Close the Borders! Immigrants Emit Greenhouse Gases!

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Greenhouse gases have apparently become the boogeyman for any and all issues. For example, the folks at the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies have just issued a report that warns that immigrants emit more greenhouse gases than if they had stayed at home mired in poverty.

http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/bok/wp-content/uploads/boktrans/070624.jpg

Among the Center's startling findings is:

…immigrants in the United States produce an estimated four times more CO2 in the United States as they would have in their countries of origin.

U.S. immigrants produce an estimated 637 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually - equal to Great Britain and Sweden combined.

The estimated 637 tons of CO2 U.S. immigrants produce annually is 482 million tons more than they would have produced had they remained in their home countries.

If the 482 million ton increase in global CO2 emissions caused by immigration to the United States were a separate country, it would rank 10th in the world in emissions…

Legal immigrants have a much larger impact because they have higher incomes and resulting emissions, and they are more numerous than illegal immigrants.

These figures are likely to be true. But is keeping people poor by depriving us of their labor and skills really the best way to address man-made global warming? 

NEXT: 'The Citizens Deserve Peace'—but Not Freedom

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  1. Whoa! That was weird.

  2. I’m going to steal your comment, TWC.

    It’s the frijoles, man!

  3. Yeah, there’s a big linguistic difference between immigrants emitting greenhouse gases and living a lifestyle that produces them.

  4. Wow, Naga, that really was weird. Do you think I’ve been censored?

    Or do you think not everybody is as happy to see me as you were?

  5. Whoa! My comment disappeared into the ether. I wonder if it got transplanted onto another thread.

  6. You must adopt an upper-middleclass white urbanite lifestyle or face the consequences! I could probably afford to ride my bike everywhere if I was a yuppy living off a trust fund in a gentrified part of town. Unfortunately, thats not the case.

  7. I guess they’re not even pretending to just oppose illegal immigration anymore.

  8. “…anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies…”

    I am curious, are they opposed to all immigration, or just the type that involves the breaking of numerous laws of this country? Imagine that, a group that opposes law breakers entering this country.

  9. But is keeping people poor by depriving us of their labor and skills really the best way to address man-made global warming?

    I thought keeping people poor was the central tenet to environmentalism.

  10. TWC,

    Clearly the reason staff is upset about your involvement with the new X-Files movie.

  11. Brandybuck,

    But you would be rich in nature’s wisdom.

  12. Clearly the reason staff is upset about your involvement with the new X-Files movie.

    What? Did he actually go see it?

  13. The “weirdness” that some of you experienced earlier on in trying to post comments was the result of difficulties in getting the cartoon to embed. Thus, I had to keep taking the post down and then re-posting it. Sorry.

  14. B,

    Are all criminals the same?

    Or is their criminality delineated by the severity of the crime and the justness of the law in question?

    Just curious.

  15. This has to be the best anti-immigrant argument I’ve ever heard. If by best you mean funniest.

    How much further can we take this? Immigrants are more likely to make enough money to own a car in the US than in their home contries, raising the chances that they will be involved in a car accident. Immigrants are more likely to have better health care in the US, so they are less likely to die young of preventable diseases and more likely to die from lung-cancer or complications from diabetes.

  16. But is keeping people poor by depriving us of their labor and skills really the best way to address man-made global warming?

    That’s more or less the accepted position these days, right?

  17. Immigrants have a better chance of being employed in the US than in their home countries, so they have a higher chance of dying on the job.

  18. This is old news. The Sierra Club had a vote on whether to discourage immigration from poor countries because of this several years ago. It failed.

  19. The anti-immigration types may use greenhouse gases as an excuse to oppose immigration, but the truth is that the misanthropic gorebull warming freaks want us all to enjoy the lifestyle consistent with the immigrant’s countries of origin. Everyone of course, with the exception of their elitist selves.

  20. NEW STUDY: The Center for Immigration Studies emits more greenhouse gases by existing, conducting studies, and issuing press releases that it would if it didn’t exist at all.

    Disband now! It’s for the (white, middle-class) children!!

  21. B | August 13, 2008, 2:45pm | #
    “…anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies…”

    I am curious, are they opposed to all immigration, or just the type that involves the breaking of numerous laws of this country?

    Reading the fucking article would have answered that for you.

    Legal immigrants have a much larger impact because they have higher incomes and resulting emissions, and they are more numerous than illegal immigrants.

  22. I am curious, are they opposed to all immigration, or just the type that involves the breaking of numerous laws of this country? Imagine that, a group that opposes law breakers entering this country.

    That’s easy enough to find out. Let’s just change the laws to allow entry to everyone. If fealty to the letter of the law is indeed their real concern, I presume they (and you) would see no problems with this as the immigrants would no longer be “law breakers.”

    If this is not the case, then they (and you) should stop hiding behind the question begging “illegal” rhetoric. Just exactly what should and shouldn’t be illegal is the fundamental point in question in the immigration debate.

  23. A single 1952 Buick in Havana probably throws off more pollution than fifty 1990’s Hondas in San Diego.

    Put that in yer pipe and smoke it, Lefty.

  24. Of course, the best way to combat greenhouse gases is to drive American citizens into poverty and adopting the lifestyles the poor illegal immigrants enjoy in their native countries. But who would advocate that? oh, wait…

  25. Sadly predictable that the thread would be full of people who read a statement from an ANTI-IMMIGRANT GROUP which uses an environmental argument as a fig leaf for its anti-immigration agenda, and think it’s a statement from environmentalists.

    You know, I hear those environmentalists want to eat kittens, too.

  26. P Brooks,

    Are you counting the c02 in your calculation?

    Are you calculating the decrease in global warming that results from the contribution to global dimming that the particulate pollution causes?

    As for the topic at hand, maybe this anti-immigration group is really just a front for these elusive environmentalists-that-want-you-all-in-poverty that everyone keeps talking about (but I never see).

    Keeping labor out of the country is one way to put a drag on our economy, which I am told would reduce our co2 footprint…so this group gets double-super-duper carbon credits when they effectively close off the border.

    Or something.

  27. Or, what joe said.

    Yummy kittens skins are raised with no impact on the environment.

    *You just feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats and keep the cat skins for nuthin’

    *pop culture quiz

  28. Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. NEVER GO HIGHER THAN MEDIUM HIGH! Add kitten skins and season well with the seasoning salt. Fry, turning as needed to keep from burning. When brown and crispy, remove, drain on paper towel and serve. Does not yield many bites, but served to somone special, it conveys your loving feelings! Believe me, this IS good. Just give it a try.

    From the environmentalist cookbook.

  29. From: J sub D
    To: Center for Immigration Studies
    Subj: Hysterical propoganda

    Re: Your August 2008 Report “Immigration to the United States and World-Wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions”

    Wow! Anti-immigrantion and global warming hysteria. In the same report, no less.
    I’m impressed.

    Now take your pro-poverty aganda and kindly fuck off.

    R/
    J sub D

  30. I’ve heard that the well-fed eat more than the starving, too, addding to the food crisis.

  31. Our 32 branches serve Krispy Kitten Skins with less environmental impact than any other fast food chain.

    Krispy Kitten Kitchens…your environmentally friendly choice for a Krunchy Lunch.

  32. These figures are likely to be true.

    N\baily, when I see estimates like that, I have to take it with a grain of salt. Look at this for a second:

    http://blog.wired.com/cars/2008/04/olympic-torch-e.html

    You guessed it, by plane — an Air China A330 custom painted with the Olympic logo and color scheme. The A330 burns 5.4 gallons of fuel per mile. That translates into 462,400 gallons for the entire trip. With Earthlab estimating that every gallon of jet fuel burned produces 23.88 pounds of CO2, the Olympic Torch Relay is adding about 11 million pounds of carbon to the atmosphere. That’s 5,500 tons.

    Just ask yourself, how can a gallon of fuel create more pounds of CO2 emissions than the unconsumed gallon of fuel actually weighs? I’ve seen similar bizarre claims for motor vehicle carbon consumption when comparing emissions per year with the actual fuel purchased in that time.

  33. Krispy Kitten Kitchens,

    Are they free range kittens?

  34. You know, I hear those environmentalists want to eat kittens, too.

    Well if it would lower someone’s carbon footprint, I could see them advocating it.

    So how is it that they emit more co2? Is it all the greenhouse gases emitted from all those refried beans? Is it because the exhale so much co2 from, like, you know, working so hard picking potatoes and landscaping? Do caucasian immigrants emit less co2 than hispanic immigrants?

    Damn I just didn’t know those immigrants were so damn gassy.

  35. Just ask yourself, how can a gallon of fuel create more pounds of CO2 emissions than the unconsumed gallon of fuel actually weighs? I’ve seen similar bizarre claims for motor vehicle carbon consumption when comparing emissions per year with the actual fuel purchased in that time.

    Ask a chemist. A KG of coal, completely burnt, will produce >3 KG of CO2. I’m unsure of the specifics of jet fuel combustion. How much water is produced etc.

  36. Ask a chemist. A KG of coal, completely burnt, will produce >3 KG of CO2. I’m unsure of the specifics of jet fuel combustion. How much water is produced etc.

    No fundamental laws of physics are rendered meaningless in the process?

  37. A KG of coal, completely burnt, will produce >3 KG of CO2.

    Is it because burning involves combining the carbon in the coal with oxygen in the air?

  38. Neu Mejican: these elusive environmentalists-that-want-you-all-in-poverty that everyone keeps talking about (but I never see).

    Have you tried googling “overconsumption”? There’s this old paper by Maurice King urging the “deliberate quest of poverty” published in the Lancet few years back:

    There needs to be a major change in the structural relations between North and South, as well as within each of them. Most difficult for those in the industrial North, with its unsustainable economy, a sustainable lifestyle means consumption control-intensive energy conservation, fewer unnecessary journeys, more public transport,- fewer, smaller, slower cars, warmer clothes, and colder rooms. It also means much more recycling and a more environmentally friendly diet with more joules to the hectare. The deliberate quest of poverty (for the privileged North the reduction of luxurious resource consumption) has an honoured history. Sustainability supports this, and means that any further increase in living standards must be achieved in a way that does not increase resource consumption, and may require that consumption be reduced.

    The Center for Biological Conservation’s Paul Ehrlich hints at it with his latest book:

    Silence on the overconsumption (Affluence) factor in the I=PAT equation is more readily explained. Consumption is still viewed as an unalloyed good by many economists, along with business leaders and politicians, who tend to see jacking up consumption as a cure-all for economic ills. Too much unemployment? Encourage people to buy an SUV or a new refrigerator. Perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell, but third-rate economists can’t think of anything else. Some leading economists are starting to tackle the issue of overconsumption, but the problem and its cures are tough to analyze. Scientists have yet to develop consumption condoms or morning-after-shopping-spree pills.

    And I’ll have to dig around to find the reference, but I did attend a conference at which a German environmental foundation specifically came out for drastically reduced material standards of living. I’ll get back to you sometime on that.

  39. No fundamental laws of physics are rendered meaningless in the process?

    No. Familiarize yourself with stoichiometry.

  40. RCD,
    Of course. We all took chemistry in HS. Hydrocarbons also produce water when the hydrogen combines with oxygen and I’m too friggin’ lazy to look in up.

  41. Greenhouse gases have apparently become the boogeyman for any and all issues.

    Any kid who shows up at my house dress as “carbon” for Halloween gets no candy whatsoever.

  42. I thought keeping people poor was the central tenet to environmentalism

    It is not the central tenet, but it is a central tenet.

    It also happens to be a major bonus for the anti-immigration groups.

    Strange Bedfellows.

  43. This is an example of trying to get your way “by hook or by crook.” And trying to twist the environmental agenda to serve the anti-immigration agenda seems about as crooked as it gets. Wow.

  44. RCD,
    Of course. We all took chemistry in HS. Hydrocarbons also produce water when the hydrogen combines with oxygen and I’m too friggin’ lazy to look in up.

    Exactly. The calculation is more than just a one to one plus combinant in the 23.88 lb. estimate.

  45. Ask a chemist. A KG of coal, completely burnt, will produce >3 KG of CO2. I’m unsure of the specifics of jet fuel combustion. How much water is produced etc.

    Well, assume coal’s around 50% carbon, so it’s closer to half that.

    Carbon atomic weight: 12 amu
    Oxygen atomic weight: 16 amu
    CO2 weight: 12 + 16*2 = 44 amu
    CO2/carbon ratio: 44/12 = 11/3
    CO2 output per kg coal: 11/3 * 50% = 11/6 or ~1.8 kg

    What’s probably more relevant, though, is carbon dioxide output per unit of energy.

  46. Damn stoichemetry. God I hated all the time I wasted in my chemistry classes with ugly females when I should have taken political science courses with their unusually hot female students!

  47. how much CO2 is released with the burning of 3kg of kittens?

  48. You know, I hear those environmentalists want to eat kittens, too.

    Only domesticated kittens.

  49. From fueleconomy.gov

    It seems impossible that a gallon of gasoline, which weighs about 6.3 pounds, could produce 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) when burned. However, most of the weight of the CO2 doesn’t come from the gasoline itself, but the oxygen in the air.

    When gasoline burns, the carbon and hydrogen separate. The hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water (H2O), and carbon combines with oxygen to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

    A carbon atom has a weight of 12, and each oxygen atom has a weight of 16, giving each single molecule of CO2 an atomic weight of 44 (12 from carbon and 32 from oxygen).

    Therefore, to calculate the amount of CO2 produced from a gallon of gasoline, the weight of the carbon in the gasoline is multiplied by 44/12 or 3.7.

    Since gasoline is about 87% carbon and 13% hydrogen by weight, the carbon in a gallon of gasoline weighs 5.5 pounds (6.3 lbs. x .87).

    We can then multiply the weight of the carbon (5.5 pounds) by 3.7, which equals 20 pounds of CO2!

  50. To be specific, from the American Coal Foundation

    Anthracite is coal with the highest carbon content, between 86 and 98 percent

    Bituminous coal has a carbon content ranging from 45 to 86 percent

    Ranking below bituminous is subbituminous coal with 35-45 percent carbon content

  51. More economic idiocy from Reason.

    1. The great majority of those coming here don’t contribute to our economy much. They do, however, make life easier for certain people, and thus you see posts like this.

    2. If Reason really cares about improving ThirdWorld conditions (give me a break), allowing the ThirdWorld to move here is not the way to do it. It’s 3rd grade-level, KerryHowley-style thinking at its worst. (No doubt there are many 3rd graders who can figure out that Reason’s plan won’t work, so I’m not referring to all 3rd graders).

    3. Reason is implying that any contributions outweigh environmental concerns. IOW, they’re making a calculation, and saying that MassiveImmigration is worth it. But, they aren’t factoring in everything involved in this issue, such as PoliticalCorruption, giving more PoliticalPower to ForeignGovernments, and so on. That’s not intellectually honest.

    If Reason wants to be intellectually honest for a change, they can calculate all the costs and all the benefits. Don’t expect them to do that, since they’re just intellectually dishonest hacks.

    As for Nigel Watt’s comment about the SierraClub, FollowTheMoney.

    In fact, I recommend FollowingTheMoney in regards to most things you read from Reason.

  52. Fossil fuel chemistry 101 is dismissed. Be sure to read the assigned literature before Friday.

  53. Lonewacko,

    Read this article
    Ill and in Pain, Detainee Dies in U.S. Hands

    Then go fuck yourself with a keyhole saw.

  54. Paul are you sure you don’t mean free range kittens? Or maybe that’s only the animal activist groups.

  55. Ron Bailey,

    That Lancet article is like 18 years old, so I will not bother reading it to see if it advocates poverty for all…

    As for Erlich & Erlich, they seem to be advocating sustainable population growth rather than poverty…heck, they even mention the problem of underconsumption (poverty) as a motivation to tackle unsustainable population growth.

    I am not saying they are correct in their analysis, but to say that they advocate poverty is disingenuous at best.

  56. According to the KKK website,

    The kittens are free range, fed on free range rats, who are fed on the kitten parts not eaten.

    It is a closed loop with no environmental impact.

    Krispy Kitten Kitchen’s Krispy Kitten Skins are not only tastee, but guilt free.

  57. I am not saying they are correct in their analysis, but to say that they advocate poverty is disingenuous at best.

    And drug warriors do not specifically advocate imprisonoing large numbers of minorities. They merely ignore the effects of the policies they espouse.

  58. nice calculation there, Tbone.

    Damn that fatass oxygen!

  59. Some racist dipshits are gonna google KKK, find this thread and be sorely disappointed.

  60. Regarding “over/underconsumption” there was a bunch of noise on the solar energy thread yesterday about environmentalists ignoring the trade-offs inherent in our decisions.

    I don’t see that.

    If anything, environmentalism as movement is about highlighting the trade-offs inherent in our economic decisions.

    Questioning the relative value of the various outcomes of economic decisions is not the same as advocating for poverty or an end to economic activity. Hence all the talk about internalizing the environmental costs of those decisions. Environmentalism is, at its roots, an attempt to solve a free-rider problem…placing a spot light on costs that others have traditionally ignored.

  61. JsubD,

    Some racist dipshits are gonna google KKK, find this thread and be sorely disappointed.

    Shhhh…that was my secret goal.
    I love disappointing racists.

  62. I guess in the end, though, racists are always disappointing.

    Whether I love them or not.

    ;^)

  63. any further increase in living standards must be achieved in a way that does not increase resource consumption, and may require that consumption be reduced

    Does this advocate for a reduction or an increase in living standards?

    Is it about goals or means?

  64. Krunchy Kittens Kitchens would appear to have a serious entropy problem with their business model.

  65. Krunchy Kittens Kitchens would appear to have a serious entropy problem with their business model.

    One that has been solved by the fine folks at Krispy Kitten Kitchens. Don’t settle for Krunch Kitten Skins when you can have Krispy Kitten Skins

    They also use the composted feces from the process to run their friers.

    BTW,

    Everyone seems to have failed the pop culture quiz…

    Am I too old, or too young for this crowd?

    Or both.

    Or does Minneapolis have no cultural memory?

  66. Neu,
    If we were to chart countries per capita GDP, caloric intake, life expectancy, and energy consumption wouldn’t those bar graphs look remarkably similar?

    I haven’t done it. But I know they will.

  67. We all took chemistry in HS.

    Well, I was interested in chemistry in high school, but not the kind you’re writing about.

    If anything, environmentalism as movement is about highlighting the trade-offs inherent in our economic decisions.

    Sure, but as a political movement environmentalism seems remarkably resistant to such trade-offs as (i) the unintended consequences of, and (ii) the opportunity costs of, any top-down/government intervention in the economy.

  68. any further increase in living standards must be achieved in a way that does not increase resource consumption, and may require that consumption be reduced

    Does this advocate for a reduction or an increase in living standards?

    Neither; it proposes a prohibition on any increases in living standards unless certain arbitrary requirements are met. Its likely effect, then, would be to retard (can you still say that?) any increase in living standards.

  69. Or does Minneapolis have no cultural memory?

    Neu,

    You cannot use Minneapolis and culture in the same sentence and expect to be taken seriously.

    After the Mary Tyler Moore show (filmed in California), what?

  70. JsubD,

    I would expect a high correlation.

    I would predict some interesting places where this broke down, however.

  71. RC Dean,

    Neither; it proposes a prohibition on any increases in living standards unless certain arbitrary requirements are met. Its likely effect, then, would be to retard (can you still say that?) any increase in living standards.

    1) The proposed standards are not arbitrary.
    2) It seems as likely to spur innovations in technology to meet the demands of the new market conditions as it is to retard increases in living standards.

    … glass half empty vs. half full I guess.

  72. JsubD,

    After the Mary Tyler Moore show (filmed in California), what?

    Interesting that you chose that example.
    It serves as a clue…not the Mary Tyler Moore show, per se, but the theme song to it.

    Who has covered that song
    Do you remember?

    Hints abound.

  73. Who has covered that song

    Wet wet wet. Scottish band.

    Do you remember?

    No, I googled.

    Hints abound.

    I fail at today’s pop culture pop quiz. I did pretty good in Fossil Fuel Chemistry 101 though.

  74. I fail at close italics tags and preview as well.

  75. That’s okay, it makes no sense at all anyway

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makes_No_Sense_At_All

    The line is from a Husker Du song:”How to Skin a Cat”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Day_Rising

  76. ZOOM!
    Over my head.

  77. Environmentalism is, at its roots, an attempt to solve a free-rider problem…placing a spot light on costs that others have traditionally ignored.

    I would argue that’s the Social Realist depiction of Environmentalism. I think it can also be said that there’s a lot (I won’t postulate how much) of environmentalism that creates red-herring costs so that development is slowed.

    Few would argue that dumping toxins into a river had a cost that was being ignored– until it couldn’t be ignored anymore: Damage to the environment, sick people, dead wildlife.

    But environmentalism has taken on a kind of voodoo-politics. A series of byzantine hurdles that have to be jumped through that don’t necessarily make major differences to the health of the environment, and sometimes may even be detrimental to same.

  78. Krunchy Kittens Kitchens would appear to have a serious entropy problem with their business model.

    They also have been restricted from openning up in certain neighborhoods in south central LA.

  79. The best way to help the environment is for Al Gore and all his minions to kill themselves.

    Just think how much they could reduce the carbon footprint if they weren’t so selfish.

  80. cutting edge internet humor

  81. Lonewacko has the economics degree from Shithead U. We are all capitalizing on teh dishwashers. Whoo hoo. Its the big corporasuns that want the immigrants. Not the farmers! Not the small businesses! not the constructionsers. Its the politicalPOwers! We is the dumbness. They wants them for to make MexicanGovment teh power. Dont u all get its?

  82. *laugh* That was way too much.

    Next they’ll go after chili cookoffs for their contribution to methane gas production.

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