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Environment

When Bigotry is Cloaked

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I've previously discussed how some anti-immigrant factions use green rhetoric as a proxy in their endless quest to "stabilize" population growth in the U.S. Longtime environmental activists tend to wave off this unsavory element within their ranks, as if it was just a few cranks crashing their party. History suggests otherwise. Now, via John Fleck, I see that anti-immigrant zealotry is raising its ugly head in a newly deceptive manner, this time cloaked under concerns for the West's dwindling water supply. Here's how it's expressed through Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS)--and make sure you get your violin out (at my emphasis):

Many San Diego residents are frustrated, like environmentalist and CAPS board member Stuart Hurlbert. He's seen his grass turn brown and his water bills triple. Most frustrating is his contention that San Diego city councils are not including population stabilization in the overall water solution. Hurlbert commented, "San Diego leaders keep talking about ways to tap more water, but they don't talk about ways to stabilize demand for the water. We must stabilize population or water demand will continue to outpace any supply solution we develop."

About that lawn...ah, forget it, let's not talk about water-wasting, lifestyle choices. Let's just get to my favorite part, which is Stuart's solution to save his lawn (and all of San Diego) from turning brown.

In order to stabilize San Diego population, Hurlbert says mass immigration to California must be addressed. "Ninety seven percent of California's population growth is due to immigration and births to immigrants. If we want to stabilize our population we must address the primary source of population growth. And that's immigration."

As Fleck observes:

when these folks express concerns about "immigrants", they don't seem to be talking about people moving in from Oregon.

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