. Most think it their democratic duty to vote. I believe it is my democratic duty not to vote. It is my obligation not to legitimize representative “democracy” (ie. dictatorship) by supporting it with a vote. There are abundant other avenues to make one’s will felt than playing the electoral game of choosing between which of the two factions of growthism shall rule over you for the next several years. Letters, blogs, petitions and demonstrations are just some of the avenues available to effect change.

Psalm 146:3 “Place not your trust in princes”. As Peter, Paul and Mary used to sing, “When will they ever learn?”

Are Poor Countries Doing Their Best to Alleviate Poverty? Can Technology Really Help Them?

The following comment was posted by “Adrian” in the OPT forum. optimumpopulation@yahoogroups.com While I am in broad and emphatic agreement with it, especially with the last paragraph, the passages I highlighted are ones that, IMO, need challenge. Would you care to?


The stated intention of the business world is to make people consume
more and raise their 'standard of living' towards becoming the
'American Dream' where 5% of the world's population consumes 25% of the natural resources; so if the population of the whole world has its
level of consumption brought up to that of North America the planet
will be totally devastated, whether the population increases or not and
even without the inevitable contribution of climate warming.

Definitely so IMHO.

However, the business world is merely reacting to the public's wishes. Large numbers of people in poor countries are doing their very best to increase their standard of living and lift themselves out of poverty, and who can blame them? As a result, their governments show
strong disinclination to hold back this increase in consumption. This means that the only way to reduce the total environmental impact of humanity, which is essential if catastrophe is to be avoided, seems to be to reduce out total numbers. Technology can help, but probably not fast enough.

Which is why the position of many of the large environmental groups --"the problem can be solved by austerity alone, so we don't have to address that nasty population issue" -- is both clearly illogical and very damaging.

Adrian



My reaction:

1. “… poor countries are doing their very best to increase their standard of living and lift themselves out of poverty, and who can blame them?” Why are poor countries poor? In most cases overpopulation plays a major role in their poverty. Are they “doing their very best” to deal with that with family planning? Or are they just attempting to “grow” out of their problems, with our collusion and encouragement? Of course they cannot be blamed for wanting to improve their lot. But is economic growth the answer, or is stopping population growth the answer by making per capita shares of existing resources larger?

2. “Technology can help, but probably not fast enough.” Does technology, in the long run, really help? Or does it merely provoke more total consumption? When resources can be consumed more efficiently and cheaply by using a new technology, how, in the context of no constraints on population growth, could it be otherwise? Mr. Jevons would have agreed, paradoxically.

Friday, April 10, 2009

MIGRATION WILL SINK OUR LIFEBOAT

David Jones makes a frankly absurd case. (March 27 OPT forum). He states that “if immigrants stay at home their ecological footprints will still increase as the poor countries industrialize.” True, but while that will take a while, their greatly magnified ecological impact in destination countries will be felt immediately. “In fact,” he continues, “it is much better for them to move to an advanced country, because the birth rate of immigrant families declines sharply from first generation immigrants to second, then by the third or fourth, it is pretty much the same as the general population of that country.” Great, but can we suffer the higher birth rates for another generation or two when disaster is around the corner?

Let’s look at the North American predicament as it stood in 2007. Of the top ten countries of origin for immigrants to Canada, only the US had a higher footprint than Canada’s, 9.4 to 7.1. Other than the UK at 5.3, all other countries, plus those that come after the tenth spot,. are not even close. China is 2.1 and immigrants from India (.9) increase their footprint by 700 per cent by living in Canada, while Bangladeshi entrants multiply their footprint by a factor of twenty. Yes of course sending countries are industrializing. But they are beginning from a baseline so low that it would be a very long time before they caught up to our level of excess. The question is, can the planet afford to wait that time? Clearly not. The need to suppress growth in North America, the resource hog of the world, is urgent.

Dr. William Rees, famous co-author of “Our Ecological Footprint”, further notes that the billions in remittances sent by immigrants shields their home countries from “the ill consequences of degradation of domestic ecosystems…transfers tend to short circuit negative feedback from the local environment that might otherwise lead to domestic policies that would moderate population growth and ecological decay. Hence remittances, like trade, contribute to the gross ecological overshoot that may yet prove fatal to global biophysical integrity.” Global migration, according to Rees, in the article quoted, “Globalization, Trade and Migration: Undermining Sustainability”, is generally bad news for the environment, and should be permitted for largely humanitarian reasons and only in moderate levels. He did not mention that immigration is a safety valve for repressive regimes that allow them to escape the volcanic pressure of unrest, nor did he remark about the fallacy of thinking that in a world that generates 80 million people annually, any escape hatch to the First World will solve overpopulation in the Third World. But I have, and I will further alert readers to a study released in August of 2008 by the Centre for Immigration Studies that established that an average immigrant quadrupled his or her GHG emissions upon arrival to the United States, thereby by accelerating the timetable of our collective demise.

And immigrants to Canada not only grow their footprint when they get here, they also create more footprints than the world average. The fertility rate among immigrant women who arrived between 1996 to 2001 was 3.1 children per woman as compared to the national average of 1.5. Meanwhile the US Census Bureau in 2002 showed that immigrants from the top-ten countries of emigration have a fertility rate that is 23% higher than the women of their home countries. This is all not so surprising to Mr. Jones. But are fertility rates among the descendants of immigrants declining according to the classic pattern of integration to the host culture that he cited? Not according to a report in the Chicago Tribune by Sue-Ellen Christian and Teresa Puente. The number of births to US-born Hispanic girls increased to lead the nation in teen birthrates, with 93 births per 1,000 Hispanic teens per year compared to the overall national teen birthrate of 50 per 1,000. One might recall a story filed in the Washington Post on December 14/08 by Patrick Welsh which documented a disturbing trend where high school teens, most prominently Hispanics, were forming “pregnancy pacts”.

But let us discount these facts and concede that over succeeding generations, fertility rates among the grandchildren and great grandchildren of immigrants will moderate to average levels. Again, we are in critical overshoot now, have we the luxury of waiting for another generation or two before this moderation to reach normality?

Mr. Jones characterizes my anti-immigration comments as “rabid”. Perhaps that is because I have been bitten by the highest population growth rate in the G8 group 70% of which is driven by immigration, contributing to 7 million of our 33 million people, 5 million of whom came since 1990. America, for its part, threatens to add as many as 133 million people to its numbers in the next four decades. Among the most salient costs to Canada from mass immigration is the fact that is responsible for 3 to 4 times as many GHG emissions as the notorious Alberta tar sands project, which is helping mightily to kill life on this planet. So no matter how cozy Mr. Jones feels living cheek to jowl with 61 million other British citizens, he can’t escape the climate change consequences of our immigration policies either.

If indeed we all share the same lifeboat, as Mr. Jones describes it, one might wonder, how sea-worthy that lifeboat would be if the people sitting on the third world side of it decide to get up, and move to his side, and some of them even sit on his lap? I would think that we would “sink all together” and in that case truly Mr. Jones would not care what skin colour or language his fellow victims had. On that note it is always fascinating to observe that critics somehow feel obliged to play the race card when immigration dares to rear its awful head. How is that material to the question of overhoot?

Of further interest is that apparently so many OPT members seem fixated on the number of consumers who enter through the maternity ward but not through the air port. Do British immigrants have no footprint? Immigrants cannot be scapegoated as exclusive practicioners of hyper consumerism—but they are none the less the drivers of population growth and that is why it has become a cross-cultural crusade to stop it. Among the leading crusaders is Chinese-born Yeh Ling-Ling of the ethnically diverse “Alliance for a Sustainable USA”. She doesn’t care about the complexion or the discourse of the passengers either, obviously, but she knows that they all can’t occupy the American side of the lifeboat.

CANADA'S POLICY OF MASS IMMIGRATION: HOARY MYTHS AND UNASKED QUESTIONS

I continue to be dismayed at the ignorance about Canada's carrying capacity evidenced abroad even by people who are involved in population control issues. This essay by the President of the Population Institute of Canada, the very able and forceful Madeline Weld, presents a pretty comprehensive overview of the negative economic and ecological impact of mass immigration on my country. I care about the world, but sorry folks, I am an eco-nationalist first and foremost. Keeping our "excess" biocapacity intact is our right, and also offsets the many countries in the world in an ecological deficit. Please read this carefully, and have it ready for anyone who thinks that Canada is just a big empty place in need of a whole lot of people to fill it up and unlock a treasure trove of resources. Tim Murray
________________________________________
Canada's Policy of Mass Immigration: Hoary Myths and Unasked Questions By Madeline Weld

Per capita, Canada takes in more immigrants than any other Western country.
In 1990, Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative government began to take
in about 250,000 immigrants each year, regardless of economic conditions.
This policy was continued by his successors, both Liberals and
Conservatives. Canada has taken in over 4 million newcomers since it was
initiated. It has had major impacts on our cities, on our society, and on
our environment.

But try finding a good discussion about immigration. An actual discussion
that is, where people assess immigration policies from different
perspectives. The vast majority of media coverage treats our current policy
of "mass immigration" as morally unassailable or as something we just have
to accept, like the Earth orbiting the sun. No national leader has ever
questioned the policy. At the time of writing, with an election in the
offing, the leaders of 3 of the 4 national political parties(Conservatives,
Liberals, New Democrats) are calling for an increase in levels of
immigration. The Green Party essentially ignores the issue; its leader says
the Alberta Tar Sands are a much more serious problem, and has previously
said that immigration produces economic benefits and promotes diversity.

Let's crunch a few numbers. While our intake of immigrants and refugees has
been a bit less than 1% of the population (now 33 million), that figure is
often cited as a target. In fact, Liberal immigration critic Maurizio
Bevilacqua is proposing to immediately increase intake to 330,000 a year. An
intake of 1% of the population leads to a doubling time of 70 years. That
means that Canada's population would be about 66 million in 2078 and 132
million in 2148. How would the infrastructure of our cities cope with such a
population and what would be the environmental impact?

In our free and open society that prides itself on free speech, one
shouldn't ask such questions. In his 2004-2005 annual report (released
November 2005) and at a news conference relating to it, Ontario commissioner
for the environment Gord Miller addressed the impact of 4 or 5 million more
people in southern Ontario a few decades hence. "This is a vast number of
people settling in an already stressed landscape. Will the resulting demands
for water, sewer systems and roads leave our natural heritage areas intact?
Will there-be enough natural lands left over to support biodiversity?" his
report asks. Miller was immediately accused of being anti- immigrant. He was
asked by reporters whether he was calling for a curtailment of immigration.
When the answer was no, he was asked whether he was saying that immigrants
should move to northern Ontario (no), whether the era of the single family
home is over and whether immigrants shouldn't dream of having their own
house (no). Though he'd said earlier that it wasn't his job to dictate where
people should go, after some hounding he told one reporter that immigrants
could move to northern Ontario as a solution to the Greater Toronto Area's
overcrowding. This clip was played multiple times on all local news
channels. The CBC aired a response by city councillor Maria Augimeri
calling for Miller's resignation. Said Miller, "If people actually read the
report, [they'll find that] the only thing in it about immigration is that
it's another element of population growth and that it's under federal
control. That's it" (1)

The character lynching endured by Miller for daring to address the issue
of rampant population growth in southern Ontario is revealing of the state
of
public discourse (if we can dignify it with that name) on immigration in
Canada. First his accusers felt no obligation to offer a single fact-based
refutation to the concerns he expressed. Second, he himself did not dare to
suggest a reduction in immigration, although that would have been totally
reasonable based on the
environmental impacts of population growth described in his report. Third,
if people from northern Ontario are leaving for economic reasons, does it
make sense to send immigrants there? And fourth, if high population
density has already caused extensive environmental damage in southern
Ontario, is it a good idea to go down that route in northern Ontario which,
based on climate and agricultural potential, is less able to support a
large population?

The subject of immigration to Canada is addressed from an almost completely
ideological and emotional perspective with no serious analysis of the real
benefits versus costs to Canadians. It is based on the paradigm of
perpetual economic growth and all tied up with our official embrace of
multiculturalism and diversity as well as our feelings of guilt for real and
perceived wrongs toward immigrants in the past.

Because the policy of mass immigration to Canada, pursued or endorsed by all
national parties, supports a veritable industry and because this misguided
policy has insinuated itself into our concept of ourselves as a tolerant
society such that those who challenge it do so at their own peril, dots
whose relationship to one another should be blindingly obvious remain
unconnected in the media, in public discourse, and in government policies.

It is not only political parties who can't connect the dot of bringing in
over one million newcomers every four years to the dot of trying to reduce
Canada's greenhouse gas production. The silence of environmental
organizations on the relationship between population growth in Canada and
greenhouse gas production and other environmental effects has been
deafening. In their mail-out literature soliciting donations, environmental
organizations either completely ignore population growth as the driver of
urban sprawl, habitat loss, species extinction, water shortages, gridlock,
and other problems they are allegedly concerned with, or treat it as
something inevitable. I have never received a letter from any organization
questioning the government policy of relentlessly promoting the growth of
Canada's population through immigration.

Evidence for this cognitive dissonance is provided by the fact that
environmental organizations nominated Mulroney as Canada's greenest prime
minister for his efforts to reduce acid rain and greenhouse gases, and
ignored the fact that he initiated the "tap wide open" immigration policy
that has been pursued to this day and has put the rate of Canada's
population growth on the fast track (2).
Because we live in what I call an
age of hysteria, I feel compelled to emphasize that the aim of this article
is to analyze Canada's policies on immigration. It doesn't mean that I am
anti-immigrant, that I want to entirely shut the door on immigrants and
refugees, or that I think people from other cultures and ethnic backgrounds
are less worthy as human beings. I am saying that, for about two decades,
Canada has been pursuing a policy of increasing its own population by
something approaching 1% each year through immigration, that this policy is
having a major impact on Canada's environment, economy, and society and
that it should be subjected to public scrutiny and discussion. Boosterism,
emotional appeal, human interest stories, and unsupported statements about
our need for immigrants should not be allowed to sideline a factual analysis
on the impact of continuous very high levels of immigration on Canada.

What I propose to do with this analysis is to (1) briefly look at the global
and Canadian realities in terms of the impact of human population growth on
resources and the environment, (2) list the principal arguments used to
justify Canada's current immigration policies, and (3) examine how those
arguments hold up to scrutiny.

1. Human population growth and the environment: globally and in Canada

Something is amiss with the state of planet Earth. Human activity is
bringing about the sixth great extinction of species, with the current rate
of species extinction estimated to be 1000 times above background level.
About 50% of the world's forests have been cleared and 25% of coral reefs
have been destroyed. Over one billion people lack access to clean water, a
number that is anticipated to rise steeply. All the world's fisheries are
being fished at or beyond capacity and the number of large fish caught has
declined by 90%. Despite the fact that much more land has been put to
agricultural use in recent decades at the expense of wildland, the number of
people that must be fed per hectare of arable land has risen from 4 in 1950
to 8 in 2000 and is anticipated to be 14 in 2050. Humans have in some way
impacted about two-thirds of the global land surface outside of Antarctica
(and one could say that it has been impacted by climate change) and 41% of
the oceans' area have been strongly affected by human activities relating to
climate change, fishing, pollution and shipping. Human activity through the
use of fossil fuels is driving climate change. We are running out of said
fossil fuels and there is no alternative energy source with the density and
versatility of oil. Yet, much like immigration levels to Canada, the annual
increase of about 80 million people and the projected human population of
9.2 billion are accepted as an inevitability.

Traditionally, Canada has thought of itself as "underpopulated." The idea
that a country or area is underpopulated is primarily a reflection of human
anthro-pocentrism. The perception of Canada as underpopulated persists
despite the fact that Canada's population increased six-fold during the
twentieth century (compared with "only" a four-fold increase in the world
population). People still refer to Canada's "vast open spaces" as if the
best thing that could happen to these vast open spaces would be to fill them
with people. But putting humans there would require a great deal of energy
to heat their houses and to transport their food-as little could be grown
locally and hunting can support only a small population. Furthermore,
immigrants don't go to those mythic vast open spaces- almost all settle in
Canada's twelve largest urban centres, and in particular in Toronto,
Vancouver, and Montreal. The habitable parts of Canada are already
experiencing serious problems associated with their rapid unplanned growth:
urban sprawl, loss of inner city greenspace, garbage disposal problems,
traffic congestion, and smog. The Ontario Medical Association estimates that
there are close to 6,000 premature deaths and 17,000 hospital admissions in
Ontario each year caused by
smog. Energy sufficiency in that province is also a concern and future
shortages are anticipated.

Environmentally, the trends in Canada are going in the same direction as
those globally. The most recent appeal (August 8, 2008) sent to me by Nature
Canada says that during the last 40 years, the populations of common terns,
boreal chickadees, and evening grossbeaks have dropped by 71%, 70%, and 78%,
respectively. The letter also says that of the 428 species of birds that
regularly breed in Canada, 60 are at risk of extinction. Overall there are
now close to 500 endangered species (plants, fish, reptiles, mammals, birds)
in Canada. But we're not just paving over wildlife habitat, we're paving
over our own food supply. The amount of class 1 farmland in Ontario
converted to urban use increased from 6% in 1971 to 11% in 2001, the
comparable numbers in Alberta are 2% and 6%. Furthermore Alberta, which is
now destroying its environment at a breathtaking pace in the mad extraction
of tar sands oil, might be facing much more severe drought conditions
through global warming and may lose much of the glacial melt that currently
irrigates its agricultural land. Water shortages on the prairies caused $5
billion in economic damage in 2001. The western pine beetle has devastated
British Columbia's forests and has crossed the Rockies into Alberta. The
east coast cod fishery collapsed and other fisheries (fish and crustacean)
in Canada are showing signs of stress. Climate change is anticipated to
affect all aspects of the Can-
adian economy but to have the greatest impact in the north, where its
effects are already being felt most strongly.

From an environmental perspective-Canadian and global-there is absolutely no
evidence that Canada is underpopulated.
Canada is one of the highest per
capita users of energy and producers of greenhouse gases in the world.
Bringing people to Canada from almost anywhere else in the world increases
their carbon footprint even if their relative standard of living in Canada
is low.

Canada's leaders know, or ought to know, that the pursuit of growth is
harming Canada. In 1998, I came across a newspaper clipping from 1991
describing a confidential government document which said that environmental
degradation in the Third World was so severe that North-South conflict over
the issue is virtually certain, that global warming would have devastating
consequences globally and in Canada, and that Canada could expect to have
increasing numbers of environmental refugees. The article said the document
was prepared by the "Canadian Intelligence Committee" with input from
Environment Canada, the Defence Department, and External Affairs. My quest
to obtain the document is a story in itself. After months of futile
enquiries at the departments named, I was directed to the Privy Council
Office. My Access to Information request was rejected by the PCO.

Following a complaint with the Information Commissioner's office, I obtained
a copy that was about one-third blanked out. Fortunately I had a diligent
officer, and finally, in December 2000, he obtained a copy of the document
that was only about 10% blanked out. The confidential document was called
"The environment: marriage between Earth and mankind" (3). The letterhead
on the first page (deleted in the first release) indicated it was from the
Intelligence Advisory Committee. As my Information Commission officer had
predicted, the report, while blunt, contained very little information that
an interested person would not be able to find from publicly available
resources, including the inter- net.

The report states that "Controlling population growth is crucial to
addressing most environmental problems, including global warming" (p. 9).
The report says that with the emergence of global environmental problems
which threaten their own self-interest, developed countries will have to
engage in policies in which resources are transferred to developing
countries to promote environmentally sound development. "This can be seen as
one aspect of paying the bill for our past environmental damage caused by
rapid economic growth" (p. 11). With respect to Canada, the report says that
"It is, because of its harsh climate and long distances, the most
energy-intensive of the free-market industrialized nations. Canada is
endowed with vast water resources, but with 90 percent of its population
concentrated within a band up to 100 miles of the USA border, water
resources in these areas are already being utilized to their fullest.

Polluted water has become an everyday concern. .. Although Canada's
population is not large in world terms, its concentration in various areas
has already put stress upon regional environments in many ways.
Canada can
expect to have increasing numbers of environmental refugees requesting
immigration to Canada, while regional movements of the population at home,
as from idle fishing areas, will add further to population stresses within
the country." There are chapters painting a bleak picture of the
environmental situation in different countries and regions of the world.

There is no way that a reasonable person could interpret the report as
promoting population growth in Canada, through immigration or otherwise.


2. Arguments used to justify Canada's immigration policy

The arguments used to justify Canada's immigration policy are ultimately
based on growth - the sacred doctrine of our economic system. Like all
sacred doctrines, the paradigm of perpetual growth which has guided Western
economies for a few centuries is not receptive to challenges based on
facts. So when in 1972 a document was published challenging the idea that
there can be infinite growth on a finite planet, it was met with resistance,
and ultimately sidelined. The document,
commissioned by the Club of Rome, was called The Limits to Growth (4). Using
computers (a novelty at the time), Limits to Growth (LTG) examined the
evolution of the whole world's economy using a mathematical model that kept
track of a large number of variables and their interactions as the system
changed over time.

Based on a number of scenarios with different assumptions, LTG's authors
concluded that, unless specific measures were taken, the world's economies
would collapse within 100 years (i.e, by 2072). About 10 million copies of
LTG in 30 languages were sold. Despite creating a big stir, LTG's message
was
ultimately ignored. According to an article by Bardi (2008), the Italian
economist Giorgio Nebbia identified four primary sources of resistance:
those who thought that the message threatened the growth of their businesses
and industries; professional economists who saw LTG as a threat to their
dominance in advising on economic matters; the Roman Catholic church; and
the political left in the Western world, who saw LTG as a scam of the ruling
class (5). The message of LTG was distorted and ridiculed. Conveniently for
LTG's detractors, the oil crisis of the early 1970s, which helped get LTG's
message across when it was first published, seemed to be over by 1980.

Canada's blind adherence to the growth doctrine is reflected in the fact
that all administrations have ignored the findings and recommendations of
the confidential document prepared for Mulroney's Privy Council. The denial
of the concept of limits is reflected in the term "sustainable growth," a
mutation of "sustainable development." One even hears the argument that the
environment must be protected so that economic growth can continue. And one
way to promote economic growth is with population growth. Since Canadian
women are falling down on the job, producing on average only 1.5 babies, we
are told that we have to turn to immigration.

The economic arguments for immigration are repeated often and emphatically
and totally without analysis. They seem to be meant to scare us into
acquiescence. How can we question Canada's immigration policies when our
country is facing a looming labour shortage (the alliteration itself has a
fine ominous ring to it). We are warned that by 2011, a few short years
hence, ALL (!!) labour force growth in Canada will be due to immigration.
Nobody explains why it is essential for the Canadian labour force to keep
growing-it seems to be taken as a given that it will be a disaster if it
doesn't. Another favourite bugaboo is Canada's aging population-soon there
will too many old people supported by too few working people. The buzz word
here is the dependency ratio, the number of people not working (including
children and retirees) over the number of people in the workforce.

3. Assessment of the arguments used to justify Canada's immigration policy

The widespread perception that there would be no population growth in Canada
without immigration is false. Women of the baby boomer generation have small
families, but they constitute such a large cohort that population growth in
Canada would continue until 2030 in the total absence of immigration. Of
course, the rate of growth would be much lower. And that's not good enough
for developers, bankers who like mortgages, and others who benefit from
growth.

No one says specifically that more people would benefit the environment.
When our alleged need for immigrants is being promoted, the arguments given
are always economic ones or fuzzy ones, like promoting diversity. The
economic arguments implicitly assume that the economy is separate from the
environment. In fact, as pointed out by economist Herman Daly, it is a
"wholly owned subsidiary of the environment." But if we go along, for the
moment, with the fiction that we can "save the environment" in the face of
continuing population and economic growth, how do the economic arguments
stack up on their own merits?

I think that nobody would deny that the Fraser Institute, based in
Vancouver, British Columbia, is focused on the economy. It may therefore
come as a surprise that some of the best arguments demolishing the reasons
usually offered to justify Canada's very high intake of immigrants have come
from the Fraser Institute. Fraser Institute Fellow Martin Collacott has
written a number of papers on Canada's immigration policy, including
"Canada's immigration policy: the need for major reform" (2002) and "Is
there really a looming labour shortage in Canada, and if there is, can
increased immigration fill the gap" (2003). (Papers from the Fraser
Institute can be found by following the links at www.fraserinsitute.org.)

The following are some of the relevant pieces of information assembled by
Collacott in his papers:

a 1991 study by the Economics Council of Canada found that in the past
century, the fastest growth in real per capita income occurred at times
when net migration was zero or even negative;

a 1989 report issued by Health and Welfare Canada called Charting Canada's
Future noted that, according to the OECD, there was no correlation
whatsoever between population growth and economic growth in its 22-member
community;

a 2000 United Nations study concluded that immigration can only serve as a
tool to arrest the aging of the population if carried out at levels that are
unacceptably high and ever-increasing;

Statistics Canada released 2001 census data in July of 2002 showing that the
population was aging and that immigration, even at very high levels, would
have little impact on the average age of the population;

a 2002 survey by the Canadian Labour and Business Centre found that only a
very small percentage of managers and labour leaders in the public and
private sectors regard the hiring of foreign-trained workers as very
important in resolving the problem of a specific shortage of skills from
time to time, instead they looked overwhelmingly to solutions involving the
existing workforce, such as upgrading the skills of current employees,
hiring young labour market entrants, and phasing in retirement policies.

Things have not changed since the above studies were published. According to
Statistics Canada's analysis of the 2006 census, the median earnings of
Canadians (in inflation-adjusted 2005 dollars) have increased by 0.1%
since1980. Not only that, but the earnings of the poorest fifth fell
dramatically in that time, by 20.6%, while the top 20% of earners saw their
incomes rise by 16.4%.

The finding that population growth through immigration does not translate
into economic benefits was also made by a cross-party committee of the
British House of Lords (Lords Economic Affairs Committee), which published
its findings in March 2008. The House of Lords' panel said that the British
government's claim that immigrants were boosting the economy was a
misleading measure, and that a better one would be the impact on income per
head of resident population. The Committee said that some groups, including
the low-paid, young people seeking jobs and some ethnic minorities may have
suffered because of competition for work from immigrants willing to accept
low wages and poor working conditions (which is in agreement with US
economist George Borjas, who estimated that immigration reduced US workers'
salaries by 5% in 2006). The House of Lords Committee also predicted that a
continuation of the high rate of immigration would result in a 10% increase
of house prices over what they would have been without immigration by 2028.

In June of this year, I attended a one and one-half day conference on
immigration held in Montreal by the Fraser Institute. Virtually every
paper presented challenged the Canadian government's immigration policy.
Several speakers presented data showing that overall immigrants receive in
services
and benefits far more than they pay in taxes. (Milton Friedman's remark
"Mass immigration and the welfare state are incompatible" was cited by at
least 2 presenters.) Economist Herb Grubel of Simon Fraser University and a
Fraser Institute fellow calculated that the 2.9 million immigrants who came
to Canada between 1990 and the end of 2002 received $18 3 billion more in
government services and benefits in 2002 than they paid in taxes. Other
presentations addressed the fact that, despite the government's economic
arguments, only 20% of immigrants are selected on the basis of their skills,
the remainder are family class, refugees and humanitarian cases. Six million
offspring of the boomer generation will soon be entering the labour market
and may be facing stiff competition for jobs. In big city ridings, members
of parliament spend most of their time dealing with immigration questions.

To keep the dependency ratio at 0.2 (retirees/workers), one would need to
raise the population to 165 million by 2050, or take in 7 million immigrants
each year. Productivity will only increase if immigrants are more productive
than the existing population, but recent immigrants have been less
productive. The performance of recent immigrants has been deteriorating
according to the 2006 census and recent cohorts of immigrants haven't been
catching up to native born Canadians in their earnings. This could lead to
the creation of an economic underclass.

Conclusion :

One question that we should be asking is: Is all this growth really
improving the lives of Canadians? The economic arguments used to justify
Canada's immigration policy are contradicted by every major study and by
census data. A large percentage of immigrants from recent decades have not
succeeded economically. Only 20% of immigrants are selected on the basis of
their skills (most are family class and the definition of family is very
extensive indeed). Nevertheless, by seeking to attract the most educated
people from developing countries, we deprive those countries of the people
that could best promote development and in whom they may have invested many
resources (eg. by subsidizing their education). Canada's immigration policy
has an adverse impact on the environment, not only from the paving over of
wildland and farmland in Canada but from the net increase in global
greenhouse gas production caused by moving people to Canada, because in
Canada, their greenhouse gas production will almost always increase.

It is clear that Canada's immigration policies are not designed for the
benefit of ordinary Canadians, who are not even considered to be
"stakeholders" by the government. Canada's immigration policies are beholden
to the growth and immigration industries and designed to get the immigrant
or visible minority vote in swing ridings in urban areas. There is also
credible evidence that our immigration policy is influenced by organized
crime. Donna Jacobs of the Ottawa Citizen describes the struggles of
diplomat Brian McAdam to expose infiltration and corruption at the Canadian
consulate in Hong Kong in the early 1990s (6). The consulate was far too
cosy with members of organized crime gangs connected to the Chinese
Communist party, the Triads, who were buying visas and smuggling their
members to Canada. McAdam's reports to Foreign Affairs were ignored, and he
was eventually called back to Canada and eased out of his job. A joint CSIS
and RCMP investigation into Chinese criminals and the Communist government's
program of acquisition, espionage and political influence, called
Operation Sidewinder, was launched in 1995. It supported McAdam's
allegations. A few days after Sidewinder's final report was sent to CSIS in
1997, Sidewinder was shut down. CSIS disbanded the team and directed the
investigators to destroy every document. The Sidewinder team destroyed
hundreds of pages of McAdam's research, his books and his reports. The
Sidewinder team leader was demoted after submitting the report and resigned.

So far, immigration has never been a major issue in Canada. Despite the
evident environmental impact of Canada's immigration policy, the lack of
economic success of many newcomers, and the appearance of what might be
called an economic underclass, Canadians have not yet begun to ask serious
questions of their politicians nor to demand a more intelligent and
objective coverage from their media. It is time they woke up.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

REFERENCES :


(1) Gord Miller, Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, 2004-2005 Annual
Report, Planning our Landscape. The media reaction was described by Andrew
Athanasiu (Gord Miller says GTA can't take more folks; why is he getting
trashed?) in News This Week, vol. 25, no. 11, 28 November 2005.

(2) CTV Mednews Express. 2006. Mulroney praised for his green record as
PM. (April 20). CTV.ca

(3) Intelligence Advisory Committee (Government of Canada). 1991. The
Environment: Marriage between Earth and Mankind. CIE [Canadian Intelligence
Estimate] Chapter 11, May 1991. (This CIE comprises a series of papers
previously issued individually by the IAC.) The article that describes it is
by Paul Mooney, "The polluted third world," The Ottawa Citizen, 24 June
1991.

(4) Meadows, D.H, D.L. Meadows, J. Randers, and W.W. Behrens III. 1972. The
Limits to Growth. New York: Universe Books.

(5) Nebbia, G. 1997. Futuribili, New Series, Gorizia (Italy) 4(3): 149-182.
Cited by Ugo Bardi, in "Cassandra's curse: how 'The limits to growth' was
demonized", posted online 9 March 2008 on The Oil Drum: Europe.

(6) Jacobs, D. 2008. "The price of fighting for what you think is right"
(18 August, p. A2) and "One man's China crusade" (25 August, p. A4). The
Ottawa Citizen.