Sustainable Development: The latest UN scare

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustain...

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The UN’s Rio+20 agenda would harm health, welfare and nature – and make poverty permanent

Guest post by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

Twenty years ago, the Rio de Janeiro “Earth Summit” proclaimed that fossil fuel-induced climate change had brought our planet to a tipping point, human civilization to the brink of collapse, and numerous species to the edge of extinction. To prevent these looming disasters, politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists produced a Declaration on Environment and Development, a biodiversity treaty, Agenda 21 and a framework for the Kyoto climate change treaty.

In developed nations, government responses to the purported crises sent prices soaring for energy, increasing the cost of everything we make, ship, eat and do – and crippling economic growth, killing jobs and sending families into fuel poverty. In developing countries, governments restricted access to electricity generation and other technologies – forcing the world’s poorest families to continue trying to eke out a living the old-fashioned way: turning forest habitats into firewood, cooking over wood and dung fires, and living with rampant poverty and disease.

This year, recognizing that people are no longer swayed by claims of climate cataclysms, Rio+20 organizers repackaged their little-changed agenda to emphasize “sustainable development” and the need to preserve “biodiversity.” To garner support, they professed a commitment to poverty reduction, “social justice” and the right of all people to “fulfill their aspirations for a better life.”

However, mostly far-fetched or exaggerated environmental concerns remained their focal point, and (as always) they have been willing to address today’s pressing needs only to the extent that doing so will not “compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Of course, no one can foresee what technologies future generations will develop, or which raw materials those technologies will require. Sacrificing the needs of current generations to safeguard unpredictable future needs thus makes little sense. Moreover, preventing energy and mineral exploration in hundreds of millions of wilderness, park and other “protected” areas today could well foreclose access to raw materials that will be vital for technologies of tomorrow – itself a violation of sustainability dogma.

It is equally difficult to determine what resource uses are “not sustainable.” If changing economics, new discoveries or new extraction methods (like hydraulic fracturing) mean we now have 100-200 years of oil and natural gas, for example, that would appear to make hydrocarbon use quite sustainable – at least long enough for innovators to develop new technologies and sources of requisite raw materials.

By contrast, wind, solar and biofuel projects impact millions of acres of wildlife habitats, convert millions of additional acres from food crops to biofuels, and kill millions of birds and bats. Calling those projects “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” may be inappropriate – a misnomer.

Of equal or greater concern, activists have repeatedly abused the term “sustainability” to justify policies and programs that obstruct energy, mineral and economic development, and thereby prevent people from fulfilling their “aspirations for a better life.” Set forth in a 99-page report, the UN’s latest “blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity” continued this practice.

“Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A future worth choosing” (RP2) called for a global council, new UN agencies, expanded budgets and powers, greater control over energy development and other economic activities, and “genuine global actions” by every nation and community – supposedly to ensure “social justice,” poverty eradication, climate protection, biodiversity, “green growth,” renewable energy, an end to “unsustainable patterns of consumption and production,” and other amorphous and self-contradictory goals.

RP2 also sought to prevent “irreversible damage” to Earth’s ecosystems and climate, as defined and predicted by UN-approved scientists, activists and virtual reality computer models. Reports and campaigns by the UN, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Greenpeace and similar groups supported the agenda. To ensure that they would have sufficient funds to implement the agenda – without having to rely on dues or grants from developed nations – the Rio+20 organizers also wanted the power to tax global financial transactions and other activities, with revenues flowing directly to the United Nations.

Rio+20 was clearly not about enabling countries, communities and companies to do a better job of protecting environmental values, while helping families to climb out of poverty. It was about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects, limit individual liberty and market-based initiatives, and provide sufficient wind and solar power to generate and demonstrate modest improvements in developing countries’ living conditions – while ensuring that poor families never become middle class, and communities never actually conquer poverty, misery and disease.

Advancing “social equity” and “environmental justice,” in ways that Rio+20 sought to do, would actually have meant perpetuating poverty for developing countries, and reducing living standards in wealthier countries. The goal, as in all previous incarnations of Rio+20, was to ensure more equal sharing of increasing scarcity – except for ruling elites.

The real “stakeholders” – the world’s poorest people – were barely represented at Rio+20. Their health and welfare, dreams and aspirations, pursuit of justice and happiness were given only lip service – then brushed aside and undermined. The proceedings were controlled by bureaucrats who do not know how to generate new wealth, generally oppose efforts by those who do know, and see humans primarily as consumers and polluters, rather than as creators and innovators, protectors and stewards.

If Rio+20 had achieved what its organizers had set out to accomplish, citizens of still wealthy nations would now have to prepare for new assaults on their living standards. Impoverished people in poor nations would now have to prepare for demands that they abandon their dreams for better lives.

That is neither just nor sustainable. It is a good thing that the radical Rio+20 agenda was largely rejected. Now we must all work together to find and implement constructive and sustained solutions to the real problems that continue to confront civilization, wildlife and the environment.

______________

David Rothbard serves as president of the Washington, DC-based Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org and www.CFACT.tv). Craig Rucker is CFACT’s executive director.

This essay was originally published in National Review on June 20, 2012, as “The UN’s Rio+20 Agenda: The “sustainable development” agenda will harm health, welfare, and nature.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/303268/un-s-rio20-agenda-david-rothbard?pg=1

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61 thoughts on “Sustainable Development: The latest UN scare

  1. The video clip showing the interview of some Rio+20 delegates, posted a couple of days ago somewhere could even have been here, who were asked for the definition of sustainable development did not get any meaningful answer.
    Sustainable development is like asking a chef for a recipe to make an omelet without breaking any eggs.
    Enough said.

  2. It was twenty years ago today,
    The Earth Summit taught the fools to play
    They proclaimed that we can all do more
    But that’s guaranteed to make us poor
    So let me introduce to you
    The lie we’ve known for all these years,
    Anthropogenic climate chaaaaaaange….

    My sincere apologies to the Beatles

  3. Does anyone have a reference to the original Rio report? Or was there no official document? It would be an interesting read.

  4. The real “stakeholders” – the world’s poorest people – were barely represented at Rio+20. Their health and welfare, dreams and aspirations, pursuit of justice and happiness were given only lip service – then brushed aside and undermined.
    The whole point summed up. The NGO’s are unelected and unrepresentative of anyone or anything other than their own narrow point of view. Yet they are demanding the right? to rule the world as they see fit.
    It should be strongly noted that they have been attempting to make themselves the equivalent legal status as the UN itself. By that they want to not be held responsible nor accountable for any of their actions. They want to be above the law. How is that a human right that enhances freedom and the human spirit?
    It is past high time, these NGO’s were handed their hat and coat and told not to let the door hit them on the way out.

  5. UN: zero transparency, 100% conspiracy.

    [SNIP: Totally Off-topic and unrelated to the thread. -REP]

  6. And, lest we forget, the fact that all the hardliners are publicly proclaiming all over the media how upset they are that their document “doesn’t commit anyone to anything” does not mean that the scary stories in it will not be implemented anyway. The idiot politicians turned up and signed, the UN is behind it and interpretations will be found to justify whatever they want.

    Limits to Growth, Agenda 21, Global Warming,.Sustainable Development.
    Plus ça change ….

  7. I notice that it’s now the fault of all you American fatties, you’re equivalent to another billion people in the world!

  8. CFACT, Thank you for representing our interests.

    The worst part of “Sustainability” is the hamstringing of Human Ingenuity. The Earth is NOT warming in terms of the whole Holocence, rather it is cooling. 10,000 yrs greenland or 10,000 yrs greenland and 10,000 yrs Vostok

    Geology has shown the transition from an interglacial to glacial is fast. 140,000 yrs Vostok Some such as Robert B. Gagosian,President and Director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, say the change can occur within a decade or two.

    It is no deep dark secret that we are nearing the end of the Holocene. The only question is When not IF See: WUWT: The End Holocene, or How to Make Out Like a ‘Madoff’ Climate Change Insurer

    At the on set of cooling, whether another “Little Ice Age” or “The Big One, “Agenda 21 ~ Sustainability will condemn large parts of the human population to certain death. In the last cooling episode (Bond Event) called “the Dark Ages” Europe lost ~ up to 60% of her population and the world about 1/3. This is not “social justice,” and poverty eradication, instead it is just another reincarnation of the Eugenics movement this time aimed at most of the human race.

    OH, and just in case you think the “Black Death is gone…
    Oregon health officials think a man now in a Bend, Oregon hospital has indeed been infected with the “black death” plague…. His is only the fifth case of bubonic plague discovered in Oregon since 1995…. About 10 to 20 people a year on average in the U.S. are diagnosed with the plague and about 1 out of every 7 cases is fatal.

    CHIEFIO on Bond events and 1/2 bond events

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/8-2-kiloyear-event-and-you/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/intermediate-period-half-bond-events/

  9. I read the pre conference document. Without being defined, “Sustainable development” was used 175 times (by my count) in the first 100 paragraphs of the document. It was interesting, however to note that “extreme poverty” is experienced, in the authors’ view, by 14% of the world’s population. If we want to feed the world (poverty eradication), consider this. 50% of the earth’s food production is wasted, either in harvest, storage, transportation, use as fuel, or thrown in the garbage post preparation. We don’t have an overpopulation problem, nor a production problem, nor a food shortage problem. We have a distribution problem. The world’s weathy nations spend hundreds of billions of dollars, euros, pounds, yen etc. on “green energy” and research and development into reducing humankind’s “carbon footprint”. A diversion of a small amount of that spending could result in a distribution and delivery system to solve world hunger and eradicate poverty. I didn’t see that in the report. Also, elevated levels of carbon dioxide have been proven to lead to yield improvements and drought resistence in crops, especially rice and wheat, two of the staples of the world’s total calorie consumption. If we intentionally increased the level of atmospheric CO2 (if we could), we may be able to increase food production in addition to providing a distribution and delivery system to feed the poor. Methinks, though, that the despots and bureaucrats that sponsor the philosophy espoused at Rio+20 and other such conferences and documents, realize that if poverty was eradicated they would have even less reason for existence. Is it possible that their desire to perpetuate their own meaningless existence exceeds their purported desire to help those less fortunate in the world. What does this have to do with climate? Well, a doubling of atmospheric CO2 content would likely have no measureable effect on the earth’s climate. “Warmists” would say it would warm the earth somewhat. Well, ok, a longer growing season in the major rice and wheat growing regions of the earth would be a good thing, if it happened. We seem to have survived the melting of Greenland and its subsequent re-freezing, so if it melted again, that might be a good thing. Anyway, I digress. Rio 1, Rio 2, the UN and the self serving Big Environment organizations that support them don’t have a solution. Let us hope they also lose their voice.

  10. Do not follow (that is, do not highjack this post) Token’s comments at 5:41 regarding folks not mentioned in the text by
    David Rothbard and Craig Rucker –
    Sustainable Development: The latest UN scare

    Please. I’ll be gone all day and when I return I would like to be able to read a good set of comments regarding David and Craig’s report.
    Thanks.

  11. “Sustainable development” is the notion that you should only use stuff you think won’t run out, because the stuff that might run out will never be replaced by alternatives when it runs out. So the alternative precedes the preferred because there will be no future alternative to the preferred – though there are present alternatives.

    Whew. Got all that? I’ll say it another way.

    Because there may one day be no more kerosene for our lamps, we should go back to using candles – or just skip the whole business of lighting because Peak Tallow is fast approaching.

    It has taken about four decades of junk education at the highest levels to produce an intellectual class incapable of reasoning and common observation at the most fundamental levels.

    Hence Rio+20.

  12. Maurice Strong is the “person of interest” regarding UN-sponsored “sustainability” (I put it in quotation marks because about the only thing it sustains is poverty).

    Agenda 21 is now being implemented at the local level in many parts of the US. Beware of this insidious plan that renders private property ownership to the whims of the state!

  13. Their use of the words…. sustainable development should be replaced with the words subsistance devolvment.
    Saving the planet by replacing hardwood floors with dirt, by replacing labour saving devices with human physical labour, by replacing refrigeration with live animals in your house is not what people want, once they understand what the words Sustainable development truly mean.
    When the conversation turns to saving the planet for your children and grandchildren ask the question, how long will it take your children to carry 10 gallons of water from the nearest creek each day. How long will it take them to chop the wood, to boil the water, to cook their food, to wash their cloths each day and how this will affect their life expectancy?

  14. The functional equivalent of sustainability used to be taught in the subject of engineering economics. H.P. Gillette clearly summarized this more than a century ago in “Earthwork and its Cost” (Engineering News 1903): “It is the art of so designing these structures that interest upon their first cost plus annual depreciation plus annual operating expense shall be the least sum possible of attainment.”

  15. Sustainability;
    -A Newspeak term for that which cannot continue without subsidy or coersion by force of law.

  16. The silly notion of sustainable development, of which my County seems to have more experts than it does postmen all of them ironically parasites living off NGOs or the government teat, applies only to contented middle class counties and locales that feel a bit of sacrifice, say of shopping bags, transportation, sanitation, or water flow (an interesting imposition in my County that literally has the most fresh water resources in America) allows them to feel like their third world brethren. It is guilt remediation.

  17. “Chapter 27: Strengthening the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations – Partners for Sustainable Development

    Introduction
    Over the last decades, the importance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in global governance has increased tremendously. Today, the UN and its agencies have grown dependent on NGOs to implement UN resolutions and goals, in a mutually beneficial relationship.”

    Source: Review of implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Principles
    http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/dsd_sd21st/21_pdf/Study_1_Agenda_21.pdf

    So it appears that the united NATIONS thinks that Non-Governmental-Organizations (like the UN, Greenpeace, WWF, Tides, etc) are important to Global Governance. Your vote is unimportant, only your donations to ‘Charity’ and funding of the ‘United NATIONS’.

    People, you should read the UN Agenda 21 plan, it is quite an eye-opener. They really want and they really believe the UN and the NGOs should have domain over national elected governments. Read it for yourself.

    This is real ‘Big Brother’ type stuff. They are not kidding.
    “NGOs to implement UN resolutions”

    And you thought it was the United NATIONS, silly you.

  18. Reading this I was reminded of the fundamental difference between the socialist and he who respects freedom.

    The socialist believes in “the right of all people to fulfil their aspirations for a better life” and considers it the ruling elite’s mandate to ensure this right.

    The freedom lover believes in “the right of all people to pursue their aspirations for better life” and considers it the ruling elite’s duty to protect this right.

    Hence the former philosophy inevitably leads to tyranny, and the latter to freedom from tyranny.

  19. I seem to recall back in the 1970s when environmental yo-yos like the ones at RIO+20 were the ones that banned the pesticide DDT which was effectively controlling the mosquito population around the world and keeping the instances of malaria down. Once the pesticide was banned, the malaria rate shot up in places like Africa causing many millions more to die of the disease — including children. Eventually, the malaria situation had gotten so much worse that the ban was reversed (if I recall correctly).

    Today, as I understand it, the eco-groups still favor the banning of DDT. But do they have an alternative that is just as effective and keeps the instances of malaria at bay? Did they admit to making a mistake when they banned DDT in the first place and apologize to the world? Do they feel guilty about having done it?

    If the RIO+20 Conference attendees plan on more such brainless ideas that they intend to impose on the world, God help us all.

  20. Ah Anthony you put up a story on sustainable development with the UN’s decade of Education for Sustainable Development emblem without me.

    I was off nailing down the UN’s subordination of higher ed globally through something called the Bologna Process and how it is coming to the US unless we adequately describe it in time. Consider that nailed down.

    I can see why they think they didn’t need a treaty in Rio. Feds are using participation in the federal student loan program to ensure compliance with all these UN and OECD education agendas.

    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-facts-wont-cooperate-there-is-always-pedagogy/ is my story from about a month ago on the UN’s Education for Sustainable Development initiative and what it means to us.

    The previous post from May 29 http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/you-mean-i-cant-teach-because-the-economy-should-not-grow/ explains the linkage of all these ed initiatives to the Green Growth that means no actual growth economy.

    And again Ban Ki-Moon announced in May that the UN would be using education to get its agenda in place. Which is why I had gone off to nail down the higher ed story all th eway through with proof.

  21. On Bloomberg this AM

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-22/un-gets-sustainability-pledges-worth-513-billion-in-rio.html

    The United Nations obtained pledges worth $513 billion from governments and companies for projects aimed at reducing the strain on the planet’s resources, the biggest accomplishment at a meeting that world leaders and environmentalists assailed for not setting strong enough goals. The 692 individual commitments from governments are for projects that cut fossil fuel use, boost renewable energy, conserve water and alleviate poverty, Sha Zukang, secretary- general of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, said yesterday in Rio de Janeiro.
    UN officials said the voluntary pledges will be the central legacy of the Rio+20 meeting marking two decades since the first Earth Summit. They may accomplish more than the official accord from the meeting, 49 pages of recommendations that disappointed leaders, including French President Francois Hollande. “These huge numbers give a sense of the scale and growth of investment going into sustainable development,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, said at the conference late yesterday. “They are part of a growing global movement for change. Our job now is to create a critical mass, an irresistible momentum.”
    This year’s gathering, the UN’s biggest ever, had 45,300 delegates from more than 180 nations. It produced a non-binding document, with nations agreeing to keep talking about still-undefined “sustainable development goals.”

    HOPEFULLY “Non-Binding” and “Still-UNdefined” mean there is hope these idiots will be ignored in the long run!

  22. Reblogged this on Public Secrets and commented:
    Sigh. When “global warming” made people roll their eyes, the alarmists trotted out “climate change.” Now, when the whole “climate whatever” edifice is crumbling, they fall back to “sustainable.” In the end, it’s all about control — of them over us.

  23. e.c–one of the reasons I wrote stories on dirigisme and modern day mercantilism is the strong strain of Corporatism surrounding both the climate change/sustainable devt pushes and education.

    Sometimes as with Mott MacDonald and IBM it’s the same company involved with both for overlapping reasons beyond the benefit to the bottom line. Most of their customers are governments or NGOs so advocating for what adds to state power is a win for them.

    It does tend to taint the objectivity of their recommendations of what a country needs to be competitive for example.

    A bit like listening to a utility executive who lives in a pass on your costs and get a guaranteed rate of return world.

  24. This whole RIO thing is nothing more then smoke and mirrors brought to you by political demigods who line their pockets at the expense of everyone else.

  25. Oh for goodness sake! I’ve spent the last few years learning all I can about CAGW and now the goalposts have been moved and its SD (CASD?) I’ve got to worry about?
    Can we just cut to the chase – just let me know when we’re all going to die if we don’t do what they say and how much extra we have to pay these soothsayers and then we can get on with trying to earn a living as best we can to pay the taxes these worthy leeches demand.
    Can we build a city on the Antarctic to house these green morons and then they can scratch a living there, save some penguins etc and not bother us again.
    Jesus!!

  26. Michael says: @ June 23, 2012 at 6:10 am

    I read the pre conference document. Without being defined, “Sustainable development” was used 175 times (by my count) in the first 100 paragraphs of the document. It was interesting, however to note that “extreme poverty” is experienced, in the authors’ view, by 14% of the world’s population. If we want to feed the world (poverty eradication), consider this. 50% of the earth’s food production is wasted, either in harvest, storage, transportation, use as fuel, or thrown in the garbage post preparation. We don’t have an overpopulation problem, nor a production problem, nor a food shortage problem. We have a distribution problem…..
    ___________________________

    Michael, The real biggie is wastage. I am going a bit in-depth on this because most Super Market Predators have no idea of how sophisticated and energy intensive our food system has become.

    I can remember when “Garbage” aka food waste was cooked to sanitize it and fed to pigs. (Garbage cooking laws were passed in 1953-1954 to deal with trichinellosis) As far as I can tell it is still legal in the USA. However with grain subsidies producing grain at below the cost of production, factory farming of pigs and other animals and the hassles of collecting, sanitizing and feeding garbage while still meeting USDA requirements, the practice is now pretty much dead except for a few small farmers. As long as it is cheaper and easier to feed tax payer subsidized grain, “garbage” will continue going into landfills instead of into producing animal protein. Past sale date bread, veggies and fruits are sometimes available from stores and used to feed chickens, goats and sheep on small farms. (BTDT)

    The industry up until the past ten years was primarily made of many small farms that had integrated farrow-to-finish operations focused on selling through open markets for domestic pork consumption. Recently, however, the industry has undergone a dramatic change to one driven by much fewer, much larger producers who are increasingly finishing specialists and who sell contracted production for high value global markets ….

    …. As recently as 1993, nearly 90% of U.S. pork producers sold hogs on the open market…. Today approximately 80% of U.S. hog production is produced under contracts to processors.
    The U.S. Pork Production Market

    …Most livestock are now fed in confined conditions in a barn, house, or fenced lot. Successful confinement feeding required a series of technological developments. The animals are bred to gain weight or produce milk efficiently, while also yielding specific meat or milk characteristics. Feed milling and delivery is automated, and herds and flocks are often grouped according to age and other characteristics and provided with feeds that are especially formulated for the group…..
    The Transformation of U.S. Livestock Agriculture: Scale, Efficiency, and Risks / EIB-43
    Economic Research Service/USDA

    Wastage is also great on harvested grains and silage if state of the art warehousing systems are not used. Harvestore set the standard for use of glass-fused-to-steel in a storage tank. Harvestore silos that are over 50 years old are still performing today. Those puppies take a LOT of energy to produce and are NOT CHEAP, a new 25- by 90-foot Harvestore cost around $175,000 and an unloader around $35,000, in 2006

    And that is just for grain. The consumer will receive good quality produce only if each operation in the handling chain minimizes abuse caused by mechanical damage, improper temperature and RH, moisture loss, ethylene damage, odor contamination, and excessive storage time. Not only is controlled temperature and relative humidity important so is sanitizing the harvest. Traditionally chlorine has been the most used sanitizing agent for washing fresh produce, but a newer technology is gaseous ozone. Gaseous ozone is a strong sanitation and fumigation agent and can be used to sanitize foods in the storage room and during shipping to percent bacteria, mold, and yeast on the food surface and to control insects. It can eliminate undesirable flavor produced by bacteria and chemically remove ethylene gas to slow down the ripening process, thus allowing extended distribution.

    We are all aware of the fact that “sustainability” and cutting CO2 emissions by 80% will make it difficult to produce enough food, but even if we manage to produce the food we still need a high tech civilization to preserve it and transport it.

    Unfortunately the idiot Regulating Class in the European Union hasn’t figured that out.

    EU brings farms and forests into low-carbon plans: The EU has called on European governments to include data on CO2 emissions from farming and forestry in their efforts to tackle climate change.

    …The draft law on accounting rules is in line with what was agreed at the Durban climate change conference in December.

    But the EU does not yet plan to include farming and forestry in its CO2Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

    The goal is to accurately measure CO2 emissions from biomass used for energy and from ploughing and logging….

    “What we propose today is harmonised rules to account for forests and agriculture emissions. This is the first step to incorporate these sectors into the EU’s reduction efforts,” said the EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard.

    “In Durban all countries agreed revised accounting rules for these sectors. The EU is now delivering with this proposal….

    The Commission says the most cost-efficient way of moving to a low-carbon economy is by achieving a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2030 and a 25% cut by 2020, compared with 1990 emission levels.

    The overall target is an 80% cut by 2050, based on the “greening” of industry, investment in energy-efficient electric cars and housing, renewable energy and modernised, “smart” electricity grids.

    These %^$# politicos really do want to kill us off!

  27. Windfarms are seen by greenies as a “renewable” resource. It is interesting to compare the resources used in wind turbines with a coal fired power plant.

    Coal power station
    20 tonnes of steel per MW

    Wind turbine
    110 tonnes mainly aluminium per nominal MW … considering actual generation efficiency it’s probably say, about 7 times higher.

    That is, coal generation uses about 40 times less resources per MW. In addition, aluminium manufacture produces about 8 times the CO2 emissions that steel does.

    Any advance on the figures I’ve dug up, or comments ?

  28. On the Corporatist element, the UN also has a broadband commission pushing that as an international right for all with you know who picking up the tab on the buildout. So that boondoggle plus running all things ed through computers and technology which is another boondoggle brings the major tech companies on board for the UN’s other initiatives like AGW and climate change and sustainable devt.

    They make lots of money from the initiatives plus the ed initiatives make it far less likely Creative destruction due to genuine innovation will be as much of a problem in the future. It’s a way of trying to protect their current markets. Everyone becomes a political entrepreneur playing off their govt and UN connections instead of the more difficult job of being a market entrepreneur trying to satisfy customers.

  29. @ Michael says:
    June 23, 2012 at 6:10 am

    A diversion of a small amount of that spending could result in a distribution and delivery system to solve world hunger and eradicate poverty. I didn’t see that in the report. Also, elevated levels of carbon dioxide have been proven to lead to yield improvements and drought resistence in crops, especially rice and wheat, two of the staples of the world’s total calorie consumption.

    ****************************************************************
    You don’t really believe they are sincerely concerned with the “worlds poor and hungry ” do you? That’s one of the oldest political lies in history. Remember the “oil for food” program?

  30. This really strikes me funny…

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/business/global/brazil-and-china-sign-trade-agreements.xml

    Brazil and China Sign Trade Agreements By REUTERS Published: June 23, 2012

    RIO DE JANEIRO – Leaders of Brazil and China signed trade agreements aimed at increasing investment and trade flows at a time when economic growth in both nations is losing momentum.

    President Dilma V. Rousseff of Brazil and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China agreed on a common agenda of investments in the mining, industrial, aviation and infrastructure sectors to encourage commerce between the two nations.

    Ms. Rousseff and Mr. Wen, who is in Brazil to attend Rio+20, the sustainable development summit meeting sponsored by the United Nations, signed the agreements Thursday. Relations between the nations will be accorded the status of a “global strategic partnership,” highlighting their growing influence in the global economy.

    Brazilian officials hailed the accord as crucial to growth in the South American country.

    Speaking at the meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Guido Mantega, the Brazilian finance minister, said the accords should provide an increase in manufacturing and sales in China by the Brazilian airplane maker Embraer.

    Embraer, one of the largest manufacturers of regional planes, for years was barred from producing jets in China, the world’s fastest-growing market for commercial and executive aviation.

    The deals were reached as Ms. Rousseff, a pragmatist, was pressing China to buy more products from Brazilian manufacturers as part of a broader push aimed at reducing the South American nation’s dependence on sales of raw materials like iron ore, oil and soybeans.

    China, the world’s second largest economy, after the United States, is Brazil’s biggest export market.

    The economies of Brazil and China have slowed sharply, partly because of the European debt crisis.

    Facing dwindling liquidity abroad, the countries also signed a deal Thursday to set up currency swaps – a deal between them to give out loans in their local currencies – of as much as 60 billion reais, or $29.46 billion.

    “As international credit remains scarce, we will have enough credit for our transactions,” Mr. Mantega said.

    Brazilian policy makers said they wanted to tap China’s growing local market by increasing exports of manufactured goods and creating joint ventures in China.

    Mr. Mantega said Chinese companies were interested in investing in the South American nation’s vast oil and natural gas sectors.

    The state-run Brazilian oil company, Petrobras and other oil producers are racing to develop some of the world’s biggest oil reserves, off the South American nation’s coast.

    In April last year, the Chinese government allowed Embraer to start assembling executive jets in China, giving the company a foothold in the huge market where its future had been in doubt.

    Embraer’s joint venture in China, Harbin Aircraft, will deliver its first plane in late 2013.

  31. Tom in Florida says:
    June 23, 2012 at 4:49 am

    My sincere apologies to the Beatles

    Lennon, almost in spite of himself, wrote the truth in Revolution, no lyrics revision required:

    “Revolution”

    You say you want a revolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know you can count me out

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    You say you got a real solution
    Well you know
    We don’t love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright, al…

    You say you’ll change the Constitution
    Well you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well you know
    You better free your mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

    Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright

  32. Edit;
    That was off the web, and I think there are a few errors, like “Don’t you know that you can count me out” and “Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right”.
    But of course the point remains: leftist authoritarian utopian “plans” are all alike.

  33. Ugh, that really is a lousy transcription. Here’s a much better one:

    “Revolution – The Beatles”

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right, all right

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re doing what we can
    But when you want money
    for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell is brother you’ll have to wait
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right, all right
    Ah

    ah, ah, ah, ah, ah…

    You say you’ll change the Constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You better free your mind instead
    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow
    Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right
    all right,- – –

  34. Quite so. There will be an accounting in the future for those who held back development for the poor; the accounting should include the number of available lamposts.

  35. @Gail Combs:

    FWIW, Plague is endemic in the rodents of the West Coast ( and likely other places too). When in college, the “roomie”s Mom worked at the county health department. A surprising number of “rodents with plague” were sporadically dealt with… and the occasional person.

    The good news is that even Tetracycline can kill it, so if treated quickly you don’t need to die.

    The bad news is that lots of doctors think it is a thing of the past and don’t treat it quickly…

    We’re one really bad cold poverty stricken huddled close the fire with malnutrition event away from “Plague in our time”…

    Countering that, the survivors of Plague in Europe had a higher proportion of a particular gene that grants greater immunity and is somewhat protective even against AIDS. The death rate is unlikely to be 60% next time. It looks like “only” about 40% is most likely… Blacks didn’t have that selection done on their gene pool, so it is likely that they will have a 60%+ rate. (Asians were exposed to Plague longer than either of the other two, but don’t know if they had that genotype to select for it, or not.)

    It’s one of those interesting things folks don’t talk about much…

    On the “Hogs and food” issue:

    Don’t forget all the tons of corn going to PC motor fuel…

    Recently went by a field down south where celery was being harvested. The “slash” left in the field would have fed a pretty good pig lot or warren…

    The reality is that the developed world grows so much food so efficiently it is in such excess we have burn it up or let it rot. It is only in the non-industrialized world that food is scarce.

    The Rio folks want us all to return to that world…

    @All:

    I saw on the news last night a report that the present US representative at Rio was negotiating to hand over $2 Billion ( $2,000,000,000.00) of our dollars (Oh, pardon, of Chinese loan dollars) to the UN for spreading around to fellow “progressives”… Please, just say no!

    The Agenda 21 site at the UN says they expect to tax the “developed nations” (that being Europe, North America, and Australia) for $200 Billion ( $200,000,000,000.00) each year for this.

    As Europe is presently imploding under the Green Agenda and the USA is on Life Support Loans from China ( what is it, $1 Trillion now? $1,000,000,000,000.00 and we’re racking up a $5 Trillion deficit PER YEAR for the foreseeable future $5,000,000,000,000,00) I don’t know where they think the money will really come from…

    Somebody needs to explain the concept of flat dead busted broke to these folks…

  36. The term, not defined in the Rio documents, “sustainability” is pragmatically null, empty. The (stretched) adage that the Stone, Copper, Bronze, Iron, or Steam Ages did not end because we ran out of the eponymous resources is key. Both desired improvements and better costs moved us along to the next stage.

    So “sustaining” anything is pointless. It will be supplanted by a newer better alternative. This forces Peakists and sustainers to abuse the truth about availability and to hand-wave away pending and virtually certain improved substitutes.

    The fall-back is to label every aspect of the “natural world” sacrosanct and endangered. There’s always some chunk of it available to claim is in the way of changes or progress. That wealthy nations and economies exploit and pressure “nature” far less than poor, much less subsistence, ones is just ignored; it seems to be impossible for conservationists to take on board, with rare exceptions like Patrick Moore and Lovelock.

    Here on WUWT Monckton pegs sustainability as a Non-Problem. Willis, in Nothing Is Sustainable, shows the pointlessness of “saving” resources that will be obsolete or peripheral to our descendants, as demanded by the UN: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Amongst other things, the arrogance of assuming we either know or can control the abilities of more advanced future generations is risible.

    There’s no “there” there.

  37. Dr Burns says:
    June 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Windfarms are seen by greenies as a “renewable” resource. It is interesting to compare the resources used in wind turbines with a coal fired power plant.

    Coal power station
    20 tonnes of steel per MW

    Wind turbine
    110 tonnes mainly aluminium per nominal MW … considering actual generation efficiency it’s probably say, about 7 times higher.

    That is, coal generation uses about 40 times less resources per MW. In addition, aluminium manufacture produces about 8 times the CO2 emissions that steel does.

    Any advance on the figures I’ve dug up, or comments ?

    Well, it works out to 320 times the CO2 generated in construction phase to build a windmill. So that is the “CO2 debt” it has to pay off before it breaks even. (Is there CO2 interest to consider? Is present CO2 more potent than later CO2? ;p ) Don’t forget to add on the incremental transmission corridor construction. Plus all the CO2 generated every time an inefficient load-following plant has to ramp up or down or run to accommodate and compensate for the vagaries of the wind and its mills. And then there’s the CO2 released by nearby residents torching their houses for the insurance and fleeing the region. Etc., etc.

  38. Gail Combs says:
    June 23, 2012 at 12:53 pm
    Ozone …
    to percent bacteria, mold, and yeast on the food surface and to control insects. …

    prevent?

    I think it has about the same operation as peroxide; in effect, it “burns” the target. Produces our old friend CO2 as a product, just like fire, of course. LOL

  39. Dont worry about poverty and the poor, Ban Ki Moom has Julia Gillard, our Aussie PM, in his sights to solve that problem.

  40. David Rothbard and Craig Rucker: “The proceedings were controlled by bureaucrats who do not know how to generate new wealth, generally oppose efforts by those who do know, and see humans primarily as consumers and polluters, rather than as creators and innovators, protectors and stewards.”

         Are these bureaucrats the graduates (last night) of a First Aid course standing (this morning) on a busy city street desperare for something to bandage?
         Frustrated entrepenurs who have come out of the top of the education system with a heap of learned knowledge and nowhere to play it?
         The “Arab Spring” revolutions are determined by some to be a pumping of education into restless youth who found there was no place to apply their new knowledge outside the university doors who then became restless again…

  41. Sustainability rather than global warming is now the focus of debate.
    Gas supplies from fracking offer several more decades of cheap energy.
    But is it being used in the most effective and sustainable way?

    Most proposals seem to envisage power stations using gas to produce electricity for the grid.
    The efficiency of this energy transfer is at best 40%.
    Contrast this with the use of gas for domestic heating which is in excess of 80%.

    Would it not therefor be more rational to use gas mainly for domestic heating and use coal for power station use?
    There are several examples of good practice used in design of coal fired power plants.
    Contaminants such as Sulphur should of course be removed to produce environmentally friendly discharges.

  42. Bryan;
    Yes, and both it and coal can be transformed with high school chemistry into liquid fuel for vehicles, if desired. And it is very valuable feedstock for chemical companies, many of which are rushing to set up/reopen US plants to use it. Steel and aluminum plants can generate their own power onsite economically, and are preparing to move production back onshore. Etc., etc.

  43. I am going back through some of the UNESCO documents from the beginning of the decade of ESD. It is interesting how often they reiterate the need to clear the misperception that ESD was about environmental education.

    Here’s a money quote on just how much ESD is about altering emotions and beliefs and values to create a permanent desired filtering mindset. Basically training each student from an early age. Preschool is mentioned which would explain why the accreditors like AdvancED have now gone into accrediting preschools.

    “Ultimately, the Decade’s goal is to integrate the values inherent in sustainable development into all aspects of learning to encourage changes in attitudes and behavior that allow for a more sustainable and just society for all.”

    If totalitarianism is targeting what citizens are to think and feel and may do, then ESD is expressly totalitarianism with a happy face.

    Masking a dark underlying aspiration of control over the individual. Preferable an instinctive, reflexive, unconscious control.

  44. Natural gas has a portability issue. a CNG car only has a range of about 200 miles. Conversion of our vast natural gas supply to Gasoline and Diesel is the cutting edge today. Probably a good investment opportunity if you can pick the winners.

  45. With so much accent being placed on the interests of ‘future generations’, would it not make great sense for us to leave them a legacy of a beautiful natural countryside, not disfigured by wind turbines and the additional overhead electrical lines and pylons that these involve?

  46. Social justice is a stupid buzzword. Free markets are the best way to help poor people. While China and India still have a long way to go and China’s labor conditions are notorious, look at the dramatic progress they’ve made over the last decade. What the UN wants is to bring the western world (in particular the US) “down to size” so they are going to move us into little smart growth villages and take away our air conditioners and cars. Not surprising given the UN is basically run by groups of African goon dictatorships. The US should just pull out of this stupid organization except for peacekeeping operations.

  47. “sustainability” is the new buzzword to replace AGW.

    Only problem is to invent “sustainable” money. Once they solve the supply problems in that area all the worlds problems will be easily remedied. We will solve poverty by paying people to become rich, and solve hunger by paying people to buy food. And we will solve ignorance by paying people to become smart.

    The US administration, backed by the EPA are proposing solar powered printing presses to help overcome the supply problems. Once the technology is perfected there should be an endless supply of money. Guaranteed to arrive after the November elections. Change you can believe in.

  48. Dave Worley says:
    June 24, 2012 at 6:30 am
    Natural gas has a portability issue. a CNG car only has a range of about 200 miles.
    =========
    Unlike my Buick, that has a range of 300 kilometers.

  49. People need to be aware that the UN program of “sustainable development” is already well underway in the United States (and likely elsewhere) via ICLEI and Redevelopment projects that build high density urban housing.

    Reading the UN report is kind of amusing. They note that in 1990 46% of the world’s population was in absolute poverty, and today that figure is 27%. Of course what they don’t mention is that the drop is largely due to capitalism being adopted in China and India and it has nothing to do with bureaucratic UN programs.

    Also check page 19 of the document where they note “Climate Change”. They don’t cite any actual temperature data, they only note carbon dioxide emissions continue to increase. A tacit admission the temperature is no longer rising?

  50. No taxation without representation.
    Simple.
    The WWF, FE etc represent no-one but themselves (despite claiming to represent “future generations”). What are these groups doing getting EU and UN money to write grey literature for and lobby the very bodies that fund them? Are there any real jounalists asking questions? Do Western governments really seek to offload soverignty to the UN? Are we at a fait accompli? Has any Western politician gone on record regarding this siesmic change to the way international relations are carried out?

  51. WUWT, CFACT, thanks for the continued inspiration. I have railed against the Sustainable Development abomination for a while now, and since seeing the RIO+20 The Future We Want cover I knew there was a good bit missing, so I added those missing parts to better portray SD with an updated, more-accurate cover design:

    RIO+20 New & Improved

    I finished their equation as well: RIO+20=PAIN, though I thank CFACT for the Future We Dread title. As I note in that post, WUWT, CFACT, please feel free to make the image your own and spread it far and wide. The more folks that learn about the abhorrent agenda they’re pitching, the better.

  52. “The US should just pull out of this stupid organization except for peacekeeping operations.”

    I’m not so sure the peacekeeping part is any better.
    Sustainability at all cost…..peace at all cost. Same song, different tune.

    The cost is our sovereignty…our freedom.

  53. ferd berple says:
    June 24, 2012 at 10:47 am

    My point is Natural Gas prices are so low now, the shale drillers are pulling back.

    The (chemical) conversion of natural gas into Gasoline or Diesel is 30 year old technology not yet exploited. The process is exothermic, so electric generating plants could take advantage of the excess heat generated. Such plants have been built in the middle east, and some are in the planning stages in the US,

    This conversion should open a new domestic market for the natural gas, bringing up the profitability of Shale Gas and so encouraging production. Gasoline/diesel prices would likely drop some with this new supply. Building these new refineries is probably a more efficient conversion option than converting all vehicles to natural gas or multi fuel vehicles.

    That’s what I call sustainability driven by technology.

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