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Sustainable Development: The Basic Story
By: Darin Moser   August 2nd, 2011

Agenda 21

From the largest metropolitans to the smallest towns of main street America, communities all across our nation are being influenced with a new political philosophy known as Sustainable Development. It is a philosophy that fundamentally creates a community character that runs counter to the classic American traits of individuality, ingenuity, innovation, and liberty. This philosophy is dispersed throughout our government. For example at the federal level there are numerous grants that are being made available some of which are being disseminated by the “Partnership for Sustainable Communities”, a new joint partnership of Housing and Urban Development, Department Of Transportation, & the Environmental Protection Agency, this  sustainable partnership was created by President Obama.  At the State level there are also many new agencies that are forming such as the “Sustainable Communities Task Force” in NC, for example which was created this year to encourage the development of sustainable community initiatives in NC.

Another extremely prevalent and powerful advocate of the Sustainable Development philosophy are the numerous Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) who are proponents and are helping to grow the philosophy’s influence nationwide. One of the largest of these NGO’s is ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability. Over 600 member communities within the United States of America pay annual dues to receive advice and tools to help bring about a community transition to sustainable development from ICLEI. There are several NC communities that are part of this organization, including Winston Salem, Charlotte, and Raleigh.

Sustainable Development is a philosophy that is being engendered as “progress” to communities nationwide at a rapidly advancing rate. With leaders giving Sustainable Communities special labels like livable, walkable, smart growth or resilient communities.
Communities are being cast against each other using various monitoring and grading certification systems such as ICLEI’s STAR Community Index and the US Green Building Council’s LEED ND program that determines just how far communities have advanced down the path of Sustainability and achieved so called “livability”.

Under this premise the communities who are graded more sustainable will presumably have priority access to massive grant incentives from federal, state, and non-governmental sources, down the road. These factors are being employed nationwide to draw communities into the Sustainable Development movement.

You may be asking, “So what is Sustainable Development exactly and why should I be concerned?” Sustainable Development while implemented by numerous complex methods, is defined simply enough as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Sustainability is being promoted as merely being green, even though it is a much, much deeper political philosophy. Sustainable Development is typically introduced to a community through seemingly harmless neighborhood projects like transportation upgrades, greenways, alternative modes of mobility, clean air and water programs, healthy living programs, affordable housing, energy efficiency, and sustainable organic agriculture.  These “seemingly harmless” programs cover a much harsher Sustainable Development reality which calls on each unique town or community to undergo a re-visioning of their long held, local growth and development policies, typically calling for creating compact, high density urban centers, creating urban growth boundaries, modifying land use planning, as well as initiating programs like Complete Streets, Smart Growth, and Intelligent Cities. At its core Sustainable Development is a political philosophy which for the first time demands that the sustainable balance of Environment, Economy, and Social Equity be the deciding lens through which all community development, growth, and decisions are viewed. All other growth, development, and decisions are seen as “unsustainable”. This is absolutely opposite the idea of allowing the free market to function and solely determine the bounds of growth and development.

Under the Sustainable Development system progressive concepts like social equity, environmental justice, food justice, redistribution of wealth and behavioral engineering take the lead and form the basis for which growth decisions are made.  

Environment, Economy, and Social Equity are the three linked pillars of Sustainable Development they are also known as the 3E’s or “the triple bottom line” a concept that is directly opposed to the traditional bottom line of our American system of free enterprise and capitalism. The “triple bottom line” is often expressed with the symbol of 3 interlocking circles, with the center of these circles representing the perfect harmony of “Sustainability”.

Triple Bottom Line
Capitalism in the USA is currently under a major attack. It is being dilluted with a new philosophy known by several different names. These names include "The Triple Bottom Line", "the 3 E's", or "the 3 P's".

The origins of Sustainable Development aren’t from good ole hometown USA. It is a world planning philosophy that was born out of the United Nations in 1987 and started on its path to implementation in the early 1990’s.

The defining document that launched the concept of Sustainable Development was written by a United Nations commission in 1987. It is a document designed to visualize a future for our world called, “Our Common Future”. This document was also known as the “Brundtland Report” because the Chairman of the authoring commission was Gro Harlem Brundtland a Socialist leader of Norway and later the Vice Chairman of the World Socialist Party. A later UN document called Agenda 21 was written and agreed upon at the Earth Summit in 1992 in Rio De Janeiro and is the framework for enacting a Sustainable Development agenda worldwide. In 1993 President Bill Clinton signed an executive order creating the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development. This Council consisted of multiple cabinet level officials, corporate business leaders, and the heads of many environmental organizations and was tasked with translating the international efforts that had been accomplished with Agenda 21 at Rio’s Earth Summit into policy in the United States of America. In February 1996 they released Sustainable America: A New Consensus for Prosperity, Opportunity, and A Healthy Environment for the Future detailing how to bring about Sustainable Development in the United States.

The Sustainable Development philosophy holds a contentious view of the American way of life. The American people and capitalism are both viewed as wasteful, consumerist, greedy, and even imperialistic. Many areas and staples of American life including, the suburbs, private property, automobile ownership, plastic bags, paper bags, classic cheeseburgers, the meat industry, fossil fuels, air conditioning, air travel, lawn mowers, and many, many more items and choices that are too numerable to mention are considered unsustainable.

The Sustainable Development movement desires to build a low carbon, zero waste, de-growth oriented Utopia based on collectivism, ecological extremism, and progressive social engineering principles. Any student of political discourse knows that attempting to create a Utopia has never worked and has always ended with disastrous consequences.

Less than a year ago I had never heard of the philosophy of Sustainable Development. It was as I researched what I was seeing in the news and media about America in the wake of the financial crisis that I was taken aback at how pervasive the idea was that America needed to go through a paradigm shift or a “great transition” toward Sustainable Development. That somehow the American system of governance and economy as we have always known it suddenly was fatally flawed and unsustainable. As I searched for those who would defend the traditional role of free enterprise and Capitalism, I was met at almost every turn with the same language over and over again. Sustainable Development, it is a movement with political goals, that has achieved an enormous amount while being largely portrayed as altruistic. I would encourage everyone to research the worldview and beliefs that lie behind this positive “green” spin. For more information I would invite each of you to visit my news blog about the issue of Sustainable Development at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanAlert. Thank you.


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Sustainable Development
in Action
Across America
(Databases)
Communities
 
NGO's
(Non-Governmental Organizations)
 
Colleges
 
 
 
Documents
Agenda 21
Agenda 21
 
Our Common Future
"Our Common Future"
The Brundtland Report
 
UN Links

UN Division for Sustainable Development
 
Rio+20 Earth Summit
 
United Nations Environment Programme
 
UN DESA
 
Globalist SD Players
 
ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
 
IUCN
 
IISD
 
World Business Council for Sustainable Development
From Their Own Lips:

"Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and work-place air-conditioning, and suburban housing - are not sustainable.” - Maurice Strong, Father of Sustainable Development

 
 

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