Over the transom: Liberals dodge the population-growth question

Published on June 18th, 2015

Paul Munshine
June 18, 2015
As seen in:

Our liberal friends are badly conflicted on the issues of immigration's role in overpopulation.

As I noted in a recent column concerning California, the highway system there is now reaching gridlock due to unrestrained population growth. And immigration is the cause of the net population growth in California.

I wrote a similar column earlier on the drought in California and how population growth can only make it worse. The same of course is true of the environment and open space. When I went to college in California in the 1960s, the state was largely rural
with a few pockets of dense population. I rarely sat in a traffic jam.

The population has tripled since then and the results were entirely predictable- more traffic, less open space and more pressure on the environment.

I don't see how any intelligent person could avoid coming to that conclusion.

But read this letter about my column that appeared in the Thursday Star-Ledger:

"An organization like CAPS doesn't deserve to be defended"
In his June 9 column, Paul Mulshine not only unreasonably scapegoats immigrants for California's drought and traffic jams, he relies on a discredited nativist organization to do so. Mulshine is right that mainstream environmentalists do not accept the group, Californians for Population Stabilization, but he is wrong about the reason.

CAPS is marginalized by the environmental movement because its true focus is stoking anti-immigrant sentiment and advocating against immigration. CAPS has accepted funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has invested in proving the genetic superiority of white people and promoting eugenics. CAPS also shares leadership with—and has taken funding from—a notoriously anti-immigrant network founded by white nationalist John Tanton. Tanton is on record advocating for a "European-American majority" in the U.S.

Mulshine claims that liberals have been cowed into ignoring the environmental impacts of population growth because they don't want to be called racists. In reality, scientists have long since discarded population growth as an explanation for California's drought (and a host of other concerns) in favor of hard evidence.

CAPS scapegoats people of color, ignores scientific evidence and operates with the financial support of eugenicists and white nationalists. It doesn't deserve to be defended.

Lindsay Schubiner is senior program manager for the Center for New Community.

This is a classic case of denial – with a fair bit of character assassination thrown in as well.

The two CAPS members with whom I spoke are respected scientists who come at this from a scientific perspective. Both are politically liberal in every respect.

But notice how the writer attacks them personally rather than addressing the issue.

And the issue is: California's problems can only get worse if the population keeps growing.

That's not my opinion. I live in Jersey and I don't really have any vested interests concerning what happens in California.

Jerry Brown does. He's the governor. And he recently came out and said what I wrote: Population growth can only make future droughts worse:

Gov. Jerry Brown is worried that the Golden State will eventually have too many people for the state's water supplies to support.

Brown made the comments before the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board and also warned that global warming was exacerbating California's drought.

The article is accompanied by a Tweet in which Brown asks "At some point, how many people can we accommodate?"

Perhaps Brown is also a "nativist" – whatever that means. if it means someone who believes the government should put the interests of the country's citizens above those of non-citizens, then I suspect the country is about nine-tenths nativist.

The writers of the above letter should quit with the cheap shots and answer the question of just how much they want California's population to grow.

"At some point, how many people can we accommodate?" – California Gov. Jerry Brown

if they want to see millions more immigrants move there, then let them come right out and say it – and also say what they think that will do to an already overcrowded state that's passed the limits of its natural resources

You are donating to :

How much would you like to donate?
$10 $20 $30
Would you like to make regular donations? I would like to make donation(s)
How many times would you like this to recur? (including this payment) *
Name *
Last Name *
Email *
Additional Note