Comment worth noting: How the Sierra Club became an advocate for open borders

It’s only in the last couple of weeks, thanks to Glenn Beck’s research, that I have come to understand what happened to the environmental movement that I left in the late 1970’s.  I knew then that many of the leaders of the movement were changing and that concern for the environment and a love of the outdoors and nature’s beauty was no longer the driving concern—the movement had become a radical leftwing movement that was using people’s genuine concern for open space and clean air and water as a club to gather more control at the federal government level and taking away property rights as well.  Power and money seemed to be the twin engines that drove the movement.

(I wrote about the connection between immigration and environmentalists here earlier in the summer.  Note the Tides Foundation involvement.)

Now, we see in coalitions like the Apollo Alliance the melding of radical leftists and assorted socialist and communist political activists including union leaders with mainstream environmental groups, most notably the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) . See the Apollo Alliance board here (and listed below*) 

You are judged by the friends you keep.

By joining forces with the likes of the American Center for Progress (which wants to airlift over 100,000 Iraqis to the US this year) and SEIU (looking for immigrant dues-paying members and organizing Somalis),the Sierra Club cannot claim a neutral position on immigration. 

To “change” America into the kind of country Alinskyite Obama wants, one must import millions of poor immigrants to fuel the crisis which in turn brings “change.”  The Sierra Club and NRDC have joined forces with groups advocating open borders, the redistribution of wealth and one-world governance.   Do their nature-loving members really want that?  I doubt it.

Any thoughtful person knows that the greatest threat to the quality of life we have experienced in America is uncontrolled immigration.  See the NumbersUSA clip here and read the CIS report here, if you don’t believe me.   The majority of population growth in the US will be from immigrants between now and 2050 and they will need homes, schools, roads, cars and water among other things—all will strain an already overloaded environmental carrying capacity.

The other day I wrote about how the Sierra Club is part of the Open Borders movement and reader Paul Nachman tells us how that came about in a comment to that post.

From Mr. Nachman:

Inspired by this RRW entry, on 8/30/09 I left Mr. Green the following questions, mentioning that I’ve been a Sierra Club member continuously from 1975:

“In March, 2009 you wrote: ‘The simplest answer to your question about the Sierra Club’s immigration policy is that the Club’s members voted overwhelmingly some time ago to remain neutral on this issue.’ So how about a disquisition by you on how the Club violated its own bylaws in conducting that 1998 election? Then segue over to a review about the implications and consequences of Gelbaum’s $100-million donation.”


Of course, I could supply the answers myself. I just want to see how Mr. Green responds, if he responds at all.

Here are my answers:

1. The Club violated its own bylaws in 1998 by refusing to give our ballot question, which said something like “Should the Club return to its prior-to-1996 policy position that the U.S. should reduce both immigration and natural fertility?” a straight up or down vote.  According to the bylaws, every such question should be presented to the membership in the form of a “Yes” or “No” vote. Instead, the Club paired our question with one of the “leadership’s” own devising to the effect, “Let’s keep the post-1996 policy, which forbids anyone in the Club even talking (while speaking for the Club) about immigration as an environmental issue.” And the ballot simply gave members a choice between those two questions. So, for example, if you disliked **both** approaches, you couldn’t indicate that by voting “No” on each one. This violation of the bylaws wasn’t a close call, either. It’s black and white.

Endorsers for the position that the Club should resume talking about immigration as an environmental problem included world-class luminaries with great enviro credentials, such as David Brower, Brock Evans, Galen Rowell, Gaylord Nelson, and George F. Kennan. Endorsers for the “leadership’s” position included, besides the nonentities on the Club’s national board of directors, anonymities like the head of the Club’s Nebraska chapter, etc.

In the vote, we “insurgents” lost 40% to 60%, a margin narrow enough that it apparently terrified the Club’s “leadership.” So they pulled out all stops in several following Club national elections between 1999 and 2004 to absolutely smear the insurgent candidates who ran for the board. People like Dick Lamm (former Colorado governor, founding member of the NAACP chapter at Berkeley, …) and Prof. Frank Morris (one-time director of the Congressional Black Caucus) were mercilessly smeared as racists, nativists, xenophobes … probably mother- and father-rapers in some circles, too.

2. During the 2004 campaign wherein he ran for the Club’s national board, Dick Lamm (who’d served several terms in the Colorado state senate and three as governor) said that he’d never experienced such a dirty campaign, and he wondered what was behind it — like a lot of money? Turns out, his intuition was dead on. Investor David Gelbaum had promised, around 1995, to donate about $100 million to the Sierra Club, but only if they stopped talking about immigration: “I did tell Carl Pope [Club executive director] in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me.” If you want to read more about this, start here.   The “funny” thing [ha ha] was that the Club capitulated to a demand made for reasons that had nothing to do with the environment. Gelbaum just said that restricting immigration would dishonor the memory of his immigrant grandfather. How could environmental concerns stand up against a bedrock principle like that?

In fact, with $100 million on the line, the Club can certainly be persuaded to ignore environmental concerns! After all, the organization’s primary mission obviously takes a back seat to the organization’s indefinite perpetuation (the first law of bureaucracies).

Sierra Club motto: “Think globally, and do nothing.”

More on Gelbaum

David Gelbaum gave $33,100 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008 here.  No surprise!

Then here is a link to an article about Carl Pope stepping down as Executive Director of the Sierra Club but becoming its chairman. It’s the comments to this article that are so interesting– many about the Club being more concerned about raking in the dough then taking care of the environment, with good links for further study.

Learn more about David Gelbaum and his “secretive” Quercus Trust, here.  You will see why someone like Gelbaum would benefit greatly from the Obama Administration and its “green” tecnology.  Gelbaum likely supports the work of the Apollo Alliance—it’s all about money and power afterall.

* Apollo Alliance Board of Directors as of September 1st.  Please note that Van Jones was on this Board until March of this year, here.  So, Sierra Club and NRDC head honchos hang with avowed communist revolutionaries—interesting isn’t it?

Phil Angelides, Chairman, Canyon Johnson Urban Communities Fund
Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council (see Discover the Networks on the Prospect Hill Foundation, here)
Robert Borosage, President, Institute for America’s Future
Leo Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers Union
Gerald Hudson, International Executive Vice President, Service Employees International Union
Mindy Lubber, President, CERES
Nancy McFadden, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for PG&E Corporation
Kathleen McGinty, former Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Terence M. O’Sullivan, General President, Laborers’ International Union of North America
Ellen Pao, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
Michael Peck, Principal, MAPA Incorporated
John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress
Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club
Dan W. Reicher, Director of Climate Change and Energy Initiatives, Google
Joel Rogers, Director, Center on Wisconsin Strategy

Cool website:

Reader B.L. sent a link last night for what should prove to be a very useful website.

On this page at NationMaster the top 27 countries with the highest percentages of foreign populations are listed.  The top country, surprisingly (to me anyway), is Luxembourg.  Numbers 2 and 3 are New Zealand and Australia.  The US is number 6.

I note that no Muslim country falls in the Top 27.  

This reminds me, we have a category entitled ‘where to find information’ in which you will find all sorts of reports, websites, statistical data bases and so forth.  This NationMaster post will be our 99th post in that category.

Three refugee resettlement advocates have died; the IRC wants to make sure you know

I thought this story by Anne Richard of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and published at the Huffington Post yesterday was a bit unseemly.   It just struck me that by posting, “Refugees lose Three Inspiring Champions,” the deaths of three leaders of the refugee industry become one more publicity opportunity for the publicity hounds at the IRC.

Over the past year, three Americans who served as leaders of humanitarian causes have succumbed to cancer. They shared an outspoken passion for the cause of aiding refugees and other victims of oppression, war and poverty, but they also shared something rarer: the ability to translate concern into action.

Please go read the article, if it interests you.   The three are Ted Kennedy, Ken Bacon and Julia Taft.

Anne Richard is one of the many 6-figure-salaried VPs of the International Rescue Committee one of the largest federal contractors resettling refugees.  Here is a post last year in which I mentioned Ms. Richard and the shoddy job IRC affiliates perform in some places where it resettles refugees.

What is that expression again?  Doing well by doing good!