Comment 27901

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted December 15, 2008 at 09:30:08

^ Ah, xenophobia disguised as environmentalism.

Your claim that immigration is a bigger environmental problem than sprawl is factually incorrect. For decades, Canadian cities have been growing much faster than their population by a variety of measures (e.g. land area, road capacity, per capita energy consumption). Average population density has actually fallen significantly even as the population has risen.

Increased population density dramatically reduces per capita energy use - by orders of magnitude, as evidenced by the following graph:

In addition, increased population density increases both the per-capita production of marketable ideas (innovation) and per-capita productivity of both labour and infrastructure - meaning each person can produce more output with less energy input.

This increased productivity would more than compensate for the increase in total people via immigration if we designed our cities to take advantage of density.

Further, since immigrants by definition tend to be among the most ambitious and enterprising members of the societies they left to immigrate, their capacity to contribute to innovation probably exceeds the average of their destination society, meaning their arrival also serves to increase the average rate of innovation.

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