Which is more important: reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy sources, or add 2.85 million acres to the existing 200 million acres of protected areas? According to the United Nations, 27 percent of the total land area in the United States is already locked up in some kind of protected area, along with 67 percent of the total marine area. This means, of course, that there can be no development of energy or other natural resources in 27 percent of the nation’s land and 67 percent of the nation’s marine resources.
Only the most avid preservationist, or the most anti-American, could possibly choose to lock up the nation’s natural resources rather than develop them. Nevertheless, the federal government continues to block readily available and affordable energy development while subsidizing, at great public expense, the development of exotic energy sources such as wind and solar. There is much more than the discredited global-warming scare driving this ongoing obsession to lock up natural resources.
The goal is control. In order to control people, the government must control the use of land. Control of the use of land includes control of the use of natural resources. Energy is the fuel that produces prosperity, and the government bureaucracy has decided that it will control access to energy by controlling the use of land and marine resources.
Since the Carter administration, the land management agencies of the federal government have been taken over by environmental-extremist organizations. Footnote 30 in this document identifies many such characters added to the administration by President Clinton. In an effort to appease the green crowd, both Bush 41 and 43 continued the practice. The Obama administration is replete with environmental extremists and individuals whose public statements strongly suggest an anti-American bent. Consequently, the lock-up of land and its resources continues.
The federal government has many tools with which to deprive the people of their resources and the use of their land. Congress has not been at all reluctant to impose new wilderness areas, or to provide abundant funding for the outright purchase of land from private individuals. Federal agencies can declare land – private or public – to be wetlands or critical habitat, and with these designations prohibit use of the land and its resources. There are also 47 U.N. Biosphere Reserves in the United States and 20 World Heritage Sites. These lands were designated by the U.N. after nomination by federal agencies – with no congressional debate or approval. Each of these designations includes protected areas that are voluntarily managed (pp. 94-99) according to policies set forth by the United Nations. With the stroke of a pen, the president may also designate any land he wishes as a National Monument under the authority of the Antiquities Act.
Until 1976, private ownership of land was the desired goal of government in the United States. The policy changed officially when William K. Reilly, Carla A. Hills and others endorsed the policy statement of the U.N. Conference on Human Settlements. The preamble to this statement says:
Private land ownership is a principal instrument of accumulating wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice. Public control of land is therefore indispensable.
The rest of the document contains 65 pages of specific recommendations about how to take control of land use and recapture increases in property value for government. These recommendations are now being implemented through sustainable-development programs and comprehensive land-use plans set forth in the U.N.’s Agenda 21.
Montana state Sen. Dave Lewis has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to withdraw the U.S. from U.N. (SJ-2) This is particularly important in Montana because both of Montana’s U.S. senators support another bureaucratic effort afoot to expand existing Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites to lock up at least another 2.5 million acres in protected areas that would deny resource development and even most human activity. Here is another classic example of how senators chosen by the state legislature, as the original Constitution provided, would never support the green extremists instead of the wishes of the state legislature.
Every state should examine Montana’s resolution and consider a similar request. The United Nations, and its various environmental programs, commissions and schemes, seeks to bring virtually every inch of the globe under its ultimate control. Consider the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the RAMSAR Wetland Treaty, the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the dozens of other so-called environment treaties – all designed to put the control of land use under an international agreement administered by the United Nations.
It is not just a coincidence that the Communist Manifesto calls for the abolition of private property.
State legislatures should adopt Montana’s resolution, and urge their congressional delegation to support Rep. Ron Paul’s H.R. 1146, soon to be introduced as the American Sovereignty Protection Act. Rep. Paul has introduced this bill into every Congress since 1997. It has failed in each Congress. Perhaps this is the year the American people can take a stand and, at last, get the U.S. out of the U.N. and the U.N. out of the U.S.