The Trouble with “Sustainable Development”

by Tom DeWeese

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
—Thomas Jefferson

Many Americans appear to be awakening from their slumber of apathy as government forces are making their move for total control of our lives. Massive TEA Party protests on April 15th, followed by more than 1000 again on Independence Day, and nearly 2,000,000 on September 12, show a growing movement of concerned, dedicated Americans. But there is a major component missing from those protests. There is a nearly universal lack of understanding of the issue of Sustainable Development and the dangers it poses to our liberty. Consequently, that issue is being left out of the protests.
As thousands attend the TEA Parties and protest the Federal Reserve, taxes, and out of control federal government, inside their local city halls, international forces are busy turning the communities into little soviet unions.
We cannot win the battle to restore our Republic if we don’t understand that what we face is not a bunch of random issues but a complete agenda of control. Cap and Trade, global warming, population control, gun control, open borders and illegal immigration, higher taxes, higher gas prices, refusal to drill American oil, education restructuring, international IDs, natural health supplement control, food control, farming "reform," control of private property, NAIS (National Animal ID System) and UN Global Governance are all part of the Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 blueprint.

Sustainable Development: The root of all our problems

In his book, Earth in the Balance, Al Gore warned that a "wrenching transformation" must take place to lead America away from the "horrors of the Industrial Revolution." The process to do that is called Sustainable Development and its roots can be traced back to a UN policy document called Agenda 21, the UN blueprint for global transformation for the 21st century, adopted at the UN’s Earth Summit in 1992.
Sustainable Development calls for changing the very infrastructure of our nation, away from private ownership and control of property to central planning by a world government of our entire economy. It’s all about wealth redistribution – middle class wealth into a green rat hole.
During the Cold War, communists tried to get us to surrender our liberties and way of life for the wisdom of Karl Marx. Americans didn’t buy it. Now, they have taken the same clap trap and wrapped it all in a nice green blanket, scaring us with horror stories about the human destruction of the environment, and we are now throwing our liberties on the bon fire like a good old fashioned book burning, all in the name of protecting the planet.
There is a new language invading our government at all levels. The typical city council meeting discusses "community development," "historic preservation," and "partnerships" between the city and private business.
Community meetings are run by "facilitators," outlining a "vision" for the town, enforced by "consensus." No need for debate when you have consensus! People of great importance testify before congressional committees of the dire need for "social justice."
Free trade, social justice, consensus, global truth, partnerships, preservation, stakeholders, land use, environmental protection, development, diversity, visioning, open space, heritage, comprehensive planning, critical thinking, and community service are all part of the new language. Whenever you see or hear these words, know that, in every case, they are defining one thing - the implementation of Sustainable Development.

Sustainable  Development of the “collectivist” state

Sustainable Development is being implemented on a purely bipartisan basis. It is being put in force by every department of the government, every state and nearly every city, town and county in the nation.
Some officials try to pretend it is just a local effort to protect the environment - local leaders putting together a local vision for the community. If that is the case, how it is possible that the exact language and tactics for its implementation are being used in nearly every city around the globe from Lewiston, Maine to Singapore?
Sustainable Development is the process by which America is being reorganized around a central principle of state collectivism using the environment as bait. It is the policy of transforming society into a feudal state by making nature the central organizing principle for our economy and society. Rather than good management of resources, Sustainable Development has come to mean denied use of resources for the common man.
At the 1976 U.N. HABITAT I conference in Vancouver, BC, the preamble to Agenda Item 10 stated, "Land. . . cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social injustice."
America is the only country in the world based on the ideals of private property. But private property is incompatible with the collectivist premise of Sustainable Development.
According to Sustainablist doctrine, it is a social injustice for some to have prosperity if others do not. It is a social injustice to keep our borders closed. It is a social injustice for some to be bosses and others to be merely workers.
Social justice – also defined as socialism - is a major premise of Sustainable Development. Karl Marx was the first to coin this term.

What is NOT “sustainable”

According to the UN’s Biodiversity Assessment Report, items for our everyday lives that are NOT sustainable include: Ski runs, grazing of livestock, plowing of soil, building fences, industry, single family homes, paved and tarred roads, logging activities, dams and reservoirs, power line construction, and economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment (i.e. capitalism, free markets).
Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Rio Earth Summit in 1992 said, "... Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class -- involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air-conditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable."
Are you starting to see the pattern behind Cap and Trade, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and all the righteousness of Going Green? They are all part of the enforcement of Sustainable Development. One of the tools they used on us is the "precautionary principle," which means that any activity that might threaten human health or the environment should be stopped, even if no clear cause and effect relationship has been established, and even if the potential threat is largely theoretical. Using the precautionary principle, any activist group can issue warnings by news release and have those warnings quickly turned into public policy.
Non-elected regional governments and governing councils are enforcing policy and regulations. As these policies are implemented, locally-elected officials are losing power and decision-making ability in their own communities. Every societal decision must first be questioned as to how it might effect the environment, and are now being made behind the scenes in non-elected "sustainability councils" armed with truckloads of federal regulations, guidelines, and grant money.

The three Es

The Sustainable Development logo used in most literature on the subject contains three connecting circles labeled Social Equity; Economic Prosperity; and Ecological Integrity (known commonly as the 3 Es). Its policy focuses on three components; global land use, global education, and global population reduction in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity.

Social Equity

Sustainable Development’s Social Equity plank is based on a demand for "social justice," the principle that individuals must give up selfish wants for the needs of the common good, or the "community." How does this differ from Communism?
This is the same policy behind the push to eliminate our nation’s borders to allow the migration of those from other nations into the United States to share our individually-created wealth and our taxpayer-paid government social programs.
"Justice and efficiency go hand in hand," say the Sustainablists. "Borders are unjust."
Under the Sustainablist system, private property is an evil that is used to create wealth for a few. So too, is business ownership. Instead, "every worker/person will be a direct capital owner." Property and businesses are to be kept in the name of the owner, keeping them responsible for taxes and other expenses, however control is in the hands of the "community." That policy is right out of the Socialist handbook.

Economic Prosperity

Sustainable Development’s economic policy is based on one overriding premise: that the wealth of the world was made at the expense of the poor. It dictates that, if the conditions of the poor are to be improved, wealth must first be taken from the rich. Consequently, Sustainable Development’s economic policy is based not on private enterprise but on public/private partnerships.
However, the double standard is this: In order to give themselves an advantage over competition, large corporations are dealing directly with government. Select business leaders who have agreed to help government impose Sustainablist green positions in their business policies are actively lobbying for legislation that will inundate smaller companies with regulations that they cannot possibly comply with or even keep up with. This government/big corporation back-scratching has always been a dangerous practice because economic power should be a positive check on government power, and vise versa. If the two should ever become combined, control of such massive power can lead only to tyranny. One of the best examples of this is the Italian model under Mussolini’s Fascism.
As a result, Sustainable Development policy is redefining "free trade" to mean centralized global trade "freely" crossing national borders. It does not mean people and companies trading freely with each other. Its real effect is to redistribute American manufacturing, wealth, and jobs out of our borders and to lock away American natural resources. After the regulations have been put in place, literally destroying whole industries, new "green" industries created with federal grants bring newfound wealth to the "partners." This is what Sustainablists refer to as economic prosperity.

Ecological Integrity

"Nature has an integral set of different values (cultural, spiritual and material) where humans are one strand in nature’s web and all living creatures are considered equal. Therefore the natural way is the right way and human activities should be molded along nature’s rhythms," states the 1992 UN’s Summit Biodiversity Treaty.
This quote lays down the ground rules for the entire Sustainable Development agenda. It says humans are nothing special -- just one strand in the nature of things or, put another way, humans are simply biological resources. Sustainablist policy is to oversee any issue in which man interacts with nature -- which, of course, is everything. And because the environment always comes first, there must be great restrictions over private property ownership and control. This is necessary, Sustainablists say, because humans only defile nature.
Under Sustainable Development there can be no concern over individual rights as we must all sacrifice for the sake of the environment. Individual human wants, needs, and desires are to be conformed to the views and dictates of social planners. The UN’s Commission on Global Governance said in its 1995 report: "Human activity... combined with unprecedented increases in human numbers... are impinging on the planet’s basic life support system. Action must be taken now to control the human activities that produce these risks"
Under Sustainable Development there can be no limited government, as advocated by our Founding Fathers, because the environmental crisis is too great. Strong added at the Summit in 1992, "A shift is necessary toward lifestyles less geared to environmentally-damaging consumption patterns. The shift will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations."
The politically-based environmental movement provides globalists camouflage as they work to transform the American systems of government, justice, and economics. It is a masterful mixture of socialism (with its top down control of the tools of the economy) and fascism (where property is owned in name only -- with no control). Sustainable Development is the worst of both the left and the right. It is not liberal, nor is it conservative. It is a new kind of tyranny that, if not stopped, will surely lead us to a new Dark Ages of pain and misery yet unknown to mankind. ~

Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy Center ( and editor of The DeWeese Report ( For full article go to