Listening to the local news on the radio recently, I heard a report about how newly elected Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz plans to save $8 million by, among other things, merging the “Office of Sustainability” with the Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.
Office of Sustainability? In the county?
According to the story, “The new agency will be renamed the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability….”
The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability?
A county government has its own EPA? You must be kidding.
No, unfortunately not.
Baltimore County’s Office of Planning defines “sustainability” as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of current and future generations to meet their own needs.”
I checked some of the other county websites. Carroll County’s Sustainability Plan defines sustainability as: “…meeting the requirements of social, environmental, and economic circumstances without compromising the ability for future generations to meet the same need.”
Montgomery County‘s says: “To live sustainably, one strives to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (my emphasis). People living sustainably recognize the fundamental and inextricable interdependence between the economy, the environment, and social equity, and work to promote each to the benefit of all.”
A curious coincidence perhaps, but these humble county governments’ definitions of “sustainability” look amazingly similar to the UN definition:
Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
This definition was first articulated in a 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment & Development titled “Our Common Future.” (See p. 24.)
This has come to be known as the Brundtland Commission. It was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s socialist former Prime Minister, who also served as vice-chair of the Socialist International.
It is worth mentioning here that Carol Browner, President Obama’s Energy and Environment Czar, also served on the Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society, although her name was stripped from the masthead the minute she got that appointment. Hmm.
The Brundtland Commission included Maurice Strong (Canada’s version of George Soros), William Ruckelshaus (first head of the EPA – the only American) and luminaries from such enlightened states as Zimbabwe, Communist China, Russia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Cote D’Ivoire.
“Sustainable Development” is a distinctly and entirely socialist idea, and it varies from typical socialist rhetoric only in the metaphors used.
It demands redistribution of land, resources and private property into government hands. One particularly odious quote:
Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.
Emphases are mine. The last sentence makes clear that land must be controlled by government.
“Sustainable Development” has become the buzzword for a strategy under development since at least the early 1970s to completely control every aspect of our lives, including resettling entire populations. For example, the 1976 U.N. Conference on Human Settlements called for population redistribution:
Recommendation A.1 National Settlement Policy:
- All countries should establish as a matter of urgency a national policy on human settlements, embodying the distribution of population, and related economic and social activities, over the national territory.
Recommendation A.2 Human Settlements and Development:
- A national policy for human settlements and the environment should be an integral part of any national economic and social development policy.
Recommendation A.4 More Equitable Distribution:
- Human settlements in most countries are characterized by wide disparities in living standards from one region to another, between urban and rural areas, within individual settlements and among various social and ethnic groups. Such discrepancies exacerbate many human settlement problems, and, in some instances, reflect inadequate planning. Human settlement policies can be powerful tools for the more equitable distribution of income and opportunities.
They are not kidding. And there is much more.
In 1992, an initiative titled “Agenda 21” was proposed at the U.N. sponsored Conference on Environment and Development, (the “Earth Summit”), held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. It states:
Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment [sic.]
The Agenda is an all-encompassing prescription for regulating every aspect of human activity in the interest of “sustainable development.” 178 governments signed on, including the United States.
Thank you, George H.W. Bush. However, Agenda 21 was not ratified by the U.S. Senate. President Clinton then defied the Senate’s will by signing Executive Order 12852, which created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Thank you, Bill Clinton!
While we all would like to assure natural resources are properly managed for current and future generations, the U.N.’s prescriptions require that nations accept their definitions of “sustainable” and their recommendations for how to accomplish their goals.
Marxism has only survived because of Marxists’ ability to package and repackage the same odious ideas in flowery or obscure language. Consider the following phraseology. Everything in quotes comes directly from UN sustainability documents:
“Social Justice” assures the right “to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment” = equal distribution of wealth = communism.
“Social Justice” assures that “every worker/person will be a direct capital owner” = dictatorship of the proletariat = communism.
“Sustainability” means that “individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective.” How about that? Individual rights don’t matter, and as you should know, “collective” = communism.
Here’s another example. The Agenda’s Rio Declaration demands that:
- All States and all people shall cooperate in the essential task of eradicating poverty as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, in order to decrease the disparities in standards of living and better meet the needs of the majority of the people of the world. (Emphasis added.)
Under the guise of “saving the earth” the socialists have explicitly demanded redistribution of income. What a surprise.
Agenda 21’s Millennium Development Project calls for “developed countries,” (us), to donate 0.7 percent of GDP every year. Lest 0.7 percent of GDP sound like a small number, for 2010 it equates to about $103 billion, an amount that would fund the Departments of State, Justice and Energy, as well as the entire Legislative and Judicial branches of the U.S. government. Alternately, it could fund the Departments of Homeland Security, Interior and Housing and Urban Development! Take your pick. (Source: Office of Management and Budget).
And that is just the camel’s nose under the tent. Be sure, it will only increase. But why do it at all? How have our other efforts worked out for them?
Socialists always see life as a zero sum game: if someone is wealthy, he must have taken it from the poor; if we are rich today, it must follow that future generations will be weaker. Current generations greedily sap our resources, leaving less for the future. The sustainable development crowd has transformed this complaint into public policy, using the alarming specter of “Anthropogenic Climate Change” to force the issue.
The most salient feature of a market economy is its ability to grow and adapt as market conditions change. When any resource becomes scarce, its price increases. This creates a multitude of responses: producers seek new sources of supply, engage in research to find alternatives, or invent methods of using the resource more efficiently. The market accomplishes this smoothly, quietly and without large disruptions, unless government gets involved to manage it.
A salient theme of college courses in environmental conservation is the “greediness” of American consumer society. They constantly repeat the mantra that “America consumes 25 percent of the world’s resources but is only 5 percent of the world’s population.” Barack Obama even reiterated this statement on the campaign trail.
The clear implication is that this is wasteful and unfair. We should only be consuming 5 percent. Reducing consumption from 25 percent to 5 percent is an 80 percent drop. What happens to the countries supplying those goods when we reduce consumption by 80 percent? Do they magically get a wealth transfer? No. Their economic decline will be cataclysmic.
As it stands, the sustainability crowd wants to see carbon-based energy usage reduced by 80 percent. That goal was incorporated in the Cap and Trade bill that thankfully has not yet been enacted. Not quite the same as reducing GDP by that amount, but certain to cause a catastrophic decline in living standards nonetheless. Some analysts have even said that “planned recession” is the only way to reduce “greenhouse gasses” enough to make a difference.
These people are nuts.
This article was first posted at Right Side News.
Agenda 21 Part II: Globalist Totalitarian Dictatorship Invading a Town near You – With Your Permission