Consumption is the issue, not immigration

  The disproportionate use of global natural resources by the citizens of the United States is the number-one environmental issue, contrary to the opinion of ex-Gov. Lamm (HCN, 2/16/04: Why I’m running). Until the citizens of this country and our government curb their gluttonous use of global resources, we have absolutely no right to deny hard-working people of any country the right to live at the same standard we enjoy. We cannot fault others for wanting to live at that standard — but it comes at the cost of countries around the globe. According to Richard R. Wilk in Emulation and Global Consumerism: "If everyone develops a desire for the Western high-consumption lifestyle, the relentless growth in consumption, energy use, waste, and emissions may be disastrous."

While I do not agree with some positions taken by the Sierra Club, its work on legal issues regarding the environment is invaluable. Educating and lobbying for decreasing oil, mineral and timber use and extraction, while increasing education and lobbying for conservation and alternative energy sources, is a much more pressing "environmental issue" than immigration.

Josh Chapman
Arcata, California