Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries; Happy Earth Day

Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries; Happy Earth Day

By Joe Guzzardi

If Earth Day’s founders were alive to see the tattered remains of their noble mission, they would shake their heads in dismay. The essential requirement for a sound environment is a stable population, a basic guideline that the Biden administration has trampled on in its quest to destroy sovereign America. For three years, Americans have been lectured to about how the arriving migrants, a euphemism for illegal aliens, are simply searching for a better life. But that trite observation is incomplete. “A better life” means that illegal immigrants came to America to become consumers—of goods, services and, most critically to Earth Day advocates, the nation’s precious, scarce and irreplaceable natural resources.

Look back to January 1969 when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson (D), the driving force behind Earth Day, and many others witnessed the ravages of Santa Barbara’s massive oil spill which eventually sent 9,000 gallons of oil per hour along California’s pristine coastline. For Nelson, who had long been concerned about the United States’ deteriorating environment, the massive oil spill was his defining moment in launching an activist movement. By the time Union Oil stopped the leakage, the spill rate hit 24,000 U.S. gallons per day, the worst spill in the nation’s history. Devastation was everywhere; oil-coated loons and Western grebes piled up along the unspoiled California coastline. Despite attempts to clean and care for the oil-slicked birds, conservationists estimated that 9,000 died. “The Santa Barbara incident,” Nelson said, “has frankly touched the conscience of the American people.” The disastrous spill motivated Nelson to launch a nationwide teach-in about environmental awareness similar to the teach-ins anti-Vietnam War protestors were conducting.

Environmentalists celebrated the first official Earth Day on April 22, 1970, and momentum to protect America the beautiful quickly surged. A decade later, the 1980 Earth Day event was held in Washington. D.C. across from the White House and capped ten years of new, major U.S. environmental laws that included the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Toxics Substances Control Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Earth Day spearheaded a decade of significant advancement— the Environmental Protection Agency’s formation and the banning of DDT and of lead in gasoline. During the 1980s, Earth Day’s reach expanded internationally. By 1990 Earth Day was global; environmental concerns activated two hundred million people in 141 countries. In 1995, President Bill Clinton gave Nelson the coveted Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

Today, environmentalists face a different but equally grave challenge than the one that concerned those decades ago. While not as dramatic as millions of washed-up dead waterfowl, unchecked population growth has an equally devastating effect on the environment. In 1970, the U.S. population stood at 203 million; in 2024, more than 336 million residents inhabit the U.S. The Census Bureau Population Clock shows that arriving net international migrants come at the rate of one every 27 seconds and represent the major population driver. The population growth formula: births, one every nine seconds, minus deaths, one every ten seconds, plus net international arrivals, one every 27 seconds, equals a net gain of one person every 20 seconds.

President Joe Biden’s welcoming open border policies which have allowed about 7.2 million illegal immigrants to resettle in the U.S. have exacerbated the population crisis, and have established an unsustainable, but nevertheless ongoing policy. Non-immigrant visa overstays add another 650,ooo-850,000 annually to the existing population. About 1.5 million got aways is a population concern and also a homeland threat. The U.S. has successfully lowered its fertility rate to 1.786 births per woman, well-below the previous 2.1 replacement level. But the advancement in lowering the birth rate is obliterated by the arriving illegal immigrants. While some social scientists are troubled by falling birth rates, low fertility offers advantages: easing ecological pressures, preventing overcrowding and reducing the infrastructure costs that come with a growing population. The ignored variable in the population growth formula is immigration.

One month ago, on March 22, the United Nations observed World Water Day, an event that should raise consciousness about how immigration-driven population growth has dried up vital water bodies. The final scorecard: Roughly 40 percent of wells have hit all-time lows since 2010. The seven states that signed the Colorado River Compact in 1922 had a combined population of 2.8 million in 1900. Their combined populations today exceed 62 million. More immigration means more sprawl—people need water for personal consumption. Homes, hospitals and schools must be built. If immigration is not reduced, the West’s arid regions will have millions more people, fewer farms, and more expensive, and perhaps severely rationed water. The Colorado River loses 19.3-million-acre feet of water per year to cities, farms and evaporation, roughly the amount of water used by the 50 largest U.S. cities each year. The river can be saved but not without significant reductions in water use, especially from the irrigated agriculture industry which could adversely affect the nation’s food supply.

Although some media outlets have reported on the open Southwest and Northern borders, few have emphasized that chain migration allows illegal immigrants, once they obtain legal status, can petition non-nuclear family members. Once on U.S. soil, they may either grow their existing families or begin new ones. Within two decades, chain migration and new family formations could increase the 7.2 million aliens by a multiplier of three. Princeton University researchers established the three-times multiplier. Within a generation, today’s non-existent border enforcement and foolish immigration laws policies will eventually lead to twenty-one million new residents whose histories are linked to illegal immigration.

Immigration is politics’ third rail. But Nelson considered population stabilization a key component to environmental stabilization. To immigration expansionists, Nelson said, “It’s phony to say, ‘I’m for the environment but not for limiting immigration.’”

Joe Guzzardi is an Institute for Sound Public Policy analyst. Contact him at

Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries; Happy Earth Day

Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries; Happy Earth Day Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries

2 thoughts on “Border Crisis Creates Enviro Worries; Happy Earth Day”

  1. If Ira Einhorn were alive today he would be composting his girlfriend. Earth Day is little more than virtue signaling.

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