Recently-Deceased, U.S. Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson: A Model For All Those Seriously Interested In Environmental Causes


Elected officials, environmental organizations as well as ordinary Canadians of all political backgrounds should take note of the lifetime achievements of recently-deceased U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day. Nelson’s work prompted the head of the Washington-based Wilderness Society to describe Nelson as “the founding father of the modern environmental community”. Earth Day, which he initiated in 1970, is now celebrated all over the globe.

An environmental pioneer with great foresight, Mr. Nelson saw a cause-effect relationship between high immigration and environmental degradation. Unlike other elected officials as well as environmental organizations who were too timid to take a stand against high immigration levels, Mr. Nelson advocated major reductions in legal immigration and strong border controls to stop illegal immigration. His goal was to achieve population stabilization/reduction in the U.S. and eventual eradication of the U.S. ecological deficit.

The term “ecological deficit” is used to describe a situation in which a country’s geographical area cannot service the consumption levels and wastes of its population.

Mr. Nelson was 89 when he died. In his lifetime, the U.S. population tripled from 100 million around the time of his birth in 1916 to almost 300 million today. Of particular concern to him was explosive population growth in the 1960-2005 periiod. During this time, the U.S. population grew from 180 million to 296 million. One of the major factors in post-1960 population explosion was the implementation of high immigration levels in 1965. U.S. population growth reached record levels during the 1990’s. Illegal immigrants, possibly totalling another 20+ million, are not included in the current figures.

Former Democratic Senator Nelson was also the author of the U.S. Wilderness Act (1964) and a number of other state and federal environmental bills. An Associated Press news item (reprinted in the July 4, 2005 Vancouver Sun) states that as Wisconsin state governor in the 1950’s, “he used a penny-a-pack tax on cigarettes to buy hundreds of thousands of hectares of parkland, wetlands and other open space to protect it”. 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”.

Although Canada has the highest per capita immigration intake in the world, and has experienced dramatic population increases in the 1990-2005 period, many of its elected officials continue to support high immigration levels. Although living next door to people such as Former Senator and Governor Gaylord Nelson, no elected Canadian
has risen to Mr. Nelson’s stature in the environmental movement. Some continue to think of countries as separate planets whose ecological activities have no influence on one another. Others simultaneously cheerlead high immigration levels and environmental causes, seeing no contradiction between the two.

Eminent scientists from all over the globe have long recognized that the world is currently operating in an ecological deficit and that global population stabilization and reduction is an absolute necessity. U.N. predictions released on World Population Day (Monday, July 11) state that the world’s population will reach 9.3 billion by 2050. This would represent an increase of almost 3 billion people (44%) over population levels in 2005.

Mr. Nelson’s work has been lauded by scientists and serious environmental organizations because it recognized the ecological limitations of all countries and the subsequent necessity of all countries to control population growth.


Immigration Watch Canada provides you with the following two brief eulogies of the life of Former Democratic Senator and Governor Gaylord Nelson.

(1) POPULATION-ENVIRONMENT BALANCE Board Member, Earth Day Founder, Eulogized

Gaylord Nelson, the former U.S. Senator and Governor of Wisconsin, died on the morning of July 3rd. Renowned as a passionate conservationist and tireless defender of the environment, Nelsons congressional legacy included initiatives such as the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the founding of Earth Day on April 22, 1970.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995 by President Clinton. “As the Father of Earth Day, he is the grandfather of all that grew out of that event: the Environmental Protection Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act,” read the proclamation.

Gaylord Nelson was also a member of the Population-Environment Balance Board of Advisors. He strongly supported BALANCE’s positions for U.S. population stabilization and immigration reduction. He was a most forceful leader in attempting to convince environmental organizations that they could never achieve their long-term goals unless the US achieved population stabilization through immigration reduction. We are forever indebted to him for the great service he gave to our country and our environment.

This is an appropriate time to remember that the first observances of Earth Day addressed both environmental and population concerns. Protection of the environment and stabilizing or reducing population size were seen as both practically and logically linked. Senator Nelson never shrank from advocating stabilization of the United States’ population, whether that entailed availability of means to limit family size, or efforts to stop mass immigration.

Population-Environment Balance


(2) IN Memoriam

ASAP! (Alliance For The Stabilization Of America’s Population) Coalition Supporter, Gaylord Nelson, Honored

Former U.S. Senator and former Governor of Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson died at his home in Kensington, Maryland this past week. He was truly a giant among environmentalists, legislators, and population stabilization activists. Perhaps the most effective environmentalist ever in the United States Senate, he was founder of Earth Day and author of the Wilderness Act, as well as numerous other environmental bills.

Over the years, Senator Nelson made it very clear that he considered population stabilization to be an absolute necessity for protecting the environment. He consistently advocated U.S. population stabilization, recognizing that it required dramatic reduction in both legal and illegal immigration.

Senator Nelson was a strong supporter of the Alliance to Stabilize America’s Population (ASAP!) from the very beginning. His support was manifested in many ways, especially in his great sacrifices in traveling far across the country to give the keynote address at the ASAP! Coalition conference. He never relented in his support for mass immigration reduction and U.S. population stabilization, in spite of taking considerable “heat” from abusive, politically correct denizens both within and outside of the environmental community.

Senator Nelson was courageous, taking on anyone and everyone whose “advocacy” threatened the United States of America and its environment. To those economists whose only concern is maximizing GDP (or “throughput”, as we might say) thereby disregarding environmental concerns, Nelson would (sharing “steady state” economist Prof. Herman Daly’s observation) publicly thunder that, “These people refuse to recognize that the economy is the wholly owned subsidiary of the environment.”

All of the organizations — more than 50 of them — who are members of the ASAP! Coalition will greatly miss Gaylord Nelson.

ASAP Coalition