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Global Warming

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Ever since African-American voters in Washington D.C. kicked out school reformer Michelle Rhee, lowering property values in gentrifying sections of D.C., blogger and D.C. condo-owner Matthew Yglesias has been on the warpath to admit 165,000,000 immigrants to the U.S.. You might think that the subsequent increase in global carbon emissions alone would make that an expensive way to drive African Americans out of D.C. in order to improve the public schools and raise Yglesias’s property value, but, you see, Yglesias has a triple bankshot plan to remake America into his beloved native Manhattan. He thinks 165 million immigrants couldn’t help but come in handy in the Manhattanization of America so that everybody will take the subway to work.
But, has Yglesias ever asked immigrants where they want to live? Much of the evidence suggests: in the exurbs, in big houses, with big air conditioners, driving big SUVs. For example, here’s a 2009 article by Alan Ehrenhalt in Governing entitled Immigrants and the Suburban Influx. It describes exurban Gwinnett County, about 30 miles outside of Atlanta. Famous as a white flight region just a couple of decades ago, Gwinnett is now majority minority, with lots of prosperous Indians and Koreans. Maybe in a generation or two, affluent Indians and Koreans will want to lead the downtown hipster life, but right now they want the traditional American Dream of a home with a yard and a big car (i.e., they want to emit a lot of carbon.)

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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From my new column:

Of the millions who claim to be deadly serious about Saving the World from global warming by limiting carbon emissions, how many are truly sincere?

There’s one surefire test: Do they demand reductions in immigration to the U.S.?

Answer: almost none of them do.

A Google search for “carbon emissions” brings up 3,680,000 web pages. (August 8, 2010). Add “immigration reduction” to the search, however, and the hit count falls to 114. [Try it yourself now by clicking here.]

The causes of global warning are disputed, but let’s assume for the sake of analysis that human output of “greenhouse gases” does indeed cause global warming. It ought to be close to self-evident that immigration to America increases this country’s—and the world’s—output of those gases.

The logic is very simple: If immigrants from poor countries successfully assimilate to American norms of earning and consuming, they, and their descendants, will emit vastly more carbon than if they had stayed home.

According to the UN’s International Energy Agency, residents of America in 2007 put out an average of 19.1 tons of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, by fossil fuel combustion—e.g., by driving around, by being warm in winter and cool in summer, and by watching TV.

In contrast, the residents of, say, Mexico each emit 4.1 tons per year. In other words, the typical inhabitant of America churns out 4.6 times as much carbon dioxide as the typical inhabitant of Mexico.

So, if an average Mexican immigrates to the U.S. and fully assimilates to average American patterns of earning and spending, he will emit 4.6 times as much carbon dioxide as if he stayed home in his own country. (Even more important are the impact of his descendants, which we’ll get to below).

This table gives a sampling of the carbon emissions per capita of immigrant importing and exporting countries.


… So let’s examine some logical objections to my argument for the benefit of global warming worriers.

Consider a very simplified model in which an immigrant from Mexico will either succeed or fail at assimilating to American norms on two dimensions: Earning and Consuming.


Let’s start with the upper left hand corner of this quadrant: American Dream. In this scenario, the typical Mexican who immigrates to the U.S. achieves the American Dream. He succeeds at consuming like an American (e.g., big SUV, big air-conditioned house in the suburbs, big TV, and so forth) and also (this is important) earning like an American. Therefore, his contribution to global greenhouse gas emission will be vastly greater than if he stayed home in Mexico. Even more importantly, so will his descendants’ carbon emissions. …

In the lower left corner is the unspoken liberal assumption about the impact of Mexican immigration: Ecotopia. This logical possibility is the favorite of the sort of white liberals who have farm simulators on their iPhones. Of course, it is the least logical or possible.

They assume Mexican immigrants rapidly achieve American levels of income to pay the taxes for all the social programs that progressives favor. Yet, for unexplained reasons, the Mexican immigrants and their progeny choose to live like Portland trustfunders whose hobby is a “sustainable” lifestyle based on driving their vegetable oil-powered Toyota Prius hybrid to Whole Foods for heirloom tomatoes.

The Ecotopia assumption is the only logical way to square enthusiasm about immigration with alarmism about greenhouse gases.

Of course, …

Read the whole thing there (including data on the burning question of how many Priuses do Mexicans buy) and comment upon it here.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
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An excerpt from my column from last week:

Shortly after President Obama returns to Washington from Norway with his Nobel Prize, he’s going to roar off to Denmark in his personal 747 jumbo jet to raise awareness about the need to cut carbon emissions to forestall Climate Change—the cause formerly known as “Global Warming”.

But while the President gears up his campaign for Climate Change awareness in Denmark, a Population Change anti-awareness campaign has long been in full swing in America.

The acid test of the sincerity of Climate Change activists: do they publicly demand a U.S immigration moratorium to keep carbon emissions from increasing?

A few environmentalists pass this test proudly. For example, Californians for Population Stabilization have started a new ad campaign:

“The campaign recognizes immigration as the number one factor driving U.S. population growth and makes the point that when immigrants settle in the U.S. their energy use quickly becomes Americanized. As a result, immigrants’ carbon emissions skyrocket. The result is a quadrupling of immigrants’ carbon footprint compared to the amount of carbon emissions they produced in their home countries.”

Mexicans don’t illegally immigrate to avoid starvation. The average life expectancy in Mexico is over 76 years. Instead, the major motivations for sneaking into America include: the hope of owning a big truck or SUV and to have more kids than you could afford to have in your own country. The current total fertility rate in Mexico is 2.34 babies per woman per lifetime—versus 3.7 babies among immigrant Latinas in California.

But, alas, the vast majority of those who claim that carbon emissions is the overwhelming issue of our age fail this test of good faith flatly.

On the other hand, their dishonesty doesn’t guarantee that they aren’t right about carbon and global warming. Global warming true believers seem, on the whole, like the kind of people who would be more likely to be right about something for bad reasons than for good reasons.

As you may have noticed from the above, I normally don’t have much to say about climate change. I’m sort of an agnostic.

I know enough about statistics to realize how much effort would be required for me to develop an opinion worth expressing. Nor is it obvious that, even if I invested years of work, I would be able to add much value to the discussion.

After all, both sides in the debate over anthropogenic global warming debate are lavishly funded. …

Yet why are those Climate Change insights so seldom applied to the question of Population Change?

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it below.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Global Warming 
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The Hill reports:

Leaked e-mails allegedly undermining climate change science should be treated as a criminal matter, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday afternoon.

Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said that the recently released e-mails, showing scientists allegedly overstating the case for climate change, should be treated as a crime.

“You call it ‘Climategate’; I call it ‘E-mail-theft-gate,’” she said during a committee meeting. “Whatever it is, the main issue is, Are we facing global warming or are we not? I’m looking at these e-mails, that, even though they were stolen, are now out in the public.”

The e-mails, from scientists at the University of East Anglia, were obtained through hacking. The messages showed the director of the university’s Climate Research Unit discussing ways to strengthen the unit’s case for global warming. Climate change skeptics have seized on the e-mails, arguing that they demonstrate manipulation in environmental science.

Boxer said her committee may hold hearings into the matter as its top Republican, Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), has asked for, but that a criminal probe would be part of any such hearings.

“We may well have a hearing on this, we may not. We may have a briefing for senators, we may not,” Boxer said. “Part of our looking at this will be looking at a criminal activity which could have well been coordinated.

“This is a crime,” Boxer said.

I was under the impression that East Anglia is in the United Kingdom, not the United States, which would suggest that any criminal probe would be up to British authorities, not U.S. Senators, but what do I know compared to Senator Boxer?

Does anybody know who hacked and/or leaked the emails?

British libertarian activist Sean Gabb tosses out a fun conspiracy theory: Vladimir Putin dunnit.

But the Russians had means and opportunity to do the job. Perhaps their security services are no longer as efficient and as well-funded as in Soviet times. But they are still there. Their mission is no longer to win the Cold War. But making life easier for Mr Putin and his friends is a large mission in itself. They no longer have an active network in British universities. But there must be any number of senior managers there whose activities back in the 1980s would merit an outing in The Daily Mail, and who therefore are open to blackmail.

And the Russians had the best motive imaginable. Anthropogenic global warming is, as said, a pack of lies. But there is huge money behind it. And it is conceivable that Western scientific ingenuity will find a “carbon free” energy source that both works and is economically viable. Now, where would that leave Russia? Without its exports of oil and gas, the place is little more than a bankrupt post-Soviet slagheap.

I can top that conspiracy theory! If I were Putin, I would want to discredit Global Warming theorists in order to make Global Warming more likely. It’s too damn cold in Russia right now.

What a hero Putin would become to Russians of the future! Grateful Russians would annually celebrate the anniversary of his ascent to power on December 31, 1999 by, say, holding a huge beach volleyball tournament in Murmansk.

It would be like Lex Luthor’s plan in Superman to own all the beachfront property in Nevada by having California fall into the ocean. Russia has 38,000 kilometers of coastline, much of it on the Arctic Ocean, which would become the new Russian Riviera.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Global Warming 
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Much of the popularity of Global Warming Awareness stems from the fact that almost nobody is capable of noticing Global Warming without benefit of Global Warming Awareness Campaigns.

For example, I have fairly decent pattern recognition skills. And I’ve been hiking the same trails on the north side of the Hollywood Hills for the last 45 years. Having grown up in a dry region, I am a big fan of verdant nature, so I pay careful attention to how green the hillsides are at each point in the season.

Now, you might think that I would have noticed evidence in these wooded canyons and sagebrush hillsides of long-term Climate Change. But I haven’t.

I am not saying it’s not happening. Perhaps there is a long-term trend that remains invisible to me under the much more visible seasonal cycles and the random noise.

What I am saying is that, at least so far, a highly observant and statistically-minded citizen such as myself hasn’t noticed Global Warming going on in his own environment. Without the aid of Global Warming Awareness Campaigns, I would never have become aware of Global Warming just by hiking in the same environment decade after decade.

I think that explains a lot of the Gnostic appeal of Global Warming Awareness. When you become Global Warming Aware, you are superior to the unenlightened masses. You have access to evidence of things unseen. You are one of the elite who are aware of knowledge that can only be gathered through the most esoteric means and analyzed by the most profound scholars.

In contrast, much of the things that I notice in my daily life, such a racial differences in crime rates and intelligence, are the kinds of things that are so overwhelmingly obvious that many people take pride in not knowing about them. (At least, they don’t know about them when discussing public issues. They seem to know about them just fine when choosing where to buy a house or when deciding where to school their children.)

In fact, many popular people actively engage in Anti-Awareness Campaigns intended to increase ignorance. (For example, the President of the United States likes to boast of his long fight against awareness of racial crime rate gaps.) For this, they are showered with public approbation.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Global Warming 
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The single largest problem posed by global warming would be if the seas rose and increasingly inundated Bangladesh, an extremely densely populated (current population 156 million) and low-lying region long vulnerable to typhoons (e.g., George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh). One obvious way to mitigate this vulnerability would be to increasingly encourage Bangladeshis to use birth control.

Similarly, one of the most obvious causes of increased carbon emissions is mass immigration from the Third World to the First World (e.g., from Mexico to America). So, more stringent restrictions on immigration would be an obvious policy implication.

Somehow, though, I don’t think Al Gore has ever gotten around to mentioning either of these bits of logic.

If Global Warming is such an all important topic, then surely these simple steps for mitigating it should be on the table, surely. And yet, they just never seem to come up. It’s not so much as that they’ve been rejected as that they simply are, literally, unthinkable.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Global Warming 
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As you may have noticed, I don’t write much about global warming. It’s a complex subject that would take me a long time to master and I don’t see much evidence that I would contribute anything novel and important if I ever did.

That said, I do have a suggestion for a straightforward way to lessen future harm caused by global warming that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere:

Bring down the birthrate in Bangladesh, fast.

The logic is this:

If global warming is happening severely enough to partially melt polar ice caps and thus raise sea levels, the most severely impacted country would likely be Bangladesh, which topographically resembles the Mississippi Delta that took such a hit from Katrina in 2005: low-lying land vulnerable to big storms off the ocean. The current population of Bangladesh is 150 million and the total fertility rate is 3.09 babies per woman. The U.S. Census Bureau forecasts that the population of Bangladesh will almost double between now and 2050, when it will reach 280 million, assuming half of them aren’t washed out to see in a big cyclone.

(Republished from iSteve by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Global Warming 
Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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