RIO DE JANEIRO — After three extravagant and costly days of trying to “save the world” at the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, the final outcomes were announced to the world. More than $500 billion was pledged to the so-called “sustainability” cause by governments, Big Business, and multilateral development banks. Also, a 50-page agreement bizarrely dubbed “The Future We Want” was adopted by virtually every national government on Earth. It was hardly everything UN supporters had sought, but progress was certainly made on moving their vision forward.
The agenda, of course, had been laid out in detail in UN documents and pre-conference gatherings long before the official summit even began. It was on full display throughout the confab, too. Essentially, the controversial global institution and its supporters hoped to concentrate even more power at the international level in a bid to re-shape human civilization from the top down. The justifications: environmental issues, poverty, gender inequality, and countless other real and perceived ills — though alleged concern for the poor officially became the primary excuse, displacing supposed fears over the environment that had long been the focal point.
On the UN wish list were planetary taxes and regulations; less prosperity and consumption; new educational paradigms to indoctrinate future generations; a shift in values, opinions, and lifestyles; population reduction; and much more. The creation of global currency was even considered to pay for it all. Of course, all of the goals would have necessarily come at the expense of national sovereignty, economic freedom, prosperity, individual liberty, private-property rights, and other cherished notions.
In the end, however, the grandiose vision of an all-powerful UN enforcing its controversial notions of “sustainability” did not come to fruition — at least not completely. Supporters of the agenda were largely disappointed, though some remained hopeful. Critics, on the other hand, celebrated the news, saying the UN and its dangerous scheming were now on the defensive. But there is more to the outcome than meets the eye.
In all, more than half of a trillion dollars in pledges and commitments from governments and companies were secured to advance the agenda — more than at any previous UN summit. The communist dictatorship ruling China, various European governments and institutions, the Obama administration, and other governments all signed up to put taxpayer money in the “sustainability” war chest.
A range of big corporations, more than a few that had recently been bailed out by taxpayers, pledged money too. After receiving well over $100 billion in bailouts, Bank of America, for example, promised to put up $50 billion for the cause. Some of the Communist Chinese regime’s state-owned “companies” also committed large sums.
With the hefty backing of “multilateral development banks” and the World Bank itself to the tune of around $175 billion, more private-sector money is expected to flow toward the agenda as firms see opportunities to benefit at taxpayer expense. “We commit our institutions’ support for implementing the sustainable development for all agenda,” the taxpayer-backed transnational banks said in a joint statement, noting that they would help harmonize and build policies around the world to advance the controversial “green” schemes. “We will work together to support global transformation in line with Rio+20 agreements.”
Top UN bureaucrats including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed delight over the amount of money flowing toward “sustainability.” Indeed, despite the growing criticism, the increasingly overt alliance between Big Business and the UN in advancing the “sustainable development” agenda was probably one of the most important achievements of the summit.
“From the very beginning, we have said Rio+20 is about implementation. It is about concrete action. And the commitments that we share with you today demonstrate that governments, the UN system and the nine major groups are committed and serious about implementation,” boasted Rio+20 Secretary General Sha Zukang, an anti-American Chinese Communist who also heads the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. “The total figure is now 692 registered commitments. Ladies and Gentlemen, this brings the estimated total value of commitments to $513 billion.” The press applauded like cheerleaders.
The Future They Want
The other centerpiece of the Rio+20 outcomes was a final agreement adopted on the last day of the conference by almost every national government in the world. However, despite grand expectations by UN supporters and the global institution itself before the summit, the document did not contain any new, officially binding mandates to foist on humanity.
In a ham-handed marketing gimmick, the document was named “The Future We Want.” Critics later seized on the title to point out that the “We” actually refers not to humanity, but to the coalition of UN functionaries, dictators, tax-funded environmentalist organizations, and Big Business bosses seeking to profit at taxpayer expense.
As analysts had expected, the text included a broad range of controversial statements that set alarm bells ringing among UN critics. World governments all reaffirmed, for example, that they would continue to be “guided” by the principles of the deeply unpopular planetary institution. The parties also agreed to keep working for “good governance” at the international level, complete with more powerful and more expensive UN institutions.
Indeed, the whole document was filled with references to shifting power and resources toward global entities. Continuing to implement the deeply controversial UN Agenda 21 — agreed to at the first Earth Summit in Rio two decades ago — was a top priority outlined in the agreement. Moving forward other treaties, including more than a few which openly represent serious threats to property rights, liberty, and national sovereignty, was emphasized as well.
Increased government involvement in the allocation of resources – a sure recipe to perpetuate poverty and environmental destruction - appeared in the document multiple times, including the recognition that “fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development.” In a nut shell, the UN and its supporters allege that there are too many people and that those people are too prosperous. The solution, they claim, is a more powerful UN to literally rule the world.
Contraception and terminology widely understood to mean universal access to legal abortion were also incorporated into the document — especially because of an obsession among Rio+20 participants with reducing the human population. A reference to “Mother Earth” made it in as well, as did numerous calls for more UN and government involvement in so-called “education” — mostly to teach children what the global institution wants them to believe about the alleged scourge of humanity.
Despite UN claims that the schemes outlined in the agreement were aimed at alleviating poverty and environmental problems, analysts noted that socialism and the big-government ideology outlined in the text are actually the primary causes of those two ills today. So, according to critics, degradation of the environment and the grinding poverty experienced by so many people around the world will only get worse — at least if the UN agreement offers any indication of the future to come.
Politically Toxic, Say Critics
The fact that Obama stayed away from the summit was seized upon by virtually every critic — from lawmakers and scientists to activists and NGOs — to point out that the UN agenda has now become extraordinarily unpopular, at least among the American voting public. Following the “global-warming” debacles and the seemingly never-ending series of “green energy” scandals in the wake of Solyndra’s bankruptcy, federal involvement in “green” schemes has indeed become politically toxic — not to mention the UN as an institution.
“President Obama is avoiding it like the plague,” observed GOP Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma in a video statement presented at Rio+20. The President’s “absence speaks volumes,” Inhofe said — especially considering Obama’s “far-left agenda” and its alignment with UN ambitions. Meanwhile, members of Congress including notorious pro-UN Democrats are ignoring Rio+20 as well, a stark contrast with past environmental gatherings.
Lord Christopher Monckton, a policy adviser and prominent opponent of the alarmist agenda, even celebrated after the conference closed. "They lost. They lost, and they lost big time,” he told TNA in an interview the day after Rio+20. “They of course did the ritual declaration that they succeeded, but they didn't. I now think there is a good chance the West can survive the environmental movement."
Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) Executive Director Craig Rucker told TNA that the UN and its tax-funded affiliates would not give up their funding without a fight. However, he also expressed hope that the UN’s grandiose vision of increased powers for itself and more centralization at the international level would not come to fruition — especially in the wake of the spectacular meltdown of the UN’s climate scaremongering.
According to Rucker, after Rio+20, the time has now come to seriously consider consigning the entire international institution to the dustbin of history. It has been under the control of radicals for some five decades, he noted, and that it might not be possible to fix it anymore. Instead, Rucker said, the way to solve real problems is through individual freedom, free enterprise, prosperity, respect for private property, and the rule of law. And people are realizing that in increasing numbers, he concluded, echoing sentiments expressed by multiple UN critics.
Supporters of UN Agenda
The swarms of non-governmental organizations and UN bureaucrats, of course, had high expectations for the summit in terms of advancing their agenda and perpetuating their tax-subsidized existence. But considering the lack of binding agreements or much significant progress on moving the schemes forward, the feeling of disappointment among many of the key players was overwhelming. Greenpeace, for example, said Rio+20 was a “failure of epic proportions.” Countless big-government supporting NGOs felt the same way.
Not everyone was as downbeat, however. Some proponents of the UN agenda noted with pleasure the creation of a “high level” forum on sustainability under the UN to keep working on the schemes while figuring out how to extract more wealth from taxpayers. And in the field of education — essentially brainwashing future generations into supporting the agenda, according to critics — some progress was certainly made.
Governments pledged to work together and incorporate more “sustainability” material into their school curricula, UN supporters observed with pleasure. And in Brazil, it is now mandatory. The youth, obviously, might be the key in this battle. If they can be convinced that the UN and overbearing government are the solutions, it will be much easier to foist the anti-liberty agenda on future generations.
Top negotiators held out hope, too. “The document does not entirely match our ambition or meet the challenges the world faces, but it is an important step forward. That's why we support it, and that's why we must engage,” said EU “Environment Commissioner” Janez Potočnik, a Slovenian known to liberty-minded critics in Europe as a “Communist apparatchik.” “We now have a basis.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — without citing any constitutional or congressional authority — pledged some $2 billion in taxpayer funds to advance the agenda. The money will be used for grants, “policy and regulatory development,” “public-private energy technology partnerships,” and to prod the private sector into getting on board. Prominent critics blasted the pledge, saying it actually opened the door to the creation of a “global EPA” and would largely be handed out to third-world dictators.
Considering the UN’s grandiose visions and the U.S. government’s inclination to spend trillions of dollars it does not even have on unconstitutional programs, the sum might not seem extraordinary. It certainly left many activists disappointed. Handing out American money and the final UN agreement, however, were not even the biggest or most important accomplishments, according to Clinton.
“The most compelling products of this conference are the examples of new thinking that can lead to models for future action,” she told Rio+20 attendees at the summit. “It should be said of Rio that people left here thinking, as the late Steve Jobs put it, not just big, but different.... The only way to deliver lasting progress for everyone is by preserving our resources and protecting our common environment.”
What It All Means
The UN and supporters of its agenda may not have achieved all of their sweeping goals at the summit. But the document they did agree to and the hundreds of commitments will ensure that the global government, anti-freedom scheming will march on. Using assorted real and bogus pretexts, some yet to be developed, the UN and other supporters of the agenda now have a lot of money at their disposal, as well as an agreement to keep the schemes going indefinitely.
Activists on both sides of the debate did say Rio+20 might be the beginning of the end for grand planetary negotiations on the “environment.” Some analysts even said the global-warming alarmism of years past might be in its final death throes — a development that would put a big dent in the UN’s plans. What was clear after the summit, however, was that the plan to build an all-powerful planetary regime at the expense of human liberty and national sovereignty is still a long way from being dead.
This article is the final installment in a three-part online series adapted from the cover story article on Rio+20 in the July 23, 2012, print edition of The New American magazine. To read the first two installments, go to: “The Real Agenda Behind UN ‘Sustainability’ Unmasked” and “UN Sustainability Summit Exposed: Big Business, Dictators, and NGOs.”
For more exclusive coverage of the UN summit, please click here.
For more on the final agreement including particularly alarming quotes from the document itself, click here.
Photo: AP Images