QVGOP Think Tank

Sustainable Development: What it is and what it isn’t

Whether due to President Trump or to the natural course of events, the global liberal world order is being questioned.  What was thought to be the “end of history” with the eventual universal adoption of a liberal political world order may turn out not to be the endgame at all.  The United Nations was created to aid respective sovereign territories in discovering their way to liberal democracy and thus, in its very nature, erecting a global bureaucracy.   As is consistent with all bureaucracy, it set its agenda with its tenets and its mechanism for implementation, devised its own agencies, crafted its own constitution (The UN Declaration of Human Rights) and set about its goal of transforming the world in its image.  Among the policies spawned from the behemoth is sustainable development.  The brainchild of the 1987 United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 (Agenda for the 21st century) makes broad recommendations on how societies should be transformed to improve socially, economically and environmentally.  The political mechanism for implementing these universal standards are laid out in Agenda 21 through a program known as sustainable development.   The plan was unveiled at the Earth Summit in 1992. More than 178 nations voluntarily agreed to adopt the policy with George H.W. Bush leading the way as signatory for the United States.  Thereafter, Bill Clinton established the Council of Sustainable Development in 1993 and it appears the program continues to be implemented through the State Department today.

What Sustainable Development is~

Many believe that sustainability is simply the implementation of common sense, good-will practices of conservation aimed at improving global environmental problems and implanting policy that will sustain good practices for resource preservation for generations to come.

No doubt these matters appeal to the conscience of most Americans and, in fact, many around the world.   However, the sustainable development aims far exceed simply suggesting how to rotate crops for maintenance of rich farmland, or policy for fishing to maintain the marine ecosystem or how to ensure access to clean water to every human across the globe.  The objective of sustainable development practice integrates three principle policies:  Social Equity, Economic Prosperity and Ecological Integrity.

Social Equity is a demand for “social justice” meaning the right of all people to benefit equally from societal and environmental resources.  Policy favored by social justice advocates includes government allocation of healthcare and education, open borders and redistribution of wealth.

Economic policy under sustainable development begins with the premise that the wealth existing in the world was garnered at the expense of the poor.  Therefore, wealth redistribution is among the objectives and the manner for achieving global redistribution is through public/private partnerships.  Select business leaders agree to join forces with the government to impose “sustainable” policy merging power, and the very economy itself, into the hands of the select.  Then these policies, through Congressional policy and regulation coming out of the Administrative State, is pushed down to all levels of government: local, state and federal.

Under sustainable development doctrine, human beings are but one strand of nature’s web and cannot be trusted independently with stewardship of nature and/or the planet, therefore, human activity must be controlled and curtailed by government.  Strategies to achieve this objective include government taking increasingly more ownership of land, private property rights being reduced, consumption being curbed including the reordering of urban, suburban and rural communities.

What Sustainability is not~

Sustainable development is not s pure, altruistic movement focused uniquely on protecting the environment but is rather a political effort to undermine capitalism and replace it with a global bureaucracy.  It seeks to force green energy solutions on civilization despite green energy being unreliable, uncompetitive and unable to meet the demands of thriving infrastructures.  It considers CO2 a dangerous pollutant to the planet when, in fact, higher CO2 levels will serve to “green” the Earth.  Sustainability is not a defender of private property rights or individual freedom.

It is important to understand that, while conservation of our natural resources is of interest to everyone,  America is fully capable of drafting and implementing homegrown policies that are suitable to our citizens and our country.   America has no business adopting policies born of United Nations think tanks. Currently, Agenda 21 policy, which is now Agenda 2030, flows through the President’s Council on Sustainable Development and is implemented by agencies such as the EPA and HUD where regulations are made and enforced through lawsuits, fees, penalties and worse.  On the local level, planning associations and local “projects” continue  to deepen the roots of sustainable development policy into our communities.  Examples are:

“Wildlands Project” which seeks to “re-wild” 50% of all land in every state.

“Smart Growth” which seeks to urbanize the majority of the population and then “green” the cities with environmentally compliant features from housing, to transportation, to locally produced food stuffs.

“Stakeholder Councils” which are non-governmental sanctioned businesses granted special favors such as tax breaks, eminent domain power, non-compete clauses, backing for risk taking and the like.  To be clear, not all relationships between government and corporations are corrupt or responsible for implementation of sustainable development policy but, generally speaking, due to the inherent accumulation of power, such partnerships tend to circumvent checks and balances and most often lead to anticompetitive behavior.

There is quite a lot to understand about sustainable development.  At this point, the roots of this agenda have significantly penetrated all of American culture.  Yet there is no reason Americans cannot demand that policy be generated locally or nationally. Home-grown policy versus suggestions and dictates from the United Nations; which serves better the American people?