Environmentalists Who Get It

By Jon Feere on February 2, 2010

The Green Party has called for reducing future immigration to a more sustainable level. Unfortunately, it's the Australian Greens, not the U.S. ones.

In response to a new government plan to dramatically increase Australia's population, the Greens' leader, Senator Bob Brown, said the following:

Most people think our lifestyle is good, but some of the bigger cities are bursting at the seams. We're at record high immigration and it's got to be reviewed. I think immigration levels should settle down much lower than they are at the moment, without cutting humanitarian immigration.

Brown noted that most people do not support the Australian government's plan to boost population from 22 to 36 million by 2050. According to the government, the plan represents a possible 64 percent increase in the nation's population within the next four decades.

This plan has invigorated debate, with one former government official pointing out the obvious: "The Prime Minister might also care to explain why the government is telling us we must reduce our carbon footprint while suggesting we should double the number of feet."

In defending the population increase, the Australian treasurer argued that it would help with their aging society. But, as the Center for Immigration Studies has pointed out, mass immigration is no fix for an aging society. See our video and report on the subject.

The United States faces similar population growth. Based on current immigration policies, the U.S. population will grow from today's 308 million to 468 million by 2060, about 100 million of which would be a consequence of immigration. And that's if Congress doesn't pass an amnesty or increase future legal immigration; remember, one version of the failed amnesty bill of 2006 would have increased the U.S. population by over 100 million within two decades (by 2026).

No rational person would assert that such population growth will not have a significant impact on natural resources, the environment, and quality of life. An honest discussion about immigration – both legal and illegal – is a necessity if one seeks a "greener" nation. Nevertheless, the Green Party in the United States, unlike Australia, is busy pushing mass population growth via illegal alien amnesty, an end to secure borders, and the repealing of all significant immigration laws. While the Green Party's 2004 platform addresses both population and immigration, it addresses them separately and fails to connect the dots.

With such similar agendas, how can the Australian and U.S. Green Parties be on different ends of the spectrum on the immigration issue? Such dramatically different positions cannot simultaneously be the best for the environment. It seems that political correctness and an unwillingness to tackle tough issues may bring the U.S. Green Party's legitimacy into question. The same might be said of the Sierra Club, a group which used to recognize a problem with mass immigration but has since adopted a head-in-the-sand mentality.

Perhaps it's time for U.S. environmentalists to follow the lead of their kin Down Under.