A co-founder and former editor of the Earth First! Journal, Dave Foreman, once again spotlighted for his association with Apply The Brakes and other anti-immigrant organizations. This time by the Center for New Community’s new article, “Environmentalists Risk Reputations by Aligning with Bigots,” By Jesse Sanes. The following is an excerpt:
In a blog post on the website of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), environmentalist Dave Foreman got a great deal of praise for his recent book Man Swarm [Ravens Eye Press LLC, 2011] and his message of overpopulation reeking havoc on the world’s ecological systems. The author of the article, Leon Kolankiewicz, is a familiar face from anti-immigrant circles. He is both on Tanton-network front group Progressives for Immigration Reform’s advisory team and is an advisory board member of CAPS.
CAPS is California’s leading anti-immigrant organization and is listed on FAIR’s website as a state contact. CAPS, like FAIR, has received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a long history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans through the study of eugenics. Kolankiewicz is also the co-creator of the Sprawl City website, writes for Center for Immigration Studies, and is a former member of Carrying Capacity Network. The Carrying Capacity Network’s president, Virginia Abernethy, is a self-described white separatist.
For Dave Foreman’s part, a long-time ecology activist, he is an Apply the Breaks leader, an organization that helped pioneer the current anti-immigrant co-optation of the environmental movement. He also founded The Rewilding Institute (TWI), which received funding from the Weeden Foundation so that TWI and Apply the Brakes could “work closely […] to get conservation groups and activists to endorse a position recognizing the role of population growth in harming biodiversity and causing climate change.” Click to continue reading the article
While Dave Foreman may be aligning himself with the shit-scum of the earth, the authors of this article come off looking like idiots when they start talking about “Fallacy: Overpopulation is not a real global threat”. Their reasoning for this? If you follow the link that is the word “Fallacy” we see that their reasoning for this is that with increasingly urban populations, the population should top out at a flimsy 9 billion by the year 2050 and drop to 8.3 billion by the year 2175. 9 billion people and 165 years of increasing urbanization and they think we’re gonna make it to 2175!? Talk about a fucking fallacy! While I personally don’t think that overpopulation is an issue we should be organizing around because short of seriously authoritarian measures (or in China’s case, even with them) it’s a losing battle, I think that when leftists say that overpopulation is not a problem they come off looking pretty detached from reality and give the right a certain level of credibility as the only people who will acknowledge the totally obvious (then putting their racist spin on it).
Racial insensity on the part of certain parties (you know how you are) aside, overpopulation is a MAJOR problem. More people means needing more jobs, more houses, more cars, more development, more environmental degradation, more wars. At 7 billion and counting fast, this is one issue that needs to be addressed emphatically and yet is steadfastly ignored to everyone’s peril. Obviously, building Berlin Walls in the dessert and arming vigilante rednecks is not the answer. But a serious worldwide campaign to bring down birth rates is and probably the most difficult environmental challange we face due to our intractible need to procreate at an alarming rate.
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Imagine 2050 is to environmentalism what the American Petroleum Institute is to climate change: an axe-grinding organization for whom perceived reality is whatever it needs to be in order to advance its agenda (which, incidentally, is not connected with environmental sustainability or anything close to it).
Not only is overpopulation AN environmental problem…it is THE environmental problem. There is not a single environmental problem we have that would not go away if human population size reverted to pre-industrialization levels.
In the end, Imagine 2050’s article only succeeds in being self-besmirching. Name-calling is the lowest level of disagreement, something engaged in primarily by those who truly have no competence in the art of logical argument. Being called a “bigot” by Imagine 2050 carries all the sting of being called an “idiot” by Bill O’Reilly.
Steve, it seems we may be close to agreeing here… We view overpopulation as a symptom of industrialization, just as the border wall and militarization spurred by xenophobia are symptoms of industrialization. While we don’t agree with Imagine 2050 on everything, they are correct here in aligning Foreman with the far-right. He’s lost sight of the real priority of the ecological movement that he was once a driving force of–an end to industrialism.
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I guess political and religious correctness have reached the point where it is virtually impossible to talk about overpopulation. Mention that 9 billion people are too many and the Religious Right and immigrant groups are outraged. The effects of too many people, comsumer culture, and the tradition of “dominion” on the nonhumans of this earth apparently do not count. Get over it! Population needs to be controlled. Believing that does not make one a bigot, but the threats of being called a bigot have probably silenced many who support less human growth and more consideration of the other creatures on this earth who have a right to be here.
I have to agree with the seeming consensus here that overpopulation is a huge issue and not one to be overlooked. On that level curbing immigration is not an out-of-blue concept and incorporating such views into a conservationist strategy does not make on a bigot. Such an assertion seems knee-jerk reaction. Further, conservation is not and should not be the sole purview of the left. Dialogue and strategy needs to expand beyond such myopic perspectives.
whenever i hear words like ‘bigot’ i imagine leftist’s shutting their brain down and rolling into a fetal position, rocking softly back and forth. you’re analysis is fatally limited.
I’m disappointed in Earth First!, and the last of my respect I did have for this group is fading fast. Why is Earth First! so hell bent on dragging Dave Foreman’s name through the mud? Get over it, there are far more important things to do with your time. As the comments above have pointed out, the number ONE environmental issue is overpopulation! So how did an article that bases its argument on a denial of this end up on Earth First! website. Is Earth First!’s hatred of Foreman so great that they are willing to allow lies on their website? Or do Earth First!er not know that overpopulation really is a huge deal? If Earth First!ers truly put Earth first then they would not side with a non-environmental group that puts humans above Earth and are willing to lie to do so. Earth First!s actions with this article are not rational for helping the environment. Foreman is probably not on the side of good by siding with anti-immigration folks, but at least he is rational and sticking to his main objective of protecting the Earth!
The corporations proved to be too difficult an opponent for Dave Foreman and his group. Lawsuits and protests only went so far. It’s a lot easier to target a much poorer, politically powerless opponent – the Mexicans.
First of all, I am mightily tired of the “bigot” card and the “race” card. Political correctness makes it impossible to discuss real issues without this bullying tactic, which tends to just shut down the discourse. Everyone familiar with Dave Foreman’s work knows he is serious about the health of this planet and its environment. There was a time, a few decades ago, when it was possible to talk about overpopulation and its effects and consequences. Now it seems to be an inappropriate topic for discussion. We are approaching 9 billion people. We are using up, though development, logging, mineral extraction, ranching, etc., thousands of acres of land. We are driving wild animals to extinction and allowing others to die of starvation, to be eliminated as “pests” for entering urban neighborhoods, and sending others to die in the path of vehicles as they try to cross constantly growing roads and freeways. Our electrical grid is old, as is most of the infrastructure in this country. We are spending a fortune on war and defense, and we plain just cannot keep growing. Unfortunately, we also cannot save everyone from a overpopulated, corrupt, or failed state. We cannot convince churches that birth control would be a good idea for all the people in those countries. And we cannot go on shouting bigotry and racism every time someone tries to point out the truth.
Incredulous response. How are you unable to see that the comment points out exactly what is wrong. When people get tired of blaming the actual powers that be they go to the people that is easiest to blame. That is racist. Why only worry about the United States anyways, should people not worry about other countries and the fact that we have destroyed other countries landscapes and occupations which is why people come here.
@Marcia Mueller – I am mightily tired of people spinning racism and bigotry as “cards” instead of the actual social forces that they are. Anyone who is actually truly concerned about overpopulation, they should be aware that there are two forces driving it:
1) poverty to the point of lessened life expectancy, and
2) women not having power over their reproductive choices.
These factors have been know for decades. If you’re not working on those, you’re not working on overpopulation.
When so-called overpopulation activists are instead devoting their energies and resources on immigration, Trumpanzee walls, and other things that directly contribute to #1 and #2 up there, one certainly has to wonder what the real motivation is. Since so much dehumanizing rhetoric goes along with these energies and resources, it is only natural to consider racism and bigotry to be part of the problem.
If and when the United States “damaged” other countries, then we should help those countries so that the lives of their citizens will improve and their people will want to remain there . The churches that demand adherence to their medieval dogma banning birth contro need to not only revoke that belief but more actively help those in need. However, this country cannot make up for every evil in overpopulated, poor countries. If we open our borders to everyone that wants to come here, then we will be totally overpopulated too. Our resources are not limitless. We will degrade our environment further. We will have more people than jobs (millions of people here are already unemployed and underemployed) and poverty will increase. This country will begin to look like the countries people are eager escape. Immigration is not the answer. The politics, social policies, and religious beliefs of overpopulated and poor countries must change. Those countries cannot continue to use America as a safety valve to siphon off their dissatisfied citizens.
im not sure how anti-immigration solves overpopulation. instead of dying in american slums, killed by american police officers, they starve to death at an imaginary border? brutally suppressed by amerikkkan government workers? yes, overpopulation is an issue, but lets say that we destroyed cars, oil traffickers, asphalt, smog dealers, and the american lifestyle. instead of energy spent on waste, it would be spent on human lives. we have the technology to sustain the people we have, and sustain future generations. there is no need for a mass genocide, or sentencing the poor and the starving to death simply because they are alive. in conclusion, destroy the border. destroy xenophobia, destroy capitalism and maybe the bodies of the oppressors will fertilize mother earth’s rebirth. xoxo – chinga la migra