Conservation

The ecosystems and natural beauty of the 52 nd District are under attack by overcrowding, excessive development, and the government of Mexico’s lack of interest in stopping the flow of billions of gallons of toxins into San Diego. While it is understandable that many people outside of the U.S. want to come to San Diego, we simply do not have the space to let everyone move here; the arrival of too many people is eroding our quality of life and further strains our already limited natural resources. It is an undeniable fact that unfettered population growth is incompatible with conservation.

Any sound conservation policy should dictate the following:

  • 1. Hold Mexico accountable for allowing flows of untreated sewage, pesticides, and debris to flow into our country (sanctions, taxing remittances, restricting the flow of goods into the United States) by either closing the border or taxing remittances until they take serious steps to correct the problem
  • 2. Secure federal funding and work with all relevant local parties to reduce the days of beach closures in the United States to ZERO.
  • 3. Eliminate the incentives for economic migrants to journey to Tijuana in order to make asylum and refugee claims at a port of entry of the United States.
  • 4. Allow development decisions to be made at the local level to the greatest extent possible, and decouple federal infrastructure funding decisions from development projects that increase housing density.
  • 5. Renewed emphasis on conservation efforts in the 52nd District and the United States in general, especially our national forests and Bureau of Land Management lands
  • 6. Avoid United Nations or other international environmental agreements that contradict or countermand federal or local laws and undermine the sovereignty of the United States, and are largely ineffective at delivering positive conservation outcomes.

In many cases the best land use is no use, as the health of our environment depends largely upon preserving wild, open, undisturbed spaces. Clear cutting our back country to build homes in fire prone areas is not sound public policy, nor is increasing density to allow in ever more transplants (especially those who come illegally). These policies increase demand on public infrastructure and services and are not viable solutions. Rather, they serve only to fatten the wallets of developers and the crony class. While the movement of people to relocate is a right in our society, policies that encourage mass resettlement of people into our district and state should be abolished. This includes elimination of subsidies and tax abatements to large corporations, the reduction of the amount of legal immigrants via STEM visas and chain migration, and the end of the federal government’s open borders policies.

Unless these are changed, current estimates predict that the U.S. population will explode to somewhere between 500-600 million by the end of the 21 st century. The effects of this on resource depletion, climate change, traffic, pollution, demand for affordable housing and social services, and loss of wildlife habitat and natural waterways is incalculable. Since the birth rate of U.S. citizens is currently at the sustainable rate of 2.1 children per 2 people, our current population growth is due entirely to immigration policies (both legal and illegal). Environmental organizations used to have curbing population growth via sensible immigration policies as their number one priority, but Wall St. and corporations that make money off of cheap labor bribed them to end all discussion of restricting immigration.

The assault on our coast in the form of untreated sewage, debris, and pesticides from Mexico must be halted. The ongoing problem of raw sewage from the Tijuana River Valley ending up in our ocean has persisted for decades. Current political leaders have done nothing to resolve the matter, and holistic solutions are not put forth so the core of the problem is never addressed. Exploding population growth in Tijuana has made the existing infrastructure obsolete and hence, thousands of people are not connected to the sewage system. Consequently, raw sewage flows untreated across the border of Mexico and into our South Bay communities.

The surge in asylum and refugees at the border has only exacerbated this problem. By creating incentives for people to come to Tijuana to make asylum and refugee claims, the United States government is ensuring the environmental destruction of our ocean and beaches, AND POLITICIANS WHO ESPOUSE ENVIRONMENTALISM ARE DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT. Having our beaches closed on average 135 days per year is completely unacceptable.

New development must be restricted to prevent San Diego from being turned into Los Angeles, an urban sprawling disaster with terrible traffic, thousands of homeless in camps, and poor air quality. Whatever new development occurs in communities should be determined and supported by the overwhelming majority of the local, legal populace, not some state mandate or by corrupt officials at the city, state, or federal level that carve out exemptions for their donors. The strong arm tactics of the San Diego Association of Governments in forcing developing on communities that do not want it must be stopped. Additionally, funding for transit should not be tied to increasing housing density or other development that deteriorates the quality of life for those currently living in the 52 nd District. All legal methods should be utilized to stop the urbanization of our community, including the destruction of the University of California San Diego campus with extraneous and nonsensical building.

Globally, the United States must not be party to any international agreements that reduce the sovereignty of our nation and its citizens. The Paris Accord which allows India and China to emit carbon without penalties and committed billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to the United Nations was a threat to the economic future of the United States, as well as being a red herring in reducing climate change. Eliminating one unit of carbon emitted in Location A has the same benefit as reducing one unit of carbon emitted in Location B. Emerging energy and carbon capture technologies should be the focus in reducing carbon emissions and ensuring we have clean air and water.

The fundamental issue that threatens our ecosystems is the cultural value of consumption instead of preservation, of always desiring and having more instead of appreciating and enjoying what we already possess. Outreach and education can be effective in the long term, but the immediacy of protecting biodiversity requires multidimensional and innovative approaches. Mobilizing private finance and redirecting capital away from activities that reduce biodiversity to those that cultivate it is essential. The true cost and value of goods and services that biodiversity provides is not internalized and reflected in market prices, even if a market for such goods does exist. This is the result of the lack of a systematic and standardized framework to account for the true costs and benefits derived from conservation. Intangible benefits that improve quality of life but are not inputs in economic production are not recognized; hence, we need a new land and water ethic that prioritizes these values and is reflected in new laws, policies, and economic models.

We the Citizens

Ryan Cunningham for congress
of district 52

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