Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The sniffling SWPL

Tangential to Steve Sailer's recent post on the acid test for climate change activists being their positions on immigration is a table showing the percentages of GSS respondents, by ethnicity*, who often/always "make a special effort to sort glass or cans or plastic or papers and so on for recycling". The impetus is a remark by one of Steve's commenters that:
If a study came out revealing that Hispanics in the U.S on average recycle less than White people, it would be labeled as a “Hate Fact” by so-called “environmentalists” who are pro open borders/amnesty.
Those for whom recycling is not an option where they live are excluded, as are ethnic categories for which sample sizes were smaller than 80:

1. Italian81.2
2. Polish79.3
3. Asian72.1
4. Irish66.9
5. German66.6
6. Norwegian66.6
7. Scottish64.6
8. English/Welsh63.8
9. Dutch60.3
10. French59.7
11. Mexican55.6
12. Native American50.8
13. "American" only48.2
14. African45.2

To some extent this could be a measure of the percentage of people clever and socially aware enough to give the 'correct' answer. That said, this suggests, unsurprisingly, that Sun people care less about environmental stewardship than Ice people do. Taking a look at the curb lines in a black neighborhood or seeing the kinds of vehicles first-generation Mexican immigrants buy when they make it in the US (they aren't purchasing Priuses) renders this result pretty predictable. Feather Indians, despite their one-with-nature stereotype, don't care much either. Lump all these NAMs in with the wrongest kind of white people.

Environmentalists who do not take a restrictionist line on immigration are unserious at best. Not only do immigrants and their descendants from the third-world emit a lot more carbon and consume a lot more stuff in the developed world than they would otherwise do so back in their ancestral homelands, they don't care about environmental concerns as much as their new neighbors of European descent tend to. Open borders not only leads to more environmental degradation, but also to less political concern about said environmental degradation.

GSS variables used: RECYCLE(1-2)(3-4), ETHNIC(N)(5,16,20,31,40)

* "Asian" is an amalgamation of five categories: Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Indian (dot), and "other Asian"


Anonymous said...

Is there such a question as "Have you intentionally littered in the last year?" Personally, I couldn't give a rat's ass about recycling after reading The Skeptical Environmentalist, for better or worse. However, I never litter, because it impacts actual people and their aesthetic enjoyment in life. Among those whites I knew who objected to recycling I didn't find those who objected to recycling to be correlated with their willingness to litter.

Audacious Epigone said...

Unfortunately there is not. "Trash", "litter", "garbage" net only occupational codes for garbage collectors.

Anonymous said...

I hate recycling with all of my being (despite being Italian-American). It's so hypocritical and no better than prayer. With the world looking at 8, 9 , or 10 billion people recycling does nothing to assuage our problems, only our guilt.

I also get enraged seeing someone litter.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Like the other commenters I have sort of a intellectual distaste for recycling - don't think it's a terrible idea but don't think it's the environmental panacea it's made out to be and definitely don't think it's worth carrying around a bottle all day past several serviceable trash cans. It's been great working for a black female boss the past year. When people visit our office and wonder where the recycling bin is located, I chuckle and suppress blurting out, "Oh, Jane Doe is black, so she doesn't care for any of that bullshit."

It might be interesting to find an immigration question on the GSS and run a table of how people who love recycling break down on their immigration views. I'm too tired to do it tonight, though, so if you want to take that idea I won't begrudge you.

Audacious Epigone said...


Right, though I think it's a pretty reasonable presumption to proxy recycling as a way of gauging general environmentalist sentiment.

Interesting thought. The GSS doesn't offer much when it comes to immigration-related questions though.

Jokah Macpherson said...

Yeah, I thought it was a fine proxy; I was just rambling off on a tangent.

You are right about the dearth of immigration questions. I had no idea how bad it was. The best I was able to come up with was the ENGTEACH variable which overlapped with RECYCLE in 1994. Probably not a good indicator of current sentiment but for what it's worth, there was a very slight trend towards those less congenial to the idea of teaching school classes in a foreign language being more conscientious about recycling. Not enough to matter, though - the variables were close to being independent.

JayMan said...

Probably quite reliable as far as the racial breakdown. But as to ethnic origin, I'm not so sure (especially with the high Italian and Polish numbers; is this a result of urban living?).

I think JayMan Jr. demonstrates the issue with these perfectly. He could put down – accurately – "Jamaican" (3rd generation) or even "Latvian" (4th generation)! :)

The other issue here is that recycling is somewhat compulsory in some areas. That might affect the results.

Interesting nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

If you want to increase recycling in this country, it means you would have to restructure the immigration system to favour Italians, Poles, and Asians while trying to keep out Africans, Mexicans, and French people.