Muckraker: Grist on Politics

The group Californians for Population Stabilization is running an anti-immigration ad in the state claiming that immigrants are responsible for the country’s growing carbon emissions.

“Concerned about America’s huge carbon footprint? Then you should be concerned about immigration,” says a stylish-looking 20-something guy. He goes on to argue that because immigrants take up the carbon-spewing lifestyle of Americans, they quadruple the carbon footprint they would have had elsewhere. Thus, he concludes, the answer to global warming should be fewer Americans.

The attempt to blame immigrants for the country’s emissions problem has provoked both outrage and confusion. As Mike Latner, a political science teacher at Cal Poly, noted in the New Times: “The root problem is America’s CO2 emissions.” Which might lead one to conclude that the answer is changing the pollution-happy American lifestyle — not simply blaming immigrants.

Though the CAPS board contains several folks with environmental backgrounds, most environmental groups don’t want to touch this thing with a 10-foot-pole. It’s been a controversial issue in the green community for several years now.

CAPS has also been involved in print ads that have attempted to stoke anti-immigration sentiment among those who care about the environment.

Here’s the ad: