Is sustainable development global governance?
By Henry Lamb
Betty Perry was not concerned about sustainable development or global governance; she simply wanted to save money when she decided not to water her lawn. It was, nonetheless, a decision that landed her in jail. Orem, Utah - like most other American communities, has been caught up in the sustainable development craze.
The sustainable development process is this:
All of this is done by a small group of agency bureaucrats and NGO staff, with just enough "stakeholder" participation to allow the group to claim that it is a "bottom-up" vision. When the plan is complete to the satisfaction of the bureaucrats, it is presented for approval to the elected governing officials.
These plans often embrace a series of extremely detailed "International Codes," which can require that people water their lawns as frequently as government thinks the lawns should be watered.
Sustainable development is government's implementation of Agenda 21, and Agenda 21 is 40 chapters of policy recommendations that affect virtually every facet of human life. Therefore, sustainable development is government's management of human life according to the recommendations set forth in Agenda 21.
The first goal of sustainable development is government control of land use. The 1976 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements declared that "Public control of land use is…indispensable." The conference then developed 65 pages of very specific recommendations for governments to use to achieve the control of land use.
Many of those recommendations found their way into Agenda 21, which recommended that each nation create a national mechanism for implementing sustainable development. President Clinton obliged in 1993, by issuing an executive order that created the President's Council on Sustainable Development. It is through this mechanism that Envisioning Utah, and literally thousands of similar "visioning" operations spread across the nation.
In its wake are countless communities with comprehensive plans that allow government to manage the affairs of its citizens, even to the point of prescribing when a private home owner must water her lawn.
If global governance is "…the framework of rules, institutions, and practices that set limits on behavior of individuals, organizations, and companies" (U.N. Development Report, 1999, p. 34), then sustainable development certainly qualifies as a significant part of global governance.
Sustainable development is a "framework of rules," most of which were initiated by the United Nations, Americanized by the President's Council on Sustainable Development, tailored to individual communities though government-funded "visioning" processes, and implemented through comprehensive plans adopted by local governments in pursuit of economic incentives promised by the federal government.
Betty Perry would not recognize her situation to be the result of global governance. Very few, if any, of the people involved in "Envision Utah," would know, or admit, that the goals they pursue originated with the United Nations. But any honest analyst who reads the documents would have to admit that what passes for sustainable development in most every community has its roots in one or more U.N. documents.
What should be immediately obvious to the most casual observer is the fact that where sustainable development prevails, individual freedom cannot. Private property rights take a back seat to the collective vision in a sustainable community. In a sustainable community, a committee of "stakeholders" decide what private land owners may do, or may not do, with their own property. This is not freedom.
For more than 200 years, families in America managed to live and prosper without government having to tell them when to water their lawn. America once was a place where people were free to decide for themselves whether to water the lawn – or not, without fear of fines or imprisonment. America is not improved by Agenda 21, or by the President's Council on Sustainable Development, or by Envision UTAH. Neither is America improved by any of the comprehensive plans adopted by governments that now believe that their responsibility is managing the affairs of the citizens, rather than defending the freedoms the citizens are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
American governments have lost faith in freedom, and in free markets. American governments are hell-bent on controlling the use of land by private citizens, controlling the education of private citizens, controlling the health care of private citizens, and ultimately, controlling every other facet of human life.
This is sustainable development. This is the essence of global governance.
Americans must decide whether to live free, or to live under the politically-correct sustainable development regime defined by global governance.