Sustainability is a word that people who are worried about our planet, and people who feel that we must tackle issues like poverty, education, and disease on a global level use because they believe that we are all connected. We are all connected in ways we never were – by speedy travel, by the media, by the internet, by business and military concerns. We didn’t make this connectedness happen by deliberately deciding to go global; our interests became global because of all the ways we began to interconnect.
The Pope talked about sustainability. The UN talks about sustainability. But there is a right wing campaign to make ‘sustainability’ into a word that represents the “dark side”. Ultra-Conservative Republicans are telling people that there is a government/UN conspiracy to herd us into dense urban centers, to get us to abandon the suburbs to the nefarious projects of these two groups. They poo-poo the idea that providing expensive infrastructure to ever more far-flung suburbs is costing us more than we can afford to collect in taxes from hard-pressed citizens.
If you search the term sustainability I am sure you will run across articles about Agenda 21. In fact, Glenn Beck, the extreme right wing talk show host, wrote a book called Agenda 21. I have not read his book because Glenn Beck gives me a stomachache, but it is a fiction book about the apocalypse that will result if we implement Agenda 21 (the 21 refers to the 21st century). There is also a follow-up book, Agenda 21: Into the Shadows.
Our poor planet is plundered, abused, trashed and will soon house 9 billion people. It is not as if anyone has come up with a better plan besides the UN Agenda 21 and the steps they suggest to promote sustainability. The extreme right wing, of course, does not offer an alternative plan because they deny that our planet is in jeopardy. They wish to continue plundering. They have pursued the same tactics against the Affordable Care Act without offering any plan except the old private insurance model that we had before the ACA. They are akin to a marauding army that does a slash and burn as they go and offers no quarter to people caught in the power struggles of the wealthy.
These same extremist in the right wing are demonizing the UN while others who are not so extreme say that the UN may have little clout, but that it is sincerely trying to address whole-planet issues because these concerns affect all member nations. There are people in my own community who publish a newspaper called The Patriot (I wrote a blog about this paper) and in this paper they speak about “The Luciferian Church of the UN”. That is a very literal example of what people mean when they use the word demonizing. So taking a piece of emotional propaganda and turning it into an institution, however fictional, proves that the attack on Agenda 21 and sustainability is real. Do some reading about sustainability yourself – make up your own mind. Don’t just accept the negative things the right wing peddles on these subjects. Read Glenn Beck’s books if you must, but keep in mind that they are fiction and that, as far as I know, Glenn Beck has no superpowers.
Pope Francis addressed the UN while he was in NYC and the UN revealed their 17 Global Goals for the years between now and 2030. The graphic at the top of the page counts through these 17 important goals. You can find this graphic in a larger format and you can find it broken out piece by piece if you want more detail. I cannot imagine how it could hurt human life on earth or damage the earth itself if we were to pursue any of these goals. Is sustainability a plot to deprive you of your goods or your rights? Here are some links if you would like to read about this matter some more.
By Nancy Brisson