Additional “Inconvenient Truths”
Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore states in “An Inconvenient Truth” that governments around the world have to confront the evidence that their populations are causing climate change.
Why is the truth “inconvenient”? It is inconvenient because it tells people things they do not want to hear because it suggests the necessity for profound change, a transformation most humans resist as they are predominantly creatures of habit.
Although Canada's total emission of greenhouse gases is small compared to that of many other countries, its per capita emissions are high. As a responsible member of the world community, it obviously has to do its part. In addition, within Canada, people cannot point their fingers exclusively at the oil sands in Alberta. That area produces about a third of Canada's emissions, and it definitely has to improve its performance. But the rest of the country is producing two-thirds, so it too has to look at what it is contributing to the problem.
Inconvenient Truth #1: It is illogical for our federal government to sign an international environmental treaty like the Kyoto Agreement, and implement a mass immigration policy at the same time. Yet Canada did both in the 1990's. By doing so, Canada increased its population from around 27 million near the beginning of 1990 to nearly 33 million today. The main factor in the increase was immigration. Increasing the country's population and trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are incompatible.
The logical thing to do is to introduce a wide range of conservation measures and to stabilize the country's population. That means ceasing to promise recent immigrants that high immigration levels and the endless chain migration that follows will continue. It also means admitting that increases in the country's population will negate any real gains that might be made by introducing conservation measures. A very obvious example of this contradiction was the federal programme called “The One Tonne Challenge” in which Canadians were asked to reduce their yearly carbon emissions from an average of five tonnes per Canadian to four tonnes. The arithmetic shows that any reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would be negated by new emissions from the added population.
Stabilizing the country's population is truly a revolutionary idea for those who seem to think that Canada is virtually another planet with limitless space for more people. The inconvenient truth is that Canada is a country and is part of one planet which, in the view of many of the same scientists who believe that the Earth is experiencing human-generated climate change, is very overpopulated. Transferring bodies from overpopulated areas of the globe to less populated areas such as Canada, with a very cold climate, so that they can consume more resources, does not make sense. Transferring bodies so that Canada can become multicultural is, to say the very least, even more senseless. In fact, most people would say the latter, which appears to be the main reason for current immigration levels, is well into the realm of the utterly ridiculous.
Inconvenient Truth #2: Reducing immigration levels is also a provincial and municipal responsibility.The provincial governments of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec (Canada's main immigration receiving areas), the municipal governments within them and other provinces, have played the role of compliant army officers carrying out orders from above. They now have to admit the “Inconvenient Truth” that the immigrant inundation of Greater Vancouver/Fraser Valley; Greater Toronto/Southern Ontario; Greater Montreal and other areas of Canada cannot continue. They also have to muster the courage to refuse the absurd federal orders they have been obeying.
British Columbia has recently shown some signs of independent thought on the environmental issue. In an effort to imitate California's recent environmental announcements, the British Columbia government has recently announced plans to reduce greenhouse gases by one third of current levels. This is a laudatory objective. However, it should be obvious that all attempts by B.C., Ontario, Quebec or any other province or territory to achieve noble environmental goals, will be negated if not accompanied by pressure on the federal government to reduce immigration levels.
Inconvenient Truth #3: Reducing immigration levels is also an environmental matter. An increasing population creates increasing amounts of greenhouse gases and greater demands on resources. Environmental organizations which say that this is not true or that there are larger battles to fight are ignoring the “Act locally” part of the motto that they have preached for so long. They are also probably more concerned about maintaining their own bureaucracies (as is so brazenly true about the U.S. Sierra Club) than they are about environmental issues.
David Suzuki has recently praised the British Columbia government for its environmental announcement. But he has said nothing about immigration, despite the fact that it has been the largest single factor in the near 1 million population increase in the area in which he lives. That increase in population has literally transformed the area's environment. It has consumed green space and some of the province's most valuable farmland, it has added close to half a million new vehicles, and it has created crowding, traffic congestion and pollution.
Neither the David Suzuki foundation nor any other environmental organization can continue to ignore the immigration issue. Its dramatic effect on the areas that individual environmentalists inhabit should be ample proof that it has to be dealt with. Having more ethnic restaurants to eat at is not a sane reason for remaining silent on immigration's very significant, negative environmental impact.
To sum up, high immigration levels are a bad policy. They are not an inevitability—-as some politicians, prominent environmentalists, our CBC and others seem to believe. In order for bad policies to be thrown out, good people in government, environmental organizations, the media and the general population have to stand up.
END OF PRESS RELEASE
Two Other Definitions Of The Phrase “Inconvenient Truths”:
(1) A truth is inconvenient because it promises some discomfort and unease. Most humans have a built in, possibly genetic, bias in favour of looking at the world optimistically, even though the pessimist might be closer to the truth.
(2) A truth is inconvenient because its recognition results in the need for action, which goes against the built-in inertia of established customs and beliefs. This is why history is full of examples of cases where leaders repeatedly denied an obvious problem until forced by brutal reality to admit their myopia.