Remember there are lots of resources for citizens, K-12 and higher ed teachers at www.uspartnership.org about how to create a sustainable future. A new K-12 resource page will be up soon too!
Debra Rowe, Ph.D.
Co-chair Higher Education and Marketing
U.S. Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
University Leaders for a Sustainable Future
How many kWh do we use per year? How much gasoline for the auto/yard tools/etc? Do we mow by hand and weed by hand and turn off the water while brushing our teeth? Do we turn out every light as we leave the room? How many products locally produced do we purchase to support our local economies? The immigrants in my neighborhood are very mindful about such things. I think, if measured, their impact on our planet would easily be substantially less than the average gluttonous American.
Immigration is not the issue. Teaching the children on our planet to be moderate in their use of resources, and aggressive in the search for new technology that supports sustainable living is what is important. They are our future.
Its easy to blame immigrants but foolish to think that if we close the door that the issue goes away. To think that if environmental destruction happens somewhere else (outside the US) that it does not affect us is ignorant.
Educating fresh new immigrants would certainly make a much bigger impact on correcting/saving/sustaining our environment than trying to retrain the fat, greedy ,gluttonous citizens who insist that its OK to leave the lights on, to own a McMansion and to basically crap where we eat, just because we can. We Americans have destroyed our ecosystems and used up our resources here here quite well on our own, and blaming the new kid on the block wont make that go away. I would love to think that we citizens are mindful about the resources we use, but a drive at night along six mile road where lights in McMansion tract homes blaze all night speak volumes to depreciate that hope.
Educating children and immigrants about resources, sustainability, new technologies and lighting that fire within their hearts to save the globe may be exactly what the US needs to stay alive. We (current) citizens of the US are certainly doing a very poor job of being mindful of our national resources and their limits.