After more than15 years of trying to warn
Americans about the dangers of Sustainable Development, finally, many
in the freedom movement are beginning to understand that it is the root
of most of the issues we are fighting today. But it is a vast,
complicated issue that is difficult to comprehend – even for those of
us who have been studying it for so long. It is critical that all
freedom-loving Americans grasp the true destructive force of evil that
is Sustainable Development.
To that end, I am herein reprinting an interview I gave recently to the
Internet news site “The Post & Email.” I know I have been
focusing a lot of my articles on this issue lately, but I think this
interview is one of the most comprehensive explanations I have yet
given. But it is also very simple to understand. Please make copies of
this issue of the DeWeese Report and pass them on to all.
The interview for The Post & Email:
P&E: Sustainable Development is a
buzz-word that one hears used frequently in discussions of government
policy the world over. But like most Americans, I had no idea
what it meant.
Q: Where and when did this phrase originate?
TAD: The term “sustainable
development” was born in the pages of “Our Common Future,” the official
report of the 1987 United Nations World Commission on Environment and
Development, authored by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Vice President of the
World Socialist Party. For the first time the environment was
tied to the tried and true Socialist goals of international
redistribution of wealth. Said the report, “Poverty is a
and effect of global environmental problems. It is therefore futile to
attempt to deal with environmental problems without a broader
perspective that encompasses the factors underlying world poverty and
The term appeared in full force in 1992; in a United Nations initiative
called the U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda 21, or as it has become
known around the world, simply Agenda 21. It was unveiled at the 1992
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED),
ballyhooed as the Earth Summit. In fact, the Earth Summit was one of
the provisions called for in the Brundtland report as a means of
implementing Sustainable Development around the world. More than 178
nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy. President George H.W.
Bush was the signatory for the United
Q: What kind of political groups promote this
TAD: At the top of the heap is the
Environmental Program (UNEP). Created in 1973 by the UN General
Assembly, the UNEP is the catalyst through which the global
environmental agenda is implemented. Virtually all of the international
environmental programs and policy changes that have occurred globally
in the past three decades are the result of UNEP efforts.
But the UNEP doesn’t operate on its own. Influencing it and
helping to write policy are thousands of non-governmental organizations
NGOs are not just any private group hoping to influence policy. True
NGOs are officially sanctioned by the United Nations. Such status was
created by UN Resolution 1296 in 1948, giving NGOs official
“Consultative” status to the UN. That means they can not only sit in on
international meetings, but can actively participate in creating
policy, right along side government representatives.
Today these NGOs have power nearly equal to member nations when it
comes to writing UN policy. In fact, most UN policy is first debated
and then written by the NGOs and presented to national government
officials at international meetings for approval and ratification. The
policies sometimes come in the form of international treaties or simply
as policy guidelines. It is through this system that Sustainable
Development has become international policy.
The three most powerful NGOs influencing UNEP policy are three
international NGOs. They are the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the
World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Union for
Conservation and Nature (IUCN). These three groups have
provided the philosophy, objectives and methodology for the
international environmental agenda through a series of official reports
and studies such as: World Conservation Strategy,
published in 1980 by
all three groups; Global Biodiversity Strategy,
published in 1992; and
Global Biodiversity Assessment, published in
These groups not only influence UNEP’s agenda, they also influence a
staggering array of international and national NGOs around the world.
Jay Hair, former head of the National Wildlife Federation, one of the
U.S.’s largest environmental organizations, was once the president of
the IUCN. Hair later turned up as co-chairman of the Presidents Council
on Sustainable Development.
The IUCN, WWR, and WRI write the documents needed to implement the
Sustainable Development agenda. These are provided to the WWF
which maintains a network of national chapters around the
world. These, in turn, influence, if not dominate
NGO activities at the national level. It is at the national level where
NGOs agitate and lobby national governments to implement those policies
that are advanced by the UNEP. In this manner, the UN and its NGOs
bring the world ever closer to global governance.
Q: What kinds of groups promote this in the U.S.A.?
TAD: In 1995, President Bill
Clinton, in compliance with
Agenda 21, created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.
With great fanfare the Council issued a comprehensive report containing
all the guidelines on how our government was to be reinvented under
sustainable development. Those guidelines were created to direct policy
for every single federal agency, state government and local community
Many Americans ask how dangerous international policies can suddenly
turn up in state and local government, all seemingly uniform to those
in communities across the nation and around the globe.
The answer – meet ICLEI, a non-profit, private foundation, dedicated to
helping your mayor implement all of his promises. Originally known as
the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI),
today the group simply calls itself "ICLEI – Local
In 1992, ICLEI was one of the groups instrumental in creating Agenda
21. The group’s mission is to push local communities to regulate the
environment – and it’s having tremendous success.
Currently there are 544 American cities in which ICLEI is being paid
with tax dollars from city councils to implement and enforce
Sustainable Development. ICLEI is there to assure that the mayors keep
their promises and meet their goals. Climate change, of course, is the
Rather than protecting the environment; their programs are about
reinventing government with a specific political agenda. ICLEI and
others are dedicated to controlling your locally elected public
officials to quietly implement an all encompassing tyranny over every
community in the nation.
Like a disease, ICLEI (or others of its kind) is entrenched in most
American cities, dictating policy to your locally elected officials,
controlling policy and making sure they do not listen to your protests.
In addition to ICLEI, groups like the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy
and Audubon Society, NGOs which also helped write Sustainable
Development policy have chapters in nearly every city. They know that
Congress has written legislation providing grants for cities that
implement Sustainablist policy. They agitate to get the cities to
accept the grants. If a city rejects the plan, they then agitate to the
public, telling them that their elected representatives have cost the
city millions in “their” tax dollars. Finally, the NGOs usually get
Q: Did promoting of "Sustainable Development"
begin as part
of some grass roots movement, or was it promoted centrally by socialist
or Marxist circles?
TAD: As stated above,
these are not grassroots
organizations. They are part of an international cartel of
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work together, particularly
through the UN to write policy and influence its acceptance in local
and national initiatives.
Q: What do these groups tell us "Sustainable
Development" is for?
TAD: Here is the definition of a
sustainable community from
the 1996 Report of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development:
“Sustainable Communities encourage people to
work together to create
healthy communities where natural resources and historic resources are
preserved, jobs are available, sprawl is contained, neighborhoods are
secure, education is lifelong, transportation and health care are
accessible, and all citizens have opportunities to improve the quality
of their lives.”
Here is a more revealing quote: “Nature has an
of different values (cultural, spiritual and material) where humans are
one strand in nature’s web and all living creatures are considered
equal. Therefore the natural way is the right and human activities
should be molded along nature’s rhythms.” from the UN’s
Treaty presented at the 1992 UN Earth Summit.
This quote lays down the ground rules for the entire Sustainable
Development agenda. It says humans are nothing special – just one
strand in the nature of things or, put another way, humans are simply
biological resources. Sustainablist policy is to oversee any issue in
which man reacts with nature –which, of course, is literally
everything. And because the environment always comes first, there must
be great restrictions over private property ownership and control. This
is necessary, Sustainablists say, because humans only defile nature. In
fact, the report from the 1976 UN Habitat I conference said: “Land
…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and
subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land
ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and
concentration of wealth, therefore, contributes to social
Q: What is it actually about, however?
TAD: Imagine an America in
which a specific “ruling
principle” is created to decide proper societal conduct for every
citizen. That principle would be used to consider regulations guiding
everything you eat, the kind of home you are allowed to live in, the
method of transportation you use to get to work, what kind of work you
may have, the way you dispose of waste, perhaps even the number of
children you may have, as well as the quality and amount of education
your children may receive. Sustainable development
encompasses every aspect of our lives.
According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is
to integrate economic, social, and environmental policies in order to
achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and
restoration of biodiversity.
The Sustainablists insist that society be transformed into feudal-like
governance by making Nature the central organizing principle for our
economy and society. As such, every societal decision would first be
questioned as to how it might effect the environment. To achieve this,
Sustainablist policy focuses on three components; land use, education,
and population control and reduction.
The sustainable development logo used in most literature on the subject
contains three connecting circles labeled Social Equity; Economic
Prosperity; and Ecological Integrity (known commonly as the 3 Es).
Sustainable Development’s Social Equity plank is based on a demand for
something called “social justice.” It should be noted that the first
person to coin the phrase “social justice” was Karl Marx. Today, the
phrase is used throughout Sustainablist literature. The
Sustainablist system is based on the principle that individuals must
give up selfish wants for the needs of the common good, or the
“community.” How does this differ from Communism?
In the Sustainablist’s world, everyone has a right to a job with a good
wage, a right to health care and a right to housing. To assure those
rights, wealth must be redistributed. In the language of the
Sustianablists, “Capital ownership is systematically deconcentrated and
made directly available to every person.” That, they say, is Social
Justice. That means there will be no single owner of property or
business. All will be controlled by society for the common
This is the same policy behind the push to eliminate our nation’s
borders to allow the “migration” of those from other nations into the
United States to share our individually-created wealth and our
taxpayers-paid government social programs. Say the Sustainablists,
“Justice and efficiency go hand in hand.” Borders,” they say,
Under the Sustainablist system, private property is an evil that is
used simply to create wealth for a few. So, too, is business ownership.
Instead, “every worker/person will be a direct capital owner.” Property
and businesses are to be kept in the name of the owner, keeping them
responsible for taxes and other expenses, however control is in the
hands of the “community,” (read, government).
Under Sustainable Development individual human wants, needs, and
desires are to be conformed to the views and dictates of social
planners. Harvey Ruvin, Vice Chair of the International Council on
Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) said: “individual
have to take a back seat to the collective” in the process of
implementing Sustainable Development.
Sustainable Development’s economic policy is based on one overriding
premise: that the wealth of the world was made at the expense of the
poor. It dictates that, if the conditions of the poor are to be
improved, wealth must first be taken from the rich. Consequently,
Sustainable Development’s economic policy is based not on private
enterprise but on public/private partnerships.
In America’s free-market of the past, most businesses were started by
individuals who saw a need for a product or service and they set out to
fill it. Some businesses prospered to become huge corporations, some
remained small “mom and pop” shops, others failed and dissolved. Most
business owners were happy to be left alone to take their chances to
run their businesses on their own, not encumbered by a multiplicity of
government regulations. If they failed, most found a way to try again.
In the beginning of the American Republic, government’s only
involvement was to guarantee they had the opportunity to try.
However, in order to give themselves an advantage over competition,
some businesses – particularly large corporations – now find a great
advantage in dealing directly with government, actively lobbying for
legislation that will inundate smaller companies with regulations that
they cannot possibly comply with or even keep up with. This
government/big corporation back-scratching has always been a dangerous
practice because economic power should be a positive check on
government power, and visa versa. If the two should ever become
combined, control of such massive power can lead only to tyranny. One
of the best examples of this was the Italian model in the first half of
the Twentieth Century under Mussolini’s Fascism.
As a result, Sustainable Development policy is redefining free trade to
mean centralized global trade “freely” crossing (or eliminating)
national borders. It definitely does not mean people and companies
trading freely with each other. Its real effect is to redistribute
American manufacturing, wealth, and jobs out of our borders and to lock
away American natural resources. After the regulations have been put in
place, literally destroying whole industries, new “green” industries
created with federal grants bring newfound wealth to the “partners.”
This is what Sustainablists refer to as economic prosperity.
The Sustainable Development “partnerships” include some corporations
both domestic and multinational. They in turn are partnered with the
politicians who use their legislative and administrative powers to raid
the treasury to fund and enforce the scheme.
Of course, as the new elite stomp out the need for competition through
government power, the real loser is the consumer, who no longer counts
in market decisions. Government grants are now being used by industry
to create mandated green products like wind and solar power. Products
are put on the market at little risk to the industry, leaving consumers
a more limited selection from which to choose. True free markets are
eliminated in favor of controlled economies which dictate the
availability and quality of products.
Under Sustainable Development there can be no concern over
individual rights, wants, or needs – as we must all sacrifice for the
sake of the environment. The UN’s Commission on Global Governance said
in its 1998 report: “Human activity…combined with
increases in human numbers…are impinging on the planet’s basic life
support system. Action must be taken now to control the human
activities that produce these risks.”
Vice Chair of the International Council on Local Environmental
Initiatives (ICLEI) said, “Individual rights will have to
take a back
seat to the collective.”
Under Sustainable Development there can be no limited government, as
advocated by our Founding Fathers, because, we are told, the real or
perceived environmental crisis is too great. Maurice Strong, Chairman
of the 1992 UN Earth Summit said: “A shift is necessary
lifestyles less geared to environmentally-damaging consumption
patterns. The shift will require a vast
strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United
Q: What parts of our lives is it targeting; it is really
TAD: There are Sustainable
guidelines and regulations to impose the ruling principle:
On our public education system – to prepare
our children to
live in a sustainable world.
On our economy – to create partnerships
between business and
government, making sure business becomes a tool to help implement the
On the environment – leading to controls on
private property and
On health care – the new drive against obesity
directly toward controls on what we eat. The current debate on
“rationed” health care is right out of the Sustainable play book as it
considers older people ad the sick to be no longer valuable resources.
On farming – Sustainable Development policies
ability to produce more crops by regulating precious chemicals,
biotechnology, and genetic engineering in the name of environmental
protection. To fully understand the folly of sustainable farming, there
are now agriculture courses in colleges and Ag symposiums on
sustainable farming that feature the use of Oxen as replacements for
non-sustainable tractors. Need I say more?
On our social and cultural environment – where
correctness is controlling policy-hiring practices, immigration policy,
multiculturalism, marriage laws, and even what we can say.
“Globally-acceptable truth” dictates the science and
knowledge we are allowed to pursue.
On our mobility – with emphasis on carpools and public
transportation. $4 per gallon gas is purely sustainable
policies designed to ban the drilling of more oil in order to create
shortages and drive up the price to get us our of our cars and into
And on public safety – where the rule of law
and the court
system are being challenged by new laws and regulations that affect the
right to privacy and unreasonable search and seizures. REAL ID and the
creation of a total surveillance society assures we are bring properly
sustainable in our daily lives.
It is important to understand that these leading issues we
face today are not just random concerns that accidentally find their
way into the forefront of political debate. They are all interconnected
to the policies of Sustainable Development and the restructuring of our
way of life.
To quote a special Sustainable Development document prepared by the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): “A
ecologically balanced economics will drive the pursuit of Community
Sustainability within modern society’s all-encompassing urban-rural
industrial civilization…. This global marketplace is destined to recast
the meanings of industry, work, play, health, agriculture,
communications, learning and much more.”
Sustainable Development calls for changing the very infrastructure of
the nation, away from private ownership and control of property to
nothing short of central planning of the entire economy – often
referred to as top-down control.
Sustainable Development policy is built on something called the
“precautionary principle.” That means that any activities that might
threaten human health or the environment should be stopped – even if
no clear cause and effect relationship has been established – and even
if the potential threat is largely theoretical.
Q: Is this concept essential to care for the environment?
TAD: In reality, Sustainable Development has
very little to do with
protecting the environment. It has much more to do with redistributing
wealth. The basis for Sustainablist policy is global warming. The
excuse is that we must cut back on our carbon foot print. Yet, the
Kyoto Accord, if fully implemented, would have done nothing to reduce
carbon emissions, simply because it allowed some of the most
industrialized nations like China, India and Brazil to be exempt. Cap
and Trade does the same thing. How is the environment helped if there
is no reduction of the pollutants they say causes the crisis? In fact,
Sustainable Development has nothing to do with it. Instead, its
policies specifically succeed in locking away American resources, like
timber, oil and minerals, forcing us to import them from other
countries. How does that help the environment? Again, it is about
redistributing American dollars to other countries, reducing our power
and independence. That forces us to rely on the global economy, leading
to stronger global governance.
Q: Is there a rational basis for "sustainable
development", I mean are
natural resources that in danger of being destroyed or consumed out of
TAD: Scientific research shows that
there is no shortage of
natural resources. The United States appears to have more oil than
anywhere else in the world. But it is locked away. Science is beginning
to speak out quite forcefully about the lack of evidence of man-made
global warming. It simply doesn’t exist. America has more trees today
than in the last 200 years, simply because we no longer have to
maintain massive fields for horses – because of the invention of the
car. There is no shortage of land and there is no over population
crisis. In fact, all of the people in the world could today live in an
area the size of Texas, with a density equal to living in Paris, France.
The reasons for the ever-growing poverty and horrible living conditions
in some parts of the world, is because of bad governments which refuse
to allow their people the ability to create their own wealth.
Economists such as Hernando deSoto advocate that ownership of private
property is the only way to eliminate poverty – exactly why America is
so rich and prosperous. Instead, these countries steal the labor of
their people, forcing them to live in hovels, making the water filthy
and scorching the fields where nothing will grow. Then the governments
look to other nations to bail them out and the environmentalists scream
about population explosions and destruction of the environment. The
UNs’ answer is aid, aid and more aid – taking from the producers –
giving to those with nothing – forcing them to live in life-long bread
lines. The UN and the “humanitarians” pat themselves on the back for
such compassion – as the poor continue to suffer. Worse,
Environmentalists work to stop development in Third World countries,
saying the growing use of energy is not sustainable. They are much
happier to have the poor live in their mud huts, walking five mile a
day for their dirty water. Through their Public/Private Partnerships,
many corporations and lending institutions now refuse to build
development projects in such areas, claiming them to be unsustainable.
They then give each other awards for their environmental
Q: To what extent is the promotion of "Sustainable
TAD: Like its partner in
crime Global Warming,
Sustainable Development is nothing but fear mongering. During the Cold
Warm, the Soviet Union tried to get us to accept Marxism. We refused,
seeing how horrible it was. But, when the Iron Curtain fell, many of
the same policies were proposed to the world wrapped in a neat green
blanket. We were warned that we had to “protect the environment” or we
our foothold in the universe – planet earth – would die and us with it.
Suddenly, the West started throwing its liberties on the bon fire like
a good old fashioned book burning.
Q: Are the promoters of "Sustainable Development"
cynical in their view
of humanity, and in technology and mankind's capacity to meet
challenges and solve them radically with science, rather than juridical
TAD: They basically take
the attitude that man is
not part of the ecology and is a danger to the earth. If only
man could be eliminated, they say, the earth and the animals could have
a chance. Think that is too outrageous? I’ll let them tell you in their
“The native ecosystems and the collective needs of
must take precedence over the needs and desires of
humans.” —Reed Noss, a developer of the
“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrial
collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
Strong, Chairman, 1992 Earth Summit
“Endangered species is the wedge for imposing a new land
compares land ownership to slaves and involves discarding that concept
of property and trying to find a different understanding of the
landscape.” —Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior
“(We) will map the whole nation…determine development
for the whole
country, and regulate it all…” —Thomas Lovejoy, scientific
to the Department of the Interior
“We reject the idea of private property” —Peter Berle,
“Among environmentalists sharing tow or three beers, the
quite common that if only some calamity could wipe out the human race,
other species might once again have a chance." —Richard
Q: So, in a word, would it be wrong to say that
Development" is merely a code word for reorganizing society on the
basis of socialist principles and a statist view of civil government?
TAD: In a word –
No – it would not be
wrong to say that. Al Gore, in his book Earth in the Balance, said we
must go through a “wrenching transformation of society” in order to
cleanse us of the Twentieth Century’s industrial revolution.
Sustainable Development is that wrenching transformation. When it is
over, if they succeed, our civilization may again be one of cave
dwellers responding to superstitions instead of knowledge.
Q: What do we most have to fear from the advocates of
Development", if they are only interested in peaceful lobbying?
TAD: There is no
“peaceful” lobbying. The
Sustainablist are entrenched in our communities (ICLEI). They control
Congress and state houses across the nation. Sustainable Development is
the ruling principle in every city, town and county in the nation. They
have organized business into partnerships where “going green” is the
mantra of the day. They are banning products like incandescent light
bulbs, so they can make more money from the new, dangerous, mercury
filled “green bulbs.” They are using programs like the “Wildlands
Project” to lock away land, destroying ranches and the timber industry,
in turn destroying whole towns. In that way they are herding people
into human habitat areas – massive cities. In those cities they are
forcing homeowners to make their homes “sustainable,” forcing them to
put on new roofs, new windows, new appliances – all so they comply with
sustainable regulations. In Oakland, CA, such new sustainable rules
will force homeowners to spend an average of $35,000 per home. Smart
Growth polices are locking away land outside the city, putting a
premium on land, forcing housing costs to skyrocket and forcing the
need to control populations inside the designated area. Soon, if
allowed to go on, we sill see government enforcing population control
on the number of babies a family may have. Use your imagination as to
how that will be done. Some Sustainablists advocate that the Earth can
only sustain a population of about 250 million.
Meanwhile in rural communities, farmers and land owners are unable to
make money from their lands because of taxes, global “free trade” pacts
like NAFTA, and strict regulations that are killing
their ability to survive. So they are signing things like conservation
agreements and selling their development rights, thinking these things
will save their land. What they don’t understand is that groups like
the Nature Conservancy are getting rich and powerful trading and
selling those Easements to their fellow environmental groups. The
farmers, thinking they have preserved the land to hand down to their
children find to their horror that they have nothing to hand down. They
no longer own the land. And if they try to sell it, they find no
buyers, because no one wants to buy something they can’t
Q: What are some of the code words which advocates of
Development" use to make it appear a worthwhile cause?
TAD: Partnership building,
Redevelopment, Community Development, Land use, Collaborative
Approaches, Purchas of Development Rights (IPDR), “Maintaining a strong
diversified local economy,” Preserve open space, Preserving our
heritage, Heritage Corridors, Heritage Areas, Historic Preservation,
Quality Growth, Smart Growth, Innovative new development, Tax-free
Zones, Use of Eminent Domain, Regional Governments, Regional Planning
Boards, Water Control Boards, Urban Forest, Non-governmental
Organizations (NGO), Conservation Easements, Sustainable Farming,
Comprehensive Planning, Visioning Process, Growth Management, Resource
Use, Social Justice.
If you hear your locally–elected leaders using these terms, Sustainable
Development is what they mean.
Q: To what extent has this concept of "Sustainable
been incorporated in our Federal and State laws?
TAD: First of all, Sustainable Development is
not a partisan issue. It
is being implemented equally by both Republicans and Democrats. Most of
the Sustainable policy coming from the federal level has not been
through legislation from Congress. Instead, it has come from Executive
Order from the Administration. Under the Clinton Administration, nearly
every department of the government moved to impose sustainable
development by using existing programs and funding. Former Commerce
Secretary Ron Brown stated that his department could impose 60% of the
policies they wanted in his department without any new legislation. In
that way, Clinton was able to enforce almost the entire Biodiversity
Treaty, even though is has never been ratified by the Senate.
Meanwhile, the UN has worked directly with local communities to recruit
mayors and county commissioners to create Sustainable policy on their
own. The National Conference of Mayors is a major promoter of
Sustainable Development. Of course, with ICLEI in over 500 cities,
literally every single local and state government is now involved in
putting these polices in
Q: Is there anything more you would like to add?
TAD: Understand, it is not
that is the culprit – it is the PROCESS of Sustainable Development.
Communities have dealt with local problems for 200 years. Some use
zoning, some don’t. But locally elected town councils and commissioners
which meet and discuss problems with the citizens are how this nation
was built and prospered. Today, under Sustainable Development, NGOs
like ICLEI move in to establish non-elected boards, councils and
regional government bodies. They answer to no one and they are run by
zealots with their own political agenda imposing international laws and
regulations. Local homeowners have no say in the process and in most
cases are shut out. Sometimes they are literally thrown out of council
meetings because they want to discuss how a regulation is going to
affect their property or livelihood. Essentially, this process of a
series of non-elected councils and boards enforcing policy is the
perfect description of a soviet.
Today, those who are taking to the streets in TEA Party protests are
focusing on federal issues like taxes and health care. They must learn
that they can never restore the Republic if their local community is a
little soviet. This is the root of our fight against Sustainable