Friday, February 17, 2006

Environmentalism and Immigration

A comprehensive immigration policy for the United States is conspicuous by its absence. Actually, the current immigration policies or lack thereof, has come under attack from many sides over the recent years.
As you all know, more than 3/4 of the annual net growth in the US population is attributed to immigration. A rough back of the envelope kind of a calculation would suggest that immigration is responsible for about 2 million out of the 2.75 million annual growth. That is the equivalent of a major new city every year!!!. Once that figure of 2 million is combined with the typical level of consumption that is associated with life in the US it becomes clear that the ecological impact of such an increase in the US population has global ramifications.
Based on the above some have advocated the adoption of strict immigration limits on purely ecological grounds. What is your personal point of view regarding such efforts? Can the world afford an additional 2-2.5 million US style consumers every year?

13 comments:

Senkevitch said...

Karam, you and I both know that there is certainly no room on this planet for this kind of immigration to occur.

I read a paper by Dr.Peter Unger, courtesy of a friend who attended a class of his at NYU last fall. In it he states the intriguing fact that if an electron refuses to have a negative charge, it ceases to be an electron. If we take Unger's definiton of 'propensity' at face value, we grant that a 'propensity' is what makes a 'spatial' what it is. For example, a lion's propensity to mate with other lions. If a lion ceases to mate with other lions, he is, in a very literal way, refusing to be a lion. If he mates with, say, a cheetah, he is enacting a new propensity. This new outcome (the leetah, we'll call it for kicks) will bear a combination of propensities from the lion and the cheetah. It will be neither lion nor cheetah, but rather a leetah. Now, lets say the lion chooses not to mate at all - certainly a more likely possibility. Does it cease to be a lion? In a way, I say yes. Because it has chosen NOT to mate, it is choosing to deny one of it's fundamental propensities: to create more lions; for if every lion chose not to mate, there would cease to be lions. So in the most literal sense, if one lion chooses not to mate, it ceases to be a lion.

Now, on to the more complex and difficult task of making a scientific categorization of humans based on culture. In doing so, we must agree with two fundamental assertions: one, that Unger is correct in his classification of spatials, propensities, and qualities; and two, that Daniel Quinn is correct in his classification of cultures (that being 'leavers,' or those who leave the rule of the world in the hands of the gods, and 'takers,' those who have taken the rule of the world into their own hands.)

Few would dispute that 'leavers' were the initial progenitors of the human race. Archaeological and anthropological proof exists to prove that 'leaver' cultures inhabited the earth for hundreds of thousands of years before any culture that could be even remotely considered a 'taker' culture appeared. Our closest estimates would indicate that somewhere between ten and twelve thousand years ago, the first 'taker' cultures began to take shape in the fertile crescent (and elsewhere across the globe shortly thereafter). These cultures bore one fundamental difference from their hereditary ancestors: they began living in a way that was (though they could not see it at the time) counter to natural law. Their style of agriculture, commonly referred to as 'totalitarian agriculture,' aimed to turn all food into human food; consequently, they began to view themselves in a culturally similar light: all cultures should live the way that we live because it is 'the one right way'. These are the two divergences in propensity: way of life, and way of culture. The leaver cultures have a way of life that works for them. They do not presuppose that their way of living is 'the one right way' for people to live, whereas the taker cultures suppose that their way of life is the one right way for people to live, despite the fact that it is, by all accounts, biologically unsustainable.

In denying the 'leaver' way of life, the 'takers' were essentially denying the human propensity. It was, at the very core, an evolution, though not necessarily a sustainable one. 'Takers' ceased to be truly human, as they had been for hundreds of thousands of years. They began living in a way that will, over a long period time, prove to be self eliminating.

So, in essence, what I’m trying to say is that there isn’t a problem with demographic shifts, the problem lies with why humanity feels that those demographic shifts need to occur in order to “live” and what has forced these shifts to occur.

The reason is simple. From the begninning of totalitarian agriculture to the present of the WTO, living in a way counter to natural law is forcing humanity towards the inevitable path of mass suicide.

Our efforts to save the world should not be focused on restricting immigration. The focus needs to be on focusing on needs rather than desires. If we do not halt our denial towards our propensity to be human, we, as humans, will cease to exist.

To answer your question with one word:

No.

Frank Marchese said...

No, the world cant offord this and how to get rid of this is by first crackign down on the private business owners who hire them for cheap / slave labor rates. These people should only hire american citizens or people with international working papers this will in turn create new jobs for all people and turn all the illegal immigrants away so they will stay within their own country.


Also this will stop the large corporations such as (Target, K-mart, and Walmart) from exploiting hard working american's who need to make a living. A life is not being 50-60 working on a cash register line but this is all too common now because people need work and the only way to get it is by joining up with these faceless companies who exploit not only us but people all over the world.

marie said...

Even though I understand the ramifications of immigration I can't blame the people for wanting to come to the United States. Consumption is a problem but I believe we must look deeper into the issue. Why do people immigrate the the US? The main reason is to escape poverty which as we know is one of the outcomes of our capitalist, imperialistic system. When you can't feed your family because there are no jobs in your country immigration to the United States probably seems like a the only solution. The poor of the world don't have time to worry about the consumption problems of the West. They just want a better life. If resources were equally distributed immigration would not be an issue.

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