Recycling Is Great; What about Fewer People?

Published on April 27th, 2011

University of Pacific, in Stockton, CA, has come up with a novel idea to support environmental sustainability. This year, at its May 7 commencement service, UOP grads will wear gowns made totally from recycled bottles, 23 of them to be exact. After the ceremony ends, students can dispose of their caps and gowns in special recycle bins placed around the campus. This won’t be the only “green” gesture at the annual graduation event. All the programs will be printed on recycled paper and individuals will be on hand that day to make sure that any waste produced by the event will be properly sorted and recycled. According to UOP Provost Maria Palavicini, who applauded her students for their commitment to sound ecological practices, “The look and feel of the gowns to be worn on graduation day are nearly identical to those worn in the past. We are proud that our students are carrying their passion forward as they enter the next stages of their lives.” But will the students “in the next stages of their lives” carry forward an understanding of how immigration will adversely affect their personal and professional existences? UOP is, like every other California college and university, a politically correct diverse institution with a firm, unquestioning commitment to more immigration. The website includes several announcements of pro-immigration related events. UOP’s commencement speaker is the former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox. Many of UOP’s 6,000 students came from Stockton, a 52 percent minority city with multicultural high schools. I taught some of those students in neighboring Lodi. I had one hard and fast rule. Since my position as an immigration restrictionist was well known throughout the school district, I never mentioned immigration unless my students brought it up first. I didn’t want to convey the impression that I used my classroom as a forum to advance my philosophy When our conversations got around to the environmental impact of immigration, as they often did around Earth Day, I told them that every immigrant shares at least one thing in common with every native-born American. We all need to be nurtured—food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe, schools to educate, hospitals to cure and roads to drive. Every additional person strains those resources. If, as we are continuously told, immigrants come to the United States “for a better life,” that means they’re here as consumers, something America doesn’t need more of. The federal government can’t control how many children families have. But it can legislate how many immigrants arrive each year. A more restrictive immigration policy means an improved quality of life for everyone. I like to think those few moments made an impression. No one argued any of my points. Maybe they quietly agreed with me. My former students went on to UOP and the UC campuses. They know enough today to recycle cans. I just hope they remember the much more important lesson I tried to teach them–that fewer people, including immigrants, is the lasting solution to easing environmental pressure.

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