Climate and Early Asian Immigrants

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has issued a new report (PDF) asserting that the Early Asian Immigrants (incorrectly referred to as “Native” Americans) are hit the hardest by “climate-induced weather extremes”. I’ll leave aside the obvious problems with that fanciful claim, and the oddity of the idea of “climate-induced weather” whatever that means, to look at the NWF’s proposed solution to their imaginary problem.

Their solution? Well, their brilliant plan is that everyone but the Immigrants should pony up some money to give to the Immigrants.

Now, the history of the Early Asian Immigrants is a sad and tragic one. They were cheated, lied to, killed indiscriminately, and their culture and ways were denigrated and often destroyed.

The response of the US Government, after many years, was to give the remaining tribes of Immigrants their own nations. These are sovereign areas with their own leaders, where many US laws do not apply. Me, I’d give just about anything to be able to write my own laws, and not have to obey some US laws. But I don’t get to.

Now, however, the NWF wants to change the rules. They want to alter the laws so that the separate Immigrant nations can not only be sovereign and independent and run casinos and not be subject to various state laws, but they can also suck up tax money paid by people who live in my nation. As an example of what they want to change, they say:

Indian [sic] Tribes are also excluded —– because of statutes, regulations, or practice —– from dozens of federal natural resource programs that provide assistance to states, local governments, and other entities.

Well … yes indeed, they are excluded from using my tax money for a host of things, and for very good reasons. That’s the price they pay for independence and sovereignty, that they don’t get treated the same as other US citizens, or like a State, or like a local government—because they aren’t any of those things, they are a sovereign nation with all that implies. For example, I can’t go on the reservation and do what I want, that’s the Immigrant national land. Immigrants don’t have to follow a variety of laws, and rightly so. And I don’t get any money from tribal funds that they are getting from Immigrant casinos, casinos that are illegal for me to operate.

So while I definitely feel for the Immigrants, who historically have suffered unimaginably, they can’t have it both ways. If they want to be full participants in the American rush to have the US government reimburse them for every imaginary problem, they can’t also be exempt from various laws and State taxes and some even from Federal taxes and get to have their own nations. If they want the full panoply of dubious benefits that the rest of the citizens get, sorry, they’ve got to become just like me, subject to all of the nonsense which us Late European Immigrants have to put up with.

Or they could just pay for the things that they need from their casino takings … which were $7,300,000,000 ($7.3 billion with a “b”) just in California alone in 2009, and $26,400,000,000 nationally, and on which in many states they paid no state taxes. I say they should use their own money for that kind of quixotic quest. If they want to use my taxes to fight imaginary menaces, well, they should have to pay taxes just like I do and be subject to the same idiotic rules that constrain me.

In any case, if the Immigrants are entitled to my tax money, it seems only fair that in return I should be able to open my own casino. But I don’t need to make billions. If I can only make a few million dollars from my casino, I assure you that I can protect myself against the worst that man-made warming can do, and save the Government a pile of money in the process … plus I’ll pay all applicable taxes on my takings.

It’s a win-win kind of deal.




Willis has free reign to publish here, however this is not an article (in its present form) I would have published if consulted. Once published, I can’t put the cat back in the bag. – Anthony


A note from the author. Anthony has most graciously given me the room to write here without censorship or interference or suggestions of any type,and has my great thanks for the freedom. As such, I ask that everyone be clear that what I write is mine, and what Anthony writes is his. He is passionate about his causes, as am I about mine. I thought long and hard about this before I posted it, as I do with all of my posts, but even more so because it is a touchy subject. I re-wrote it several times to try to make it clearer and clearer.

Now, I could have just said “Ooooh, too hot to handle” and picked a less controversial subject … but if Anthony and I and all the guest posters did that, this would be the most boring blog on the planet.

All I ask is that people quote my words when they object, because most people are treating this subject like a web-based Rorschach test, and reading into it all of their hopes, fears, and prejudices.

Again, my thanks to Anthony for his marvelous blog,



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Hey Willis, the NWF talk about Lake Mead in that report in the context of droughts, but they left off this graph.

John Marshall

I agree. You have just about covered it all.


I can’t claim to be a native of any other country except the one where I was born; The U.S.A.
Some natives are more equal than other natives.

Steve Crook

I’m reminded of the definition of a financial market broker as “someone who invests your money until it is all gone”. Government officials are there to find new and innovative ways to spend your money until it is all gone.


I was like National wildlife federation where have I heard that name before, oh yes in connection with being the lapdog for various oily organizations like BP, happily receiving “dirty money” peddling petrochemical based toys from china in gas stations. And weren’t NWF also quite amicable towards BP’s deep sea drilling before before…the accident.

Simple solution – remove the NWF’s ‘charitable’ status and impose a tax on all donations they receive. Give that the Early Asian Immigrants ….

Chris Smith

You can moan about them being tax exempt, but you know what? They didn’t ask you to come to their country and [snip]. They were happy enough before the settlers arrived and set up to FED and the Income Tax shake-down. The settlers came and decided to run a [snip] economy based on borrowing money from China to buy crap from China so that China can emit the CO2 for them – and have the jobs and prosperity that goes with it. The Indians did not ask you or your ancestors to come and do that. And now you want them to pay taxes into your crappy economic system too? What, it is not enough what happened to them already? You want more?!

Good lord, Willis. When you’re making up your own private personal word for something, you’re not entitled to [sic] the normal ordinary word. Words are supposed to communicate meanings, and Indian conveys the meaning of that ethnic group to everyone but you.
‘But glory doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected.
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’


NWF has a “Tribal Lands Global Warming Manager”?????
Gotta love the complaint about “..much of the housing is in isolated areas and lacks electricity and running water”. The fault of whom?? With such high unemployment, you’d think they’d be hiring themselves to do Tribal (public) Works Projects and fix the problem.
But isn’t the generation of electricity one of the principle evils causing “global warming”, along with their use of all the other modern conveniences like cars and trucks? As Willis so clearly points out, they want it both ways. What I must be missing is why the NWF is involved.
Maybe the simple answer would be found by following the money.

David Grogan

Mr E
Your writing brightens up my day – thanks
Dave G

Tom in Florida

Perhaps those with Neanderthal genes should sue those with only “modern” human genes for wiping out their ancestors.

Native Americans is NOT an incorrect reference. If Native Americans aren’t “native” after 14 thousand years or more, then the word “native” has NO meaning.
Early Asian Immigrants properly refers to the Chinese of the early 1800’s. Fourteen thousand years before them were the Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early, Early Asian Immigrants…..


@CHris SMith — either you forgot the /sarc or you are showing your true colors — [snip]

Jason Joice

A couple of things. First, like Dave Stephens pointed out, Native American is not an incorrect word. I am Native Ameican as is my whole family, my wife, etc. We are Native Americans or even Indians. We are NOT Early Asian Immigrants. Second, most of the tribes are not rewriting the laws. They aren’t wanting it both ways. Most of them are actually holding the US government to it’s rightful obligations. The Native Americans didn’t surrender unconditionally. They signed treaties with the United States. These treaties had various conditions attached to them. The terms of which have been ignored or have been altered under a mutually agreeable new set of terms. If you want to blame anyone, blame the “white people” who weren’t able to wipe out the “Indians” and had to resort to signing treaties, some of which had very favorable conditions for the “Indians”.


If ya didn’t do the crime ya shouldn’t have to pay the fine or do the time. Isn’t there a statue of limitations in New Yak harbor that says something like that somewhere close to her bossom? It’s on a tablet, right? No?!? Ohhhhh… ahhhh this guy from Canada says it’s writen in magic marker inside her head.

Willis Eschenbach, your ignorance of Native American history, and their current status and problems is appalling. Your insensitivity in writing this drivel is even worse. Shame on you!
Roger E. Sowell, Esq.

Hey Willis, the subjects of many names receive lots in the way of Federal Programs.
Search this document for the word “Indian” and you can finds upwards of 10 billion in annual funds.

Margery Winters

Well said Dave Stephens!!


After giving the report a quick read through, and seeing all of the imbecilic contradictions, I might have missed something, where is the pestilence? You can’t have all that anthropogenic disruption and not call in the locusts… Not a Hollywood biblical epic without them. Disappointing.


@Chris Smith – One hopes you’re being sarcastic. If not, study the history of early North American colonization by Europeans and you will find the “Indian” attitude toward the colonists to be much more complicated. The tribes of the North American east coast were engaged in competitive empire building, and the settlers were seen as sources of advanced weapons, military allies, and trading partners. To that extent, yes, the settlers WERE invited. The later tribes of the Plains were so big that they could only camp in one place for less than a week before the land was completely wasted and they had to move on. As for today, one wonders how much money made by Indian casinos has passed through China in one way or another.

Bruce Cobb

They sure know how to play the guilt card. Native Americans will surely know that this is all complete bull cr@p, and that cold is what kills, and that colder times are in fact what’s coming. They know that climate cycles around, and surely must be snickering at the white man’s idiocy in believing not only that warmer is bad, but that he is responsible for it, in addition to all other “climate extremes” – floods, drought, fires, plus extreme cold, ice and snow. But, he will take the white man’s guilt-inspired climate dough gladly, and laugh all the way to the bank.

Read with interest, Willis — but as an Australian any comments may seem kinda “racist” if I made them. Perhaps I can risk “human nature”…


I get Willis’ point, and it’s well made. Genetically speaking he’s right. We can trace the genes.
I also understand the discomfort that comes from realizing that the world isn’t as we were taught it is – there were probably multiple adventures across the Bering Strait, not just during the last ice age. Those from the last ice age are just being discovered, so the previous adventurers may not have faired as well as the last ones.
As far as the NWF is concerned – just another hog, trying to find another trough. Much like the ASPCA – a lot of $ going to advertising, to create a lot of $ going to advertising, repeat. Oh, I forgot the salary increases going to the association managers due to their brilliant management of the association and the raising of so much money for a good cause.

So called indigenous Americans did not all arrive at the same time on the same bus. They came at different times, in different waves over thousands of years. I don’t imagine that late comers were welcomed with open arms, and it is silly to award the American Indian with some sort of superior moral status. It is probable that nobody got a warm welcome.
Just because Europeans were even later immigrating doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have come. To think that a few million stone age inhabitants should have kept an entire hemisphere from the rest of the world is not realistic.
Willis is right. The American Indian has been treated shabbily, and the NWF is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Dave Springer

I grew up on an indian reservation in western New York State in a town that was and possibly still is the only incorporated US city completely inside an indian reservation. The land is leased from the tribe. The disputes that have arisen between the tribe and local, state, and federal governments are legion and the past 20 years have been the worst. There’s very little friction between individuals that live on the reservation it’s all between governments. The residents of the township and people from outside the reservation enjoy a lot of those tax advantages. No taxes on gasoline, tobacco, beer, wine, liquor, and so forth. There’s a large casino and big hotel just outside town built about 10 years ago that’s now the largest employer for people who live there and which attracts tourists who spend money at local stores and whatnot. Profits from the casino are shared with the city to defray the cost of city services and keep it looking good. The primary problem is that indians, who are not at all poor, are buying up homes in the city. Some 38% and rising of all the homes in the city are indian-owned and they are exempt from property taxes. So a rapidly declining number of homeowners are stuck footing the bill to pay for police, fire department, and schools which are services shared equally by everyone. The sovereign nation thing is rather exaggerated and pretty much exists in name only. Tribal justice system is generally limited to misdemeanors (no punishments greater than one year imprisonment) and only applies to tribe members. So visiting an indian reservation isn’t like crossing the border into Mexico. Not even close.

It’s the same as the ‘slavery reparations’ demands. I never owned a slave myself [& I personally feel like I’m an indentured servant to the government], but I’m supposed to pay for what someone else did a century and a half ago?? [And America’s national apologia for slavery — electing an incompetent failure who doesn’t have a drop of slave blood — how’s that working out, eh?]
The truth of this article is even worse. A lot of these “tribes” [called “bands” in California] are populated and run by scheming European descendants who have little or no Native American ancestry. They are simply a special interest group that pays a cut of their casino income to the state governments in return for special treatment — all at the expense of hard-bitten taxpayers.
It’s the same in Hawaii [sorry: “Hawai’i”], where supposedly native Hawaiians receive extra special treatment and legal rights. Lots pf putative Hawaiian ‘natives’ look like they just got off the boat from Scandinavia. But suggesting a DNA requirement to determine native Hawaiian ancestry results in instant howls of “racism!!”. Reading the incessant hurt feelings reports in the Letters to the Editor section of any Hawaiian newspaper is enough to make any normal person retch. What is the world coming to? I thought we were all supposed to be equal.
[BTW, nice example of an “Indian” note, Willis. I collect old U.S. currency, and that note looks great in a frame. You can find ’em on ebay. They’re about 25% bigger than modern currency notes. There were “Indian” gold coins produced, too.]


We’re all Early African immigrants. At some point, political correctness regarding long-established terminology that does not insult anyone has to stop. (Never mind that “Africa” is not an African word…)

Bruce Cobb

@ Roger Sowell; So, what he said was true, it’s just that it wasn’t PC enough for you. Got it.

This rant is more than a bit embarrassing. We don’t need any more hate labels – everyone is an “immigrant” from somewhere.

This about explains it:
from a native american (aka someone born in America)


There seem to be a lot of very touchy people who misread the essence of Willis’ posting. He has zero gripe with native Americans and no enmity with their legal and economic status. His point was that the NWF has an extremely weird argument. They want US taxpayers to subsidize the Indian nations even further than they already do. This to pay for some imaginary “climate-induced weather extremes” which they purport to be harming the Indians. That’s the only point; the NWF is full of beans. Climb down. Willis is not complaining about the Indians, he is pointing out the absurdities in the NWF’s proposal.

Dave Springer

Jason Joice M.D. says:
August 8, 2011 at 5:02 am
“A couple of things. First, like Dave Stephens pointed out, Native American is not an incorrect word.”
It’s a political distinction. We’re all the same species and our species is not “native” to anywhere except Africa. I believe that’s the point Willis was making but he certainly could have explained it better. Religious beliefs notwithstanding if wolves could talk I’m sure they’d consider you and I both as foreign invaders because they were here before any of our ancestors arrived. So what gave you the right to invade their land and start hunting on it? All claims of ownership, borders, and sovereign lands are anthropogenic inventions that nature doesn’t recognize.


This history is more tangled and painful than any essay can hope to adequately address, but one theme should not be forgotten when the squabbling over which group is to blame for the mess and who is being insensitive to whom. It is the government which has consistently made bad situations worse — from the beginning right up to the present — trampling on the natural rights and the liberty of everybody to some degree. Willis, although you get diverted into an equal rights debate, your first inclination is correct, which is to point out how the rules keep changing and only make things worse.

Doug in Seattle

NWF is just another rent seeking leech. As for Native Americans and Climate Whatever – If I were in their position I would take whatever money the idiots in DC were shelling out while the getting was good. As the modern Asians (and S&P now too) have been saying of late, there’s not a lot time left for such spreading of our wealth.


Personally I think this post would have been better if it had restricted itself to the climate angles without bringing in quite so many social ones. Not to say social isn’t important, more that I don’t think a science blog is the place for it. I hate political correctness with a passion but opening up another front isn’t a good move. If it must stay, a bit of a glossary for those of us outside of North America might be helpful.


In 2010, the median US household income was $52,026. This means that for every $1 million this scheme proposes to spend, it will consume the entire annual income of 20 households. If there is anything lacking in this scheme, it is any sense of the economic destruction it implies with those who will be imposed upon to fund it.
A few years ago, a federal lawsuit moved sufficient forward for it to be clear how the federal government had grossly mismanaged and stolen hundreds of millions in royalties due to native peoples. If the NWF wants to truly help this group, the easiest way would be to help them to maximize the amount of oil and gas resources on their lands that can be developed and from which they can earn royalties that are honestly accounted for.


@bladeshearerJack Maloney:
“everyone is an ‘immigrant’ from somewhere.”
I’m not! My father’s father was, but my Dad and I were born right here. My Dad emmigrated to the ‘happy hunting grounds’ a few years ago, but he was never big on hunting; he liked beer and cards, and fishing sometimes. I might emmigrate to Oz or NZ one day, then I’d be one too (after I got there). But the way things are going with the economy, I’ll probably just die a pauper right here and then emmigrate up to the “happing hunting grounts” myself.

Could we be looking at a case of minorities hoist by their own petard?


You’d be speaking of the extensions to the Harvard Project American Indian Economic Project that began in the late 70s & early 80s?
Stephen Cornell and
Joseph Kalt
published extensively on native economic development.
Their Harvard model was exported to Australia, Canada etc in various shapes and forms.
Their earlier papers comparing various tribes forays into logging, agriculture and such endeavours or suggestions for self-development $ schemes, when analysed, make interesting reading.
re Casinos; that must be a mighty investment in telecommunication infrastructure you have their in outback US. Especially now that the one arm bandits are digital.

Dave Springer says:
August 8, 2011 at 5:45 am
Question. Who regulates to prevent water, air, and land pollution, and protect endangered species?

Pamela Gray

I agree. The NWF is cracko. They are the ones taking political correctness down to the size of a hair on a gnat’s arse. At this level, I can play this game too. I would like to put in a complaint over my difficulties related to having red hair, being short, being of Irish descent, etc. There has GOT to be tax dollars in there somewhere for me.

Pamela Gray

And to put a fine point on it, these complaints I have logged and my need for tax dollars are related to FUTURE problems arising from PROPOSED scenarios.

Dave Springer

Dave Stephens says:
August 8, 2011 at 4:33 am
“If Native Americans aren’t “native” after 14 thousand years or more, then the word “native” has NO meaning.”
I was born in North America. That makes me a “native” too. Nobody gets to choose where they are born. You’re fortunate if you can choose where to live after you are born. Ancestral rights are political inventions worth nothing absent the ability to defend the claimed rights.

Mike Davis

“Native Americans” were at constant war between tribes before Europeans decided to settle and would still be at war. I think if the groups want full sovereign nation status they should receive it and be treated as a separate country rather than “In Name Only” except for benefits. Most of the current crop of “Native Americans” have a small percent of “Native Blood”. My Great Grandmother was descended from the Cherokee Nation that was not displaced from the Appalachian region during the trail of tears. That would make me as much as one eighth Indian but I was raised as an American Citizen of European decent. There are those with lower percent heritage claiming native status in an attempt to be something they are not. Europeans brought the Americas out of the “Stone Age”. Yes Willis is correct about the history of the “Natives”. They should be paying tribute to the descendants of the Europeans for all the advances that were introduced into their lives.

Dave Springer

Fred H. Haynie says:
August 8, 2011 at 6:41 am
Dave Springer says:
August 8, 2011 at 5:45 am
“Question. Who regulates to prevent water, air, and land pollution, and protect endangered species?”
Lawyers mostly.

Pete H

Its amazing how quickly the “Race” card gets played. Just yesterday Bishops Hill had its resident troll trying it!
Where do you start? Spanish out of S.America? Dutch out of the East Indies? Criminal class out of Australia? (Sorry Antipodean readers, I could not resist it!).
Probably best to have steered clear of this one Willis. The NWF is probably to be trusted about as much as the WWF when it comes to “climate-induced weather extremes”!

Sean Peake

Van Jones is likely behind this


I agree with many before. Willis, you do a discredit to this blog by demeaning Native Americans. Your point that the NWF recommendations are ridiculous could be made without espousing your lack of respect for Native Americans. Shame on you.


Hmmm. Just like the Canadian model for what we call “First Nations”.