For more than 20 years, now, the most powerful word in advertising has been “sustainable.”
This term sells everything from toilet paper to spark plugs. This same term is even more powerful when applied to public policies such as: “sustainable” energy; transportation; agriculture; development; housing, and almost every other policy considered by government. When the term “sustainable” is used to sell a product, the product will be more expensive and less efficient than it has to be. When the term “sustainable” is used to sell a public policy, the policy will not only be more expensive and less efficient, it will be controlled by the government, and it will ultimately fail.
Before 1990, the term “sustainable” was rarely heard. Today, the term saturates all media every day. Everyone knows the term; few people know what sustainable development is, or the effect it is having on communities, or the ultimate goal of its proponents, or how it gets into public policy.
Agenda 21 is a document adopted by 179 nations at the 1992 U.N. Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. Its 40 chapters contain specific recommendations, which, when adopted and implemented by governments, will result in sustainable development, according to its proponents. Since 1993, the federal government has been promoting and funding the implementation of Agenda 21 recommendations throughout the country.
The Obama administration has picked up where the Clinton administration left off, advancing the implementation of Agenda 21. The U.S. State Department has been preparing to support the U.N.’s effort to convert the non-binding Agenda 21, into a legallybinding Covenant on Environment and Development, enforceable by the International Criminal Court. There will be a flurry of activity leading up to, and after the Rio+20 conference scheduled for June. The U.S. State Department began leading this campaign last year. Read about their involvement and promotion here, and here.