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The Great Replacement & the Great Outdoors:
Demographic Change & the Future of American Wilderness

[1]

Theodore Roosevelt, a great pioneer of American conservationism.

5,313 words

The Great Replacement is both a demographic and a cultural phenomenon. It consists, on the one hand, of encouraging low birth rates among Europeans and their colonial offshoots by promoting secularism and hedonism, guilt and shame for their ancestors and culture, and the virtues of childlessness. Simultaneously, its architects support open borders and increased immigration from the Third World, ostensibly for humanitarian motives or to compensate for population decline among the native-born population. Needless to say, these massive demographic changes will affect every facet of American life in the years ahead. Among the many things of incomparable value threatened by the replacement of America’s ancestral European stock, this essay will focus on one in particular: the great American wilderness.

The idea of wilderness as a national treasure is one of the historic American nation’s greatest contributions to the world, and thanks to the efforts of activists from the nineteenth century onward, much has been saved from destruction. But with respect to wilderness, as the saying goes, every victory is temporary and every defeat permanent. Between 2001 and 2017, the United States lost approximately 24 million acres [2] of wild lands, the equivalent of nine Grand Canyon National Parks. The main culprits behind this devastation are industrial agriculture, energy extraction, and housing sprawl. Habitat loss and degradation pose the primary threats to US biodiversity, with some scientists [3] estimating that some 8,500 plant and animal species — a third of all those known in the US — are at risk of extinction.

More than anything else, this encroachment is a direct consequence of unsustainable American population growth, which is itself caused entirely by the flood of aliens, both legal and illegal, into the country every year. Moreover, it is not only their number that renders these newcomers a threat to American wilderness; it is also their attitudes towards the natural world, which differ greatly from those of the heritage Americans who spearheaded the wilderness protection movement. This movement, once the exclusive domain of WASPs, has been assimilated and submerged into the more progressive and human-centered “environmental justice” movement, comprised primarily by city-dwellers, Leftists, and non-whites. This approach to environmentalism will only grow in prominence as white involvement diminishes and the cultural foundations of wilderness preservation are condemned as racist.

Thus, the attack on wilderness — through encouraging ecologically destructive levels of immigration and attacking the “whiteness” of the historical wilderness movement — perfectly reflects the demographic and cultural tactics of the Great Replacement. The war on wilderness is, indeed, a war on America’s European heritage. Taking all of this into consideration, a grim picture emerges of the fate of American wilderness should the architects of the Great Replacement achieve their aims and heritage Americans become a minority in the country their forefathers built.

Population Growth, Immigration, and Environmental Degradation

Following the post-Second World War baby boom, the native-born American fertility rate stabilized around replacement level, with demographers at the time projecting that the US population would likely peak around 250 million people [4]. However, the disastrous 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act [5] totally gutted the hitherto restrictive immigration policy set forth in the 1924 Immigration Act [6] (which had been heavily influenced by pioneering conservationist, eugenicist, and Nordicist Madison Grant [7]). The 1965 Act significantly raised immigration quotas, no longer required a northwest European origin, and gave priority to “refugees” and relatives over skilled individuals. Despite the assurances of the lawmakers involved, as any fool could foresee this legislation opened the floodgates to innumerable — and largely unassimilable — immigrants from the third world.

[8]

You can buy Greg Johnson’s It’s Okay to Be White here. [9]

In addition to our excessive and ill-conceived legal immigration policy, the United States is also besieged by rampant illegal immigration across the southern border, as well as visa overstays, which altogether resulted in an unauthorized immigrant population of 10.5 million people [10] in 2017. The US Census Bureau [11] projects that within the next four decades, about 75 million more people will live in the US, about 85% of whom will be either immigrants or the children of immigrants.

Some, even those who oppose the demographic displacement of heritage Americans, will argue that overpopulation concerns are overblown, and at any rate only really seem to bother white people, and therefore lead only to dysgenic policies and race suicide. After all, vast tracts of North America are completely empty, and the entire global population could easily fit into the state of Texas [12]. While this may be true in a technical sense — assuming people are willing to accept living on top of one another in the equivalent of a single statewide prison block — it fails to account for man’s pressing need for hospitable climates, clean water sources, and arable land, not to mention the massive energy required to sustain such a settlement. More to our point, even if the entire world could conceivably be populated thus, the landscape would have to be greatly humanized, either as farmland or human habitation. Given the numerous ills brought about by urban living [13] and high population density [14], as well as man’s inherent need [15] for outdoor experiences for psychological health, such a scenario would inevitably result in massive loss of quality of life. European man, with his strong attachment to wilderness (discussed below), would be particularly demoralized in such a world.

Sprawl is the primary cause of wilderness and wildlife loss. Sprawl is caused by unsustainable population growth, and in the US, population growth is now entirely the result of immigration. Consequently, as Philp Carafo and Winthrop Staples III observe, support for continued immigration means

You also support more cars, more houses, more malls, more power lines, more concrete and asphalt. You support less habitat and fewer resources for wildlife; less water in the rivers and streams for native fish; fewer forests, prairies, and wetlands; fewer wild birds and wild mammals (except perhaps for house sparrows, rats, and a few other human commensals). You support replacing these other species with human beings and our economic support systems.[1] [16]

Those who argue that increasing immigration will not lead to such consequences often cite the “demographic transition theory [17],” which posits that increasing affluence and education lead to lower birthrates: “Development is the best contraceptive.”[2] [18] This theory assumes that once the fecund peoples of the Third World set foot on American soil, they will magically transform into secular, progressive, two-child bourgeois professionals. As any race realist knows, this theory is both delusional and ethnocentric, the brainchild of good white liberals who believe everyone around the world would choose to live like them if only given the chance. It ignores cultural and religious reasons for higher birth rates (among affluent white Mormons and Catholics, for instance). A compelling rejoinder to this theory is the “fertility-opportunity hypothesis [19]” articulated by Virginia Abernathy, who argues that greater prosperity often encourages individuals to have more children. Indeed, this has proven to be the case with immigrants to the US, many of whom have more children [20] here than in their home countries.

The demographic transition theory, insofar as it has any predictive value, seems to be confined in its application to Western Europeans, their colonial descendants, and East Asians. The contributing factors to the current low birthrates in these cultures are myriad: in the US and Europe we have a more secular, individualistic mode of life and a hedonistic culture in which “expendable income” and self-expression are prized more highly than the uncertain rewards of parenthood. Contraception is widely acceptable, available, and encouraged, while our people’s history and culture are routinely demonized; neither factor is likely to instill a desire to perpetuate one’s family and people. More positively, these populations have a high-investment parenting style that makes people unwilling to have many children in an uncertain economic climate, preferring to invest greater resources in one or two. This is not the case with all racial and ethnic groups, particularly those that constitute the vanguard of the Great Replacement,[3] [21] who tend to have more children and place more emphasis on familial ties (though while aspects of this behavior may change [22] once in the United States, their fecundity generally does not). While these group traits are not necessarily negative, and their absence among Euro-Americans is lamentable, they do pose a threat to a declining native-born American population.

Differences in Wilderness Attitudes

This points to another seemingly inherent contrast between heritage Americans and the population replacing them: Not only do they have different attitudes towards bearing children, but also towards wilderness itself.

In a totally unsuccessful effort to avoid charges of racism, some environmentalist opponents of immigration have insisted that what matters is not “who” is immigrating but rather “how many.” And insofar as the destruction of wilderness and extirpation of species is driven by tangible factors like population growth and urban sprawl, this is true; it matters little where the people are from, only that there are too many of them. However, a perhaps more insidious threat to wilderness is conceptual: an attitude of hostility or indifference that, if it becomes widespread, could spell the end of strong wilderness protection in this country. As we will see, there are significant differences between Euro-Americans and other races in terms of wilderness attitudes. Thus, even if the demographic transition theory were accurate and the non-white population of the US eventually stabilized, the wilderness will have still lost its most devoted champions should heritage Americans remain a vanishing minority. As with other aspects of American culture affected by the Great Replacement, the “who” does indeed matter.

It is common knowledge that non-whites in America are historically more concentrated in urban centers and on average display less interest in wilderness or wildlife than heritage Americans. This fact is bewailed by mainstream environmentalist groups, with the Sierra Club, for instance, lamenting the “unbearable whiteness of hiking [23]” and desperately trying to make trees and birds more interesting to “people of color” (more on this below). Much of the data on minority attitudes to wilderness concerns US-born blacks (who, in this as in every other respect, receive an amount of attention wholly out of proportion to their 12% share of the American population). Nevertheless, research conducted on other US racial groups, including immigrants, finds that they are similar to black Americans: non-whites are significantly less likely [24] to visit wilderness areas and tend favor more managed and developed environments [25] as opposed to the wilder landscapes preferred by heritage Americans.

Several explanations have been proposed for this hostility or indifference to wilderness among non-whites. Some, blacks in particular, claim to feel unsafe in the woods [26], due to the presence of heavily-armed white men and the ever-present threat of lynching. It has also been suggested that more communal cultures, such as Latinos, tend to utilize outdoor spaces for gatherings with family and friends, and therefore prefer more developed outdoor areas like parks. Finally, since non-whites are on average less affluent and typically urban dwellers, they have limited access to wilderness areas and therefore never develop a firsthand appreciation for them. However, this latter explanation assumes that middle-class non-whites with comparable incomes and access would want to participate in outdoor recreation at a similar rate as heritage Americans. The data do not support this, and one scholar [27] in facts complains that this is an “anglo-conformative bias” that “normalizes white Americans’ leisure behavior as a benchmark.” Whatever the reason, it still translates into less interest in and concern for wilderness, something which is unlikely to change should non-whites become the majority.

Bearing all this in mind, it is rather ironic that European, or “Western,” civilization is so often condemned by environmentalists for its hostility to nature. This ignores the fact that the nations of northwest Europe and their colonial offshoots currently rank at the forefront [28] of almost every metric of environmental health. Of course, it is undeniable that the technology enabling large-scale environmental degradation was developed in these same lands; our ancestor’s regrettable actions against the non-human world were the result of unprecedented power exercised without foresight or restraint, married to an insidiously anthropocentric ideology with its roots in the Renaissance.[4] [29] However, the fact that this technology and ideology have been eagerly embraced throughout the globe is a pretty good indication that, if other races have been less destructive of their environment, it was not due to any moral superiority but rather their inability to affect it on such a vast scale.

Moreover, European civilization is not synonymous with instrumental science, industrial capitalism, and liberal individualism. There is a more archaic culture that stretches far beyond the Renaissance, in which we find a true love of the natural world and a recognition of forces transcending mankind. Even predating the Romantics, who gave this nature-feeling its most overt form, one finds the natural world praised in medieval courtly literature, classical bucolic poetry, and ancient epics. The game preserves of medieval nobility are the earliest such protected areas in existence, and formed the basis of many present-day wildlife preserves in Europe. And the wilderness was regarded by ancient and medieval Christian ascetics as a place to retire from civilization and be closer to God.

This specifically “Faustian” nature feeling, a love of wildness, mystery and, solitude, is lyrically described by Oswald Spengler: “It is we […] that prized and sought out high mountaintops for the sake of the limitless range of vision that they afford. This is a Faustian craving — to be alone with endless space.” He further speaks of “the love of wild nature, the mysterious compassion, the ineffable sense of forsakenness” and “the forest stirrings and the forest solitude, the tempest and the surf, which completely dominated the Nature of Faustian man.”[5] [30] While the articulated love of landscape may have only arisen in the nineteenth century, there is no denying the mystical union of European man with the wilderness.

The Rise and Fall of WASP Preservationism

While the insidious liberal humanist ideology has spread throughout the West (and then the rest of the globe) and undermined much of our ancestor’s reverence for the natural world, there have always been those who rejected this view. The early American wilderness and wildlife conservation movement was composed of such men. As I’ve covered this ground at some length before [31], I’ll just briefly discuss the early history of this movement before going into how it has been compromised since the latter half of the twentieth century by changing demographics in the movement itself — presaging the likely future of wilderness preservation in a United States where heritage Americans are a minority.

[32]

You can buy Greg Johnson’s White Identity Politics here. [33]

The nineteenth-century wilderness preservation movement was, from its inception, a WASPish and elite affair. It was constituted, on the one hand, by Romantics and nature mystics inspired by Protestant Christianity, New England Transcendentalism, and personal experience of the outdoors; on the other, by elite sportsmen and anglers who wished to preserve their hunting grounds against encroachment and development. Almost all were critics of the vulgarity and filth of city living as well as the arrival of the world’s “wretched refuse,” who had no appreciation for the sturdy pioneer virtues of America’s founders nor for its wilderness. Many were supporters of eugenics and immigration restriction, and indeed saw these issues and wilderness preservation as two sides of the same coin. As Madison Grant explained to his friend Henry Fairfield Osborn, both were “attempts to save as much as possible of the old America.”[6] [34] The early wilderness preservation movement was, in short, anti-modernist in orientation, oriented toward rural and wilderness areas, generally religious, aesthetic, and spiritual in values, middle and upper class in sympathy, and informed by a conservative view of history as decline and regression.[7] [35]

By the 1960s, this unique social movement had been diluted and largely merged with the anti-pollution movement, which is also of nineteenth-century origin but fits much more neatly in the radical political tradition. Unlike the anti-modernist wilderness preservation movement, it was generally more urban in focus, more materialist than religious, oriented towards lower and middle classes and ethnic minorities, and progressive.[8] [36] In time, mankind became its overriding focus, and the movement drew recruits who lacked the traditional interest in hiking, birding, fishing, or hunting. By widening their gaze beyond wilderness preservation, environmental organizations attracted many ethnic minorities (who did not share the hated WASP’s preoccupations with solitude and sublimity) to their cause, which in turn exacerbated their leftward drift. Historian Donald Worster, writing of the important role played by heritage American Protestantism in the early conservation movement, asks:

What kind of environmentalist movement can win support in a morally pluralistic society? And what direction will that movement have to take in the future if it wants to reach more people than to date it has? Will the John Muir type, the enraptured individual going out into the wilderness, some day be a diminished force in American environmental politics? Will there be less emphasis placed on preserving sanctuaries for wildlife and more on the social effects of pollution? Or will environmentalism swing more and more to Barry Commoner’s strategy, a socialist critique of corporate power, a strategy that may owe a great deal to the fact that Commoner was reared in a New York Jewish family instead of a Campbellite pioneer one?[9] [37]

Indeed, it is interesting to note that many of the environmental thinkers and activists most responsible for transforming environmentalism in a more humanist and socialist direction, away from the old focus on wilderness and overpopulation, have been Jewish: the aforementioned Barry Commoner [38]; Murray Bookchin [39], “social ecologist” and critic of the more patriotic and wilderness-oriented Earth First! [40]; Judi Bari [41], Earth First! activist who rejected the wilderness focus of the group in favor of a more Leftist approach; and others. Similar observations might be made about the different preoccupations of, say, Irish Catholics or blacks involved in environmental politics. This is simply an illustration of how ethnic and religious differences shape one’s attitudes toward the environment, and how the decline of WASP hegemony has ultimately culminated in a distinct form of environmentalism: the “environmental justice [42]” movement.

Though ostensibly including wildlife and wilderness preservation among its priorities, the environmental justice movement is primarily concerned with the health effects of pollution on humans. In particular, it combats the disproportionate effects of pollution on the poor and racial minorities, who are more likely to live in close proximity to polluting industries and other environmental hazards. However laudable they may be, the aims of environmental justice are quite distinct from those of the historic wilderness preservation movement, and in fact the two often work at cross-purposes. The environmental justice movement, for instance, often treats wilderness and wildlife preservation as an elitist and racist concern, and will not support environmental actions that might possibly impinge on human interests, such as the creation of wilderness areas at the cost of local jobs.[10] [43] As Kevin DeLuca writes,

If the environmental movement adopts the human-centered perspective of the environmental justice movement, they will be unable to make the hard decisions that increase human suffering, that require putting other beings and ecosystems, not humans, first. Putting humans always first is a crucial cause of the environmental crisis we now face . . . When environmental groups put human rights, social justice, economic concerns, and respect for cultural diversity ahead of wilderness preservation and ecosystem health, it becomes impossible to condemn human practices on environmental grounds and judge among competing cultural practices.[11] [44]

The problem with the environmental justice movement is not its aims, which to a certain extent are commendable; it is the fact that its proponents insist that it must be the sole approach to environmental protection, and denounce those more concerned with wilderness and wildlife as hopelessly misanthropic, racist, and classist.

One example of how greater involvement of ethnic minorities in the environmental movement dilutes its message is the desperate, and often comical, attempts of environmental groups to recruit more minorities. Mentioned above, the Sierra Club offers one of the more egregious examples of this pandering. Prior to his resignation 1992, Executive Director Michael Fischer called for “a friendly takeover of the Sierra Club by people of color,” warning that otherwise it would “remain a middle-class group of backpackers, overwhelmingly white in membership, program, and agenda — and thus condemn[ed] to losing influence in an increasingly multicultural country.” He went on to proclaim, “The struggle for environmental justice in this country and around the globe must be the primary goal of the Sierra Club during its second century.”[12] [45]

What is particularly interesting in this pronouncement is that it admits, for all intents and purposes, that only whites could possibly be attracted by a group dedicated solely to wilderness preservation, and that “people of color” can only be brought into the fold by appeals to their material interest. It also recommends a total change of focus away from wilderness areas to human welfare issues, leading to predictable results. To take one pertinent example, in the late nineties the Sierra Club reversed [46] its stance in favor of immigration restriction; one factor in this decision was undoubtably the $200 million donated to the club by Jewish-American businessman David Gelbaum, with the caveat that “if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me.” In the last decade the Sierra Club’s leadership has gone further, voicing their support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and criticizing President Trump’s border wall, zero tolerance policy, and deportation proceedings as “xenophobic,” “racist,” and “mean-spirited.” And a few years ago, in the midst of the George Floyd riots, the Sierra Club took the remarkable but unsurprising step of canceling its own founder [47] John Muir for having racist friends and making derogatory comments about blacks and Indians.

Here is the absurd spectacle of a group, founded for the sole purpose of preserving wilderness, fretting over “the unbearable whiteness of hiking [23]” and desperately seeking minority approval. This can only be gained, if ever, by acknowledging the Sierra Club’s racist origins, rejecting its founder, and subordinating it to the environmental justice movement. It is no longer enough to love and work to preserve the wilderness for its own sake or for its spiritual, aesthetic, and recreational values; one must mingle that with a recognition of its dark history and one’s own guilt. And thus wilderness preservation becomes yet another casualty of the Great Replacement, as heritage Americans are eclipsed by outsiders lacking any ancestral attachment to the land or people. It completes the two-pronged attack on America’s European heritage by demonizing the “racist” founders of the conservation movement and their love of wilderness, while contributing to its physical destruction though immigrant-driven sprawl and overpopulation.

Wilderness and Heritage America

[48]

You can buy Greg Johnson’s The White Nationalist Manifesto here [49]

I should point out that there is one area of environmental concern in which polls show minorities surpassing whites: global warming [50]. This is no great surprise, since the global environmentalist regime [51] is myopically fixated upon global warming as a means of transferring wealth from highly developed Anglo and Western European countries to the Third World; depopulating the former by encouraging contraception and childlessness while simultaneously importing “refugees” to make up for the losses; immiserating the middle class and destroying its standard of living in majority white countries; and instilling feelings of self-loathing and guilt in their white populations. It is not difficult to understand why global warming — an ostensibly scientific problem being used to cudgel whites and Americans in particular into guilty submission — would be appealing to the non-white residents of the country.

What the Left environmentalist [52] regime totally ignores, beyond the occasional mention of carbon sinks and whatnot, is the idea of wilderness. There are a number of reasons for this, already discussed. Wilderness preservation is a fairly elite preoccupation, and one is unlikely to score many political points harping on it. More importantly, it is a particularly white preoccupation, so fixating on it too much may in fact get you condemned for racism, especially given the already suspect history of the wilderness movement. And perhaps most significantly, the wish to preserve wilderness is inherently tied to love of the land, a veneration of the ancestors and heroes who have trod upon its sacred soil, something one only acquires through rootedness. In this country it is the exclusive inheritance of heritage Americans and, in a different sense, American Indians (who have also been some of the strongest advocates for wilderness preservation). That means that a true and deep love of this land, of the great American wilderness, is something the outsider will never be able to truly feel or understand.

In addition to reversing the declining birthrate of Euro-Americans and halting further immigration into this country, it is also necessary to combat the Great Replacement on a cultural level by instilling heritage Americans with pride in their ancestors and history (even if our focus may differ from those currently taught in the history books). This includes a love of the land.

America is wilderness. What most distinguishes America from the European mother countries is its wild lands, as well as the frontier mentality that animated its earliest settlers. While Europe’s heritage is preserved in its castles and cathedrals, its monarchies and aristocracies and Church and high culture, America lacks a long history of extensive human settlement (the indigenous population was comparatively sparse and did not intensively cultivate or affect their surroundings to the same degree). Wilderness is our national heritage, to which we have long attributed a patriotic and religious significance. One finds nature-feeling expressed by the Transcendentalists, the Southern Agrarians, and the American Indians. The very idea of wilderness is embodied in the gunslinger, the high plains drifter, the quintessential American aristocrat who embodies the chivalric qualities of the knight and the rugged independence of the outlaw. He is the definition of bravery, grit, indifference to pain and fear, and martial valor, a lean and solitary force of nature like the wolf or mountain lion. He emerges spiritually from the American encounter with the wilderness. A different dimension of wilderness is embodied in the sages who figure so strongly in our national myths: the Thoreaus and Muirs, the Indian shamans, the WASP sportsmen who strove to combat the degeneracy of urban America and preserve the wilderness as a bastion of traditional martial values.

The settler mentality is firmly embedded in our national DNA. The American settler is heir to the first European explorers, seeking to make a home for himself in the wilderness. Despite their often adversarial attitudes towards wilderness, their closeness to it inculcated in these frontiersmen a degree of respect and love for the wild, a recognition of its sublimity mingled with fear. This fear is probably to their credit, as it is in fact our lack of fear and respect that has made us more arrogant than any previous age towards the rest of the natural world.

What does all of this mean in relation to the problem at hand? If heritage America goes, the wilderness goes with it. The populations being imported to our shores will, by their sheer number and reproductive rates, contribute to increasing urban sprawl and habitat destruction; their attitudes consistently prove to be either indifferent or hostile to wilderness; and their lack of rootedness in this country bars them from that love of the land that is the soul of wilderness preservation.

The Left in this country claims the mantle of environmental protection for itself. However, as with most of the social goods supposedly desired by the Left — a strong social safety net, civic and international peace, social justice, environmental integrity — are all negated by its commitment to racial diversity and egalitarian leveling, its concomitant obsession with importing new Americans by the millions, and its utter loathing of everything heritage America represents. One must suspect that its adherents are either disingenuous or fools.

We Men of the Right, who love our people and our native land, have no such conflicting ideals. And all our ideals are eminently achievable, as long as we cease importing populations that exacerbate our already grave social and ethnic problems and tolerating the academic, philanthropic, and governmental entities that insist on inflicting them upon us. We can have a thriving (and sustainable) native population, technological innovation, material well-being, military strength, flourishing culture, and clear skies, clean water, livable cities, and vast tracts of wildlands and flourishing wild species. But if things continue in this fashion, if the architects of the Great Replacement achieve their aims, then America will simply be another crime-ridden, oligarchic, violently diverse, and environmentally devastated land, like the Third World countries from which most of our new Americans hail.

As the conservationists of old knew, the battle to preserve wild nature and the battle to preserve heritage America are one and the same: They both work to ensure that a beautiful but threatened minority does not disappear from the face of the earth. As the New York Times wrote in its obituary for Madison Grant,

The preservation of the redwoods, of the bison, of the Alaskan caribou, of the bald eagle. . . of the spirit of the early American colonist . . . and of the purity of the “Nordic” type of humanity in this country, were all his personal concerns, all products of the same urge in him to save precious things.[13] [53]

Like Grant, we must not forget that the essence of America is not its governing ideology, its rulers, or its economic system. It is the land and the people who settled that land. It is these men and women and the soil from which they emerged, not some piece of paper in a museum, not some trite phrases scribbled by an Enlightenment-era politician, that form the core of the historic American nation. And it is these that are worth preserving.

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Notes

[1] [55] Philip Cafaro & Winthrop Staples III, “The Environmental Argument for Reducing Immigration into the United States,” in Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, ed. Philip Carafo and Eileen Crist (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2012), 186.

[2] [56] Eileen Crist & Philip Cafaro, “Human Population Growth as If the Rest of Life Mattered,” in Life on the Brink, 12.

[3] [57] This is undeniably true regarding Muslim [58] and African [59] immigrants to Europe, with a respective average birthrate of 2.9 and 4.5 children per woman in their home countries. With immigrants to the US, the picture is more complex. Data suggest that birthrates are falling throughout Latin America [60] and Mexico [61], historically the major sources of immigration to the US. However, a few factors need to be taken into account: for one, Hispanics now account for only about half of the immigrant births [62] in the US, significantly less than previously. More immigrants are coming from Africa [63], with its historically higher birth rates, presaging a larger black US population. Moreover, births of the foreign-born still vastly outpace [64] those of native-born Americans, particularly white Americans.

[4] [65] Though Christianity played a role in encouraging those beliefs, I would direct readers to another essay [66] of mine in which I critique the association of Christianity with anthropocentrism and indifference to the natural world. The main culprit, I argue, is Renaissance humanism, which destroyed man’s respect for the transcendent and led to liberal democracy, instrumental science, and the Industrial Revolution, with all of their environmentally devastating consequences.

[5] [67] Oswald Spengler, The Decline of the West, ed. Helmut Werner, trans. Charles Francis Atkinson (New York: Vintage Books, 2006), 126, 99, 203.

[6] [68] Jonathan Peter Spiro, Defending the Master Race: Conservation, Eugenics, and the Legacy of Madison Grant (Burlington: University of Vermont Press, 2009), xiii.

[7] [69] Stephen Fox, John Muir and His Legacy: The American Conservation Movement (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1981), 354-5.

[8] [70] Ibid., 354.

[9] [71] Donald Worster, The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 201.

[10] [72] Kevin DeLuca, “A Wilderness Environmentalism Manifesto: Contesting the Infinite Self-Absorption of Humans,” in Environmental Justice and Environmentalism: The Social Justice Challenge to the Environmental Movement, ed. Ronald Sandler and Phaedra C. Pezzullo (Cambridge MA: The MIT Press, 2007), 28.

[11] [73] Ibid, 34.

[12] [74] Kevin DeLuca & Anne Demo, “Imagining Nature and Erasing Class and Race: Carleton Watkins, John Muir, and the Construction of Wilderness,” in The Wilderness Debate Rages On: Continuing the Great New Wilderness Debate, ed. Michael P. Nelson and J. Baird Callicott (Athens GA: University of Georgia Press, 2008), 190.

[13] [75] Miles A. Powell, Vanishing America: Species Extinction, Racial Peril, and the Origins of Conservation (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016), p. 104.