Immigration and enviroment?

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Toxictears
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Aug 9 2004 21:54
Immigration and enviroment?

Is it actually possible for someone to be pro-immigration and pro-enviroment? I mean, im all for the whole "no boarders" and let everyone move where and when they want to and stuff but in the UK isnt it a hard country to kind of let this go ahead unmonitored? I know in every country as populations get larger and larger then obviously enviroment has to suffer to provide housing and so forth but the UK is a small island. So do anarchists still beleive that people should be able to live freely on any small island unmonitored? How would you tackle a problem such as over crowding? How would you tackle pollution? Just curious!

Mike Harman
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Aug 10 2004 03:53

Pollution is caused much more by the way in which resources are used and their unequal distribution than the number of people using them - if twice as many people use half as much stuff (or less), where's the problem? Simply reducing the number of people coming into the country doesn't address the consumption of those people living in it. Readily available highly durable goods and increased use of alternative energy sources would drastically reduce our energy and raw material consumption much more than restricting immigration. If you had rational distribution of goods, there'd be much less reason for people to come to the UK anyway - you'd hope that conditions in most countries would improve enough that migration would become less necessary. I'm pretty sure the UK has had net outward migration for a few years anyway, although there's probably statistics available that say the opposite.

Toxictears
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Aug 11 2004 12:40

Hmm, i suppose so! I think i should have put more thought into this topic and worded it better. What alternative would you use to power plants then? I was just working on the assumption that say...people from UK didnt leave and a large amount of people came to UK, would you start setting up regulations and rules for immigrating people if it got to out of hand?

bigdave
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Aug 11 2004 13:32

I suppose my view on this is that people who immigrate here generally do so because of the inequality of wealth suffered in the world. To treat the symptom by banning/controlling immigrants does not address the problem - that world capitalism makes many countries dangerous or unhealthy to live in. An example is Turkish Kurds who are treated terribly in Turkey. If they come to the UK seeking asylum it is automatically denied as Turykey is our economic and military pal.

Mike Harman
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Aug 11 2004 14:27

Don't know what you'd do in that situation, although it seems fairly unlikely - if the UK was to become very overcrowded and resources became stretched, I reckon people would stop coming - at least as long as this was communicated back to the places they were coming from.

As to alternative energy, I don't know much about energy in general, but I think there's general consensus that much more investment into wind and solar energy would make those sources a lot more efficient. At the moment, the government seems very happy to waste GBP600 million on nuclear reprocessing plants that don't work(http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1269073,00.html). I'd imagine that figure outweights their entire alternative energy source research budget, probably a few times. If these were developed, it'd at least reduce dependency on other energy sources, even if oil/coal/gas was still necessary. Again, reducing consumption and unnecessary travel (like long commutes to work) would do a hell of a lot to reduce energy use as well, as would increased cycling, stuff like that. If you could reduce consumption per capita by a lot, you could probably meet that reduced amount with alternative sources. One thing I'm not sure about is biofuel - it already takes about 8 fields of grain to produce a cow, how many would it take to run a car?

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JDMF
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Aug 11 2004 15:59

Borders are needed to uphold inequality in access to resources (wealth), without border control, funny enough, there would most likely be less migration grin

Anyways, the point was well made already about resource use.

Another point to make (which doesn't affect so much of our cream arses here in rich west): much of the migration is due to environmental problems, erosion, climate change and so on. This is at the moment mostly local, poor people travelling either inside the country or cross borders to another not-so-rich country. In future environmental refugees will affect the rich west as well (hopefully!).

captainmission
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Aug 11 2004 17:36

well italy didn't have immigration law till 1998, its not particular renown for being an environmental waste land

and capitalism has quite effective way of regulating space and preventing over-crowding (in upper class areas) without border control. Just look countries which contain both significant '1st world' and '3rd world' populations, like brazil or possibley the USA.

OldGit
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Aug 11 2004 23:36

I know that there is a case to be made against the importation and immiseration of virtual slave labour, but I don't see any reference to this in the original question. I did, though, hope that someone more knowledeable than me would refer to ownership of the land.

The fact is that very little of this country is open to development and settlement. The greater part is the preserve of people who doubtless are already hate-figures to most of us: the monarch,the MOD, faceless pension fund kleptocrats, Dukes of this and that, grousemoor scum. As a result most of the population is crowded into small areas, unable to expand outwards. A population the size of ours in a land mass the size of Britain should not be overcrowded.

Linking immigration and pollution is a bit of a cheek. Was there no pollution problem before the current asylumseeker scaremongering. How much waste and environmental damage is created by the poorest section of the community? Still I'm sure that this is something the BNP could take up and run with.

Now I'm just hoping that someone with a greater insight into the land/population issue will chip in here and enlighten us.

captainmission
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Aug 12 2004 16:01
OldGit wrote:
A population the size of ours in a land mass the size of Britain should not be overcrowded.

But overcrowding is not directly related to density of population. Has much more to do with accessability to ammenaties and quality of life. Upper Manhattan and a slum in Mexico city may have similar population density, beyond that not sure if they'll have all that much in common. By arguing we still have more land we're not attacking malthusian logic behind the overcrowding arguement just delaying it cos we're yet to reach our carrying capacity.

OldGit
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Aug 12 2004 23:27

So what's the solution Captain? Stop immigration? Expel the immigrants? Pack 'em off to New York? Or is it Malthusian? Let 'em all starve to death, nature's way of restoring the balance. Or am I confusing Malthus with Blunkett?

The question is - is immigration detrimental to the environment?

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JDMF
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Aug 13 2004 09:49
OldGit wrote:

The question is - is immigration detrimental to the environment?

but the question is impossible to answer! Is fish better than a bicycle? Immigration and environment have nothing to do with eachother part from the fact that all human activity has environmental consequences. Only people arguing against immigration on green grounds are people who argue against it anyway.

The key argument is that someone comes from a poor low consumption country to a richer country with higher consumption levels, therefore causing more environmental damage. This is BS firstly because poor migrants unfortunately usually stay as poor even in the new "host" country and secondly it escapes the fact that it doesn't have to be so and it is then the fault of our culture of overconsumption and polluting practices, not the migrants.

The point captain was making is that "overcrowding" is not as simple as x amount of people per square mile as similar population densities can have very different quality of life. And that using the argument that this little island is not yet overcrowded is only postponing the criticism, not eliminating it.

captainmission
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Aug 13 2004 12:10
OldGit wrote:
The question is - is immigration detrimental to the environment?

like JDMF said it ani't really the question. Does crossing some arbitraty legal/political boundary harm the environment? Is crossing imaginary lines meant to release CO2 or deadly radiation? Might as well ask if any other legal/politcal system, like marriage or royalty, causes pollution. And i'm sure by some contorted twist of logic you could argue that. But ultimately its a bit pointless.

Now if we're to ask does the capitalist/statist ordering of space harm the environment (that's border controls internationally and market measures of land ownership and rent nationally) then i think we've better basis to discuss stuff from.

Toxictears
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Aug 13 2004 14:02
Quote:
Now if we're to ask does the capitalist/statist ordering of space harm the environment (that's border controls internationally and market measures of land ownership and rent nationally) then i think we've better basis to discuss stuff from.

Yea! What Captain Mission said! Thats what ive been trying to ask but just havnt been able to word it correctly, sorry. sad

OldGit
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Aug 14 2004 23:19

Just to clarify a point - OldGit didn't pose the question on Immigration and the environment, I was just restating it. It's there in the original posting. It appears that everyone agrees that there is no link between immigration and environmental problems, or have I got that wrong too. No more talking down to the old fella about fish and bicycles, if you please.

What pisses me off about this thread is the sinister undertone; an increasing population and limited resources; this small country. So what's the solution? I say there's no problem, but some people are hinting at one.

captainmission
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Aug 14 2004 23:33
OldGit wrote:
What pisses me off about this thread is the sinister undertone; an increasing population and limited resources; this small country. So what's the solution? I say there's no problem, but some people are hinting at one.

Whose making these sinister undertones? Whose hinting? i'm not really seeing this. care to eloborate?

OldGit
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Aug 16 2004 00:13

Well first of all there's the original posting, with its talk of living "freely on our island unmonitored". The chance would be a fine thing. I'm assuming that some anarchist form of monitoring is called for.

Then there's your own contribution, my captain, with its talk of reaching "our carrying capacity." And what is that, pray?

I will accept that sinister undertones is a little over the top. Perhaps "hints of unease" would have been better.

The native-born population of this country is falling by all accounts. People are moving in to make up the shortfall. As we reach our carrying capacity - is there a scientific formula to calculate this? - people will move on. In Poland, they say, labour is even cheaper than in the UK. Now the Poles have joined the EU the exploiters of cheap labour will move there, followed by the slave labour, Follow my train of thought?

captainmission
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Aug 16 2004 13:31
OldGit wrote:
Then there's your own contribution, my captain, with its talk of reaching "our carrying capacity." And what is that, pray?

read what i've said... "By arguing we still have more land we're not attacking malthusian logic behind the overcrowding arguement just delaying it cos we're yet to reach our carrying capacity." (maybe it would have helped if i but carrying capacity in inverted commas?)

Carrying capacitty is term used by malthusians and ecological scientitists to refer to the maxium population an eco-system can maintain. Its a pretty useless term when applied to humans though. What i was saying was that idea such as carrying capacity, that seek naturalise human popultion and ideas of 'overcrowding' should be rejected in place of a social undertsanding of them. Your link between population density and land area similarly seeks to naturalise 'overcrowding'.

Quote:
In Poland, they say, labour is even cheaper than in the UK. Now the Poles have joined the EU the exploiters of cheap labour will move there, followed by the slave labour, Follow my train of thought?

not really. so capital will move to areas where it can maximise profit. Its always done this, even before Poland joined the EU. And when you say slave labour, do you mean that literally, as in actually slaves? And where is this slave labour moving into poland from?

I get part of what your saying, just don't get the relevance.