The Van Jones Fiasco—How Low Can Lefty Greens Go?

It was a very bad day for
environmentalism in

when the

Sierra Club secretly took over $100 million in donations


Wall Street investor

David Gelbaum on the condition that its historic caution
about immigration not be renewed.

It signaled the end of true
bipartisan defense of the earth and the beginning of
environmentalism`s enthusiastic plunge into extreme

multicultural ideology

and nutty
a deep-sixing of the overpopulation issue both


and worldwide.

The greens` recent
elevation of radical

Van Jones
, Obama`s
just-derailed green jobs
czar, is another marker of the decay.

In 2000, conservationist

David Brower resigned from the Sierra Club board
, complaining that there was
"no real sense of urgency" about saving the earth.
is perhaps the biggest problem facing us, and
immigration is part of that problem“,
Brower said.”It
has to be addressed“

The immigration issue is a
great integrity
—the position of an individual or group
on immigration reveals basic integrity…or the lack of

The Sierra Club once had integrity—back in 1989
when the official position was

"Immigration to the U.S.
should be no greater than that which will permit
achievement of population stabilization in the U.S"

Then the Club got that big pile of cash (with which
it purchased some very nice land to preserve), for which
donor Gelbaum required censorship on the issue. He
confirmed to a reporter:

“`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…`

“Gelbaum, who reads the Spanish-language newspaper
La Opinion and
is married to a Mexican American, said his views on
immigration were shaped long ago by his grandfather,
Abraham, a watchmaker who had come to America to

escape persecution of Jews

in Ukraine before World War I..

“`I cannot support an organization that is
anti-immigration. It would dishonor the

memory of my grandparents.

The Man Behind the Land,
By Kenneth R. Weiss,
Los Angeles Times,
October 27, 2004. Links added].

That would be Sierra Club
Executive Director Carl Pope, who as a young man spent
two earnest years in India as a Peace Corps volunteer,
promoting overpopulation awareness and educating about
birth control. But now he hangs out with leftist

George Soros

and self-identified




organizer Van Jones, who until recently was White House

green jobs advisor


Jones resigned

following revelations of his own extremist statements,
Pope penned a strange apology titled

We All Blew It
"we, the far
didn`t support Jones enough. That blog item
appeared on the Sierra Club site as well as the

Huffington Post

Pope blamed racism, Fox
News, the
"reactionary right"
—everything but Jones` own
history of radical associations and remarks. Pope wrote:

“..I assumed it would blow

“Well, that was a mistake. So was the decision by
the White House to treat the initial attacks not as part
of an assault on the president but, instead, to allow
them to be viewed as being about Van Jones. What we
underestimated was the power of the fact that both Jones
and the Barack Obama are black. Yes, the hysteria was
about politics—I don`t think Fox News really cares about
Jones`s ethnicity—but it was enabled by race.

Calling Bush a `crack-head`
is seen by a large part of America as worse than
calling him `addict-in-chief` because crack is not just
a drug — it is a drug used

largely by black people
It reminds those Americans who are still

uncomfortable with Barack Obama
that we have a black president.”
(Links added).

Is it not odd for the
leader of an environmentalist organization to be
(wrongly) beating the

racism drum?

Whatever happened to
concern about preserving endangered species and wild

The Sierra Club`s new
pursuit of diversity as the highest good has led to
curious obsessions—such as

a recent self-criticism on its website

by Sierra Club President Allison Chin (who is
Asian), responding to complaints by Obama EPA
Administrator Lisa Jackson (who is black), which was
cringingly headlined

"Yep, We`re Too White"

Multicultural values
dictate that a movement doesn`t matter unless it
includes lots of colorful people, so environmentalism
had to shape up. As a result, the leftist concept of

"social justice"

morphed into
"environmental justice"
. The Sierra Club now devotes

special webpage
to celebrating diversity,
which has greenified the familiar bromide that

"diversity is our strength"

into the “Sierra
Club Diversity Statement”

“Like a healthy ecosystem, our differences
strengthen us in our efforts to preserve and protect the
natural and human environment.”

But efforts at outreach
have proved to be more difficult than anticipated in the
liberal playbook. The
New York Times
recently quoted Carl Pope complaining about the
by the Club`s
existing membership
“If you go to a
Sierra Club meeting, the people are mostly white,
largely over 40, almost all college-educated, whose
style is to argue with each other"
, he remarked.
Environmental Push, Looking to Add Diversity
, By Mireya Navarro, March 3, 2009]

Certainly that difficulty
meant it was easier for Pope to happily welcome an edgy
black man like Vann Jones into the green fold. There was
expediency on both sides. Pope got more of the diversity
he desired. Jones got a whole new sphere where he could
strut his stuff, as well as connect to a lot of
foundation money.

What should set off alarm
bells was how easily a radical organizer—he`s described
himself as a former

"rowdy black nationalist"
said he was a



while protesting the

Rodney King

verdict, and



recast himself as an important environmentalist without
missing a beat.

Certainly the elite media
were enthralled. The

Washington Post
called him a
"towering figure of the environmental movement". The
New Yorker
produced an adoring puff piece for the January 12 issue:

Greening the Ghetto
, by Elizabeth Kolbert.

“Jones, who is forty, is tall and imposing, with a
shaved head and a patchy goatee. He wears rimless
glasses and favors dark clothing. On this particular
day, he was wearing a black turtleneck, black jeans,
black boots, and a charcoal jacket. He was introduced by
a community organizer and aspiring rapper, who described
him as `a leader with answers,` a `genius from
the hood,
similar to our own,` and a

youthful version of Barack

When it was his turn to speak, Jones rejected the
lectern that had been set up for him, saying that it
reminded him too much of college.”

A big part of Jones` appeal
was his salesman pitch to solve poverty and climate
change with green jobs—a spiel no

utopian leftist

could resist. His book  The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

promised way more than it could realistically
deliver, but sounded terrific to those environmentalists
friendly to big-government approaches.

The idea was that
Washington should create a green New Deal, based on
spending $350 billion to rebuild the country with
energy-saving technology. Instead of a chicken in every
pot, Jones promised a solar panel on every roof. As for
the cost, a few hundred billion sounds low to remodel
the country.

It`s obvious how Carl Pope
could have starry-eyed plans for the guy, even though
Jones had no experience in business, or green technology
either for that matter. The message was the important
thing. And having it delivered by a shaved-headed black
guy who exuded street cred was too juicy to resist.

VDARE.COM readers who are
strong of stomach may want to watch a

titled "The
Brave Nation"
, in which leftists like Pope, Jones,
Delores Huerta, Pete Seeger and Anthony Romero chat
about their big plans for America, framed with
historical background footage. Watch the

trailer here
. The

Pope-Jones section is here
, and shows Jones in his
upbeat friendly mode, with none of the

hostile commie-speak
that has showed up on

What is disturbing about
this dismal episode is what it reveals about the
environmental movement.

The earth needs friends
right now, and the organizations that are supposed to be
doing that job aren`t. America is a conservative
country, and far-left environmentalists are very
off-putting. Watermelon greens—
on the outside, red on the inside"
wrong for Americans on too many issues.

There are plenty of
environmental problems about which we can all agree,
e.g. the

destruction of fisheries
and a Texas-sized

patch of floating plastic garbage
in the North Pacific. But Carl Pope would rather
trash-talk about conservatives than engage in
bi-partisan environmental protection.

Furthermore, the Sierra
Club has taken positions that are either purely
political (i.e. friendly to the Hispanic lobby, often to
the detriment of Americans) or are actually harmful to
the environment. For example, in California`s 2003
gubernatorial recall election, it

endorsed candidate Cruz Bustmante
, despite his refusal to condemn the race-baiting

Brown Power organization MEChA
, which he joined as a college student. In 2001
Bustamante had to

apologize for using a racial slur
when speaking to an audience of black trade
unionists. All too blatantly, the Club has lower
standards for its political allies than for its


Mexican cartels have turned
parts of our most treasured national parks (including

Yosemite and Sequoia
into toxic marijuana plantations. But the Sierra Club

"acknowledges other priorities then drug bandits"

In California, the Club has

supported drivers licenses/identification cards for
illegal aliens
, despite the increased
threats of terrorism and worsened public safety.

The Sierra Club has opposed


on the

Mexican border.

Despite the

terrible destruction to habitat
and mountains of trash

left by

illegal alien crossers

1.18 million pounds in Arizona during 2006 alone), Carl Pope had the effrontery to complain last
year that the project might cause
"the destruction
of the borderlands region"
Parry and Thrust | Green
groups challenge a bid to speed the border fence
By Andrew Murr,
, April 4, 2008].

The Sierra Club Stalinists
have personally attacked genuine environmentalists (like

your humble correspondent
, among others) for merely
pointing out their misdeeds and for working within the
organization`s dwindling democratic structure for

It`s a tragedy. Both the
earth and America need extra care and attention. But
instead both are being shafted by

watermelon environmentalist

groups like the Sierra Club, which now appeal to
only a small, very liberal segment of the population.

There is something terribly
wrong if greens cannot convince the country with logical
arguments, but prefer extremists like Van Jones to be
their messenger.

Brenda Walker (
email her) lives in Northern California and publishes two
. She actually agrees that the country
needs to rejigger its energy use to more sustainable
sources, but not in the top-down government-spending
approach of the Van Jones ilk. Rather than shoveling
taxpayer money out the door to political cronies, why
doesn`t the Congress create business incentives for the
greener future?