SUSPS' mission is to change Sierra Club population policy so that it once again comprehensively addresses U.S. population growth. We encourage you to vote for Sierra Club Board candidates who support the Club addressing the root cause of U.S. population growth.
No to racism, Yes to environmentalism
We support U.S. population stabilization purely for ecological reasons. This requires we reduce both birth rates and migration to the U.S. to sustainable levels. Unending population growth and increasing levels of consumption together are the root causes of the vast majority of our environmental problems, as is the case in many other countries.
As environmentalists, we in SUSPS are fully aware of the value of biodiversity. An ecosystem is healthier when it has a wide variety of animal and plant species. Similarly, we see value in ethnic and cultural diversity. A nation with human diversity is better able to survive crises, and it benefits from the creativity that diversity inspires.
We are shocked and repulsed by the actions and statements of Neo-Nazis, xenophobes and racists of any kind. We repudiate any support from people who have racial motives for reducing immigration. Racists and their offensive ideas and actions have no place in modern civilized society.
SUSPS® is a network of Sierra Club activists who support a comprehensive approach to environmentalism within the Sierra Club. This approach includes effective action for population stabilization in the United States. Currently Sierra Club policies call for stabilizing U.S. population but do not address the combined impacts of mass migration and birth rates on U.S. population growth.
Our vision for environmentalism, however, does not stop at our nation's borders. It also includes educating women worldwide to achieve lower birth rates, lowering consumption levels in industrialized and developing nations, and protecting national parks and the world's remaining wild spaces from exploitation and development.
While we do not represent the views of the Sierra Club itself, a large proportion of Club members have voted for our past initiative proposals. For more information see SUSPS' Statement of Principles and information about SUSPS.
Only the Chair(s) of SUSPS, spokespersons designated by the Chair(s) of SUSPS, and this web site are authorized to present SUSPS views and positions or otherwise speak on behalf of SUSPS. Any other person claiming to represent or speak for SUSPS has no standing to present such information.
We encourage Sierra Club members to sign up with SUSPS in order to support our efforts. If you are not a Sierra Club member, please sign up with SUSPS and also join the Sierra Club to support our efforts in the annual Spring election.
This website and materials contained herein are not sponsored by, nor affiliated with, the Sierra Club. Opinions expressed on this website are those of SUSPS.
Website by Fred Elbel.
For the love of money
Since 1996, leaders of the Sierra Club have refused to admit that immigration driven, rapid U.S. population growth causes massive environmental problems. And they have refused to acknowledge the need to reduce U.S. immigration levels in order to stabilize the U.S. population and protect our natural resources. Their refusal to do what common sense says is best for the environment was a mystery for nearly a decade.
Then, on Oct. 27, 2004, the Los Angeles Times revealed the answer: David Gelbaum, a super rich donor, had demanded this position from the Sierra Club in return for huge donations! Kenneth Weiss, author of the LA Times article that broke the story, quoted what David Gelbaum said to Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope:
"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."
In 1996 and again in 1998, the Club's leaders proved their loyalty to Gelbaum's position on immigration, first by enacting a policy of neutrality on immigration and then by aggressively opposing a referendum to overturn that policy. In 2000 and 2001, Gelbaum rewarded the Club with total donations to the Sierra Club Foundation exceeding $100 million. In 2004 and 2005, the Club's top leaders and management showed their gratitude for the donations by stifling dissent and vehemently opposing member efforts to enact an immigration reduction policy.
Mr. Gelbaum is entitled to restrict how his donations to the Sierra Club Foundation are spent. But he should NOT be permitted to influence how other members' dues or donations are spent or to dictate policy choices via the threat of withholding contributions. That is completely inappropriate.
Even worse, Sierra Club leaders accepted Gelbaum's conditions in secret and forced a modification of the Club's policy to conform to his wishes. Furthermore, Club leaders certainly shouldn't have misrepresented immigration reductionists as anti-immigrant or racist in order to guarantee Gelbaum's donations; there is nothing inherently racist or anti-immigrant about sustainable levels of immigration.
Worst of all, the U.S. population continues to grow by about 3 million people per year, of which nearly half are immigrants, and two-thirds of the growth is a result of immigration, if the children of immigrants are included. Our forests continue to be clearcut to provide construction materials, our groundwater is depleted to provide water for our growing population, we grow more and more dependent on foreign sources of oil, and we are unable to reduce our output of greenhouse gases, all thanks to our burgeoning population.
We don't like it when the oil, timber, coal, and nuclear power industries oppose environmental reform, yet we understand why they do it: for the love of money. Is it any better when the Sierra Club opposes environmental reform for the love of money?
How SUSPS advised Congress
SUSPS is concerned about population stabilization in the United states and that, as the Sierra Club recognizes:
"... all of our environmental successes may be short-lived if they do not include efforts to address population growth."
SUSPS holds that this statement applies to domestic population growth as much as it does to worldwide population growth. As a result of our country's immigration policies coupled with birth rates, the U.S. has the highest population growth of all developed countries. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau if we do nothing to change our nation's de-facto population policy, our population will double this century.
This doubling will have a significant impact on the environmental legacy left to future generations of all species. We will have to build practically an entire new infrastructure equal in size to our existing infrastructure in order to sustain this new population. The environmental consequences of this population growth will be significant. SUSPS demands that the Sierra Club stop placing political sensitivities ahead of the environment and begin addressing migration levels and birthrates in the U.S.
Read about the impact of U.S. population growth on the environment.
U.S. fertility, or birth rates, first dropped to less than replacement level fertility in 1972. Yet U.S. fertility is still dramatically higher than most all developed countries. For example, Europe's aggregate fertility varies between approximately 1.3 and 1.5, depending upon region. According to the Census Bureau's decennial census, U.S. population is growing by approximately 3.3 million per year. The growth due to natural increase is 1.6 million per year (total births minus deaths, including native-born births and births to immigrants).
Read more about birth rates and U.S. population growth.
Immigration into the U.S. averaged a near replacement level of 178,000 per year from 1925 through 1965. In 1965 Congress increased legal immigration approximately 6-fold through the Immigration and Nationality Act. After subsequent legislation further increasing yearly legal immigration, the U.S. now takes in a million legal immigrants and an estimated 700,000 illegal immigrants each year. This high level of migration will be responsible for nearly 70% of U.S. population doubling during this century.
Environmentalists need not apologize for acknowledging this demographic reality. To the contrary, environmentalists who refuse to recognize the seismic shift of demographics in the U.S. betray their own cause. Only by confronting birth rates and mass migration as the root causes of U.S. population growth will we be able to ensure sustainability for future generations - of all species.
Read more about immigration and U.S. population growth.
Why global solutions are inadequate
The Sierra Club categorizes overpopulation exclusively as a worldwide problem requiring only global solutions. Stabilizing world population in 50 or 100 years will not solve population problems within the U.S. because the flow of migration will continue unabated. Thus we must address overpopulation now, not later in our own country as well as in other countries throughout the world.
While we support the Sierra Club's current global policies designed to stabilize world population, we urge the Sierra Club to return to the roots of the environmental movement that encompass U.S. overpopulation - to also preserve and protect our own environment for the benefit of future generations.