The UN’s Rio+20 meeting will take place in June of this year, and already the propaganda machine is at work.
The UN’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, has just issued its report on sustainability.
A single line in the report establishes its intent:
“Achieving sustainability requires us to transform the global economy.”
The word government(s) was repeated 193 times in the 99-page report.
While issues such as social justice and inequality are continuously mentioned in the report, energy is central to what the report requires governments to do.
Two of the goals in the report are:
- Incorporating social and environmental costs in regulating and pricing of goods and services.
- Expanding how we measure progress in sustainable development by creating a sustainable development index.
Both of these goals are to allow governments to manipulate the free market economy by establishing costs and indexes relying on people’s opinions. GDP is no longer an appropriate measure. Both goals have their greatest effect on energy development and use.
For example, the report says, in two locations, “A tax on the most important energy-related greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, would be another economically efficient means of addressing externalities.”
The report says:
“Integrating environmental and social issues into economic decisions is vital to success.” And
“[It’s time] to bring the sustainable development paradigm into mainstream economics.” And for “a new political economy”
Incorporating the concept of externalities into cost structures has been the dream of environmentalists for decades.
Externalities are theoretical costs that aren’t included in a financially based, cost structure. CO2 emissions are one such fabricated cost, as is damage to the landscape from mining. But, one wonders whether eye-sores created by wind turbines will be included as an externality cost?
Obviously, attempting to include externalities in a cost structure is speculative, largely based on opinions and prone to abuse.
Stopping CO2 emissions and preventing climate change is a major part of the sustainability report.
The old idea of resource scarcity is also a central part of the report … in spite of the fact that we have always found more resources, or developed alternatives when needed. The Malthusian doctrine is alive and well in the eyes of the United Nations, though now it is referred to as the framework of “planetary boundaries” designed to define a “safe operating space for humanity”.
The report seems to cast a very wide net in so far as to what issues are included in sustainability.
- Universal health care
- Social assistance
- Fighting corruption
- Employment guarantees
- Equal rights
The report also raises the old canard that increased extreme weather has caused increased financial losses, even mentioning Katrina. It’s well documented that increased financial losses are due, not to increased extreme weather events, but, rather, to growing populations, building in areas subject to threats, such as next to the ocean, and the increased cost of construction.
It also repeats the need for developed countries to contribute $100 billion annually to a development fund.
Prerequisites for sustainable growth are identified in the report as:
“Democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and equality for women and men, as well as access to information, justice and political participation.”
But the UN report omits a key prerequisite for economic development: Property rights. Without property rights, people cannot benefit from their efforts.
Why does the report omit Property Rights, an essential prerequisite for economic growth?
It’s interesting to look at the authors of the report.
Out of 20 members of the UN Panel that prepared the report, only one was from the United States … and she was Susan Rice, a member of the current president’s cabinet.
Seven of the 20 were at some time, environmental ministers or proponents of green growth.
Only one, James Laurence Balsillie, former Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research in Motion, had any connection to business.
The report says that a “new global sustainable development council” should be established under the UN General Assembly.” Its duties will include having the United States explain its Policies.
The United States has only one vote in the General Assembly, and is repeatedly outvoted there.
Rio+20 could result in actions that severely restrict the ability of the United States to develop and use its energy resources.
The 1992 Rio conference created the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a treaty that WAS ratified by the United States, and where the UN holds UNFCCC meetings every year at which the United States is consistently outvoted.
It’s not certain what will evolve from Rio+20.
There is more, much more in the UN report. It’s available at http://www.un.org/gsp/sites/default/files/attachments/GSPReport_unformatted_30Jan.pdf
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