The Los Angeles Times ran a Thursday editorial by Middlebury College Professor Bill McKibben arguing that allowing millions of illegal immigrants into America will reduce global warming.
“I feel it's urgent that we get real immigration reform, allowing millions to step out of the shadows and on to a broad path toward citizenship,” wrote McKibben. “It will help, not hurt, our environmental efforts, and potentially in deep and powerful ways.”
McKibben says that while the average American has a larger carbon footprint than a person living in the developing world, bringing more immigrants to America would likely reduce their tendency to have higher birthrates, thereby creating less carbon-producing people.
“It's true that the typical person from a developing nation would produce more carbon once she adopted an American lifestyle,” says McKibben, “but she also probably would have fewer children.”
McKibben, who previously wrote a book arguing for Americans to have smaller families, says that “global warming is arguably the greatest danger we face,” that “immigrants, by definition, are full of hope,” and they are thus less likely to “pull the [election] lever for climate deniers, for people who want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, for the politicians who take huge quantities of cash from the Koch brothers and other oil barons.”
Interestingly, among those who profit from deals with “oil barons,” McKibben failed to mention Al Gore. Gore recently sold Current TV for $500 million to Al Jazeera, which is owned by the government of Qatar, an oil-rich Persian Gulf state.