December 10, 2009

Climate Change v. Population Change

An excerpt from my VDARE.com column from last week:
Shortly after President Obama returns to Washington from Norway with his Nobel Prize, he's going to roar off to Denmark in his personal 747 jumbo jet to raise awareness about the need to cut carbon emissions to forestall Climate Change—the cause formerly known as “Global Warming”.

But while the President gears up his campaign for Climate Change awareness in Denmark, a Population Change anti-awareness campaign has long been in full swing in America.

The acid test of the sincerity of Climate Change activists: do they publicly demand a U.S immigration moratorium to keep carbon emissions from increasing?

A few environmentalists pass this test proudly. For example, Californians for Population Stabilization have started a new ad campaign:
“The campaign recognizes immigration as the number one factor driving U.S. population growth and makes the point that when immigrants settle in the U.S. their energy use quickly becomes Americanized. As a result, immigrants’ carbon emissions skyrocket. The result is a quadrupling of immigrants’ carbon footprint compared to the amount of carbon emissions they produced in their home countries.”

Mexicans don’t illegally immigrate to avoid starvation. The average life expectancy in Mexico is over 76 years. Instead, the major motivations for sneaking into America include: the hope of owning a big truck or SUV and to have more kids than you could afford to have in your own country. The current total fertility rate in Mexico is 2.34 babies per woman per lifetime—versus 3.7 babies among immigrant Latinas in California.

But, alas, the vast majority of those who claim that carbon emissions is the overwhelming issue of our age fail this test of good faith flatly.

On the other hand, their dishonesty doesn’t guarantee that they aren’t right about carbon and global warming. Global warming true believers seem, on the whole, like the kind of people who would be more likely to be right about something for bad reasons than for good reasons.

As you may have noticed from the above, I normally don’t have much to say about climate change. I’m sort of an agnostic.

I know enough about statistics to realize how much effort would be required for me to develop an opinion worth expressing. Nor is it obvious that, even if I invested years of work, I would be able to add much value to the discussion.

After all, both sides in the debate over anthropogenic global warming debate are lavishly funded. ...

Yet why are those Climate Change insights so seldom applied to the question of Population Change?

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

22 comments:

Richard said...

The question of carbon emissions is interesting. Are there available any numbers regarding usage by immigrants, how much they use there versus here?

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, Steve. I really wish I didn't have to praise someone for saying things that are so freaking obvious.

You brilliantly articulate what I've been thinking for a long time now in regards to immigration and climate change and environmental issues. I'm a political independent who considers himself an environmentalist - this is why I am strongly opposed to immigration. While I am concerned about climate change, I am not as terrified as those on the left who say they believe in climate change but want to flood the U.S with more immigrants to increase the carbon emissions of the U.S. "Hypocrisy" is too weak a word to describe these extreme left-wing anti-environmentalists who claim to be "environmentalists". They remind me of religious freaks who hate homosexuals who are closet homosexuals.

I often find it disturbing how environmentalism became hijacked and monopolized by the left, to the point that it has become a dirty word to all too many people on the right. Environmentalism and conservation used to transcend the political spectrum.

Conservatives and independents who oppose immigration under-appreciate the extent to which this makes them environmentalists, even if they are uncomfortable labeling themselves this, and if environmentalism isn't their primary concern. They could make significant inroads into the environmentalist movement(and put an end to the Sierra Club's "neutral" stance on immigration), along with right-leaning hunters and gun-owners. Where a person stands on immigration should serve as the ultimate litmus test for how much of an environmentalist they are, not whether or not they "believe" in climate change or not.

People who are too afraid of being labeled "racist" are no help to the real, committed environmentalists.

Laban said...

In the UK the Optimum Population Trust campaign against mass immigration (in a very, very low key fashion).

Eric Rasmusen said...

In my regulation class this week, a Taiwanese student jokingly suggested that the way to solve global warming would be to kill any children born to a family that already had one child.

Then this Op-Ed appeared in one of the top Canadian newspapers: "The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy" http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438#ixzz0ZLhX3n48

David said...

> Conservatives and independents who oppose immigration [...] could make significant inroads into the environmentalist movement(and put an end to the Sierra Club's "neutral" stance on immigration) <

Might be possible, now that Gelbaum is in financial difficulties. However, there's probably another Jewish billionaire waiting in the wings, dreaming of Ellis Island circa 1890. So don't get your hopes up for the reestablishment of honesty (or non-hypocrisy).

David said...

It's a bitter reality that more people = more problems, only because a sizeable percentage of adults don't pull their weight. The stupider they are, the worse this problem is.

Population growth (including immigration) has a certain delimited value, but only in the context of some kind of stable quality-quantity relationship.

Absent such a relationship, fewer is better.

In short, we never need more bad people, we only need more good people (up to a point).

When it comes to public policy, which deals with relatively large groups, we can predict which groups are desirable and undesirable. And more importantly, we have a right to do it; we have a right to defend our niche in the ecosphere and defend our way and quality of life. Why must human life be a race to the bottom, while the rest of the animal kingdom operates according to some standards? If it's possible to be "more than an animal," then it's also possible to be less than an animal as well.

Harry Baldwin said...

It might have been on this site that I read about a guy who confronted Al Gore after he gave one of his AGW speeches and asked him, "What is the optimal population level for the US, Vice President Gore? Is it 400 million, 500 million, 600 million?"

Al Gore, not one to be outfoxed, immediately got to the nub of the question and roared back,"Diversity is our greatest strength! Diversity is our greatest strength!"

I saw Al Gore's interview on CNN the other day. Despite the kid-glove treatment, he seemed to be seething about having to answer any questions about this "settled science." His face is contorted with anger, like he's always fighting the urge to grab the nearest skeptic and twist his head off.

Anonymous said...

Did the hockey stick ever matter? - good link for Steve. There's no way he should be sitting on the fence... unless he just wants to butter both sides of his bread. :)

Perhaps the left want to use immigration to tear off chunks of America, leaving the remaining parts more easily dominated by a world government? Also the immigrants will help parts of "America" back to the stone age which is precisely what the watermelons want to happen to us all.

JoeShipman said...

Steve, you know more than enough about statistics to be able to educate yourself sufficiently about the CRU/AGW issue within a few dozen hours. What's going on is not, statistically, very complicated. It is TECHNICALLY somewhat complicated because they use so many data-massaging tricks, but these tricks are not at all difficult to understand, just offensively ad hoc. The level of mathematical sophistication is low. Real statisticians (the ones like me with Ph.D.s in math) are the ones who are being denied a chance to see the data and its history of adjustments because the climatologists are embarrassed that their statistical incompetence will be exposed.

Joseph said...

Steve you do have an opinion.

"I know enough about statistics to realize how much effort would be required for me to develop an opinion worth expressing. Nor is it obvious that, even if I invested years of work, I would be able to add much value to the discussion."

Yes - exactly. But the "Climate Change" crowd do not offer an opinion, they claim revealed truth and slander those who disagree. As we have seen with Climategate they rig data that contradicts them and cherry-pick the rest.

This did not start recently. Environmental "science" has been afflicted by incompetence and outright fraud since the 1970's.

Do not make the assumption that most scientists understand statistics. I received my PhD at MIT in the 1970's and was startled by my fellow students lack of reliable grasp of statistical methods.

By the way, what is the motive for fraud? Follow the money. Those British scientists had their budgets increase by 600% following their hysterical fear mongering.

John Seiler said...

"....to have more kids than you could afford to have in your own country. The current total fertility rate in Mexico is 2.34 babies per woman per lifetime—versus 3.7 babies among immigrant Latinas in California."

But in 1960, when Mexico was worse off economically than today, the fertility rate was above 6 per woman. Something else is at work here.

Tanstaafl said...

put an end to the Sierra Club's "neutral" stance on immigration. . .Where a person stands on immigration should serve as the ultimate litmus test for how much of an environmentalist they are

October 27, 2004: The Man Behind The Land - Immigration Watch Canada (A Portrait of David Gelbaum, the California Philanthropist Who Has Been A Major Contributor To The U.S. Sierra Club On The Condition That The Club Not Oppose Immigration to the U.S.) :

"I did tell [Sierra Club Executive Director] Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me."

Gelbaum said he was a substantial donor at the time but not yet the club's largest benefactor. Immigration arose as an issue in 1994 because Proposition 187, which threatened to deny public education and health care to illegal immigrants, was on the state's ballot.

He said he was so upset by the idea of "pulling kids out of school" that he donated more than $180,000 to the campaign to oppose Proposition 187. After the measure passed, he said, he donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to civil rights lawyers who ultimately got the measure struck down in court.


Gelbaum the "environmentalist" has spent $100M+ to deliberately put an end to the Sierra Club's "neutral" stance on immigration and help keep immigration flowing. He has failed your litmus test. Now what?

OhioStater said...

Drudge linked to an article arguing China's "one child policy" would save the environment if it was copied by the rest of the world.

Of course, the author has two kids.

http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438

Anonymous said...

Since virtually any country on the planet can feed itself if its population is small enough, it seems more humane to export family planning tech instead of food. Free food just allows the population to grow to a size that they cannot sustain independently.

Eric said...

I don't see a fundamental disconnect between climate change and open borders in the US. If people stay in the country of their birth they'll produce C02 there instead of here.

I'm all for enforcing our borders, but this doesn't make any sense to me. We'd be better off hammering away at what open borders are doing to wages for people who didn't go to college.

James said...

There's no "pipeline" in Orange County that I'm aware of. Your link goes to the famous one in Hawai'i where there's much more reef.

William1066 said...

''But in 1960, when Mexico was worse off economically than today, the fertility rate was above 6 per woman. Something else is at work here.''

Increased participation of Mexican women in the work force would explain both the better economics and the lowered birthrate.

SF said...

" There's no "pipeline" in Orange County that I'm aware of."

He meant the Wedge, in Newport Beach of course. http://www.surfline.com/travel/surfmaps/us/orange_county/images/romo_wedge.jpg

Tanstaafl said...

I don't see a fundamental disconnect between climate change and open borders in the US. If people stay in the country of their birth they'll produce C02 there instead of here.

From the original post:

“The campaign recognizes immigration as the number one factor driving U.S. population growth and makes the point that when immigrants settle in the U.S. their energy use quickly becomes Americanized. As a result, immigrants’ carbon emissions skyrocket. The result is a quadrupling of immigrants’ carbon footprint compared to the amount of carbon emissions they produced in their home countries.

What part of qualdrupling do you not understand?

TomV said...

Eric:

Read the article again. Here's the relevant part:

The result is a quadrupling of immigrants’ carbon footprint compared to the amount of carbon emissions they produced in their home countries.

What part of "quadrupling" don't you understand?

neil craig said...

Another at least equally acidic test is their attitude top nuclear power. Nukes are effectively CO2 free. Indeed any country which was heavily nuclear (eg France) would have much lower CO2 production. Since electric cars are possible it could, with effort, be reduced just to simply aircraft fuel.

If they actually believe we are facing catastrophic global warming they would simply have to enthusiastically support the only thing that can prevent mass CO2 production without destroying the modern technological state.

If however they are actually anti-technology Luddites using what they know to be a false scare story to frightenn us back to the caves they would strongly oppose new nuclear.

Professor James Lovelock takes the former position. I don't know of any other alarmist person or body who fully does.

Philip said...

This test of sincerity makes about as much sense as saying: "White conservatives say they want to reduce discrimination against whites in the United States. Are they prepared to prove it by not having any white kids of their own?"