Category Archives: economy trumps environment

Rio+20-Quelle Disappointment

We have the reports from the Rio+20 “sustainability” conference last week. The conference in Rio in 1992 was extremely productive and resulted in a detailed, organized report called, as we have learned, Agenda 21. Agenda 21 consists of 40 chapters and runs to 325 pages.
It seems as if the economic setbacks of the past 4 years have not created an economy of “happiness” in most of our world, but rather a fearful economy that feels it has to put aside environmental concerns until our economies perk up. So this year’s conference produced a document that ran to only 56 pages and mostly referred back to the 1992 document and said “ditto”.
Madame Secretary, Hillary Clinton, spoke on the final day of the conference and said, “In the 21st century, the only viable development is sustainable development. The only way to deliver lasting progress for everyone is by preserving our resources and protecting our common environment.”
Those who think Agenda 21 is already being implemented at the grassroots level like some pre-armed time bomb, and that this is some kind of grand global plot, are unlikely to change their view in spite of the meager outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference. They probably will just say that the grand plan is already in motion and cannot be stopped without vigilant opposition.
Meanwhile our overtaxed environments are not just at the mercy of the 7 billion humans on the planet, but also at the mercy of an economic crisis and a perceived “take-over” that will slowly push earth’s populations into configurations not of their own choosing, but which conform to someone’s design for what will produce sustainable development on the earth. We don’t really like to be pushed around but our tendency to push back may place additional strains on the earth’s resources. It would be great if we could all pursue a sustainability agenda together, but highly unlikely.