Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Beyond the Border of Reason

Nothing hurts America's environmental movement more than nonsense, and the same can be said for America's immigration reform movement.

What piques my ire today? The latest bit of silliness is a post from CNN entitled "Border-fence dispute snares rare jaguars."

Of course, it's all an absurdity. Jaguars are fairly common in large parts of South America, and have never existed, as a resident population, north of the border, though there has always been a small population of about 100-150 animal in Northern Mexico.

So what's the big deal?

The issue, it seems, is that two environmental groups, Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club, have filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court claiming the new border fence under construction is "unconstitutional." And their rationale is (wait for it) that the fence would prevent the migration of non-existent and not-endangered jaguars!

To which I can only reply: Nonsense.

Pardon me if I do not fall down over this make-weight legal argument. This is not environmentalism; this is left-wing political pandering, and it undermines credibility which, once lost, is not easily repaired.

What is particularly unconscionable here is that the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife have done nothing to help address America's open-border immigration policy which has fueled rapid U.S. population growth over the last 20 years.

And have no illusion as to why our environment is under siege. America's forests, fields, beaches, lakes, rivers and estuaries are not committing suicide; they are being cut down, drained, paved over and poisoned by population growth. As Jim Motavalli notes in E Magazine (Jan-Feb. - 2004):

"With U.S. population growing by three million a year, we lose two acres of farmland every minute, according to the American Farmland Trust. Traffic congestion costs drivers $78 billion a year, says the Road Information Project. A serious water shortage is developing nationwide, with aquifers once considered inexhaustible drying up."

And what is the Sierra Club's answer to rapid U.S. population growth?


This is a group that thinks it's fine to talk about population growth overseas, but God forbid that anyone point out that legal and illegal immigration is now fueling more than 90 percent of U.S. population growth at home.

God forbid that anyone note that the U.S. has the fastest population growth rate of any industrialized country in the world today.

God forbid that anyone note the recent USA Today headline: "Expert: U.S. population to hit 1 billion by 2100."

Andy Kerr of the Oregon Natural Resources Conservancy (one of Oregon's foremost environmental activists, and a true warrior for the environment), got it right in 2002 when he called the big "green" groups to task for being silent apologists for runaway U.S. population growth:

Immigration is a very divisive and sensitive issue that nonetheless must be discussed. To those who support generous immigration, I ask you this: Why are you on the same side as Microsoft and the other huge computer corporations, and of Archer Daniels Midland and the rest of the agribusiness lobby? How can you support a policy that helps ensure that our existing poor will never be adequately valued for their labor?

To those who oppose immigration because of racist and/or xenophobic reasons, I say to you: Go to hell. The issue is immigration, not immigrants.

I come to my support of immigration reform from an ecological carrying-capacity perspective. Be it a house, a block, a city, a watershed, a state, a bioregion, a nation, a continent, or a planet; all have a carrying capacity. . . .

The only smart growth is no growth.

Remember Isaiah 5:8: "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field till there be no place that they may be placed alone in the midst of the Earth."

.... [T]he Oregon we love is like a car speeding toward a cliff. While may disagree on the rate of speed, or the distance left to the cliff, those are details that in the end don't matter.

To which I would add only applause and an "Amen."

Meanwhile our politicians continue to pander as hard and fast as the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife do.

John McCain wants a huge amnesty, and if he's put in office with a Democratic House and Senate (as seems likely), it will be the only thing the two sides can agree on, and it will sail through Congress with the speed of a War Powers Act after Pearl Harbor. Besides, at the advanced age of 71, John McCain is not going to run for President again, so what does he care that an amnesty is unpopular with the American people? He's "Maverick" by God, and he will do what he wants. Besides, he figures, jamming an illegal alien amnesty for 12 million will get in the history books. And, no doubt, he is right on that!

As for Hillary Clinton, if she becomes the Democrat nominee, John McCain will win the presidency. It really is that just that simple.

Which leaves us with Obama.

He too gives a nod to amnesty (all three candidates do), but in reality, I think he will have too many other big agenda items on his plate to ever get this one done.

If elected, Barack is going to be up to his ass ending the war in Iraq, stabilizing and reducing gas prices, fixing our broken trade policy, putting the housing crisis in order, repairing our roads and bridges, and regaining control of our borders. Though he mumbles a little about an amnesty, Barack has consistently said that we need to put immigration law enforcement first and he supports a fence at the border and tough, and enforced, employer sanctions). With Barack, an illegal alien amnesty may be on the agenda (same as with McCain and Hillary), but unlike McCain, it is part of his agenda I do not think he will ever catch up to because bigger, more important, issues will always get in the way.

No comments: