The Sierra Club devours its own

For the love of money

It's common knowledge that the Sierra Club sold out to the tune of $100 million in 1996. Big bucks motivated the club to abandon its traditional population policy, which acknowledged immigration as a prime contributing component to America's population growth.

From the SUSPS website:

Since 1996, leaders of the Sierra Club have refused to admit that immigration driven, rapid U.S. population growth causes massive environmental problems. And they have refused to acknowledge the need to reduce U.S. immigration levels in order to stabilize the U.S. population and protect our natural resources. Their refusal to do what common sense says is best for the environment was a mystery for nearly a decade.

Then, on Oct. 27, 2004, the Los Angeles Times revealed the answer: David Gelbaum, a super rich donor, had demanded this position from the Sierra Club in return for huge donations! Kenneth Weiss, author of the LA Times article that broke the story, quoted what David Gelbaum said to Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope:

"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."

In 1996 and again in 1998, the Club's leaders proved their loyalty to Gelbaum's position on immigration, first by enacting a policy of neutrality on immigration and then by aggressively opposing a referendum to overturn that policy. In 2000 and 2001, Gelbaum rewarded the Club with total donations to the Sierra Club Foundation exceeding $100 million. In 2004 and 2005, the Club's top leaders and management showed their gratitude for the donations by stifling dissent and vehemently opposing member efforts to enact an immigration reduction policy.

Social Justice Warriors in hiking boots

The Sierra Club has turned into a bunch of Social Justice Warriors in hiking boots. Beginning in 1996, the club demonstrated decreasing interest in the environment and ever-increasing interest in Social Justice agendas.

Recently, the unimagineable has transpired: the Sierra Club has attacked its world-renowned environmental founder John Muir. Indeed, Muir founded the modern environmental movement.

From the article The Sierra Club speaks out against its 'racist' founder, environmental icon John Muir. SFGate, July 22, 2020, we can see the club turn on its own founder:

... "The Sierra Club is a 128-year-old organization with a complex history, some of which has caused significant and immeasurable harm," read a statement posted on the organization's website Wednesday morning.

The post went on to examine the club's own role in "perpetuating white supremacy" and spoke out against its revered founder and "Father of National Parks" on his racism and ties with figures involved in eugenics....

In the statement Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said that Muir "made derogatory comments about Black people and Indigenous peoples that drew on deeply harmful racist stereotypes, though his views evolved later in his life. As the most iconic figure in Sierra Club history, Muir’s words and actions carry an especially heavy weight. They continue to hurt and alienate Indigenous people and people of color who come into contact with the Sierra Club."

There may be no one more important in the history of environmental conservation than Muir, who founded the club in 1892 in San Francisco and became its first president. But Muir's views on people of color often echoed the white supremacy shared by many figures in the early conservation movement....

The Sierra Club has jumped on the racist bandwagon, undoubtedly because there is money to be made from the duplicity.

The real story of John Muir

Raymond Barnett authored the book, Earth Wisdom: John Muir, Accidental Taoist, Charts Humanity's Only Future on a Changing Planet. The book description reads:

Earth Wisdom charts John Muir’s amazing wilderness adventures and explores the worldview that sprang from them: a way of seeing the world unique in the West, with echoes only in the Taoism of ancient China. So challenging is earth wisdom that the environmental movement has kept it hidden in Muir’s little-known journals for a century.

Barnett has also written two articles on John Muir, specifically addressing the question of racism - that is, of Muir being superficially judged by today's politically correct and notably superficial standards. The articles are highly recommended reading. Excerpts from the articles are included below:

John Muir: Racist or Admirer of Native Americans? Part One: Sierra Nevada 1869, January 22, 2019:

"Did you know that John Muir was a racist against Native Americans?"... I had read the biographies of Muir, as well as his books and journal entries, for my 2016 book about him—without encountering such a charge....

Then I discovered a 2017 NY Times article which detailed genocide of California Native Americans in the Sierra Nevada.  "Muir's view of Indians is depressing and painfully devoid of empathy," the article claimed. "The Indians he saw on trails struck him as filthy." Somehow, it seemed to suggest, Muir was sympathetic to, possibly a contributor to the mistreatment of the Native Americans ...

This revealing letter [see the original article] not only points to Muir's championing of Native Americans and his bold, in-your-face opposition to their mistreatment, but also hints at how the misperception of Muir's racism might arise. Critical to a proper understanding of what Muir saw and unflinchingly described in the Sierra Nevada of 1869 is an awareness that the Native Americans he encountered were experiencing the first generation of a holocaust that had destroyed their traditional culture and way of life....

So when the young Muir drives a herd of sheep into Tuolumne Meadow in the summer of 1869, the Native Americans he encounters are in the very midst of a holocaust that has utterly destroyed their way of life and banished them from their homes and hunting-gathering lands.... Is there any way he could truthfully describe a happy, handsome people full of vitality and enjoying their lives? ...

The exceptional thing about Muir's depiction of the Sierra Nevada Native Americans he encounters in 1869 is how often he insists on crediting them with admirable traits, how persistently he compares their culture favorably above those of his fellow Anglo-americans, how often he reminds himself (and his future readers) that these struggling people are still "fellow beings" of Muir and his kind, how they in fact are, still, their "brothers."...

John Muir: Racist or Admirer of Native Americans? Part Two: Alaska 1879, January 23, 2019:

... A mere dozen years after America's purchase of Alaska from Russia, Muir made the first of five trips to that raw, young land, in quest of the passion of his life: glaciers!...

Let's listen to what he says of them in his journals (later published in Travels in Alaska; pages refer to the 2002 Modern Library edition)....

Back on the coast after another several hundred miles by canoe with their Stickeen, Chilcat, and Sitka Native-American paddlers, Muir records this gathering in his journal: "I greatly enjoyed the Indians' camp-fire talk this evening on their ancient customs, how they were taught by their parents ere the whites came among them, their religion, ideas connected with the next world, the stars, plants, the behavior and language of animals under different circumstances, manner of getting a living, etc...."

The chieftains of the Native-American groups Muir and Young encountered were almost always highly impressive, in Muir's estimation....

Towards the end of his trip, Muir sums up his experiences among his men and in the dozens of villages he visited: "The most striking characteristic of these people is their serene dignity in circumstances that to us would be novel and embarrassing. Even the little children behave with natural dignity, come to the white men when called, and restrain their wonder at the strange prayers, hymn-singing, etc...."

This is the evidence, then. John Muir a racist against the Native Americans of Alaska or the Sierra Nevada? I think not. His honesty in portraying the appearances and manners of the Sierra Nevada tribes in the midst of their holocaust might give the impression of racism to those who know little of Muir. But when his thoughts and actions are more fully known, it is clear....

In the context of the time in which he lived, John Muir was remarkably not racist. Even by today's politically correct standards, he is by no means racist. Only as a result of contrived accusations can the Sierra Club call their founder racist.

Sierra Club director Michael Brune should commit seppuku on the steps in front of the Sierra Club as droves of club members quit in disgust.


John Muir Is Canceled. Who’s Next?, by John Fund, National Review, August 30, 2020:

The debate over John Muir is only the beginning of a purge sweeping the environmental community. In Crosscut magazine, Glenn Nelson wrote a piece last month headlined “Toppling John Muir from Sierra Club Is Not Enough.”

The debate over John Muir is only the beginning of a purge sweeping the environmental community. In Crosscut magazine, Glenn Nelson wrote a piece last month headlined “Toppling John Muir from Sierra Club Is Not Enough.”

Nelson called for dramatic efforts to “overcome a violent history of exclusion” by environmental groups. He said the next focus should be on the National Audubon Society, whose namesake, artist John James Audubon, “was an enslaver who opposed the intermingling of races.” The fact that Audubon may have himself been born to a black Creole woman in Haiti is less important than the fact the Audubon Society “has not reconciled its association with a man who, like Muir, embraced racist ideas and activities.”...

Cancel culture is a tricky thing. It hasn’t reached the point where books or DVDs are being burned in squares, but it is providing many ominous parallels to authoritarian cultures. If it’s John Muir today, which soon-to-be-tarnished icon will it be next?