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The Sustainability Agenda

By Tom DeWeese
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #97, 2011.

What is sustainable development and what is good or bad about it?
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Tom DeWeese

by Tom DeWeese

Figures at the Table

Homeschooling can and should be more than simply repeating public-school lessons in our homes. Why? Because in the last 20–30 years, public school texts and teacher education have become politicized. Schoolchildren in America and around the world are being taught a single view about today’s issues and tomorrow’s answers.

Here is just one example: Sustainability Education is being woven through texts at all grade levels, yet few of us have any idea what it is.

Time to find out.

What Is Sustainable Development?

Free trade, social justice, consensus, global truth, public-private partnerships, preservation, stakeholders, land use, environmental protection, development, visioning, open space, heritage, comprehensive planning, critical thinking, and community service are all part of our new language.

Whenever you see or hear these words in the newspaper or in your child’s educational materials, know that, in every case, they mean one thing—the implementation of Sustainable Development.

In his book, Earth in the Balance, Al Gore warned that a “wrenching transformation” must take place to lead America away from the “horrors of the Industrial Revolution.” The process to do that is called Sustainable Development and its roots can be traced back to a UN policy document called Agenda 21, adopted at the UN’s Earth Summit in 1992.

The best way to understand what Sustainable Development actually is can be found by discovering what is NOT sustainable.

According to the UN’s Biodiversity Assessment Report, items for our everyday lives that are NOT sustainable include: Ski runs, grazing of livestock, plowing of soil, building fences, industry, single-family homes, paved and tarred roads, logging activities, dams and reservoirs, power line construction, and economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment (e.g. capitalism and free markets).

Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Rio Earth Summit in 1992 said, “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air-conditioning, and suburban housing—are not sustainable.”

Consider also this quote from the report of the 1976 UN’s Habitat I conference which said: “Land . . . 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 principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice.”

The Three “E”s

The Sustainable Development logo used in most literature on the subject contains three connecting circles labeled Social Equity, Economic Prosperity, and Ecological Integrity (known commonly as the “3 Es”).

Social Equity. Sustainable Development’s Social Equity plank is based on a demand for “social justice.” Another word for social justice, by the way, is Socialism.

Under the Sustainablist system, private property is an evil that is used simply to create wealth for a few. So too, is business ownership. Instead, “every worker/person will be a direct capital owner.” Property and businesses are to be kept in the name of the owner, keeping them responsible for taxes and other expenses; however, control is in the hands of the “community.”

Economic Prosperity. Sustainable Development’s economic policy is based not on private enterprise but on public/private partnerships.

In order to give themselves an advantage over competition, some businesses—particularly large corporations—now find a great advantage in dealing directly with government, actively lobbying for legislation that will inundate smaller companies with regulations that they cannot possibly comply with or even keep up with. One of the best examples of this was the Italian model in the first half of the Twentieth Century under Mussolini’s Fascism.

Ecological Integrity. “Nature has an integral set of different values (cultural, spiritual and material) where humans are one strand in nature’s web and all living creatures are considered equal. Therefore the natural way is the right way and human activities should be molded along nature’s rhythms.” (From the UN’s Biodiversity Treaty presented at the 1992 UN Earth Summit.)

This quote lays down the ground rules for the entire Sustainable Development agenda. Sustainablist policy is to oversee any issue in which man interacts with nature—which is literally everything. And because the environment always comes first, there must be great restrictions over private property ownership and control. There can be no limited government, as advocated by our Founding Fathers, because, we are told, the real or perceived environmental crisis is too great. Maurice Strong, Chairman of the 1992 UN Earth Summit said: “A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally-damaging consumption patterns. The shift will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations.”

Four Roads to Control

So how is this transformation being put into place? There are four very specific routes being used.

The First Route: Getting People off the Land. The Wildlands Project was the brainchild of Earth First’s Dave Foreman. It literally calls for the “re-wilding” of 50% of all the land in every state—back to the way it was before Christopher Columbus set foot on this land.

Foreman’s plan became the blueprint for the UN’s Biodiversity Treaty. So now the scheme is international in scope.

In the West, where vast areas of open space make it easy to impose such polices, there are several programs underway to remove humans from the land. Today, there are at least 31 Wildlands projects underway, locking away more than 40 percent of the nation’s land. The Alaska Wildlands Project seeks to lock away and control almost the entire state. In Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana parts of North and South Dakota, parts of California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Texas, Utah, and more, there are at least 22 Wildlands Projects underway. For example, one project called “Yukon to Yellowstone” (Y2Y) creates a 2000-mile no-man’s land corridor from the Arctic to Yellowstone.

East of the Mississippi, there are at least nine Wildlands projects, covering Maine, Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Watch for names of Wildlands Projects like Chesapeake Bay Watershed, Appalachian Restoration Project and Piedmont Wildlands Project.

The Second Route: “Smart Growth.” The second path is called Smart Growth: regimented and dense urban communities.

A line is put around your city and no growth can take place outside that line.

Because there is a restriction on space inside the controlled city limits, there is a shortage of houses, so prices go up. That means populations will have to be controlled, because now there is a shortage of land.

Cities are now passing “green” regulations, forcing homeowners to meet strict guidelines for making their homes environmentally compliant, using specific building materials, forcing roof replacements, demanding replacement of appliances, and more. In Oakland, California, such restrictions, with compliance demanded in just a matter of a few years, will cost each homeowner an estimated $36,000. The Cap and Trade bill contains a whole section on such restrictions for the nation.

The Third Route: Stakeholder Councils. Third, inside the human habitat areas, government is controlled by an elite ruling class called “stakeholder councils.”

These are mostly Non-governmental Organizations, or NGOs, unelected groups who just show up to stake their claim to enforce their own private agendas. The function of legitimate government within such a system is simply to enforce the dictates of the councils.

These unelected councils are controlled by a small minority in the community, but they are all powerful. They make you ask permission (usually denied) for anything necessary to live in the community.

These councils fit almost perfectly the definition of a State Soviet: a system of councils that report to an apex council and then implement a predetermined outcome. Soviets are the operating mechanism of a government-controlled economy.

The Fourth Route: Public/Private Partnerships. The fourth path is Public/Private Partnerships.

Many PPPs are nothing more than government-sanctioned monopolies in which a few businesses are granted special favors like tax breaks, the power of eminent domain, non-compete clauses, and specific guarantees for return on their investments.

That means they can charge what they want and they can use the power of government to put competition out of business.

Success in the PPP world is not based on quality of product and service, but on who you know in high places. To play ball in the PPP game means accepting the mantra of Sustainable Development and helping to implement it, even if it means going against your own product. For example, using government to ban its own product, General Electric is forcing the mercury-laden “green” light bulb on you. That’s why Home Depot uses its commercials to oppose cutting down trees and British Petroleum advocates reducing the use of oil.

This is not free enterprise, but Mussolini-type fascism. And it’s all driven by the Agenda 21 blueprint of Sustainable Development.

Pay No Attention to That Group Behind The Curtain

Many Americans ask how international policies can suddenly turn up in state and local governments across the nation and around the globe.

The answer—meet ICLEI, a non-profit, private foundation. Originally known as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), today the group simply calls itself “ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability.”

In 1992, ICLEI was one of the groups instrumental in creating Agenda 21. The group’s mission is to push local communities to regulate the environment—and it’s having tremendous success.

You can find a list of 544 American cities and 600 more around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, in which ICLEI is being paid with tax dollars from city councils to implement and enforce Sustainable Development, at www.iclei.org. Click on “Member” (at top) then “Global Member” (at left); ICLEI is there to assure that the leaders of all these cities and councils keep their promises and meet their goals.

ICLEI recommends that the community hire a full-time “sustainability manager,” who, even in small towns, can devote 100% of his time to assure that every nook and corner of the government is on message and under control.

ICLEI (or others of its kind) is entrenched in most American cities, dictating policy to your locally elected officials and making sure they do not listen to your protests. Most decisions are now being made behind the scenes in non-elected “sustainability councils” armed with truckloads of federal regulations, guidelines, and grant money.

Civic leaders now organize community meetings run by “facilitators,” as they outline a “vision” for the town, enforced by “consensus.” No need for debate when you have consensus!

Some officials try to pretend that Sustainable Development is just a local effort to protect the environment—your local leaders putting together a local vision for the community. Then ask your local officials how it is possible that the exact language and tactics for implementation of Sustainable Development are being used in nearly every city around the globe from Lewiston, Maine, to Singapore!

Some of us are working to remove ICLEI. I invite you to join us. I also invite you to look carefully for the words that appear in the italicized list near the beginning of the article. When you see them in your children’s educational materials or college course descriptions, now you’ll know what they mean.

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