Friday, December 10, 2010

Diversity and the Environment

One test of the truth of a statement that I often find myself using is to imagine what the world would necessarily look like if that statement was true, and to then determine whether the world in fact is consistent with that state. Similarly, when dealing with people's professed beliefs, I look for what I'd expect to see if I took their statements at face value and conclude provisionally that they actually believe what they say if I see a consistent state. In practice, I exempt people below about two standard deviations from the mean in intelligence from this sort of rigor in my own version of a soft bigotry of low expectations :-)

Recently I talked with a colleague of mine at work. This guy was particularly notable because until about a year ago, he'd never owned an automobile and never had even a driver's license. He biked pretty much everywhere or took public transit. He's also married and has a couple of kids. If ANYONE can claim orthopraxis on environmental issues, it's him--although, amusingly, I've never heard even a peep about such things from him despite my inference that he's SWPL from his visible cultural markers.

Just recently though, he got a driver's license and a car, and, I felt compelled to ask him why, given his known history. He told me that he no longer felt safe taking his little kids on the light rail anymore. He attributed the reason to 'too many apartments', but, we all know that's just code, although I obviously didn't pin him on that. This should seriously concern anyone who fancies themselves an environmentalist or a public transit fan. Here you have someone who's way, way out there---probably +3 sigmas or more from the mean in environmental orthopraxis, and they're abandoning you because of diversity (of the sort less benign than that discussed a couple posts ago). If you want people like him to use public transportation---and he's about the easiest target you're going to get---you have to insulate them when they use it from any sort of intimidation, be it physical, verbal, social, cultural, or olfactory. Calling guys like him crypto-racists or other such won't get you anywhere. Hell, for all I know, he's listening to Radio Reaction in his new car now.

This sort of diversity and the lack of proper management thereof is also a major factor in what people term 'white flight' (i.e., the disintegration of most of the cores of most of our major cities). This has been an economic nightmare and, if you subscribe to environmentalism, an environmental disaster also. Consider this:

People who commute long distances use much more gasoline than those that do not. Commutes also make people unhappy---about the only robust finding honestly of 'happiness research'. This also increases the sprawl of a city and the environmental footprint thereof. Deal with the causes of this white flight and you'll see a lot shorter average commutes---that is, if you care about the environment more than the supposed wonders of diversity. People would also walk a lot more, which would help a lot in dealing with the insane levels of obesity that prevail in today's society relative to when I was growing up.

Most (nearly all) of the population increase in the US in recent years is due to immigration, illegal and otherwise. Pretty much everyone who immigrates to the US has a larger environmental footprint here than where they left. Many also have a larger TFR as well. If you claim to care about the environment, particularly if you are a AGW/CC true believer, you are REQUIRED to care about this. What's your equation? IMPACT = Population*Affluence*Technology---gee, let's boost both P and A and expect less Impact. Maybe the engineers will bail us out with T, or we'll strain at gnats by asking people to sort their garbage while ignoring the elephants in the room.

Nearly all of your support comes from people of Euro extraction, especially those of Anglo or German ancestry. Don't believe me? Check the membership rolls of your organizations---they're often whiter than the Klan.

So here's my suggestion for the environmentalist. Get behind the ejection of illegal immigrants in a big way and the curtailing of the amounts of legal immigration as well. Develop the will to insist on what Mencius Moldbug terms "Order" (the state beyond "Peace" and below "Law") regardless of what diverse group you're discussing in the US. Do this and the environment WILL improve as you typically measure it. You might even find that reactionaries like myself are solidly behind you. There's no reason that environmentalism has to be a left wing issue after all.


The Cold Equations said...

I can think of a handful of environmentalists who do take this issue seriously. I linked to a blog by James Howard Kunstler a few months ago that came out against immigration. John Tanton and VDARE's Brenda Walker are environmentalists. Garrett Hardin did too. But they are very much outnumbered by "environmentalists" for whom anti-racism is the Prime Directive, and Tanton at least was cast into outer darkness over his interest in immigration reduction.

Jehu said...

Yes, the environmentalists that I can think of that agree with that position are the same ones you've cited. This little missive can be read as encouragement to them and an attempted wake-up call to the others. I'd like them to begin to understand, if only in their gut, that crime and intimidation are also profound environmental issues, which lead directly to the things they profess to hate, like McMansions and sprawl.