EARTH DAY'S ORIGINAL PURPOSE TRIVIALIZED, DISTORTED AND BETRAYED—AGAIN
Many people have become confused about the original purpose of Earth Day which was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970. This has happened because others have trivialized, distorted and even betrayed Nelson's intention. To make his purpose clear, we re-state the major point that the Founder of Earth Day tried to make : “environmental organizations could never achieve their long-term goals unless the U.S. achieved population stabilization through immigration reduction”. Senator Nelson saw protection of the environment and stabilizing or reducing population size as both practically and logically linked.*
When Nelson's intention was applied to a country, he meant that as long as a country's population continued to increase (through high birthrate or high immigration), population growth would negate any environmental gains that might be achieved by decreasing consumption or by instituting conservation measures. If a country did not take control of its population size, it made itself vulnerable to environmental collapse.
When Nelson inaugurated Earth Day in 1970, the U.S. had a population of about 200 million. It now has over 300 million. In 1970, the world had a population of 3.7 billion. It now has over 7 billion. In trying to emphasize how important the environment was, Senator Nelson repeatedly said that the economy was a subsidiary of the environment. In other words, if population levels were not stabilized or reduced so as not to overwhelm the ecosystems of a country, then the ecosystems would collapse and take the economy down with them.
Among Canadians who seem to have no or minimal awareness of the original purpose of Earth Day are the following:
(1) Federal MP's : There are probably a number of MP's who are concerned about immigration's impact. And there are many who will have something to say on Earth Day, But not a single MP in any party has publicly expressed any concern about population growth or about immigration levels. In fact, most seem to think that Canada has unlimited space and unlimited resources. Most seem completely unaware of federal studies which stated that Canada has limited resources, that it should limit the size of its population and that it could not have an open-door immigration policy. Canada's MP's continue to be silent in spite of recent public storms about population increases and high immigration levels in other immigrant-receiving countries like Australia, the UK and the U.S.
(2) B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell, most B.C. MLA's and most provincially-elected representatives all across Canada : In one of the clumsiest moves imaginable in the days preceding Earth Day, Premier Campbell and his government announced that they will flood about 13,000 acres of forest and agricultural land in northern B.C. to build another huge hydro-electric dam. No time could have been worse for a provincial government that, in introducing a carbon tax in 2008, had positioned itself as only the second provincial government (after Quebec in 2007) to take such a green move.
The B.C. government has said it reserves the right to export power from this project. However, it has stated that its main reason for building the new dam is to meet the electricity demands of a 1 million immigration-driven population increase. It neglected to say that almost all of the immigration will be unnecessary. All provinces have a constitutional say about immigration, but no one has ever heard the B.C. government or the NDP opposition (or any provincial legislature) suggest that B.C. or another province lobby Ottawa to recognize limits to population growth. Like many MP's, most provincial representatives seem to think that population growth can continue forever. In B.C., for example, no MLA will concede that the Metro-Vancouver and adjoining Fraser Valley areas have environmental limits and, as things stand, are a virtual environmental disaster-in-progress.
(3) Vancouver Mayor and former NDP MLA Gregor Robertson and City Council : As the mayor of the major city in an area occupied by well over 2 million people, Mayor Robertson and his Council have in the past year endorsed a plan to continue densifying Vancouver. To help achieve this goal, they have re-zoned nearly all of the 68,312 single family lots in Vancouver so that home-owners can put an extra dwelling at the back of a lot. Like the provincial government, they like to present themselves as green. Like all municipal governments, they have the power to influence federal policy. However, they have irresponsibly pleaded that they are helpless to do anything about federal immigration policies which have flooded the city and its suburbs with around 1 million people since 1990. With large campaign donations from developers, they too seem to think that Vancouver has the ability to accommodate an unlimited number of people.
(4) Many municipal politicians in Metro-Vancouver and other municipalities all across Canada : Most fall over one another in an effort to be considered green. At the same time, especially in the larger municipalities, most complain that their streets and the surrounding highways are congested. Also, most refuse to speak up about controlling the population of their communities. In fact, most imply that their communities can grow forever. In addition, most politicians in the larger municipalities say they need more mass transit. But virtually no one will say that if their population were stabilized or reduced, there would be no need for mass transit and all the high costs involved in building it.
(5) All environmental organizations : Most of these groups in North America and the developed world are calling for “a billion acts of green” on Earth Day. Most sensible people would ask : Why aren't they calling for several billion less people on Earth? And why aren't they calling for implementation of their own maxim : “Think Globally and Act Locally.” Most concentrate on petty-sounding measures such as taking shorter showers, turning the tap off when brushing teeth, using fewer plastic bags or recycling. Almost all say nothing about the danger of continued population growth through senseless immigration. Some will mention the loss of farmland and food security, or the depletion of non-renewable resources, but none connect these issues with growing population and high immigration.
One of the more prominent Canadian environmental organizations, the David Suzuki Foundation, has rightly criticized plans for the B.C. government's proposed new dam in British Columbia. According to a DSF spokesperson, the project conflicts with new provincial laws mandating no net loss of land to deforestation. In the DSF view, “the climate change benefits have largely been made on the claim that it's going to displace dirtier, more greenhouse gas-intensive sources of energy. But the problem is that we haven't looked at the full life cycle (environmental impact)” associated with it.
However, like almost all other environment organizations, the Suzuki Foundation continues to say nothing about continued immigration-driven population growth. Canada's largest political party devoted to environmental causes, the Green Party, acts similarly. It minimizes the impact of immigration and refuses to advocate for population stabilization.
Together with many of Canada's elected officials, many environmental groups have trivialized and distorted the original purpose of Earth Day. And some have shamelessly betrayed it.
**ACCORDING TO DEVON ROWCLIFF OF THE CITY OF VANCOUVER, THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 68,312 PARCELS OF LAND IN RS-TYPE ZONES WHERE THERE ARE 1, 2 or 3 UNITS (WHICH ARE CLASSIFIED AS “SINGLE FAMILY TYPE” HOUSING). THERE ARE CURRENTLY LESS THAN 1,000 LOTS WITHIN THE RS-TYPE ZONES THAT ARE VACANT.
FOR MORE BACKGROUND ON EARTH DAY, SEE OUR PREVIOUS BULLETINS :
APRIL 18, 2009: “EARTH DAY FOUNDER BETRAYED AND HIS OBJECTIVES ABANDONED”
April 14, 2008: EARTH DAY CO-FOUNDER DAVID BROWER THOUGHT IMMIGRATION HAD TO BE CURBED AND POPULATION STABILIZED
JULY 12, 2005: “RECENTLY-DECEASED, U.S. DEMOCRATIC SENATOR GAYLORD NELSON : A MODEL FOR ALL THOSE SERIOUSLY INTERESTED IN ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES”
* WORDS FROM A EULOGY WRITTEN BY POPULATION-ENVIRONMENT BALANCE. SENATOR NELSON WAS A BOARD MEMBER OF THIS ORGANIZATION