Two, Three, Many Sierra Club Insurgencies!
April 20, 2005, 05:00 AM
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(With apologies, sort of, to Che Guevara)

It`s spring, VDARE.COM campers!

Not only is nature popping out all over, but another painful exercise in diminished democracy is playing out in the Sierra Club.

Compared with last year`s steroidal media attack by the corrupt Old Guard against several top-notch immigration and population reduction reformers, this year`s election is tame.

Nevertheless, the rematch that ends at noon EDT, Monday April 25 has many of the same elements. 

This year`s reform candidates, although there are no big names, bring substantial conservation credentials.

Following are the candidates recommended by Sierra reform group SUSPS.org:

  • Greg Bungo

  • Alan Kuper

  • James McDonald

  • Robert Roy van de Hoek

Curiously, this year`s election has gotten little attention in the press—despite a controversial ballot initiative to return environmental integrity to the Sierra Club`s position on immigration:

Shall the Sierra Club policy on immigration, adopted by the Board of Directors in 1999 and revised in 2003, be changed to recognize the need to adopt lower limits on migration to the U.S. as shown below ... (link)

The official statement for the ballot question, from SUSPS, is here; a 750-word explanation that makes the conservationist case for immigration limits.

A previous attempt was made in 1998 to return the Sierra Club to the sensible population platform of 1970 that policies should "bring about the stabilization of the population first of the United States and then of the world." In a low poll, about a third of the Sierra membership voted for it.

The underlying idea: America should provide leadership on population matters by using our national leadership to maintain economic growth and protect the environment while moving toward a stable, sustainable U.S. population. 

This is how environmentalists used to think—before the left hijacked the movement.

An exception to this year`s media indifference: an April 9 AP article (Sierra Club members vote on restricting immigration, by Terence Chea) in which the environmental reasons for and against America`s self inflicted-overpopulation via immigration were discussed unusually calmly.

"The issue of escalating population growth in the United States is the single most important environmental issue in the nation," said board member Paul Watson, who also heads the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. "We`ve got to address this problem. We can`t continue to have our heads in the sand."

Spoken like a true environmentalist of pre-PC vintage! 

Plus, the piece contained no hysterical accusations of racism. This must be considered progress.

But the article left out the worst scandal to hit the Sierra Club in its history: the secret "donation" of $100 million from Wall Street investor David Gelbaum accepted by Executive Director Carl Pope on the condition that the organization not recognize immigration as an environmental issue. [Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2004, "The Man behind the Land"]

"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."

How the Sierra Club of the late, great David Brower has fallen—from the principled voice of American conservation to the Enron of San Francisco!

Yet the Establishment Media has not followed up this genuine shocker of a story. You read about it here on VDARE.COM.

Does this attitude of "say no evil" prevail because the Sierra Club is a liberal icon?

Does the Sierra Club`s partisan opposition to President Bush make the group immune to critical media oversight?

The 2004 Sierra election was distasteful for its vicious character assassination of former Democratic governor of Colorado Dick Lamm, and other worthy persons, who were painted as part of a tofu-eating storm-trooper cabal.

The passive MSM slurped it up: the image of jack-booted vegetarian right-wingers poised to roll over defenseless hikers was too deliciously horrific to allow mere facts to interfere.

As I reported earlier in VDARE.COM, the Club has been taken to court for violating its own bylaws and state corporation law in the 2004 election. (No results there yet.)

From an environmental perspective, the Sierra Club is crippled because it has become a political player—effectively renouncing its long history of nonpartisan environmental advocacy.

Nobody listens to the Sierra Club any more except the dwindling choir because everyone knows they`re just Democrats in green drag. (And I`m a Democrat!)

The hard Left has never cared about the environment. Yet the Sierra Club has married up with the worst of those, like George Soros` MoveOn.org and film provocateur Michael Moore who toured college campuses last year with Sierra Executive Director Carl Pope.

More examples:


  • On April 2, 2001, the Club announced in a Sacramento legislative committee meeting its support for AB 60, a bill which would have granted driver`s licenses to illegal aliens. Other supporters that day: La Raza and MALDEF.

As David Brower said scathingly when he resigned from the Sierra Club in 2000: "The world is burning and all I hear from them is the music of violins."

The world is still burning, only hotter. The Sierra Club, which should be driving the fire engines, is part of the problem.

The Sierra Club has been totally captured by its staff of left-wing loonies. This happens so often to organizations that it`s a recognized principle of sociology: "The Iron of Oligarchy."

Dislodging the Sierra Stalinists will take time. But not the least of their resemblance to Soviet apparatchiks is that they must perforce follow their own version of the Brezhnev Doctrine ("socialism in any country is irreversible").

The Sierra Stalinists have to win everywhere—hence their hysteria. The insurgents, to discredit them, need only win once.

Brenda Walker [email her] has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1984. The Sierra management is currently trying to expel her for her VDARE.COM columns. Check out her websites LimitsToGrowth.org and ImmigrationsHumanCost.org.