To be Anti Growth is to be Pro humanity
DeGrowth or Bust – The Implications for our Immigration Policy
Do you consider this a radical thought? Being pro continual exponential growth is like being pro cancer: it means you worship the God of Growth at any cost – even you own death. Now, there are implications if you realize that worshiping the God of Growth as we do now – implications that require action. One of the more uncomfortable realizations for Canadians is to realize that our well meaning pro immigration policies simply feed into our exponential demand for the energy and materials that are the cause of the climate disaster, 6th mass extinction and housing affordability crisis. It means that if you truly love people, you know that the only way everybody can get the quality of life they deserve is to have fewer of us. A recent article by Karen Shragg says it well:
For too many years unjustified accusations have flown at those of us who have been beating the overpopulation drum. At best we are told we only care about trees and wildlife at the expense of human rights at worst we are labeled racists and just plain anti-human. This is an expedient way to shut down a much-needed conversation, avoid the truth and any hope of solving what is behind our booming environmental crisis.
Just label the ecologically aware as unfair to the poor and marginalized and you don’t have to pay attention to what they (we) are saying. As Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character would say, “Isn’t that special!” or more appropriately, “How conveeeenient”. If our intentions as overpopulation activists are deemed nefarious, no one has to listen or accept blame for things going south so quickly. The truth is, If we truly were anti-human and racist our best approach to this issue would be to remain silent and just watch the collapse of all we hold dear progress.
What Canada’s incredibly high immigration rates are doing, at this stage of history [it is vital to understand that 2022 is not 1950 or 1870 – the world is a completely different place – it’s crowded!], is actually decreasing the quality of life for many Canadians. As metaphor consider this: my father in law could, as a blue collar worker in Montreal in 1960, easily afford some land for a cottage in the Laurentians. No longer, now you have to be rich. That is wrong. Now most families need two incomes to be middle class: how has that improved our quality of life? We are crowded. Many say that there is lots of empty space, yet, but much of it is unliveable! The Arctic and Antarctic and Sahara desert are empty too – for good reasons! The reality is that immigration and subsequent housing demand are simply to keep the economy afloat and to keep wages low for many and thus inevitably concentrate more wealth with the super wealthy. There is no conspiracy here – just watch the recent CACOR zoom presentation from June 15 on Our Money System by Virginia Hammon at https://canadiancor.com/virginia-hammon-money-matters-a-fulcrum-for-change-cacor-zoom-presentation-2022-06-15/
Not only that, given the reality that we are the 1st or 2nd largest per capita emitter in the world, every time we “help” somebody come here, we are adding to global GHG emissions. What does that means? We have to shut down the Tar Sands. Are we even trying to do that? No. Why? Because without it our petro currency collapses. We don’t produce enough other products of high value to keep up our standard of living. And what else keeps our unsustainable economy going. Mass immigrations and resultant building construction required. No, the fact is that Canada has a very high immigration not to save the World, but to save our Ponzi like economy from collapsing. Per capita GHG emmssions in Canada are 18.58 tons/hr , the world avg is 4.79 and India is 1.91 tons/yr. Immigration has become like a drug to the economy, without it, we will suffer from severe withdrawl symptoms. For example, one unintended consequence of relying in immigration to solve our problems is that we rely on foreign trained professionals to fill up jobs for which we have not educated native Canadians. As an educator I find this particularly galling. How is that although we have the highest rate of post secondary attendance in the world, and yet we constantly have skill shortages? Whether is be Doctors/Nurses or Electricians/Plumbers – we just don’t seem to have the people. And yet we have lots of people – just not enough skilled ones. The current unaffordable housing crisis is a case in point of how we solve short term problems, like a skills shortage, but create a longer term problem – in this case unaffordable housing and an economy that over relies on housing to keep the GDP, the God of Growth, growing. These two graphs tell it all.
Note: graph above from 2015 – BEFORE the current disastrous price increases!
The following graph if form 2019 – once again, from BEFORE the current housing price rises.
Now, of course, if we want to live as crowded as India or Hong Kong we can do that, but it would mean a completely different way of life, a way of life of what most of us would consider of a lower quality. It would also mean a change in our housing. For example, if Canada continues it mass immigration policy we will need more public housing, in high rises, as Hong Kong as done: In 2020, Hong Kong had the most expensive residential property market worldwide, with an average property price of 1.25 million U.S. dollars. The government of Hong Kong provide public housing for lower-income residents and almost 45 percent of the Hong Kong population lived in public permanent housing in 2018. Does it work? Yes. Are there any wild places left in Hong Kong or India? None [Hong Kong] or very few [India]. Is this the quality of life that most Canadians aspire to? Probably not.
It gets worse. As I tell my students when I teach History: follow the money. Once upon a time Canadians were famous for being cautious and being savers. No more. Take a look. How do you think this is going to end? Why is this happening? We demand more. Everything costs more but our wages are not keeping up. We are clearly now in a dog eat dog rat race kind of life, what most of us can see is a lower quality of life in that it has more stresses and a demand that we work more and more just to pay the basic bills.
[2019 -it is worse now!]
It’s our choice. We can continue to worship the God of Growth and be anti-human and pro mass immigration, with the implications of accelerated species extinction and accelerate climate disasters, or we can choose to move towards building a truly sustainable economy where we all live within our means and are pro-humanity. Here is another excellent article by Karen Shragg that makes this point clear:
Growth as Our Narrative is a Superstition and Its Bad for US
The Britannica Dictionary defines a superstition as “a belief or way of behaving that is based on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck.” Our faith in growth as progress toward a better world is delusional on that level. It is pure superstition to believe that we can keep adding to our population and believe that life will be better for all. If one further defines superstition as a steadfast belief which causes unintended or intended suffering, then the addiction to a pattern of endless growth in a limited place certainly qualifies.
In the Canadian context there are two obvious changes we need to make to be truly pro-human and pro-Mother Earth: shut down the Tar Sands and have a stable population so that our economy can wean itself of exponential growth – as this growth is now really just a death wish. If you are pro-human as I am there is no other choice.