Category Archives: sustainability

Sustainability

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.

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/milestones/unced/agenda21

http://www.postsustainabilityinstitute.org/what-is-un-agenda-21.html

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2012/11/19/what-is-agenda-21-after-watching-this-you-may-not-want-to-know/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-reinbach/agenda-21-sustainability-_b_1523118.html

https://www.splcenter.org/20140331/agenda-21-un-sustainability-and-right-wing-conspiracy-theory

By Nancy Brisson

Middle Ages Versus New Modern Age?

Sunday morning, July 5, 2015, in The Daily Beast Joel Kotkin wrote an article entitled “Green Pope Goes Medieval on Planet” in which he projected that if we did what the Pope proposed that we should do for the environment it would move us back into an essentially medieval society.

I am always fearing that if Republicans (and corporations) have their way with America we will become of society of nobles and serfs, except most serfs will not be farmers this time around; they will work in factories. These factories will operate without regulations or rules making the lives of American workers as grim and empty of self-fulfillment as we imagine Chinese jobs to be in factories run by a totalitarian state.

Kotkin objects to the “green movement” plan to shove people into dense urban environments, to do away with suburbs which waste resources and require extended and costly infrastructure builds for water, and sewage. Suburban living involves transportation to and from jobs which are usually not located in suburban neighborhoods. Commuting creates pollution and sprawl is unnecessary and self-indulgent and unsustainable, say those in this green movement (although I don’t believe that there is one unified green movement at this time).

Kotkin believes, as most Republicans do, that this is an overreaction to unproven claims about global warming and climate change and even to overpopulation. He objects to this as cattle-prodding us towards losing our personal space in close-packed urban centers, although this move would return wide swaths of suburban land back into farmland or natural habitats to help us feed the coming multitudes.

Interestingly enough the Republican plan to turn most of us into cheap labor “fodder” in order to keep the world supplied with goods (although who will be able to buy them) and to keep that conveyor belt carrying money to the corporate elite will also function very well to answer the needs of the “green movement” at least in the sense that most of us will have a much smaller “carbon footprint”. The green movement will not be happy, however, with the extravagant burning of fossil fuels. Will so many people being forced to live simple, feudal, therefore medieval lives balance out the fossil fuel assault on the earth and therefore slow down global warming?

Well I hate to see us go backwards at all. The Middle Ages, after all, were also known as the Dark Ages; years with very little learning, art, music, and philosophical thought illuminating the lives of most people. They were also cold in winter and hot in summer and people were often poorly clothed and poorly fed. Mercifully their lives were often short. Do we have to go back there?

Not if we have the foresight to plan and the fortitude to hold out and fight for the best deal that “commoners” can negotiate. If makes so much sense to take care of the earth that we should not have to argue about whether the damage has affected the planet or not. It is clear that we have not been salting away earthy gifts because future generations might need these gifts also. It make sense to be smart and not use and abuse the earth even if you choose not to listen to what science has to say.

We should be able to keep our books and remain a well-educated public, to keep our creative faculties intact, to maintain a cultural mélange and keep an enlightened respect for human rights and still find ways to be more minimalist; to live lightly on the earth.

If the choices are to either husband the earth’s resources or to go out in a somewhat smoggy blaze of glory (for the wealthy) and grim labor for the rest of us, then I would rather try the plan that the “green movement” has hatched for sustainability. Republicans believe that we do not need to follow a plan to live a sustainable life on earth. They believe that no matter how we plunder the earth, it will be fine because God knows what he’s doing.

If it seems to some of us as if God sort of lets affairs on earth muddle along without divine interference then we had better pick the greens over the reds (Republicans) and allow ourselves to be voluntarily herded into whatever configuration will help us live on earth for the foreseeable future as long as they only try to move our bodies, but leave our minds free.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/05/green-pope-goes-medieval-on-planet.html

By Nancy Brisson

Agenda 21 – Rio 20 Years Later

Agenda 21, which is the subject of much speculation on the internet these days, is recorded in a written document that is 20 years old. The ideas that were agreed to in a conference in 1992 will be the subject of a new conference this week in Rio de Janeiro when over 50,000 people from 680 countries (this is incorrect, it should be 193 countries)  will meet to discuss all aspects of sustainability on Earth once again.

Here is there “mission statement”: “Sustainable development emphasizes a holistic, equitable and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels. It emphasizes not just performance but intragenerational and intergenerational equity. It rests on integration and a balanced consideration of social, economic and environmental goals and objectives in both public and private decision-making.
The concept of green economy focuses primarily on the intersection between environment and economy. This recalls the 1992 Rio Conference: the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.”
This conference called optimistically, “The Future We Want” will be held from June 20-22, 2012. The area pictured below will be discussed at the conference:

I have written several blogs about the conference of 1992 and there is quite a bit of material about the “sustainability movement” on the internet. A number of people are fearful that we are being nudged into agreeing to plans that sound simple on the surface, but will eventually lead some overall abdications of our autonomy, our property, and our freedom. These people are being labeled “conspiracy theorists” and perhaps that is what they are. 
However, after taking a look at the info graph on this very interesting website I am starting to have a new Twilight Zone moments around this “movement.” Maybe we are about to be manipulated to do things that we might agree to do voluntarily if given the total “vision” of the future that is supposedly being created . Also it looks like societies that are more sophisticated, organized and less energy efficient will be easier targets for these plans than less developed nations, so we’re up first.
Here’s the link to a video of the info graph:
I will continue to keep an eye on the “sustainability movement”, but for now permit me to just say “Yikes!”

UN Agenda 21 – A Little Paranoia Break?

The internet is all atwitter-this time about a United Nations document called Agenda 21, and one way or another there may be something to it this time. This 325 page document is a result of a conference in Rio in 1992 by a UN group tasked with coming up with a plan for sustainability. This is a very comprehensive plan for sustainable air, forests, water, trade, and how agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and all human activity can be included in planned and sustainable communities with planned population growth and health care arrangements. The agenda talks about how to wipe out poverty and equalize incomes. It talks about how to use education to teach sustainability.
Perhaps this plan was intended to be benign, but many are seeing it as anything but. In fact, they see this as a sinister plot to form one global community, regulated from “above”, and they aren’t referring to a deity. They interpret this as a devious plan to push people off the land and into high density multi-dwelling urban areas of low-cost housing. The land will be returned to a wild state so as to “sustain” these urban areas, the earth, and all the species that remain on the earth. These critics of Agenda 21 interpret the educational goals of the agenda as designed to center on only sustainable practices and refer to it as a “dumbing down” process.
This sinister plan is already in place, opponents say, and, if you look you will see signs of it operating in your community. It seems that 600 cities in 60 countries have signed onto Agenda 21 and may be devising ways to comply with this agenda that are affecting our lives already. This includes the redevelopment of the city core with mixed use buildings, retail on the bottom, apartments above. It includes lots of talk about rail lines and bike lanes. They swear that it is the intent of Agenda 21 to kill Democracy, in fact to end all nationalism and leave us with one global system, to end choices, dictate where people will live, what they will do, and how they will transport themselves.
If this scary vision of our future is true, we actually might like to know about it and find ways to prevent such “official” manipulation.
On the other hand, some say that Agenda 21 is a benign plan designed to help us “sustain” our existence on our planet for many generations to come. They say that the United Nations is an amazingly powerless organization. It has no clout. It has little ability to get anything of this scope done at this time. They say that the UN may have written Agenda 21, but no one has looked at it in 20 years and it certainly isn’t being systematically implemented.
Even if this isn’t a totalitarian plan to move us all over the earth’s surface like little pawns until we assume the “proper” configurations deemed appropriate to sustainability, the fact that it exists and sounds so “Orwellian” is enough to give unnecessary ammunition to groups who already feel that environmental concerns were “made up” by liberals to create roadblocks to Capitalism. This will really ramp up the great divide.
Unless it’s real, and in that case it just might bring us all together – Federation vs. Empire.
(Thanks to Trimby for bringing this story to my attention.)