Climate change is a complex global issue (not unlike immigration)
Regarding John H. Henn’s letter on “de facto open borders” (“Open borders pose a climate change nightmare for US,” July 16), I would like to make two points.
First, the “climate footprint” of low-wealth Americans is far below that of average Americans. Moving here doesn’t automatically increase your carbon footprint dramatically.
Second, accelerating climate change affects not only “all who live in the United States,” but all life on earth, which is what makes climate change so hard to address.
Defeatists like to argue that it doesn’t matter what we do, because addressing climate change requires global action. The beauty of the Paris agreement — the accord that President Trump pulled us out of — was that there was global agreement on the need to address it.
Immigration as a climate concern? That’s a callous view
John H. Henn is concerned that too many immigrants to the United States might be detrimental to the environment, because they will enter into our culture of people who refuse to scale back their lifestyle for the betterment of the climate. Perhaps Henn could start a movement of all those privileged folks currently residing in the United States and get them to move south to countries that are so impoverished they use fewer resources.
It’s rather offensive to say we want to limit immigration because we are a callous, greedy, shortsighted culture. I’ll bet that if you asked those who are seeking asylum and who are taking the risks of migrating, they’d say that, in an ideal world, they’d really rather stay in their own countries, feel safe, and have opportunities to support their families.
This issue is more complex and will take more compassion and planning than just stopping immigration.