When the term “Sustainable Development” first entered the world, it was defined to be:
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The term and the definition are the creation of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, then vice-chair of the International Socialist Party.
To give meaning to this grandiose definition, the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development adopted Agenda 21, signed by 179 nations, including the United States. This document is a 40-chapter laundry list of recommendations to create “Sustainable Communities.”
Sen. Christopher Dodd is facilitating these U.N. recommendations through his “Livable Communities Act” (S. 1619), which further defines the term this way:
“The term ‘sustainable development’ means a pattern of resource use designed to create livable communities by:
(A) providing a variety of safe and reliable transportation choices;
(B) providing affordable, energy-efficient, and location-efficient housing choices for people of all income levels, ages, races, and ethnicities;
(C) supporting, revitalizing, and encouraging the growth of communities and maximizing the cost effectiveness of existing infrastructure;
(D) promoting economic development and economic competitiveness;
(E) preserving the environment and natural resources;
(F) protecting agricultural land, rural land, and green spaces; and
(G) supporting public health and improving the quality of life for residents of and workers in a community.”
Dodd’s bill will authorize the appropriation of billions of dollars to bribe states and local communities to transform the nation into soviet-styled communities where freedom is sacrificed for the utopian vision of sustainable development.
Dodd’s bill will create two new grant programs, and two new bureaucracies, with $100 million authorized for “Comprehensive Planning Grants.” These grants are available only to multijurisdictional organizations that are defined in the bill, which will assure comprehensive planning on a regional basis. “Sustainability Challenge Grants” are offered on the same multijurisdictional basis. Nearly $4 billion is authorized over three years for grants to implement the projects set forth in the comprehensive plans.
The “Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities” is created within the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This new agency is charged with issuing and overseeing the grants program and providing guidance and technical assistance in the transformation to “sustainable,” or as Dodd describes them, “livable” communities. The other new bureaucracy is the “Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities.” This is a new council consisting of cabinet secretaries – or their designees. The council is authorized to hire a staff to “ensure interagency coordination of federal policy on sustainable development.”
The United Nations has a similar agency. It’s called the DOEM: Designated Officials on Environmental Matters.
As a basis for his legislation, Dodd lists 20 “findings” which may or may not be true, but certainly do not provide an accurate picture. For example, he says that between 1980 and 2000, population growth in 99 urban centers “consumed” 16 million acres of rural land. What he did not say is that all urban land in all the cities occupies only 60 million acres, or 2.6 percent of the 2.3 billion acres in this country. Land designated as “wilderness,” however, occupies more than 107 million acres. Wilderness is land on which no human activity – other than walking carefully – is allowed.
Dodd’s bill, like all sustainable development propaganda, paints a warm and fuzzy picture of what “livable” or “sustainable” communities should be. The propaganda fails to point out that in order to achieve this Marxist utopia, government has to enforce the vision. This means that people must live where government says they must live; in homes that meet the government’s design criteria; and travel to work in vehicles approved by the government.
The end result of the comprehensive land-use plan is to draw lines on a map, which deprives individuals of private property rights whose land is outside the urban boundary zones. The value of land inside urban boundary zones skyrockets, as does the cost of living for all who reside there.
There is a free, detailed, 3-part video presentation available here, that explains sustainable development quite thoroughly.
Dodd’s bill goes a long way to transforming America into what looks a lot like regional soviets where unelected agency appointees draft a plan by which all must live, and then enforce the plan with the power of law.
Such a place cannot be described as “the land of the free.” Nor can it be called “the home of the brave,” if voters allow this transformation to continue.