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A snowball bound for hell

By Henry Lamb
web posted December 10, 2001

Like a snowball barreling down a mountainside, the WSSD is gathering momentum, size and power, racing toward its ultimate destination - hell.

WSSD is the acronym for "World Summit on Sustainable Development." It is scheduled for September 2 - 11, 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

A major objective of WSSD is to create the machinery for IEG - International Environmental Governance. The fourth in a series of meetings that attracted more than 200 Intergovernmental Ministers from various nations, concluded December 1, in Montreal. Their task is to consolidate dozens of global environmental initiatives into a single, comprehensive mechanism capable of creating global environmental policy - and enforcing it.

Their task is no small order. There are literally hundreds of environmental treaties, most of which have an existing implementation and enforcement and bureaucracy. There are dozens of U.N. and Intergovernmental agencies, such as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); United Nations Development Program (UNDP); U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD); to say nothing of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of major conventions such as the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Convention on Biological Diversity; the Convention on Desertification, and many others.

Each of these agencies have their own staff and network of implementation and enforcement processes. None are eager to submit their operations to the control of another, higher layer of international governance; several believe the global agenda should be incorporated under their control.

Thus, the Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GMEF) is trying to alphabetize the various components and organize them into an effective International Environmental Governance scheme, to be adopted at the WSSD.

Throughout the world, other international agencies and organizations are meeting, preparing their portion of the WSSD agenda in an effort to declare that meaningful Global Governance has, indeed, arrived.

The U.N. High Level Panel on Financing Development will present its plan for financing global governance at a conference in February; the International Criminal Court is expected to be fully ratified and in force before the September shindig; the Kyoto Protocol is expected to be in force. The plan of action recommended in Agenda 21, adopted in Rio in 1992, has reached sufficient levels of implementation to empower the United Nations to proclaim its governance of the planet.

There will be hell to pay.

Global governance is management of the global economy to ensure protection of the environment, while enforcing equity in the distribution of benefits from resource use.

Any way you slice it, global governance means that those who produce wealth will have it taken away and given to those who produce less - or nothing at all. Incentive to produce will vanish, and economic production will necessarily diminish, as it has in every other collectivist society.

Hell will be paid first, by those who lose their freedom to produce wealth. Those people who have never known this freedom will enjoy the benefit of the work of others as they bask in the new prosperity delivered by their global governors.

In time, as productivity diminishes, as it inevitably will, there will be less wealth to redistribute, and all people will be reduced to the lowest common economic denominator. There is always a direct correlation between diminishing prosperity and increasing oppression by those who control the distribution of goods.

The last people to enter into the gates of hell are those who control the distribution of goods and the oppression of the people. Is it not true? Look around the world. Even in Afghanistan, where the citizens have suffered for years, those in control prosper.

But in the end, even those in control must fall, because the gates of hell cannot prevail against the truth - that the hunger for individual freedom creates whatever it takes to break any shackles that constrain it .

It may take a generation or two, for the loss of freedom to weigh heavily enough upon the shoulders of society to produce a new crop of heroes. Perhaps it is necessary for the whole world to undergo a total economic collapse in order to rid the world, once and for all, of the notion that a handful of self-appointed elite can manage the affairs of everyone else. When the new heroes begin to emerge, they will look back at America and realize that the only valid government is a government empowered by the consent of the governed - a concept rejected by those now preparing the WSSD agenda.

There is precious little time to avoid this global governance scenario; it can be avoided only by swift, definitive action by the United States. The U.S. withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol was a start. The U.S. withdrawal on December 7 (2001) from U.N. negotiations on a Protocol to the 1972 treaty on germ warfare, is another step in the right direction. But it will take far more. It will take a total withdrawal of all funding of United Nations' activities - now, before the U.N. gets independent taxing power, to stop, and melt the snowball now rolling toward global governance.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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