December 7, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

The message below is from Tim Murray
Is Dr. Rees Trapped in a Logical Cul De Sac (Word doc., 38KB)

Here we go again. Bill Rees is putting the goat horns on the Harper government for a criminally negligent non-policy of fighting climate change. Let’s run with his assumptions. Let us assume that rising CO2 emssions drive climate change, and that climate change is the worst and most serious calamity ever to befall the human race.

Then the most morally negligent position would be that of Canada’s three opposition parties–the Liberals, the NDP and the Greens.Why? Because none of them would actually commit to shutting down the tarsands project. They would only slow it down or freeze it a present production levels. Liberal leader Stephane Dion even stated, absurdly, that he would “green” it.

But the opposition parties would do something else. They would hike the Harper government’s stratosphere immigration intake by 25% !!!! At the time of the October 2008 federal election, 3-4 years of business-as-usual immigration would cause GHG emissions equivalent to that of the entire tarsands project. In other words, thanks to our recklessly insane policy of mass immigration, we would be adding the equivalent of another tarsands project every 3-4 years. Put another way, according to John Meyer’s calculations (Meyer was head of Zero Population Growth Canada and is a graduate in economics), the immigrants who came to Canada after this policy took off in 1990 have been collectively responsible for 3-4 times as much GHG emission as the tarsands, and have accounted for the transformation of farmland or forests into housing developments of an area the size of 3-4 Torontos. That is, 3-4 times the size of the boreal forest despoiled by the tarsands project. Therefore, the opposition parties by favouring a dramatic increase of immigration as they consistently have, would ACCELERATE the pace of our ruin. A pace even rendered even more quick by the admission of 150,000 more people each year on so-called “Temporary Visas” which always prove to be not so temporary.

Rees himself, after being pressed, will admit that immigration “should be reduced somewhat” from its present level. But incredibly, he would open the floodgates to millions upon millions of climate change refugees, as if they have no ecological footprint. Imagine the logic. We are a country that is “guilty” of high GHG emissions. A country where 40% of the land mass is north of the 60th parallel and the average annual temperature is minus 5.6 degrees. A nation with just 5% of its land arable, and 20% of that arable land classified as “prime class one”, the very land that is being paved over due to immigrant-driven population growth the highest of G8 countries. Land that contrary to Rees’ fantasies, cannot be defended by smart growth snake oil nostrums. To assert otherwise, as he always does, is a conceit of the planning mentality and intellectually dishonest. Why? Because land-use planning is in the hands of local governments. And what did Professor Robert MacDermid’s report on local campaign financing demonstrate—something we all should know—successful local politicians are bought and paid for by developers. And the vast frozen tundras and taiga forests of Canada cannot be home to Rees’ environmental refugees. Nor can immigrants be compelled to live in depopulated rural regions that Canadians themselves find unviable for good reason. Out of some “legal” requirement, he would make environmental refugees out of Canadians to accomodate the millions of refugees he forsees. Refugees who would be injected into a country of much higher GHG emissions! Kind of like a hair-of-the-dog cure for a hangover.

The Conservative government, with the worst of intentions, is in fact the “greenest” political party in Canada. That certanly damns it with faint praise. But while Harper is the guy with a lead foot on the gas pedal of our bus hurtling toward the cliff, his opponents would actually floor it if they were behind the wheel. They cannot decouple population and economic growth from environmental damage. We must shrink the economy, not stimulate it. And you can’t do that by adding 340,000 foreign-born consumers to it each year, or encouraging higher fertility rates with more generous child benefits packages.

What amazes me is that the counterfeit greens spend so much time being enraged at “deniers”—all of whom should be silenced and jailed it seems. Yet they deny the most obvious fact in the room. Canada’s overpopulation. Population growth is not even on their radar. Their mantra is “over-consumption, over-consumption”. They would cut our per capita consumption in half but be oblivious if our population doubled in the process. One Sierra Club director told me that the connection between immigration and environmental degradation was “spurious”. Green Party leader Elizabeth May says that immigration is a “trivial” component of our environmental problems, and that the immigrants who are doing the real damage are the oil companies involved in the tarsands project. Rees says that there is no reason why “greenfield” acreage cannot be preserved in the face of mass immigration and population growth—an assertion that experience everywhere disputes (Portland Oregon, Los Angeles, and even the greenbelts of the UK). Equally amazing is that people who have built their careers around defending endangered species in Canada or effecting concern about our ecological footprint would suddenly do an about-face at the first sign of a refugee flotilla. Or that they would not breath a word about population growth when the census report revealed how rampant it was , or use the birth of an 18th child to an Abbotsford BC couple as a “teachable moment” to link population growth to GHG emissions. These people are the real skeptics. They are the real deniers and ostriches. And given their acceptance of donations from corporations who have a vested interest in population growth, it is outrageous that environmental NGOs have the chutzpah to accuse climate skeptics of being on the take.

White mea culpas not suffice for solutions. You cannot absolve the poor of all responsibility by focusing exclusively on the greedy excesses of the rich. As Madeline Weld has said, the bottom billion of the world’s population have caused as much environmental damage as the top billion. There is surely enough “bad behaviour” to go around. If we are all passengers in a global lifeboat, as open-borders greens maintain, we cannot allow the low footprint guys on one side of it to come over and sit on our laps. There is not much that is morally responsible about drowning everybody. Nature takes no notice of our political, legal or moral sensibilities. The politically correct rhetoric of human rights makes little impression on it. The reality is, the Law of Carrying Capacity trumps Canada’s Criminal Code every time.

Tim Murray

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