- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 2, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The United Nations is raising the alarm that unless the world’s governments take drastic action to impose strict development controls, humanity is in grave peril. So what else is new?

On Jan. 30, the U.N. High-level Panel on Global Sustainability issued a report entitled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing.” The 99-page report, envisioned as a “blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity,” contains 56 recommendations to “put sustainable development into practice and to mainstream it into economic policy as quickly as possible.”

The list is a big-government lover’s dream. The report declares, “It is time that genuine global action is taken to enable people, markets and governments to make sustainable choices,” but then lists scores of ways that governments can restrict markets and remove choices. Almost all the recommendations would increase the scope and size of government at the expense of the people. The panel also suggested creating a “global sustainable development council” that would insure national governments lose their freedom of action as well.

The report warns of a dire future if its recommendations are ignored. The world has embarked on a path that risks “irreversible damage to both ecosystems and human communities.” While technological advancements have helped create many opportunities, not everyone has had equal access to them. Countries in the developing world in particular “risk growing economic stagnation and social unrest, as poorly skilled young people vent their frustrations at the prospect of a life of underemployment and stifled aspirations.” Actually, that sounds a lot like America under the Obama administration.

All such U.N. reports paint a gloomy picture. The latest makes reference to the 1987 Brundtland Commission report, “Our Common Future,” which also told of impending economic collapse, ecological disaster, overpopulation and resource depletion. There have been ups and downs over the past 25 years, but the catastrophic future feared by the world body has not come to pass despite there being no international economic and resource controls.



Back in the 1980s, the United States was the main bulwark against such one-world schemes, but no longer. When the report urges governments to incorporate “the economic, social and environmental dimensions of such issues as poverty eradication, job creation, inequality reduction, unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, energy, climate change, biodiversity and green growth” into “their strategies, their legislation and, in particular, their budget processes,” the U.N. might well have been cribbing from White House talking points. There is nothing in the report that is not already being pushed by some Obama administration functionary.

The major roadblocks to implementing such utopian schemes are fast-growing countries such as China and India. They rightly view “sustainable” growth as a brake on their mounting prosperity. A managed economy sounds good to liberal policymakers who think economic growth under 2 percent is a stellar achievement, but China and India - which alone comprise over a third of the world’s population - kick out 10 percent growth in gross domestic product year after year. This is the reason these countries have led the resistance against a new global climate treaty; they want no impediments to their economic progress. In this one respect, the U.S. government could profit from their example.

The Washington Times

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