Sunday, July 26, 2009


What are “can-eleons”? According to my Malthusian Dictionary “can-eleons” are Canadian environmentalists. They are rather myopic, and can’t, like 51% of Canadians polled in the mid-nineties, see a connection between immigrant-driven population growth and environmental degradation in Canada. We can have infinite growth because it can be steered, deflected or “managed” by the failed nostrums of smart growth planning. They can’t admit that nature reserves and greenbelts enjoy no durable sanctuary from human population growth and the growth-economy, that with a mere stroke of the pen, commericial interests have and will undo any legistlative protection they have. They argue that increasing human numbers can be sequestered from Greenfield acreage but won’t notice that land use planning in Canada is largely in the hands of developers who control local councils by financing three-quarters of civic election campaigns. Nor will they acknowledge the correlation between population growth and Green House Gas emissions, or the fact that mass immigration since 1990 has been responsible for four times the GHG emissions as the entire Alberta Tar Sands development, which is their obsession. They fail to understand that the housing developments in urban sprawl, half of which is generated by population growth, are occupied by foreign-born citizens in proportions of 70-85% depending on the locality. Or that urban sprawl in the last two decades has taken up an area equivalent to three Torontos---three times the area of boreal forest destroyed by the Tar Sands.

These creatures are defined as “can-elons” are so-called because they have the amazing capability of turning from green to brown the moment they see a corporate donor coming. And when they see a Canadian census report or a story about a couple having their 14th child ----they become invisible!

As human lizards, they require warm temperatures to activate their metabolism, so in their Canadian habitat, they appear paralytic for most of the year, especially when so many other introduced species are flooding in to share their space. The only time they make a noise is when they cry poor. And that seems to be the case more and more often. Unfortunately when Canadians respond with material assistance, “Can-eleons” just get fatter, top-heavy and mute about demographic issues. It is not recommended that we feed them. There are more cost-effective options available from animals like ourselves.

Tim Murray

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