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Re: E-M:/ Another Still More Inconvenient Truth

Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman <rokuhlman@yahoo.com>

Population increase on the order of 200 million people
over the next forty years almost all of it the result
of immigration both legal and illegal is certainly
central to all the environmental problems we face
today in America. That immigrants first arriving in
America do not initially consume as much American
citizens is basically irrelevant. The longer
immigrants are in America the closer their consumption
patterns mirror the average American. Children of
immigrant parents born in America essentially match
the average American consumption level. 

As all of us should be well aware the average American
lifestyle is the most destructive environmental force
on the planet. This destructiveness not only afflicts
our country but also puts a heavy undue burden on the
rest of the world. It is beyond me why we would want
to have 200 million more Americans consuming way
beyond any sense of ecological responsibility in the
future. If we didn't add a single more American in the
future, we would have a tremendous problem in
achieving a sustainable, healthy environment. Why
complicate things many times over by exploding our
population upwards at the same time? That is just not

Why are foreign citizens coming to America? They are
not coming here to be good environmentalists. They are
coming here because of the lure of affluence. They
want those big SUV's and those McMansion homes in the
country. To think otherwise is just fooling ourselves.
Immigrants are not going to be satisfied with secure
but not affluent lifestyles and they will be
constantly demanding more and more economic growth and
development on which they hope they and their children
can rise to upper class and upper middle class
lifestyles. Unfortunately ever expanding economic
growth is a recipe for ecological disaster.

If we are going to be serious about achieving a
healthy sustainable environment with plenty of natural
habitats and good biodiversity, we have to stop
population growth in both America and the rest of the
world. Economic growth can not continue to increase
ever upwards. Why the major environmental
organizations are not stressing these facts is beyond
me. There is a major lack of leadership here.

Roger Kuhlman
Ann Arbor, Michigan

High levels of immigration both legal and illegal is
also a major facilitating factor for suburban and
exurban sprawl. Cheap immigrant labor allows this
building to go forward at a much reduced cost. Without
all the illegal immigrants in the construction
industry, sprawl would be hugely more expensive and
there would have been a lot less of it built.

Another question to ponder: who benefits from high
levels of immigration? The answer is those who want
cheap labor. So if you support high levels of
immigration you are supporting corporate interests and
the wealthy. Mass immigration transfers wealth from
working and middle class Americans to upper class

--- WovenWoman@aol.com wrote:

> 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.
> All  these new people in America will add to
> > America's excessive  consumption of natural
> resources,
> > ecosystems, and natural habitats. So  where are
> many
> > environmentalists in the debate over American
> >  population policy and immigration?
> >
> > Roger Kuhlman
> > Ann  Arbor, Michigan
> >

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