The Green Xenophobes

An interesting article over at the Guardian's Comment is Free blog by Spiked editor and reason contributor Brendan O'Neill, who notices a convergence of Britain's hard-left and hard-right over the issue of immigration:

Some leading environmentalist groups are explicitly anti-immigration. The Optimum Population Trust (OPT) is a scary Malthusian outfit which believes that Britain's population must be cut by half, to no more than 30 million. They propose to do this by making it an "eco-crime" to have large families, by educating the public on why they should stop being dirty little breeders, and by raising the drawbridge to foreigners. Rosamund McDougall, a former co-chair of the OPT, has described mass immigration as "a route to environmental collapse" - and she said that not in some right-leaning rag but in the liberal and respectable webzine Open Democracy. McDougall argued that Britain's "levels of net inward migration are causing rapid environmental deterioration".

The OPT's solution to the "problem" of immigration is to impose strict quotas on the number of people who can come here. It wants to "balance immigration with emigration", so that the number of immigrants who come to Britain each year must be the same or lower than the number of Britons who leave. That is, net immigration must be zero.

Whole thing here.

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  • ||

    There are similar groups in the U.S.

    They find themselves embarrased by all the support they get from the Tancredo crowd, and feel betrayed that envrionmental groups won't touch them with a ten foot pole.

  • Steven Reed||

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  • ||

    Do people realize that implementing a zero population growth policy will mean that eventually you'll wind up with a society that is topheavy with the elderly?

  • dhex||

    "They find themselves embarrased by all the support they get from the Tancredo crowd, and feel betrayed that envrionmental groups won't touch them with a ten foot pole."

    strange bedfellows indeed.

    i wonder if that causes a moment of "if these fucking chuckleheads are on our side on this, have we chosen poorly?" (they'd use "right wing capitalist roaders" or "earth murdering mean sperm people" or something along those lines, but you catch my drift)

  • ||

    The "all environmentalism is local" mentality of such groups is especially revolting.

    Burn down a forest just to grow enough food to scrape out a living? Fine. Live down the street from me? No way!

  • ||

    Actual environmentalists don't think that keeping somebody on the opposite side of an imaginary line eliminates their impact on the environment.

  • highnumber||

    Wasn't this just made into a movie?

  • ||

    Children of Men?

  • Rhywun||

    Do people realize that implementing a zero population growth policy will mean that eventually you'll wind up with a society that is topheavy with the elderly?

    Or not, if the reputation of the NHS is accurate.

  • thoreau||

    In this thread I'll be a bit more nuanced and say that I generally agree with MikeP on immigration, but since my own views on environmentalism are rather complicated I will neither endorse nor criticize MikeP on environmentalism.

  • ||

    Just playing the word substitution game:

    Actual environmentalists economists don't think that keeping somebody on the opposite side of an imaginary line eliminates their impact on the environment economy.

    And, just to play the other side, if a Mexican peasant is leading a life of poverty, pardon me, has a tiny environmental footprint, then comes to the US, meets with moderate success, and acquires a typical US environmental footprint, can we still say that keeping him on the other side of that imaginary line would have had no environmental impact?

  • ||

    Why does anyone pay attnetion to these nutbags to begin with and instead just shun them like they deserve to be?

    Sheesh.

  • WhiteHouse posting comments on||

    Fun fact: a few years ago, the SierraClubFoundation got $100 million from someone who told CarlPope that if they ever "came out AgainstImmigration" they'd never get any more money.

    Suprisingly, CarlPope waged an extremely sleazy campaign against some board nominees who supported limits OnImmigration.

    Lots and lots of coincidences in this issue, aren't there?

    On another note, the link describes an extremely curious story about the WhiteHouse reaching out to a wide variety of blogs to support the SenateBill. And, the NYT previously said the WH had been posting defenses on liberal sites.

    Yet, I've only been able to find three conservative sites that could be possibilities...

    Does three sites sound like a "wide variety" to you? Where are the liberal sites?

    Unless....

  • ||

    Actual environmentalists don't think that keeping somebody on the opposite side of an imaginary line eliminates their impact on the environment.

    There are very few actual enviornmentalists. For most so-called "enviornmentalists", the enviornment is a pretense for centrallized economic planning.

    These are the same people who used to pretend that centralized economic planning was to stop exploitation of the workers, but when it became clear that large capitalist corporations were trying to move to self-proclaimed Marxist countries because the labor could be more easily be exploited in those places, that had to come up with a new justification for socialism.

    The new justification for a government run economy is that capitalism is "destroying the planet". Of course, anyone who has traveled to a socialist or former-socialist country knows that socialism was even worse... but because protecting the enviornment isn't the goal (state economic planning is the goal), it is easy to ignore reality.

    It is not a coincidence that "protecting the enviornment" has suddenly become an issue championed by the left, where as prior to 20 or 30 years ago, "enviornmentalism" (or "conservationism" as it was called at the time), was a pretty much non-partisan issue. 30 years ago you could find conservative enviornmentalists/conservationists, and you could find leftists supporting the mass construction of factories and power plants.

  • ||

    I must admire the refreshing honesty of this environmental group in stating so bluntly that they want most of us dead, so the "natural" world can thrive over our graves. Most environmentalists are far less candid about their goal of replacing humans (though not themselves, of course) with other species.

    Funny how the greenies don't make Chernobyl, with its thriving wildlife, the emblem of their ideal world.

  • ||

    Yawn, Rex. Actually, it's a plot to nail your sister.

    It must be very easy to formulate your position on complex issues if you postulate that only people who agree with you are acting on principled belief and arguing in good faith.

  • ||

    joe says: "It must be very easy to formulate your position on complex issues if you postulate that only people who agree with you are acting on principled belief and arguing in good faith."

    Thank you for that confession, though the more grammatically correct way to phrase that sentence would be, "It IS very easy ..." BTW, what did you think about what Rex Rhino said?

  • ||

    Frankly, I don't think these groups have any meaningful influence. I've lived in Great Britain for two years now, and I've never even heard of the Optimum Population Trust, or the Open Democracy website for that matter.

    Most of the anti-immigration arguments I've heard here are based on cultural issues and, more frequently, post-7/7 security concerns.

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