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“THE ANSWERS ARE HIDDEN IN THE DETAILS”
by Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center, ©2018
(Feb. 20, 2018) — It’s in every community in the nation. We hear it talked about in county commission meetings and state legislatures. It’s even used in advertising as a positive practice for food processing and auto sales. It’s used as the model for building materials, power sources and transportation policy. It’s sold as the bold visionary plan for the future. The nation is being transformed under the banner of “Sustainable Development.”
We are assured by elected officials that Sustainable Development is simply a tool or a guideline to help direct the carefully-planned growth of our cities and rural areas while protecting our natural resources for future generations. “We must guard against a chaotic, unregulated growth in our cities,” say its earnest proponents as they sell the concept through familiar, non-threatening words and beautiful pictures.
Citizens are assured by their community leaders that all such plans are just local, local, local, created with the participation of the whole community. Sustainable Development policy, they say, is just an environmental land conservation policy, a sensible development policy. Sustainable…what’s wrong with that?
As usual, the answers are hidden in the details. Are we hearing the truth? What are the consequences of the policy that has taken over every level of government? Are there hidden dangers most just can’t see? Or, as its proponents claim, is opposition to Sustainable Development really just a silly, overblown conspiracy theory found in a twenty-year-old meaningless document called Agenda 21?
The UN’s Brundtland Commission on Global Governance described Sustainable Development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.” It’s just common sense to assure we don’t overuse our resources, say proponents. If everyone will do their part, we can achieve total sustainability.
A couple of years later, in 1992, at the UN’s Earth Summit, 50,000 delegates approved a plan describing in great detail how to meet those future needs. They issued a document called Agenda 21, which the UN labeled as a “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society.” The UN sold Agenda 21 as a “soft law” policy, meaning it was an idea that nations would need to take up and impose through their own mechanisms.
To that end, in 1993, newly elected President Bill Clinton created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Serving on the Council were the representative of nearly every federal agency, along with representatives of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) who had helped to write Agenda 21 on the international level. Also on the Council were representatives of major global corporations. Their task was to create the policies to turn the Agenda 21 goals into official government policy and provide the means to fund it.
The President’s Council released a report describing its Sustainable Development goals, saying, “Sustainable communities encourage people to work together to create healthy communities where natural resources and historic resources are preserved, jobs are available, sprawl is contained, neighborhoods are secure, education is lifelong, transportation and health care is accessible, and all citizens have opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.”
It all sounds pretty neat. Nothing to fear here! It sounds like Utopia is truly ours for the taking. Again, what are the details? How do we put such ideas into action? What are the consequences? Is the environment better off? Are we better off? Well, let’s take each of these glowing ideas one at a time and just see where it all leads!
Read the rest here.