Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The Future We Don't Want
Every cloud is supposed to have a silver lining. We saw some evidence of that this week as global financial concerns trapped world leaders including President Obama, Angela Merkl and David Cameron at the G20 Summit in Mexico, making it impossible for them to attend the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rio+20 is the 20th anniversary birthday bash of the United Nations' 1992 Earth Summit. That Summit gave birth to Agenda 21 and it's offspring--Smart Growth, Smart Code and Sustainable Development. Today through Friday, over 50,000 attendees are expected to be at Rio+20 to reaffirm the goals of Agenda 21 and to develop concrete action plans which will move the world into the direction of global governance by the U.N.
Each attendee is receiving a copy of "The Future We Want" which is the Rio+20 outcome document for the summit. This 40+ page document reaffirms commitment to all the goals of Agenda 21 and lays out general guidelines for the summit. The goal of the summit is to eradicate poverty, hunger and "climate change." "We reaffirm that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and we express profound alarm that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise globally." Therefore, much of the document is devoted to conservation, green jobs, sustainable development, sustainable building and sustainable farming. The document is a blueprint for managing the world's people, resources, land usage, oceans, forests, farms, businesses--pretty much everything. The youth of the world are entitled are apparently entitled to employment and therefore the document addresses the need for a "strategy on youth and employment building on the work of the International Labour Organization."
All people are entitled to health care so "The Future We Want" recognizes, "the importance of universal health coverage to enhancing health, social cohesion, and sustainable human and economic development." This includes the right to "universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health and integration of reproductive health. We reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and to protect the rights of women, men and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health." (In other words, access to abortion and birth control must be universal.)
Of course, the Future We Want stresses the need for more sustainable living strategies, including "sustainable transport and energy [public transportation] promotion, protection and restoration of safe and green urban spaces, safe and clean drinking water and sanitation, healthy air quality, generation of decent jobs and improved urban planning and slum upgrading. We further support sustainable management of waste through the application of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle.)" The Future We Want recognizes, "that the planet Earth and its ecosystems are our home, that Mother Earth is a common expression in a number of countries and regions" and therefore we must all be encouraged to live in cooperation with the Earth. Other goals include promoting "sustainable consumption and production patterns." Devoloped nations are called upon to transfer their technology to developing countries on "on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms," and social and financial inequalities among people are to be eradicated.
Of concern to the Rio+20 attendees is a commitment to "sustainable agriculture practices" including "the need to significantly reduce post-harvest and other food losses and waste throughout the food chain." In another document about Rio 20 this week entitled: Seven Issues Seven Experts, Carlos Sere, chief development strategist at the International Fund for Agricultural Development answered the following question about food consumption:
UN News Centre: What are the most pressing issues that governments need to act on regarding food security?
Carlos Sere: Well, on the one hand, in most developed countries, the basic food and the calories have become very cheap and we find lots of people are consuming those types of empty calories. This is very much related to consumption patterns which are leading to obesity. We used to say this is just a developed country problem, but we are finding out that, more and more, the consumption pattern with this high-density energy food is also something we’re seeing in the middle classes of developing countries. So this is really becoming a very significant problem.
At the same time, we do have the issue of malnutrition still remaining and it is largely not that we do not produce enough food, but that these people do not have incomes to buy the food they need. It is an issue closely related to nutrition and poverty, not just an issue of production. Obviously, if we can keep prices low, it’s easier for more people to have access to it. This is why food price volatility is seriously bad for the poor, who spend a lot of their income on food.
It is also an issue - particularly the obesity side of it - that has to do with consumption patterns and education, which are very difficult to change. This needs to be addressed by governments.
And, of course, the ultimate goal of Rio 20 is to "protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms for all." Those stated goals make this afternoon's conference speakers particularly notable: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and French President Francois Hollande. Premier Jiabao is ruling a country that made international news last week with the forced abortion of a twenty-three year old, seven months-pregnant Chinese woman who broke the law by deciding to have a second child. She was arrested by authorities, beaten and forcibly aborted, and then her dead baby was laid beside her on the hospital bed. (The grisly photos of her lying next to her mutilated child spread over the internet before making their way to Huffington Post). Ahmadinejad's country has sentenced an Iranian pastor to be executed for converting from Islam to Christianity. (We could also cite his stated intention to exterminate the Jewish race and destroy the nation of Israel as further proof that he is no champion of human rights.) Socialist French president Francois Hollande just won his election and has not had a chance to commit any egregious human rights violations, but we do know that he promised his people cradle to grave care in exchange for their votes.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was lamenting last week that Obama would not attend the summit--calling the president's participation "crucial." The truth, however, is that whether Obama stayed away because of the G20 summit or simply to avoid giving his critics another photo-op, he and his Progressive pals are already implementing the goals of Rio+20. Obamacare gave us universal coverage and ensures abortion and birth control for all--although hopefully the U.S. Supreme Court will rule at least part of this bill unconstitutional next week. Smart Growth and Smart Code are bringing sustainable development to every major city in the United States. Young people today really do believe that the government and society at large owes them an education, a great job and an easy living. Heavy taxation starting in 2013 will have the net effect of reducing income disparities by making everyone poorer. And, increasingly, our government is telling us what we are allowed to eat, use and consume. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended his attacks on soft drinks, popcorn and ice cream last week by saying that the government has a responsibility to protect our health. (Where does the Constitution say that? I must have missed that section somehow.)
The question for us is not whether Rio+20 will affect our lives--it already has. The nanny-state, socialist agenda this conference is promoting has spread throughout our society. But this is definitely not the future I want and I plan to vote against it this November by casting a vote against every liberal/Progressive politician who thinks global governance, massive bureaucratic micro-management and redistribution of wealth are the secrets to the survival of the human race. I hope that every freedom-loving American will do the same.