People who feel that the UN Agenda 21 (which is supposed to mean agenda for the 21st century) is a plot for global domination and forced environmentalism point to a number of modern trends that they feel prove their point of view. They feel that the foreclosures that have hounded so many Americans and forced them out of their homes were planned by the “sustainability movement” to get people to move away from the suburbs and into high density housing nearer to the cores of our cities. They feel that reverse mortgages are also part of this “sustainability movement” as they will keep the next generation from inheriting properties from their parents.
In addition they cite things like all the recent discussion of bike lanes, green roofs, zero run-off, and other green initiatives as signs that the “sustainability movement” is real, is active, and has a deep grassroots agenda.
Then there is the Engdahl analysis of the activities of the Doomsday Seed Bank, in which he says that the seed bank sells farmers hybrid seeds which not capable of reproducing and which therefore must be repurchased every season. Mr. Engdahl believes this is a purposeful procedure designed by the corporate sponsors of the seed bank to drive farmers off their land and into the cities. Is Agenda 21 a plan to manipulate humans according to some grand UN design? Is this not at all the intention of Agenda 21 and simply paranoia on the part of extremist elements in our culture? I’m sure we will continue to hear more about this.
In fact, yesterday, 6/11/2012, I read an article in the Huffington Post Green section that says the UN just completed a conference on how to produce a happiness economy to accompany its sustainability agenda. Here’s some of what the article had to say:
A high-level United Nations meeting on happiness has taken place, marking a significant step towards governments placing wellbeing at the heart of economic progress.
The first of its kind, the meeting took place at UN headquarters in New York on 2 April, 2012, and brought together more than 600 participants from government, academia, business, civil society and spiritual and religious groups.
Following the conference, wellbeing is now intended to be at the centre of new sustainable development goals, which are expected to replace the millennium development goals when they expire in 2015.
“This will add a positive aspiration to improve human wellbeing alongside existing essential goals such as eradication of extreme poverty and universal education,” said Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, who attended the meeting.
This is not about being anti-growth,” said Williamson, “it’s about redefining what we mean by progress. We should be aiming for growth in human happiness. A healthy economy is part of this, but other things are essential too – like vibrant communities and greater equality.”
The April meeting was convened by the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, which in the 1970s introduced the concept of gross national happiness (GNH). It began measuring GNH in 2008, looking at factors such as living standards, health, education, culture, good governance, and psychological wellbeing.
In this context, Bhutan describes happiness not as relating to an everyday passing mood, but as “the deep, abiding happiness” that comes from living in harmony with the natural world and with others – that is, from “feeling totally connected with our world.”
The report, which was published by the Earth Institute and co-edited by leading economist Jeffrey Sachs, states that although the least happy are poorer countries, more important than income are social factors such as supportive relationships, personal freedoms and the absence of corruption.
The report also found that happiness has increased in some countries as living standards have risen, but not in others such as the United States; and mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country.
Awarded first place in the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index in 2009 and regarded as the ‘greenest’ country in the world, Costa Rica made primary education free and mandatory in 1870 – before the UK or US – and abolished its army in 1948. In 1970 a network of national parks was set up, protecting nearly 30% of its territory and it now aspires to become one of the first carbon neutral countries.
Will this ameliorate some of the paranoia or make it deeper? Are we talking lobotomy here? Is happiness an attainable goal without legal drugs. OK I’m just being ridiculous but, I can’t wait to follow this continuing saga.