Fall 2014 Newsletter

CAPS Reaches Social Media Milestone!

CAPS is now reaching more people than ever with a booming social media presence.  CAPS' Facebook page now boasts over 100,000 likes!


An Incendiary Mix
By Leon Kolankiewicz, CAPS Senior Writing Fellow

Californians have confronted wildfires ever since newcomers began arriving in droves a century ago and building homes in fire-prone habitats such as coastal sage scrub and chaparral, which cover much of the state.


Immigrants B.Y.O Water?
By Randy Alcorn, CAPS Senior Writing Fellow

Nature’s greatest gift to humans is the ability to think critically, to evaluate data and arrive at logical conclusions, including reasonably predicting consequences.


Too Many People Driving Sixth Extinction

For reasons unknown, in early September a mountain lion in Northern California departed from what’s considered normal behavior (being solitary and avoiding humans).


Chairman’s Message

Traffic congestion is one of the bugaboos of modern life, in California and across the nation.


CAPS Ads Reach Over 25 Million

California’s declining environment was linked to immigration-driven population growth in the week leading up to and including Earth Day when CAPS ran television ads in multiple markets, including San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Legislative Update

The border surge of Central Americans this summer refocused the attention of the public and Congress on the problems of illegal immigration and the role of amnesty in encouraging it.


Crowdifornia Video Contest

Calling all high school and college students!


Local Activism Spotlight: August Town Halls

CAPS thanks the large group of activists who took the time this August to visit and speak out at their legislators’ town hall meetings or meet with them directly.


CAPS Reaches Social Media Milestone!

CAPS is reaching new audiences of all ages through social media, and has experienced a more than 5,000 percent increase in engagement on our Facebook page just this year.

At the start of the year, we had under 2,000 fans on FB, but by September we’d grown our page to an audience of more than 100,000, a significant milestone in reach for the organization. A growing network of activists is joining you in your fight for the environment and a good quality of life for all.

If you haven’t visited us yet on social media, here’s where you can find us:

facebook.com/CaliforniansForPopulationStabilization

twitter.com/crowdifornia

youtube.com/crowdifornia

pinterest.com/crowdifornia

instagram.com/crowdifornia

vine.co/caps


AN INCENDIARY MIX
By Leon Kolankiewicz, CAPS Senior Writing Fellow

Californians have confronted wildfires ever since newcomers began arriving in droves a century ago and building homes in fire-prone habitats such as coastal sage scrub and chaparral, which cover much of the state. Fires are an integral part of the ecology of these vegetation communities, and they will burn every few years despite our best—and often misguided—intentions.

As temperatures climb from climate change and the Southwest goes from dry to still drier, turbocharged wildfires throughout the region will consume tens of millions of acres of desiccated brush and forestland. Two decades ago, the average national cost of fighting forest fires each season was $350 million. Now it’s increased nearly six-fold to $2 billion because of the extreme cost of fighting wildfires on the wildland-urban interface.

The suburbs and exurbs sprawling and penetrating ever more deeply into shrinking wildlands expose ever more people and property to wildfire. And it is explosive population growth in California and the other western states that drives most of this sprawl.

Sprawl devoured 656 square miles of natural habitat and farmland in California between 2002 and 2010 and 3,323 square miles from 1982 to 2010. Population growth accounted for 90 percent or more of this sprawl.

California suffered through the Rush Fire in 2012 and the Rim Fire in 2013, the second - and third - largest fires in its history. Last year was the driest year on record for California, but it is now being surpassed by 2014. As of early September, firefighters with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had combatted more than 4,000 fires for the year, 500 fires more than at the same time last year. Can anything be done over the long term to prevent this wholesale descent into a tinderbox modern version of Dante’s Inferno? Certainly, and at the local, national and global scales, though Californians, Americans and global citizens have all been disinclined to undertake the needed measures. Population stabilization is one such measure, but an essential one.


WILL IMMIGRANTS BRING THEIR OWN WATER?
By Randy Alcorn, CAPS Senior Writing Fellow

Nature’s greatest gift to humans is the ability to think critically, to evaluate data and arrive at logical conclusions, including reasonably predicting consequences. Yet, many people apparently haven’t unwrapped that gift. The depth and breadth of human stupidity continues to astound. When it occurs in those who hold leadership positions, it is troublesome.

With politicians it can be difficult to determine whether stupidity is due to addled intellect or to political conniving. Consider Governor Jerry Brown’s recent statement to Mexican immigrants, legal or illegal: “You’re all welcome in California.” Whether Brown’s bulb is dimming or he is just pandering to the growing Hispanic population, his thinking on illegal immigration is terribly flawed.

Brown and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who in his recent visit to California, referred to America as “the other Mexico,” have unabashedly colluded to erase the Mexican border with California. A flimsy border benefits Mexico at the expense of California. Brown has effectively made California a sanctuary state where foreign trespassers can not only safely remain in the state, but can also readily take full advantage of California’s welfare benefits and education system. Additionally, Brown has signed legislation granting California driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. What the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound.

The governor’s warm welcome is no doubt encouraging various pro-immigration lobbies to push for further accommodations, including a return to bilingual education and more college admissions for illegal aliens—preferably funded by California’s taxpayers.

The core cause of nearly all of California’s problems is excessive human population. The state’s infrastructure, energy, natural resources and—most immediately and critically—water are straining to support the nearly 40 million people who already reside here. Why, then, would any rational person encourage more immigration? Will immigrants bring their own water?

People demanding immigration reform typically expect reform will mean condoning illegal immigration. Their primary rational for that kind of reform is “justice and fairness.” But, what passes for justice and fairness among these folks derives from an absurd entitlement mentality.

Their most repeated contention is that because illegal aliens are just hardworking people trying to support their families, they should be allowed to stay in the U.S. Is the fact that they broke our laws to be here somehow excused by their irresponsibly having children that they could not support in their native lands? Extending that rationale we could forgive bank robbers, burglars and tax cheats who have families to support.

And, if the need to support a family earns one a free-pass to America, then we had better be prepared for a tidal wave of immigrants. The world has millions of families just a missed meal away from starvation. Unconditional charity is not a virtue. Our national resources have limits—a reality we ignore at our own peril.

Their next distortion of justice and fairness argues that illegal aliens are essential to the economy because they take jobs that American citizens reject. America, however, is not suffering a labor shortage, but quite the opposite. There aren’t enough jobs of any kind for Americans. American workers in certain industries, notably construction and packing, have been largely replaced with illegal aliens who are paid substantially less. The problem is not that Americans refuse certain jobs; it is that greedy employers prefer to hire cheap illegal labor. Any immigration reform must honestly acknowledge and effectively address this reality.

Another perversion of justice and fairness proposes that because they are here already, illegal aliens should be allowed to stay. Many have established themselves here and have families with children. Wouldn’t it be unfair to expel them now?

No, it would not. There is no statute of limitations on international trespassing that allows one to become a legal permanent resident simply by avoiding deportation long enough. Besides, we already tried granting comprehensive amnesty back in 1986. What did that get us but millions more trespassers?

Failing logic, the final refuge of pro-immigration sympathizers is racism. What is more unfair than racism? The primitive reasoning here is that since most illegal aliens are Hispanic those who oppose illegal immigration must be racists. This calumnious canard has been so overused that it has virtually lost all its power to shame, embarrass or convince anyone. But, let’s pretend for a moment that it is true. What would it change? Would all the deleterious consequences of illegal immigration go away simply because those who opposed it were racists?

California’s problematic population growth has been propelled by a proliferation of immigrants, mostly illegal, from Mexico and Central America. By actively condoning and encouraging illegal immigration, Governor Brown is doing California a great disservice.


TOO MANY PEOPLE DRIVING SIXTH EXTINCTION

For reasons unknown, in early September a mountain lion in Northern California departed from what’s considered normal behavior (being solitary and avoiding humans).

The 65-pound cat attacked a six-year-old boy who was hiking with his parents. The boy survived. The cat was tracked and killed. According to a statement from the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, “No one at the department wanted to destroy this animal but protecting public safety is a first and foremost priority.”

In Southern California, the few mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains live on a virtual 240-square-mile island—cut off by some of the busiest freeways in the country. A typical male lion needs a range of about 200 square miles, and he doesn’t play well with other males. The cats test their boundaries, and the results can be lethal.

They may be killed by vehicles or shot dead for being at the wrong place at the wrong time, as was the case with a young lion who made his way to Santa Monica and ended up cornered in a downtown courtyard.

By pluck and by luck, one male cougar from the Santa Monica Mountains crossed two freeways to arrive in Griffith Park—another “island” in the greater Los Angeles area—and this one without females.

Added together, these are tales in a much larger story of biodiversity loss, not just in California, but worldwide. Humans are leading this “Sixth Extinction.” There have been five great mass extinctions, and today’s is a thousand times the natural rate of about one to five species per year—we lose species daily. This is the worst die-off since dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

In California, threatened or endangered are the San Joaquin kit fox, island fox, southern sea otter, riparian brush rabbit, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and wolverine, among a rather long list of others—and that’s just mammals. There are amphibians, birds, fish, reptiles and invertebrates.

As with animals, plants are impacted by habitat loss. California is home to an estimated 6,500 plant varieties—many found nowhere else in the world. Some 26 species of California plants may now be extinct in the state, and some plants have been so severely reduced that they are at risk of extinction.

California is the most populous state in the nation, and continues to grow—estimates points to another 12 million people by 2050. Increasing population of course means more demands on land and water, which plants and animals need too.

CAPS is mindful of how important protecting plant and animal species is in the face of mounting human population pressures. They are essential to healthy ecosystems and natural processes. Conservation at a local level is critical, so we support efforts such as the push for the wildlife crossing at the 101 freeway and Liberty Canyon in southern California which would provide a lifeline out of the Santa Monica Mountains for the cougars—and other critters.

It’s a start.


CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

California Continues to Lead the Country—in Traffic Congestion

Traffic congestion is one of the bugaboos of modern life, in California and across the nation. While not an existential threat like the extinction of endangered species or the permanent conversion of farmland to urban development, traffic congestion is an everyday annoyance and one of the most obvious contributors to lowering quality of life.

But traffic congestion is more than just a daily nuisance. It causes lost business and personal productivity, increases stress, produces more air pollution and public health impacts, leads to additional consumption of finite fossil fuels and increases the cost of doing business. With more traffic, we lose precious time in our lives as we leave from home earlier and earlier to ensure getting to our destinations on time, a loss of time we can never recover. Life is too short as it is.

California, it will come as no surprise, has the worst traffic congestion in the country. Los Angeles regularly tops the list of most congested cities and did so again in 2013. A study released in June by TomTom, a maker of car navigation systems, found that Los Angeles drivers face the worst congestion in the nation and spend an average of 90 hours a year stuck in traffic delays.

San Francisco had the second-worst traffic congestion, with 83 hours per year stuck in delays. San Jose came in fifth, with San Diego, Riverside and Sacramento also in the top 30 for worst congestion.

As is true in so many instances, personal choices can help at the margin. Public transportation, bicycles and walking to work will help reduce congestion to some degree. If more people drive fuel-efficient vehicles, it will help reduce gasoline consumption and pollutant emissions. But a Prius clogs the road as much as a Hummer, and most people will continue to drive. Reducing population has to be part of the mix.

Here’s why. As population grows, so does the number of vehicles on the road. On average, each new home built in California adds 10 new car trips per day to our local roads and freeways. If California’s population continues to grow by 300,000 people per year, as now projected by the California Department of Finance, that means we add another 100,000 households per year. At 10 car trips per day, these new households will generate 1 million more car trips PER DAY to our already congested roads each and every year. After five years, new growth will add 5 million more car trips per day; after 10 years,10 million more car trips per day.

We are not adding any more land to the state, and we are reaching the breaking point. We must dramatically slow our population growth and eventually stop it. The sooner, the better. Please continue to support CAPS so we can continue to make the connection between population growth and loss of our quality of life. With your support we can get the message out during drive time while people are stuck in traffic with nothing better to do than listen to their car radios.


Dick Schneider
Member and Chairman of the Board of Directors


CAPS ADS REACH OVER 25 MILLION

California’s declining environment was linked to immigration-driven population growth in the week leading up to and including Earth Day when CAPS ran television ads in multiple markets, including San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The ad featured a child asking several questions:

  • If Californians are having fewer children, why are there so many cars?
  • If Californians are having fewer children, why isn’t there enough water?
  • If Californians are having fewer children, where are all the people coming from?

In media interviews and outreach, we made the point that nearly 100 percent of California’s growth between 2000 and 2010 came from immigration and births to immigrants. This information was sourced directly from census reports–CAPS interpreted the data authentically and made the connection between population and immigration.

We pointed out that more people mean more cars, trucks and buses on our roads and more air pollution. More parking lots and high-rise condominiums mean less green spaces. More chemicals, trash and runoff cascading down super sewers into our streams, lakes and oceans mean more damage to California’s biodiversity hot spots, and more people mean more pressure on declining water supplies.

Our primary solution to reversing California’s environmental decline, while not politically correct or convenient, is to slow mass immigration and to support family planning efforts so we can slow population growth and save some California and America for tomorrow for our children and grandchildren.

For several weeks in July and August as news coverage of Central American kids crossing our borders proliferated, CAPS ran radio commercials during key drive times in Los Angeles asking, “Don’t poor American kids deserve attention too?” These ads were heard by more than 800,000 people a day.

We asked why there’s so little coverage of the plight of poor American kids in cities like Los Angeles and so much coverage of kids from Central America crossing our borders. The ad draws similarities between news coverage of illegal aliens and their dreams, but lack of media coverage of the Americans whose jobs and dreams illegal aliens and legal immigrants take.

The point this spot drove home is that we all need to think about immigration policy through the lens of average Americans and not just from the perspective of those from other countries. It is well known that there is a crisis involving millions of American kids in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago–American kids and their families deserve attention too.

Even civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, Jr. was quoted asking for funds for places like Chicago where he said, “There are more children involved, and more have been killed, and more have
been shot.”

As a destination state for illegal aliens, California has long felt the impact of failed immigration policies. However, since President Obama took office, CAPS understands that he’s sparked a border rush through continuous calls for amnesty for illegal aliens and by awarding amnesty to hundreds of thousands through what many consider an abuse of his executive powers.

With the highest rate of poverty in the nation, children are disproportionately affected here in California. The state has the second highest number of uninsured children and one of the lowest high school graduation rates. Three of the cities in the country with the worst gang violence are located in California.


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

The border surge of Central Americans this summer refocused the attention of the public and Congress on the problems of illegal immigration and the role of amnesty in encouraging it. An outraged citizenry protested at detention centers, towns and cities across the country, and inundated Congress with emails and phone calls. Congress engaged in a whirlwind of activity to address the surge, and the House passed a couple of tough immigration bills, but only after the Senate had already left town.

President Obama asked for $3.7 billion in supplemental funds to spend on the border crisis and its unaccompanied alien minors. A Senate bill to provide $2.7 billion fell 10 votes short of the 60 needed to advance.

The House Republican leadership had planned to pass a weak border bill, but facing mounting opposition from pro-enforcement activists, Speaker Boehner pulled that bill, and stronger legislation emerged. The legislation that passed would require all unaccompanied minors, whether from Central America or Mexico, to face the same removal process. Then, even more significantly, the House passed HR 5272, which would prevent Obama from expanding his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or any other administrative amnesty, a primary cause of the surge.

OBAMA—I WILL ACT UNILATERALLY

Predictably, President Obama criticized the legislation, and said he would act unilaterally to expand his administrative amnesty before the end of summer. Bowing to public opposition, he later retracted that promise and announced that he would delay his plans until after the November elections. Obama claimed that he needed the time to convince Americans of the necessity of his action, but political analysts said the move was designed to save several Democratic senators from defeat. The Migration Policy Institute has estimated that up to 8.5 million illegal aliens could receive amnesty from executive actions the President is considering.

SACRAMENTO

The legislature continued to invite ever more people into California with its efforts to blur the distinctions between legal residents and those here illegally. It passed SB 1159, which would authorize state licenses to illegal aliens for a host of professions, including doctors, psychologists, pharmacists and security guards, and SB 1210, which would establish a taxpayer-funded, student loan program for illegal aliens.

An attempt to create a new state health exchange to require California taxpayers to subsidize insurance for illegal aliens, a group deliberately excluded from coverage in the federal Affordable Care Act, died in committee, but will likely reemerge in future sessions.


CROWDIFORNIA VIDEO CONTEST

Calling all high school and college students!

Use your creative video skills, research savvy and storytelling ability, and enter the 2015 California Population Awareness Awards, sponsored by CAPS.

To enter, create a short video that shows the link between California’s growing population and the danger that poses to future generations. To tell the story, look at areas impacted by population growth, such as biodiversity, energy, natural resource depletion, jobs, education, traffic and infrastructure.

Cash and the iPhone6 will be awarded winning entries.

Visit CAPSweb.org/crowdifornia-video-contest or contact info@CAPSweb.org for more information.


LOCAL ACTIVISM SPOTLIGHT: AUGUST TOWN HALLS

I recently attended a town hall meeting with Rep. Doug LaMalfa here in Redding. I had a chance to speak briefly about illegal immigration as it relates to our water shortages. I told him that when our state has 50 to 60 million residents, EVERY year will be a disastrous drought year, and people will then look back at us at this time and wonder what we were thinking…
— A.L. Redding, CA

CAPS thanks the large group of activists who took the time this August to visit and speak out at their legislators’ town hall meetings or meet with them directly. Some successful talking points they used:

  • The primary cause of the border surge is not violence in Central America, but incentives such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the lure of proposed amnesty and lax enforcement of our immigration laws.
  • The “one-time-only” amnesty of 1986 generated more illegal immigration, which has led us to where we are today—with an estimated 12 million in the country illegally.
  • Essential to real immigration reform is making E-Verify mandatory. If we cut off the jobs magnet, illegal immigration will drop.

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