By Dick Field
Thursday, February 22, 2007
A few commentators have expressed grave concern that the continued importation of millions of immigrants to Canada, the UK, the USA and northern Europe contributes to an ever increasing urban sprawl and the consequent destruction of vital agricultural lands. Even Canada's huge land mass cannot support the density of human occupation that its size would lead one to believe. Most of Canada's land mass is virtually uninhabitable. Compatible cultural integration is also becoming a cause of concern.
Some ninety percent of immigrants take up residence in the major cities. As a consequence, transportation systems are experiencing increasing gridlock and many of our vital social infrastructures are being overwhelmed. Is it not strange that environmentalists, scientists and politicians worry about the destruction of trees and rain forests and yet, for the most part, ignore the destruction of our shrinking productive lands, parks, green areas and the damage created to our societies in terms of quality of life?
What is even stranger however is that these same leaders, who talk so much about global warming, pay no attention to the contribution to global warming caused by massive transfers of immigrant populations, legal and illegal, from tropical and sub tropical climates to northern temperate and frigid climates. Should the world's leaders not begin to factor in the damage to the planet that these huge south to north population transfers create? Let's at least think about this problem.
Every immigrant from a tropical or semi-tropical climate such as the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa, the Indian Sub Continent, Hong Kong, southern China, South East Asia, the Burmese/Malay peninsula, the Philippine archipelago and the Middle East requires huge additional amounts of carbon based energy to survive in North American and European climates. This additional consumption of fossil based energy creates huge amounts of carbon dioxide and other chemicals and hence, atmospheric pollution.
In climates where not much more than a tee shirt and shorts plus minimal housing is needed to stay warm, dry and alive, little consumption of energy is required. However, in cold climates such as Europe, Canada, Russia and most of the United States, the additional consumption of energy for synthetic and natural fibre winter clothing, heated housing, gasoline and diesel powered transportation is enormous.
On a worldwide basis, massive inter-climatic migration from south to north, whether through economic migration or political terror, needs to be examined carefully. While much work needs to be done to accurately assess the dimensions of the problem, here are a few numbers that ought to at least give scientists, environmentalists and politicians cause to reexamine their immigration source and population transfer assumptions.
The annual per capita production of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) by persons living in Canada is 4.35 tons. In comparison, the per capita production of CO2 of a person living in tropical Indonesia is a mere .21 tons (1/20th of a person surviving in Canada). In Mexico the average per capita production of CO2 is 1.01 tons or less than one one-quarter the amount produced by that same person moving to Canada. Even in the highly industrialized but more moderate climate, society of Japan, the production of CO2 per capita is 2.34 tons or approximately 50% less than the same person's output if required to live and survive in Canada. *
Why is this problem being ignored? It is a difficult question to answer but a partial answer may be that the United Nations and its supporting governments, including Canada, have got into the population transfer business as a solution to the overpopulation and economic problems suffered by much of the tropical world.
There is also a myth that because the industrialized western world is "rich" and peaceful, somehow or other it must be responsible for the poverty and political mayhem in large parts of the undeveloped and "poor" third world. The western industrialized world is thereby falsely pressured into engaging in the band-aid solutions of massive immigration and refugee acceptance, no amount of which can ever be massive enough to relieve the population and political pressures of the grossly overpopulated third world.
Governments, in northern climates, especially Canada, northern USA and Europe that look to satisfy their immigration needs by importing untold millions of low energy consumers from warm climate countries and thereby turn them into high energy consumers (and polluters) are acting irresponsibly and must reexamine their assumptions. The whole world is being placed in environmental jeopardy by their carelessness.
By rough calculation, taking into account population transfers to the USA, Canada and Europe, there have been approximately 82,000,000 people brought from Southern climates in the last 40 or so years. Taking an estimated and very conservative factor of 3 additional tons of CO2 per person produced by this interclimatic transfer of population from the south to north is tantamount to adding another 246,000,000 tons of greenhouse gases, annually, to the world's global warming problems.
Canada's South to North contribution has been a population transfer of approximately 4,455,000 people representing an additional 13,650,000 additional unnecessary tons of annual greenhouse gas pollution to Canada's already sorry record. **
What is the alternative to this very damaging economic and political inter-climatic migration with its substantial permanent contribution to the Global Warming? Surely those of us in living in the northern part of the industrialized world need to learn to manage our pollution problems much better than we have done in the past.
Surely our leaders must also become more realistic in respect to immigration planning. Immigration and refugee policies should be carefully reexamined with a view to substantially reducing our ever-expanding interclimatic, south to north, population transfers. While year by year additional tonnages may not seem huge, every year adds permanently to the overall problem and 20, 50, 100 years down the road we will have created an enormous unnecessary problem for ourselves and the world. Is it not about time the world's political leaders and our very voluble environmentalists began to address these troublesome issues? Why have they been silent?
What is the alternative to economic and political inter-climatic migration? The alternative should be to help those warm climate countries, with large potentially migrant populations, to develop their own population carrying capacities. We should continue to help them stabilize their economic and political systems. Our policy should be to help them in situ. The solution is there in their countries, not in our northern countries.
We might also look at changing our taxation and incentive systems to encourage our resident population to increase their family size sufficiently to replace our own populations from within. Less expansive immigration policies should be considered and certainly from less pollution creating sources than mass transfers from southern to northern climates.
Is it not time to carefully examine this much overlooked aspect of contributing factors to the Global Warming problem?
Notes * Statistics dated from 2001 environmental studies supplied by Dr. Richard Hummel, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto.
** Population Statistics (approximated) from current UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, USA, Canada, and other European countries.