Sierra Club sells out on immigration - again

When John Muir founded the Sierra Club 121 years ago, he instilled a deep environmental ethic. Muir observed:

“When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.”

Yet time has taken its toll within the Sierra Club, which no longer prioritizes environmental principles over financial fluidity and social involvement. While the membership still pays lip-service to environmental issues, management has become demonstrably corporatized.

In the mid 1990's, the Club did an abrupt turnaround to abandon their principled population position acknowledging that mass immigration was - and still is - the driving force behind US population doubling. (American women had already reached replacement level fertility - that is, 2.1 children per woman - in 1972).

Betrayed Sierra Club members tried to lead the Club back on the environmental track. As a former chair of SUSPS, the group spearheading that effort, I was amazed by our dedication. And dismayed by our naiveté.

It was later uncovered that the Club had received $100 million from super wealthy donor David Gelbaum, who said, "if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me."

Later, in a surprising 2008 business alliance, the Club began endorsing Clorox products.1 It seems that dollars consistently trump environmentalism, even in the Sierra Club. The alliances continued.

Recently, on April 24, 2013, the Sierra Club stunned its members with a blatant reversal of their 1996 ban on discussion of immigration policy. Just after board election results were announced - only 7.7 percent of nearly half a million members voted - the board unilaterally declared the Club's "strong support for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants".2

So now the Sierra Club now openly supports amnesty for the 11 million to 40 million illegal aliens who are living within the United States. In the same announcement, the Club confirmed that they oppose securing America's southern border, saying this is for "environmental" reasons.3

The Club clearly has given cover to special interests who are demanding amnesty, unending US population growth, and more consumers for corporate products. These special interests can now say that environmental concerns related to amnesty for illegal aliens have been addressed - after all, the Sierra Club supports amnesty!

With the 1996 turnabout, the Sierra Club became an organization that supported population doubling over environmental protection. With their current support for amnesty, the Club has positioned themselves as an integral component of the special interest consortium who want growth, smart growth, and more growth.

The Sierra Club got $100 million in 1996 when they abandoned principles, and presumably made even more off the Clorox deal. We don't yet know what the payment was for this year's deal, but it is abundantly clear that the Sierra Club has sold its environmental soul.


Update: additional reading:

The following article was published on June 11, 2013: POLITICO’s Samuelsohn Cheer-Leads Environmentalist Sell-Out (And We Mean Sell-Out) To Treason Lobby, by Brenda Walker, Vdare.dom. The article is well-written, interesting, and accurate (I know, I was there).



1. Sierra Club leader departs amid discontent over group's direction, Los Angeles Times, November 19, 2011
Clorox Courts Sierra Club, and a Product Is Endorsed, New York Times, March 26, 2008

2. A Path to the Future, Sierra Club, April 25, 2013
Sierra Club backs immigration reform, Politico, April 24, 2013

3. See Desert Invasion for documentation and photos of destruction by illegal aliens of America's border areas.