Save The Sierra Club From The Treason Lobby—Act Now!

by Brenda Walker:

A Democrat Is Disgusted By Her Party`s Presidential

A war is being waged for the soul of
the Sierra Club, the nation`s premier environmental
group. True conservationists, who want to

preserve America`s resources and natural heritage,

have been working within the organization`s democratic
framework to return the 110-year-old group to policy
positions that promote

population sanity
, foreign and domestic. 

That means immigration reduction –
which the Club`s liberal leaders explicitly eschewed in

The members have elected three
outstanding immigration realists to the Board of
Directors (15 total, with five chosen annually for
three-year terms). They are: UCLA Prof. Ben Zuckerman
(elected 2002); Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug
LaFollette; Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson (both
elected in 2003). All are serious environmentalists of
many years standing and worthy heirs to the tradition of
Sierra Club founder

John Muir

The good news: other highly
qualified candidates with population expertise are
running in the Board elections to be held by mail this
spring. Those contending for the 2004 seats include:
former Colorado Governor

Richard Lamm,
one-time head of the Congressional
Black Caucus Foundation Frank Morris: Cornell University
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology David

The bad news: the

Treason Lobby
is working to pull the Sierra Club
even further from genuine environmentalism. Incredibly,
one of the candidates now gathering signature petitions
in order to appear on the spring ballot is none other
than left-wing smear artist

Morris Dees
, founder of the

Southern Poverty Law Center
(SPLC). Dees is far more
known for his fundraising abilities and his

than any interest in preserving the
earth. Why is he pursuing an unpaid position requiring a
serious time commitment?

Harper`s magazine (November

blew the whistle
on Dees` use of the issue of civil
rights to amass a huge fortune for the SPLC, more than
$100 million. Author Ken Silverstein concluded that Dees
has cared more about "a relentless fund-raising
than racial justice. The SPLC has few
blacks working for it, and that Dees` fundraising
appeals inflate the importance of the Ku Klux Klan.
(Silverstein reports that the KKK has fewer than 2,000
members nationwide and that most

"hate crimes"
are perpetrated by angry
individuals, not

racist conspiracies.

More recently (12/16/03), the

Northern Virginia Journal
came to this
conclusion about the SPLC:

“If you don`t particularly
want your charitable donations to go towards somebody`s
mortgage or country club dues, give your hard-earned
dollars to a real charity, not a bunch of slick,
parasitic hucksters who live high on the hog by raising
money on behalf of needy people who never see a dime of

The Journal noted that the
Arlington-based Better Business Bureau`s Wise Giving
Alliance had

condemned the SPLC
for spending 89 percent of its
income on administration and fundraising. Administrative
costs can indeed run high with six-figure paychecks like
Dees` annual $280,699.

This electoral season`s first

"greening of hate"
article has already been
published. Writer Betsy Hartmann, whose writing shows

more affinity
with Marx than Muir, made the

usual groundless accusations of racism
based on the
"links between the green wing of the anti-immigration
movement and

and white supremacy"
that come from the
SPLC`s smear campaign. Needless to say, there is no
evidence of any such beliefs on the part of Sierra
immigration realists, so Hartmann uses the emotive smear
"links," a favorite SPLC tactic. (For example, we
could say that Sierra Club Executive Director

Carl Pope
and conservative

Pat Buchanan
both opposed

, so they`re “linked”—get it?)

Polls consistently show that the

great majority of Americans

—want immigration to be legal, controlled
and reduced. It is absurd on its face to claim that
Americans are “racist” because they want their

immigration laws enforced.
The issue of law and

is profoundly mainstream—as is protecting
the environment.

The prize is enormous. The Sierra
Club is arguably the most influential voice of the
environmental movement, one well heard by Washington and
the media. It has one of the

largest memberships
of green groups—around
740,000—and name recognition to die for. Its colorful
history has included the lyrical writer and activist
John Muir, as well as latter-day icon, the late

David Brower
who was not afraid to state the obvious
connections between excessive immigration, explosive
population growth and environmental damage. Brower

, "Overpopulation is perhaps the biggest
problem facing us, and immigration is part of that
problem. It has to be addressed."

But the environmentalist movement
in general, and the Sierra Club in particular, has been
Missing In Action in the immigration debate. Until about
a decade ago, the Club had a

sensible view
about the limits to growth on a small
planet. Its official position in 1970 was that the
organization should

support policies
that "bring about the
stabilization of the population first of the United
States and then of the world."
Back at the time of
the first Earth Day, environmentalists understood that
there was such a thing as

explosive overpopulation
. Paul Ehrlich, author of

The Population Bomb
, appeared on the

Johnny Carson Show
and raised national awareness
about the danger of overpopulation—not excluding
immigration. [Click

for the little-known sequel to Ehrlich`s famous
dispute with immigration enthusiast economist

Julian Simon
]. It was only later that
political correctness began to afflict the reasoning
capabilities of environmentalists.

The nadir was reached in 1996, when
the Club reversed its domestic population position by


take no position on immigration levels or on policies
governing immigration into the United States. The Club
remains committed to environmental rights and
protections for all within our borders, without
discrimination based on immigration status."

Long-time members organized to
return the Club to its earlier immigration realist
position. They mounted a 1998

ballot initiative
asking the membership to approve a
reversion to the previous policy that sought to limit
America`s population growth. The Club`s permanent
officials fought back with their enormous institutional
power, and the measure lost 60-40 in a low poll. Now,
however, the effort to elect responsible
conservationists to the Board has paid off.

Environmentalism has not always
been considered a

liberal or left issue.
It`s no accident that the
words conservative and conservation have the same root.

Republican Roosevelt
was a great champion of the
outdoors and of conserving

America`s unique wild places

If you care about protecting the
planet, including the American chunk of it, then join
the Sierra Club NOW and have your vote influence this

Membership information is available

Sierra Club Memberships and Donation
.  An
introductory membership is just $25.00.

You must join by the end of January
to participate in the next election. But earlier
enrollment is better—bureaucratic accidents happen.

Great strides have been taken
toward returning the Sierra Club to responsible
environmentalism. It could play a decisive role in the
immigration debate. But active grassroots support is
essential to keep it on the right track.

All that is necessary for the
triumph of Dees is for immigration reformers to sit on
their credit cards.

Author Brenda Walker [email
] has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1984
and has long wondered why more conservatives don`t
support conservation. She produces the websites