VUnlimited Compassion Is Not Sustainable
Frederick Fromm’s photo.
Canadian Green Party Leader Elizabeth May — Utterly Muddled: Wants to Save the Environment but Bring in Hordes of Environment Stressing Immigrants.
Has a Green Party leader in any country in the world ever met an asylum-seeker, refugee or migrant that he or she wouldn’t accept? Or one who shouldn’t be waved in without sufficient screening?
Is there a Green Party somewhere out there that doesn’t want their nation to be a welcome wagon for untold millions or tens of millions?
Is there a Green Party alive today whose primary focus is not “social justice” dressed up in trendy shibboleths about ‘renewable’ energy and ‘sustainability’, a word they have helped to debase and render meaningless?
Is there a Green Party in some distant galaxy that realizes that there is no social justice on a dead planet and that nature is indifferent to our social and political arrangements?
Is there a Green Party that understands that first and foremost migration must be treated as an ecological issue and not one of ‘human rights’ ? Or that the rights of people indigenous to a nation trump the ‘rights’ of migrants who aspire to reach it?
Do Greens—in any country—understand limits? Financial limits? Population limits? Limits to our cultural, economic and ecological carrying capacity? Limits to growth? Limits to the number of euphemisms they use to re-brand economic growth as ‘smart’ growth, ‘managed’ growth, “sustainable’ growth, or ‘sustainable development’, a phrase that Garrett Hardin said merely allowed us a moratorium on thinking’? Euphemisms which have yet to fool Mother Nature? Is there any limit to their ignorance about the Laws of Sustainability? These people scare the pants off me.
There are some unmentionable questions beneath all of this. Questions that would strike at the premise of all the hand-wringing and moral upmanship about ‘boat people’, ‘asylum-seekers’ or ‘refugees’, as we call them here. Those questions are, “Why do we have a moral obligation to accept them?” And “What of our moral obligations to our own people and our own land?”
Before purchasing a car or a television set or a sofa or a house, the prudent consumer conducts an audit of his financial resources. And if he must rely on a loan, the bank will certainly conduct one. So why are we—Canadians, Australians, Americans, French, British, Europeans—even talking about accepting more asylum-seekers when we haven’t even determined what our carrying capacity is or developed a Population Plan for our country?
There are lots of dogs that I would like to adopt from the local SPCA—dogs that need and deserve a good home—but I can’t accommodate them or pay for their upkeep. To retain the capability to remain compassionate and caring to my own animals, I must remain callous to the plight of those poor animals who languish in the animal shelter. Yes, refugees are human beings. But so are the people here who depend on food banks, who are homeless and unemployed. So are the roughly 35,000 Canadians orphans who wait in vain for placement in good homes. So are the 20% of Canadian kids living below the poverty line. So are the aboriginal youth who suffer an unemployment rate of 75-80% on the reserves. Yet refugee claimants in Canada get better medical treatment than many Canadians (eg. vision and dental care) and receive affordable housing. We find the money for them, but we haven’t got it for the Canadians I mention. What kind of “compassion” is this?
The backbone of the pro-refugee lobby here consists of Christian denominations. They should check out 1st Timothy 5:8 in their own Bible. “He who does not first attend to the needs of his own family is no better than a heathen.” Ironically, the leader of Canada’s Green Party, Elizabeth May, aspires to be an ordained Minister of the United Church of Canada. Obviously she is as ignorant of scripture as the rest of the human rights coalition, which includes “No One Is Illegal”, a Marxist group that attempts to shout down any politician who would propose limits to refugee and immigrant intakes and services. It is puzzling that a political party that was formed to make “the environment” its focus, should attempt–the world over—to duplicate the role of centre-left parties, whose commitment to the environment is mere window-dressing. The word “Green” is the biggest marketing scam yet contrived. Slap that label on any product on a supermarket shelf and it is purchased without scrutiny. If it says its “Green” it must be Green. If a political party says that it is “Green”, then it must be Green. Who reads the fine print anyway?
Too often we have yielded the ethical “high-ground” to our opponents without a fight. We have not challenged their assumptions and assertions. The truth is, they do not occupy the moral high-ground. Their concept of “compassion” is based on the assumption of persistent abundance. For them, there are no opportunity costs, no trade-offs or hard choices to be made. Instead, we must “fight the cuts”. The concept that austerity can be ultimately imposed by geological constraints is beyond their understanding. Their core belief is that there is enough to go around, if only we would “share” our bounty equitably. A bounty, as we know, that is based on a one-time bonanza of fossil fuels, metals and minerals that are finite and whose full exploitation would propel us into a Venusian nightmare—- if not cut short by nuclear, biological and chemical war occasioned by resource conflicts.
Compassion is a luxury of surplus. Scarcity makes it a zero-sum game. “Looking after one’s own first” is a bedrock moral imperative, an ethical principle that we see at work in times of tribulation, like war. My uncle served in the Royal Canadian Navy during the war, and “Lifeboat Ethics” was built right into their action protocol. When men jumped from their burning merchant ships, the corvettes had only minutes to recover them, because the priority was to find and destroy the U-Boats that would sink other ships and cause greater losses. And if they themselves were hit, the bulkhead hatches remained closed, even though there were men trapped behind them as the sea water rose up to drown them. As my uncle told me, for the sake of the ship, “You listened to their screams and you did nothing.”
Those are ethics of scarcity. Triage ethics. Lifeboat ethics—where the survival of the ship is more important than the survival of the passengers or crew. Ethics which the likes of Pope Francis or would-be United Church Minister Elizabeth May will not acknowledge or entertain. Her slogan, the slogan of the newly minted “Leap Manifesto”, is that we must “Care for the Earth and Care for Each Other”. All 7.3 billion of us, apparently. All 35 million Canadians too, even though one could name several prominent Canadian scientists who have argued that Canada is in population overshoot by at least a factor of two. Oh, I forgot, we can accommodate zillions if only we lived simply and cut back our per capita “footprint”. Just imagine, a Canada of 350 million Lilliputians living carbon-free, with the gate left wide open to those tens of millions who would join us. But then, if drove our per capita consumption down far enough, none would want to join us. In other words, we can put an end to ‘Failed State Colonization’ by becoming another ‘Failed State’. Is that the end game? Sure looks like it, doesn’t it?
When are we going to close the hatches on HMCS Canada, HMAS Australia, HMS United Kingdom, USS America, and the listing ship “Europe”? When our population, already in overshoot, doubles? How do we know that the people we are now taking on board will not meet a fate not too unlike the one they escaped from? How do we know that they will not be straw that broke the camel’s back here?
Humanitarian policies that are bought with an ecological or economic credit card are not sustainable.
“Although a political party preaching environmental sustainability should advocate stringent immigration restrictions (with only in very exceptional circumstances immigration being permitted), this is not the case with the Green Party (of England), its standpoint is quite the opposite. The way that the ‘Greens’ reconcile this is by claiming that our ‘First World’ lifestyles are themselves unsustainable and that if we were all to adopt a subsistence-level standard of living, then Britain – or even just England – could accommodate and support many millions more people. Aside from the difficulty of trying to convince many of the electorate to think likewise, I have yet to met any ‘Greens’ who are themselves willing to make such sacrifices. If they were, they wouldn’t be blogging about it on the net, as they wouldn’t have the hardware, let alone the power supply to go on-line. Only those who have never experienced such subsistence-level living would consider it to be desirable.” (From “View from the Centre for a secular and integrated society” https://secularvegan.wordpress.com/category/immigration
“Retain the power of speech no matter what other power you may lose… Do what you will, but speak out always. Beshunned, be hated, be ridiculed, be scared, be in doubt, but don’t be gagged. The time of trial is always. Now is the appointed time”
John Jay Chapman – 1900
“Candour before tact, honesty before diplomacy.”
Tim Murray – 2006