Hit Piece on Zuckerman

In the August 7, 2009 blog rant "Lou Dobbs Show Cites Fear Mongering Anti-Immigrant Astronomist As Population Growth Expert", Andrea Christina Nill levels her sights on Ben Zuckerman for his concerned environmental position.3 (The piece was also posted on another blog site.)4 Nill claims that "The US Census Bureau meanwhile projects that the rate of US population growth decrease by 50% over the next six decades" - conveniently forgetting that mass immigration is driving United States population to double within the lifetimes of children born today, and that the U.S. population could possibly join India and China in the one billion club by the end of the century.16,17,18,19

Not content to distort the facts, she continues:

Zuckerman is the former director of an anti-immigration group called Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America (now Alliance for a Sustainable USA) and led Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization. As a board member of the Sierra Club, Zuckerman tried to pass a resolution in 1998 that would have reversed the Clubs neutrality policy on immigration."

The truth is that while Ben Zuckerman has served on the boards of numerous environmental organizations, he has never been the director of Alliance for a Sustainable USA.  

The truth is also that Sierra Club policy had for years included mass immigration as a component of its long-standing environmental population policy. Then in 1996, Sierra Club management arbitrarily adopted a position of "neutrality" on immigration.13

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times uncovered the reason for the about-face: David Gelbaum, a super rich donor, had demanded the gag rule from the Sierra Club in exchange for huge donations. David Gelbaum was quoted in the article:

I did tell [Sierra Club Executive Director] 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 Sierra Club's top leaders and management showed their gratitude by stifling dissent and vehemently opposing member efforts to return to traditional Sierra Club population and policy.13

These actions ultimately set the precedent for other mainstream environmental organizations to follow suit.16

Nill continues her rant: 

Zuckerman and his cronies then blatantly attempted a 'takeover' of the Sierra Club’s leadership by placing anti-immigrant candidates on the Club’s board ballot in 2004. The entire controversy subsided when Zuckerman’s candidates received less than 3% of all votes casted."

It should be noted that these "anti-immigrant" candidates included Frank Morris, Sr., former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, biologist David Pimentel and former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm, co-founder of the NAACP at UC Berkeley in 1959.13,20

Lamm made the following observation:

…the Sierra Club has been caught red-handed… The Sierra Club changed its position for two of the oldest and least justified reasons in history, political expediency, and money. The tragedy is that in doing so, they sold out one of the most important environmental issues of our time." 14


Nill then concludes with a stereotypical attack against environmentalist John Tanton:

Zuckerman currently serves as vice-president of Californians for Population Stabilization's board and sits on the Statistical Oversight Board of NumbersUSA. Both groups are financed by white-supremacist John Tanton, 'the puppet master of the modern anti-immigration movement' who Zuckerman has referred to as a ''great environmentalist'."

Regurgitating disinformation about dedicated environmentalists appears to be the norm for those whose ability to debate demographic issues never rises above a mediocre proclivity for ad hominem attack.  

Read more about the orchestrated racist attacks on John Tanton, M.D.