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Re: E-M:/ Re: the bogus "May 25 Black Day for the Environment"

Gilbert is right on many counts.  I was actually hoping that by ignoring the rather amazing argument that Kuhlman puts forward that it would fade.  It is illogical and absurd to fault immigrants for taking on what the decadent US life style, while ignoring the lifestyle itself. 

But I am afraid we are in for yet another round of Kuhlman telling us we can do nothing about the root of problem of a wasteful lifestyle so we have to stop people from coming here, even though those folks life far lower on the socio-economic chain.  Once you realize how bad that argument is you can only begin speculating what is behind it.  That's when the outrage sets in. 

Kim Hunter

Reg Gilbert <reg@glu.org> wrote:
Enviro-Mich message from Reg Gilbert

Dear list,

This message from Mr. Kuhlman is an outrage.

In the first and most important sense, this message dresses an old
American fear of multiplying non-white people in environmental
clothes. The tone of the message makes this clear. I hope others on
this list will denounce this sentiment for the xenophobia that it
almost certainly is, but in any case certainly feeds.

Secondly, Mr. Kuhlman's environmental logic is fallacious. Any
increase in population growth in the United States caused by
immigration from Mexico and Central America will be much more than
offset by reduced population growth in the source countries. It is
demographically axiomatic that increased living standards reduce
birth rates. Perhaps Mr. Kuhlman does not consider population growth
south of the border as problematic as population growth in the United
States. In fact, it is more significant in its contribution to total
human misery and long-term potential for international destabilization and war.

Mr. Kuhlman's concern for immigration contributing to "extravagant
levels of consumption" is of course generically valid, but I say
terribly inappropriate in this context -- should environmentalists
really argue that low-income nations and the people in them should
not aspire to improving their standards of living? Substantial
portions of immigrant earnings go back to home countries to support
the most basic family needs. Mexicans and El Salvadorans do not come
to the United States to indulge in extravagant living.

This message is not intended to support the Senate bill per se,
though I would be surprised if anybody on this list, perhaps with the
exception of Mr. Kuhlman, thought it was morally acceptable to have a
permanent system in which more than ten million people needed for
jobs in United States, whether illegal immigrant or legal "guest
worker," have no path to citizenship or the vote. The immigrant
debate is at least in part a civil rights debate.

But whatever one's position in the immigration debate, I say it would
be politically and morally wise to keep the environment out of it.


At 11:57 AM 5/26/2006, Roger Kuhlman wrote:
>Enviro-Mich message from Roger Kuhlman
>On May 25, the US Senate blithely voted 62 to 36 to
>add upwards of 100 million foreign immigrants to the
>American population over the next 20 years in a
>so-called immigration reform bill. Just like 1986,
>this bill grants amnesty to illegal immigrants but
>instead of three million illegal aliens getting
>amnesty as in 1986, the number today could go as high
>as 20 million. Whatever the actual number turns out to
>be, amnesty for today's illegal aliens will be a huge
>inducement for future illegal immigration. There will
>be no surprise in 10 years when our country has
>another new 20 or 30 million illegal immigrants
>clamoring for amnesty again.
>The environment and American Environmentalism has
>suffered a major defeat in this Senate action. If you
>have high economic growth, extravagant levels of
>consumption, and a rapidly growing population as we
>have in America today, what chance do you have
>stopping or even slowing major environmental
>degradation in both America proper and the world as a
>whole? Looking at matters realistically and using
>commonsense suggests not much.
>Roger Kuhlman
>Ann Arbor, Michigan
>Ps. Senate Democrats including Carl Levin nearly
>unanimously (4 exceptions including Debbie Stabenow)
>voted to stand shoulder to shoulder with President
>George Bush and corporate interests in demanding high
>immigration and cheap labor. Wal-Mart, Microsoft,
>McDonald's, Developers and the Construction Industry
>will be very well pleased with this outcome since
>their labor costs will continue to decline. Ah
>progress. Maybe the auto industry can get into this
>'good' thing of importing cheap foreign labor. A
>solution for the troubles of GM and Ford?
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
>ENVIRO-MICH: Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
>and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action. Archives at
>Postings to: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net For info, send email to
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Reg Gilbert
Senior Coordinator
Great Lakes United

(716) 362-3152

or, if that results in voice mail
and response is needed quickly:

(716) 200-1062

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Postings to: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net For info, send email to
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