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The World Summit on Sustainable Development will convene Aug. 26 to Sept. 4, in Johannesburg, South Africa, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the birth of “sustainable development.”

This concept was given life when more than 150 nations adopted Agenda 21, at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992. Even though this 40-chapter, “soft-law” document is not legally binding, the concept of sustainable development has spread around the world, and in the United States, it is squeezing freedom from the land of the free.

It is difficult to wrap a brain around this concept which, ultimately, seeks to control virtually every facet of human life, in every nation on earth. It’s like standing in the center of a vast forest, where several trees are clearly visible, but the magnitude of the entire forest is impossible to comprehend.

The “trees” we can readily see – urban boundaries, smart growth, wilderness designations, heritage corridors, scenic byways, school-to-work, outcome-based education – grow in the midst of a vast expanse of “forest,” which can be fully appreciated only from the perspective of great distance.

Perhaps the Johannesburg conference is sufficiently far-removed from most Americans, that we can consider some of the global objectives, and then see how those objectives are being achieved by examining some of the “trees” that have begun to appear in domestic public policy.

The overall purpose of the Johannesburg conference is to bring about full, global implementation of Agenda 21. Achievement of this goal requires universal acceptance of a worldview that is relentlessly promoted by the United Nations, and its advocates.

In a nutshell, that worldview claims that the earth’s biodiversity is being destroyed by human development, that the world’s population has already exceeded the earth’s carrying capacity, and that the only hope for future generations is for governments to control the activities of humans in order to protect the environment and ensure economic and social equity.

The fact that these assumptions are fatally flawed, and are refuted by a preponderance of scientific evidence, is ignored by the propaganda mills that churn out slick, highly polished “reports” and press releases in advance of every major U.N. conference. Because this propaganda is offered by prestigious organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Resources Institute, and others, the media is eager to publish and amplify the message without bothering to check the facts or examine the evidence.

Consequently, years of continuing propaganda have convinced the majority of the population that this worldview must be correct, and that whatever is necessary to correct the situation is acceptable. What sustainable development requires is this:

  • Control of the global commons – defined to be “… outer space, the atmosphere, non-territorial seas, and the related environment that supports human life.”

  • Control and rationing of fresh water

  • Global tax on currency exchange, and use of the global commons

  • Control of energy use

  • Global regulation of transnational corporations

  • International Criminal Court to adjudicate infractions of international law

  • A standing army under the command of the United Nations.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development will concentrate on the first five requirements.

In an article in the Sept. 2 issue of The Nation, Maude Barlow and Tony Clark, both members of the International Forum on Globalization, argue that water will be as critical to the 21st century as oil was to the 20th century. They argue that access to water is a “human right,” that must not be left in the hands of private, profit-making corporations. They claim that:

Wealthy industrialized countries could supply every person on earth with clean water if they canceled the Third World debt, increased foreign aid payments and placed a tax on financial speculation [tax on currency exchange].

The United Nations has already created a “Commission on Water,” which is working frantically to produce an International Treaty on Water – which is also called for in the Nation article.

The rest of the global commons is being addressed by other treaties such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Desertification, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and its related Kyoto Protocol, The Convention on Ozone Depleting Substances, and its related Montreal Protocol – and many others.

Domestic policy is heavily influenced by these international agreements, though few people realize it.

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