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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Sierra Club under fire in immigration debate

    www.mercurynews.com

    Posted on Mon, Sep. 19, 2005

    Sierra Club under fire in immigration debate

    KRISTEN GELINEAU
    Associated Press

    RICHMOND, Va. - A Sierra Club member staged a small protest Monday calling for the resignation of the environmental group's executive director, accusing him of accepting money from a donor in exchange for halting the group's discussion of immigration policy.

    James McDonald, a 60-year-old Springfield attorney, said Carl Pope accepted more than $100 million from California donor David Gelbaum in 2001 only after promising Gelbaum the club would stay out of the immigration debate. Pope and leaders of the venerable conservation group called McDonald's allegations ridiculous.

    A faction within the San Francisco-based Sierra Club has long urged a stronger stance against immigration, arguing that the growing U.S. population is putting an enormous strain on natural resources. But the Sierra Club's members have twice voted to remain neutral in the immigration debate.

    McDonald and a friend, who identified himself only as a "retired immigration officer," staged the protest outside the Science Museum of Virginia, where Pope delivered a speech to around 200 club members on an unrelated topic.

    Like most of the club's members calling for immigration control, McDonald insists he has nothing against immigrants, adding that his wife is from the Philippines. But eliminating all discussion of the topic is unfair to both the group's members and the environment, he said.

    "You have to talk about the subject - you can't just say, 'We're not going to discuss it,'" he said, holding a sign that read, in part: "Carl Pope sold out the Sierra Club and America for $100 million."

    Glen Besa, director of the group's Appalachian region, called McDonald's allegations "absurd."

    "Our members overwhelmingly rejected a change to our policy, so any allegations of wrongdoing here with regard to that policy are just totally unjustified," Besa said.

    Gelbaum, the donor, was quoted last year by The Los Angeles Times as saying: "I did tell Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me."

    Pope acknowledged that Gelbaum did make clear his position on the issue, but said it had nothing to do with the club's decision to stay out of the debate.

    "I personally, and subsequently the membership of the Sierra Club, voted that we would remain neutral on immigration, years before Mr. Gelbaum made those large gifts," Pope said. "It is true that Mr. Gelbaum said that if we had taken the opposite position, he would not have given us the gifts, but we had already taken that position."

    Most of those attending Pope's speech seemed puzzled by the protest, and few had strong opinions either way on the immigration debate. But a handful applauded McDonald's efforts.

    "That's right," Greg Moser, 58, of Richmond, said, gesturing toward McDonald's sign. "They don't want to deal with difficult issues."

    Founded by Scottish immigrant John Muir in 1892, the Sierra Club is the country's oldest and largest environmental group and has traditionally advocated for clean air and water and protection of wildlands and wildlife.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    James McDonald, a 60-year-old Springfield attorney, said Carl Pope accepted more than $100 million from California donor David Gelbaum in 2001 only after promising Gelbaum the club would stay out of the immigration debate. Pope and leaders of the venerable conservation group called McDonald's allegations ridiculous.
    Now, that's a pretty good bribe. I wonder what business Gelbaum is in?

    And there's no question that the Sierra Club has stayed "bought" ever since.
    It's like hell vomited and the Bush administration appeared.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    Here's more on Gelbaum:

    California Philanthropist Preserves Wilderness, Profile


    David Gelbaum has given more money to conservation causes in California than anyone in the state's history, and along the way has helped to protect almost 1,200 square miles of mountain and desert landscapes and made it possible for more than 430,000 inner-city schoolchildren to experience nature, often for the first time, the Los Angeles Times reports.

    According to public records and other sources, Gelbaum's donations total at least $250 million and have helped preserve hundreds of miles of wildlife corridors across mountains and deserts, tying together once-isolated national parks and wilderness areas. And one Gelbaum deal, land trust experts say, is the largest single purchase of private land ever handed over to the U.S. government for the sole purpose of leaving it alone.

    Gelbaum's largest contributions have been to the ten-year-old Wildlands Conservancy, which he co-founded with its executive director, David Myers. Since 1995, the Conservancy has made strategic land purchases totaling seventy square miles to link the San Bernardino, San Jacinto, and Big Horn mountains with Joshua Tree National Park. In addition, in 2001 Gelbaum gave two anonymous gifts totaling $101.5 million to the Sierra Club Foundation, dwarfing all previous individual contributions to the conservation organization.

    Retired from the rarefied world of Wall Street hedge funds, Gelbaum, 55, lives in Newport Beach with his wife and two of his five children in a large home where visitors have occasionally mistaken him for the gardener. Bespectacled, five-foot-five, and slightly built, he drives a Honda Civic hybrid, wears jeans and T-shirts to business meetings, and helps the kids clean up at the wilderness campouts he sponsors. Those who know him say he is never more uncomfortable than when asked to talk about his wealth or how much of it he has donated to charity.

    "Most wealthy people spend their lives trying to make more and more money rather than give it away," Gelbaum told the Times. "They wait too long. They are depriving themselves of a lot of joy. It's a joy to see this land preserved and opening these kids' eyes to the natural world. It's not like burning the money. It goes into the land or into the kids' experiences. Both last forever."

    Weiss, Kenneth. “The Man Behind the Land.� Los Angeles Times 10/27/04.
    It's like hell vomited and the Bush administration appeared.

  4. #4
    Senior Member CountFloyd's Avatar
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    And one more thing.

    Here's the pre-Gelbaum Sierra Club position on population growth/immigration policy:


    Sierra Club Population Report, Spring 1989


    Sierra Club, U.S. Population Growth, and Immigration
    -- Dr. Judy Kunofsky, Chair of the Population Committee

    The Sierra Club has long supported the idea that an end to population growth in the U.S. and each country around the world is essential to environmental protection. In particular, Club policy calls for "development by the federal government of a population policy for the United States" and for the U.S. "to end (its) population growth as soon as feasible."

    The U.S. population continues to increase by about two and a half million people a year, the result of an excess of births plus in- migrants over deaths plus out-migrants. While population growth rates in less-developed countries are larger, America's numbers and growth have a disproportionate impact on the environment, on natural resources, on global warming, on air and water pollution.

    Since 1981 the Club has supported and testified in favor of bills in the House and Senate that would declare population stabilization to be the goal of the country, and that would call for the preparation of an explicit population policy that leads to the achievement of population stabilization. The motto, "Stop At Two," (children) was easily achieved in the 1970s, as average family size in the U.S. dropped below 2 children per woman. Yet this proved insufficient to achieve stabilization due to substantial immigration. The Club never clarified its policy to indicate what specific family size and immigration levels would achieve this goal. This lack of clarity placed the Club in an awkward position, calling for a policy but unable to explain what that policy should be!

    The Club's Population Committee began discussing this issue at its April 1988 meeting, taking advantage of the then-newly-released set of Census Bureau population projections that, for the first time, examined the effect of alternative combinations of both fertility and migration. The result of the committee's discussions was an interpretation of Club policy to cover immigration, the first time the Club has dealt with this issue in a quantitative way: Immigration to the U.S. should be no greater than that which will permit achievement of population stabilization in the U.S. This interpretation was confirmed by the Club's Conservation Coordinating Committee this past July.

    Today, immigration accounts for almost 30% of this country's annual population increase. According to the most recent Census Bureau projections, issued January 1989, the number of legal immigrants and refugees to the U.S. can be as high as 507,000 per year, but no greater, for the U.S. to achieve population stabilization. This is somewhat less than the 1986 and 1987 levels of 662,000 and 599,000, respectively, but still a generous level of immigration in comparison to most other countries around the world.



    How Many Americans?
    With current fertility levels, and immigration of 507,000 per year, the U.S. population would reach its peak of 302 million in the year 2038, and then experience a very slow decrease. This is a very large number of Americans, given our disproportionate impact on the environment. For example, Americans comprise about 5% of the world's population, yet according to the World Watch Institute, generate 23% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to the global warming problem. In fact, even the current level of 245 million Americans is disproportionately detrimental to environmental quality. For the U.S. to achieve population stabilization sooner, or at a lower number of Americans, would require fertility and annual immigration levels to be lower than 1.8 children per woman and 507,000, respectively.



    What Is the Club Planning to Do on the Immigration Issue?
    The clarification of Club policy mentioned above in no way affects existing Club policy to further reduce U.S. fertility and fertility in other countries. The Club will continue its efforts to support those domestic and international U.S. programs that assist in a reduction of fertility levels, specifically our efforts to reverse the Reagan Administration's "Mexico City Policy," and to support the Foreign Aid Authorization bill which would earmark a minimum percentage of funds for international family planning programs administered by the Agency for International Development.

    The Sierra Club will lend its voice to the congressional debate on legal immigration issues when appropriate, and then only on the issue of the number of immigrants... not where they come from or their category (family members, refugees, skilled workers, unskilled workers, investors, etc.), since it is the fact of increasing numbers that affects population growth and ultimately, the quality of the environment. Already during this session of Congress, several bills relating to the issue of legal immigration have been introduced.

    Sierra Club statements on immigration will always make the connection between immigration, population increase in the U.S., and the environmental consequences thereof.The Club will also point out (to quote from the May 1978 Board of Director's statement) that "all regions of the world must reach a balance between their populations and resources. Developing countries need to enlarge opportunities for their own residents, thus increasing well-being, eventually lessening population growth rates, and reducing pressures to emigrate." According to the Board, "Developed nations must work toward greater conservation of resources as well as population stabilization in order to reduce impact on the depletion of non-renewable resources, creation of pollution, and damage to ecosystems. This combination would remove the root causes of international migration by providing more equitable opportunities for people throughout the world."
    It's like hell vomited and the Bush administration appeared.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    Here's a copy of the whole LA Times article that gives some more insight on Gelbaum's immigration views. Sad to think one man is controlling and changing the Sierra Clubs past stance on overpopulation in the United States.

    http://www.forests.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=35903

    CALIF: The Man Behind the Land
    David Gelbaum has shunned publicity while giving millions to preserve California wilderness and teach youths about nature.


    Source: Copyright 2004, LA Times
    Date: October 27, 2004
    Byline: Kenneth R. Weiss, Times Staff Writer


    He has given more money to conservation causes in California than anyone else. His gifts have helped protect 1,179 square miles of mountain and desert landscapes, an area the size of Yosemite National Park.

    His donations to wilderness education programs have made it possible for 437,000 inner-city schoolchildren to visit the mountains, the desert or the beach â€
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