Skip to comments.Rio +20 Earth Summit: The End of International Environmentalism: Watching green ideology crash...
Posted on 06/27/2012 6:33:29 PM PDT by neverdem
Watching green ideology crash and burn
Twenty years ago the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro marked the ascension of environmentalism as a political force in international affairs. That conference in 1992 produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. At the time, Chris Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute crowed, You cannot go to any corner of the globe and not find some degree of environmental awareness and some amount of environmental politics. Flavin added that with socialism in disrepute, environmentalism is now the most powerful political ideal today. At the conclusion of the Rio +20 Earth Summit, it is clear that that is no longer so.
The largest United Nations conference everfeaturing more than 50,000 participants from 188 nations was a flop. For most of the environmentalist ideologues at the Rio +20 conference the only question was whether it was a hoax or a failure. Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking preferred "hoax" while "failure" was Greenpeace spokesperson Kumi Naidoos dismissive term.
In response to outcomes of the Rio conference, more than a thousand environmentalist and leftist groups signed a petition entitled The Future We Dont Want. That is a play on the title of the platitudinous outcome document, The Future We Want, agreed to by the diplomats at the end of the conference. Greenpeaces Kumi Naidoo lamely vowed that disappointed environmentalists would now engage in acts of civil disobedience in order to bring about the world they want.
Should the people of the world be disappointed by the failure of the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development? No. First of all, sustainable development as a concept is a Rorschach blot. The canonical version reads: "Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." This has no specific meaning and can be used by anyone to mean anything that they would like. So it is not at all surprising that the representatives from 190 rich and poor nations meeting in Rio de Janeiro could not agree on anything substantive with regard to sustainable development.
Nevertheless, since the first Earth Summit, the world has experienced a lot of development. In 1992, 46 per cent of the worlds population lived in absolute poverty (defined as income equivalent to less than $1.25 per day). Today that is down to 27 percent. In addition, average life expectancy has increased by three and a half years.
At the Rio +20 Earth Summit, environmentalists and the leaders of poor countries were hoping to shake down the rich countries for hundreds of billions in official development assistance annually. However, most of the actual development achieved over the past two decades was not the result of official development assistance (a.k.a. taxpayer dollars) from rich countries being sent to poor countries. In fact, some researchers have found [PDF] that development aid often actually retards economic growth and has an insignificant or minute negative significant impact on per-capita income. Why? Largely because the aid is stolen by the kleptocrats who run many poor countries and the rest is invested in projects that are not profitable. So what has produced so much improvement in the lot of poor people in developing countries since the first Earth Summit 20 years ago?
Remember in the 1960s, official development assistance accounted for 70 percent of the capital flows to developing nations, but today it amounts to only 13 percent, while at the same time, development budgets have actually increased, explained U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Rio +20 Conference. Why is that? Well, you know very well. Because while continuing to provide assistance, the private sector investments, using targeted resources and smart policies, have catalyzed more balanced, inclusive, sustainable growth. Summary: The way to development is trade, not aid.
After a week spent listening to environmentalist hopes and objectives, one particularly puzzling and disturbing activist brainchild emerged and that is their undertaking to maintain and expand open access commons. Many participants at the Peoples Summit, which was run by 200 activist groups in parallel to the official summit, evidently do believe that property is theft. In the original Marxist version capitalism would collapse as its contradictions mounted. In the Green update capitalism will collapse as its pollution mounts. For lots of the hardcore, the solution to environmental problems is a kind of eco-socialism in which nature is not privatized or commodified. This trend in environmentalist thinking might be called commonism.
Looking across the globe, it is the case that various aggregate environmental measures have deteriorated. Since 1992, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) claims [PDF] that biodiversity has declined by 12 percent, 740 million acres of primary forests have been cut down, and 85 percent of the all the fish stocks in the oceans are overexploited, depleted, recovering, or fully depleted. Are environmental calamities the result of rapacious capitalism? Not really. The same report notes that 80 percent of the worlds forests, which harbor the bulk of the worlds biodiversity, are government owned. In most parts of the world, government-owned nets out to owned by no one. Essentially these aspects of nature already exist in the commons for which many environmental commonists are agitating. As Sarah Palin might ask, Hows that working out for you? Not too well if the UNEP data are to be believed.
The fact is that in nearly every place where what most people would regard as an environmental problem is occurring, it is happening in an open access commons. A river is polluted? No one owns it and stands ready to protect it. Forest is being cut? Same problem. Overfishing? Yes. A water shortage? Yes, again. Empirically, calling for the enlargement or re-imposition of a commons with respect to an environmental resource or amenity is tantamount to calling for its slow destruction.
Countries with strong property rights generally see environmental improvement, e.g., air and water pollution are declining, fishery stocks are stable, and forests are expanding. First, because owners protect their resources since they directly suffer the costs and consequences of not doing so. And a second indirect effect is that countries with strong property rights are more prosperous and can thus afford to bear the costs of environmental regulations, even inefficient ones, applied to those environmental commons that still remain.
Looking back the failure of environmentalism as an ideology looks inevitable since has misconstrued the causes of many of the problems to which it claims to have a solution. At the close of the Rio +20 Earth Summit last Friday, environmentalism reached its highwater mark and is now ebbing as a political force internationally. It will be interesting to see in which direction those cherishing a permanent animus against democratic capitalism will go.
Its not crashing. Its changing form and looking at other methods.
Oh, you mean exactly like the "Porkulus package" which went to phony "green energy" companies, labor unions and other thieves right here in the US?
Environmentalists are like watermelons; green on the outside and red on the inside.
You're right ROCKLOBSTER - it's the same...
They may be repackaging, but they have been dealt some serious blows, although I think this article doesn't grasp it. International environmentalism during the time of the Rio conference was primarily coming from rich countries and focusing on developing nations in an effort to keep them from developing. They touted things like eco-tourism of old growth rainforests, instead of industrialization. And of course, global warming, which is made worse by third world aspirations to own their own cars.
What happened in the meantime, is that developing countries said "BS," and developed in their own best interests anyway.
The end result of this new industrialization will also have many positive effects for the enviromnet,as for instance, the 1.3 billion Chinese are leaving the countryside and concentrating themselves in new cities, complete with sewage treatment for the first time, and trash removal. But environmentalists fought this.
“At the close of the Rio +20 Earth Summit last Friday, environmentalism reached its highwater mark and is now ebbing as a political force internationally. It will be interesting to see in which direction those cherishing a permanent animus against democratic capitalism will go.”
1. Through onerous regulations and oppressive taxation of any business that has a “high” carbon footprint
2. By advocating as many social entitlements the body politic will allow, thereby bringing about an economic collapse (and duly blamed on those greedy capitalists and “big” corporations)..all in the name of compassion and the “moral duty” to redistribute the wealth, etc.
3. By forcing developed and prosperous nations to severely restrict exploration, acquisition and use of natural resources, especially oil, coal and natural gas.
In other words, they will keep doing what they are doing already.
Maybe you should explain it to someone who doesn’t pay an electric bill 300% higher than it was a decade ago as my electric company builds wind farms to replace the coal fired plants they’re closing.
Correct-O-Mundo! This environmental movement and U.N. Agenda 21 is a religion. These people will not sleep, will not rest, will not stop in their efforts to control all people using the environment as their shield.
Whether you know it or not, people like THIS are all around you!
The global communist party really doesn’t need the enviro-useful idiots anymore. They’ve just about finished pulling off their global coup. Freedom is toast. Commie style slavery is back in style. The “college students” love it.
Do ya think he got the job because he has an enviro-hip name?
The Marxists influence, if not control, every aspect of life in America.
Eco-tourism is incredibly elitist of an economic model. “You must not develop these resources to improve your quality of life, keep it pristine so that the visiting elites can enjoy it, and you’ll get enough money to barely survive.”
It’s worse than colonialism, because the locals don’t get the infrastructure or institutions colonization brings. If the eco-tourism fails, the locals have nothing to show for it, and may have lost rights to the natural resources that they previously had.
The addition of highly variable renewable power also drives up the infrastructure costs, because you have to add energy storage, natural gas plants that trigger on demand and smart grid / electronic monitoring to keep the lights on.
I just saw a report that 80% of the stimulus money went overseas.
I assume Michelle spent it shopping.
Or maybe she bought rocket launchers for Mexican drug cartels.
Same thing I guess.
Oh, so I take it that you are a big fan of the Agenda 21 and UN Sustainable Development? That is certainly what your post indicates.
Take it from this habitat restorationist for nearly 25 years: You have no idea what is "good for the environment." What you are describing is both an urban prison and the destruction of topsoil.
China is an anthropogenic landscape and has been for thousands of years. For that entire time, the soil received the minerals that people consumed in vegetation. To suddenly pull the people off that land is a horrible idea. What will grow there? Who will weed it? Or are they going mechanize farming, feed it natural gas, and deplete that soil? How are they going to separate out the toxic minerals from that sewer cake while leaving the trace elements for growing food? What makes you think sewage treatment plants are such a good idea compared to composting. Do you know what the THM in that treated outfall will do to their fisheries?
I promise you, a third, at least of the farms in the American Midwest would blow away and turn to sand in three years without additional ammonia. My take is that the same will happen to China once they've used up what has been built.
Worse, once the people are gathered into cities they are ripe for extermination at the throw of a switch unless they obey. So I take it you are a big fan of tyranny and population control as well.
So I suggest you dispense with the popular whiz-dumb as regards what is "good" and start thinking about what is good for topsoil over the long run. It is the most precious resource on earth.
Typical liberal strategy. "Sustainable development" "Climate change" "Justice" "Hope and Change"
Buzzwords that can mean anything to anybody.
People being crammed into multi level boxes will reduce their quality of life and make them easier for the government to control. Environmentalists aren't fighting this. Using U.N. Agenda 21, they are pushing it. Once you take a good look at the environmental movement you will see that it has nothing to do with ecology or the environment. Those who think so are the pawns in the game ...useful idiots.
Non-farming Americans have no true understanding of the land, other than a logical expectation of cause and effect.
The concept of urban prisons is wonderful, because after all the taxation and denial to the farmers and red-country folk they will not be so generous when it comes to basic survival. Let the truckers stop rolling for 4-7 days in the US and the cities will be in trouble; a disruption in gas/oil will prevent follow on products and food.
I actually look forward to the day that the cities self consume themselves along with their political clout and socialist mentality; only those individuals and the familys on corporate farms shall remain in this vision.