Forgotten on Earth Day: Four Ways Mass Immigration Affects Our Environment
“The bigger the population gets, the more serious the problems become…in this country, it’s phony to say ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’” – Gaylord Nelson, Former Senator and Governor of Wisconsin, Founder of Earth DayToday, people across the world will commemorate Earth Day, taking a moment out of their busy lives to consider what we can do to maintain and improve the health of our environment.One consideration often lost on U.S. policy makers and even environmental activists is the effect of mass immigration on our natural resources and quality of life. Massive immigration, in excess of 1 million legal permanent residents and tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers every year, has led to an explosion in U.S. population and detrimental effects on our environment.
- Urban Sprawl – 80% of U.S. population growth can be attributed to immigration. This population boom has necessitated housing to be built further away from economic centers and increased land costs. The result: longer commutes, higher costs of living, and encroachment on farmland and wildlife habitats.
- Traffic Congestion – Feel like you’re spending more time in the car these days? There are not only more people on the road, but families are also relocating further away from jobs to find affordable housing. As competition for housing and the number of cars on the road increase due to population growth, Americans are driving more – adding more pollution and frustration to our daily lives.
- Freshwater Consumption – Americans are constantly encouraged to conserve water, however population growth has cancelled out all the gains in conservation and is resulting in an overall rate of use that continues to put a severe strain on the nation’s water supply.
- Erosion of Natural Resources – Mass immigration and population growth leads to increased consumption of natural resources. In addition to the depletion of the water supply, energy resources and food are not infinite in the U.S. Continually admitting over 1 million immigrants a year threatens access to these resources for everyone, particularly low wage workers whose jobs are already at risk because of the inflow of cheaper workers from abroad.
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