Capitalizing on Sustainable Development: Making Gold out of Green
By Joan Veon
for eco/logic Powerhouse
April 16, 2007
Maurice Strong, the secretary-general of the 1992 “Rio Earth Summit” remarked at the close of the meeting, “We have established a new global partnership. You must translate Agenda 21 and the decision that you have taken at the global level into your own national policy and practices. We should consider new taxes, user charges, emission permits, citizen funding - all based on the polluter-pays principle. The messages from the children, delivered as we opened this assembly this morning, gathered during the 15,000 mile journey of Gaia.”
While no reasonable person took seriously the idea of citizens paying for using or over-consuming the earth’s resources, sustainable development is all about capitalism, according to a meeting recently held at the Royal Institute for International Affairs(RIIA) in London. In order to determine what kind of capitalism, we must consider that the Programme of Action called Agenda 21 which supported the 1992 U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, was all about a total re-make and re-design of the world. It was all about who will control the Earth's resources. Pretty amazing that a global organization would lay stake to the waters, oceans, lakes, forests, birds, animals, Earth’s land surface, the air we breathe and the sky and space, as well as you and me!
Little by little, the world is being re-organized through Agenda 21 by using capitalism as the global engine to also change the structure of government, from government to public-private partnership which is a co-management of government by business. At the heart of this pagan philosophy called “Gaia” is the belief that the earth is a living organism, and it deserves to be given the dominion over you and me and the plants and animals. Gaia is the elimination of the authority and dominion not only of God, but what the Lord God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, set in place in Genesis 1 and 2.
In order to follow all the various components of a very complex agenda, let us consider capitalism; the United Nations; corporate and individual carbon taxes; transfer of wealth; going from green to gold; a balance sheet for the Earth; public-private partnership; and the purpose of the Royal Institute for International Affairs.
Capitalism is an “ism” like communism, socialism, fascism or Marxism. Capitalism is the ability to take a particular commodity and sell it at a profit. But what IF the commodity you are selling is literally “thin air”? The theory of climate change says the Earth is warming, and we have too much carbon being emitted from the use of oil. The polluter-pays- principle says that corporations should be taxed for consuming too much of the world’s natural oil resources. Who determines how much you should be using, and what you should pay? A group of chosen and corporately financed non-governmental organizations: World Wildlife Federation, Greenpeace, IUCN, Sierra Club, Conservation International, Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Earth, and The World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Fifteen years later, the message at the “Sense and Sustainability Conference,” is that “You can make a lot of money from the environment.” Posing as Gaia’s environmental guardians, these savvy opportunists have changed their mantra, and are now singing the praises of capitalism with a transfer of wealth melody.
Of course, they cover their objectives by using Al Gore horror flicks and a continual stream of the latest studies that say we must do something NOW. Behind their message of despair is one of a transfer of wealth and power to them. This tune began shortly after the United Nations was founded in 1945. Since then, nothing has been the same. The world appears to have more problems than before, and it is the United Nations that is touting the environmental agenda. Their solutions to the multitude of new problems that they have found is to push the envelope one step further, and to slowly grab more and more power, while transferring wealth at the same time. If they are not Fabian Socialists, they must be using Fabian Socialistic tactics.
Take for example, my interview with British MP Colin Challen who has suggested that perhaps each one of us needs a carbon allowance for the amount of energy we can consume. Then, when we use too much, we can pay an “allowance” back to the government. He apparently does not like the word “tax” because it is too negative ,while “allowance” appears to convey that you and I have been given an opportunity by government to emit a certain amount of carbon, and when it is used up, we then need some kind of correction. Of course, they say it is only to change behavior, but how many taxes do you know of that have gone away after we learned our lesson?
He explained that like corporations which use too much carbon, individuals should also have the same kind of allotment. When we use up our allotment of energy: gas in the car, oil, as result of too many airplane rides, etc., we won’t have any more left on our “card” and will have to buy more from someone who has not used all of their [government] allotment. Great scheme! How brilliantly demonic, considering the last time the world was taxed was when Rome ruled. To quote him:
"So if you were driving your big SUV and went on foreign holidays, you would need a lot more, and consequently you would have to go to the market, which would easily be accessible at Post Offices, or on the Internet or on your mobile phone. You would have to buy the extra credits to cover your emissions. If you didn’t buy the extra units, you would still have to pay for the extra carbon, because if you would run out and you went to the petrol station and you didn’t have a surplus in your account of carbon units, you would have to pay a bit more for your petrol, and likewise, your electricity and gas. Over that period of time you can adjust; you can change your vehicle to a hybrid, you can insulate your house, you can do a whole range of those sorts of technical fixes to reduce your dependency on carbon-intensive energy. You might have more renewables, you may have a mini wind turbine on the roof, and solar panels, and you could have a heat exchange pump. You may decide to use public transport more. Or have a smaller car, which is what I’ve done."
When I asked Challen if the Fabian Society helped him with this scheme, he thought for a moment and said, “Well they have their own inputs in the government. They didn’t have any involvement on this particular proposal.”
Another speaker, Professor Daniel Estees, Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, wrote a book that describes the new green opportunities, Green to Gold - How Smart Companies use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage.
Ford Motor, you had better read this book, or you will not survive Toyota’s rising market share!
When I asked Dr. Estees about his evolutionary thinking with regard to the environment, he told me:
"I think what we're seeing here is a real sea change in attitudes towards environmental protection, first, with regard to how society understands how progress gets made. We are moving away from a model that has really been dominant for 40 years, where the government not only sets the standards but is the primary actor in doing the work of figuring out how we're going to protect the environment, what technologies we need, and how to develop and then mandate very specifically to the industry world what they have to do in the way of technology for pollution control. We are shifting down to a model that is based more on economic incentives not command and control mandate. And then, this "new model" it will involve both taxes for harms or charges for emissions that are causing harm - as well as, perhaps, cap and trade pollution allowance systems. We are going to see the private sector taking a leading role in developing technologies."
When I asked him to explain the capitalistic evolution of the environment between 1992 and 2007, he said,
"I think we are in a sort of a slow roll revolution in terms of understanding about how best to pursue environmental protection. Agenda 21 is really a valuable compilation of the full spectrum of things that we need to think about in the realm of pollution control and natural resource management. But because it is so comprehensive,it's not really an action agenda, and frankly, it doesn't really serve the same purpose in a world where private markets are going to help drive us toward environmental solutions; so I think government setting standards on things like greenhouse emissions, making companies pay a price for the harms they cause, is a critical next step to getting us going on the path toward solving the climate change problems, getting innovation going, 'harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit' that exists in America and across the world."
In 1995, I asked Maurice Strong to define sustainable development for me at the Gorbachev State of the World Forum, and I specifically incorporated the aspect of reducing the population of the Earth, and the family dependency ratio. He told me:
"We want to put [sustainable development] in business terms. It’s running Earth, Inc. with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts so that we are not really living off of capital. If we continue to equate wealth creation with the liquidation of our natural capital, we will be headed for bankruptcy, and that is the direction we are going NOW. We need all the elements you mentioned, and more, to bring the ecological systems and behavior towards them in line with our economic and social aspirations."
Interestingly, I remember interviewing Dr. Paul Jeffers from The Royal Society for the Protection of the Bird at the 2002 Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg. He told me that he and his colleagues have put a value on all of nature, worldwide, and it totals between $20T to $38T, while others say that it might be as high as $51T. So what is really happening here?
In the old days, when the explorers discovered various parts of the New World, they planted their flag and said it belonged to the king or queen of their respective country. Do you think it is possible that the United Nations, and a small group of very, very powerful insiders have just planted their Agenda 21 flag, and now they are looking for ways to control their booty? Is this possible? Have we become nothing but turnips (since man no longer is sovereign) and now they can tax us for every breath of air, every shower, every hot cup of tea, every yard we drive in our car, every hour that we have a lightbulb on, and every carrot we plant and water?
Secondly, let us consider for a moment the change in government. Public-private partnerships-PPP were alluded to in Agenda 21, and they were spelled out in Habitat II, a global meeting that took place four years later. In an interview I did at the 5 year follow-up to Rio in 1997, in Rio de Janeiro, with Dr. Wally N’Dow, former UNEP Director-General, he said with regard to this concept of combining government and business:
"In 1976, there were subjects that were taboo. One could not discuss subjects such as the role of the private sector because we were still in the grips of the Cold War, with ideologies contending over what was capitalist, socialist, what was acceptable in the U.N. forum, and what could not be discussed — the private sector, and land — and who owns it, how it is managed — these things could not be discussed."
Basically, when you merge government and business together you get fascism, and that is what public-private partnership is all about: a total re-ordering of government because government at every level is broke, and it appears that business has the money and the power. It also appears that business, especially eco-friendly businesses, who are going to make their next trillion dollars on the new green products they have invented, are the real saviors of the world. Talk about re-tooling!
Over 23 states here in the United States have incorporated public-private partnerships into their modus operandi. They include: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. What does it mean? It means that government no longer governs, as in the old days. The new and powerful player is business. Every time a public-private partnership is set up — every time a toll road, utility, or public asset is sold, representative government diminishes, because the purpose of business is profit - not service. Who will government leaders listen to more? Business with millions and billions of dollars, or you and me? We can see the rise in position of big business, which now holds their global meetings at every U.N. meeting. They also now have legal input into the global agenda, be it the United Nations General Assembly, the Group of Eight, the World Trade Organization, or the World Bank. Bottom line: the world is involved in global corporate fascism: capitalism, government and business.
Related to this is the fact that at every turn there is a transfer of wealth taking place. As a result of U.S. government policy, the U.S. taxpayer is financing environmental projects around the world — nothing in our Constitution provides for this kind of expense; funding all of the incentives for big business and their new eco-green schemes, which we will be forced to buy to be in compliance; and paying for our participation in huge international public-private partnerships with one, two, or ten other countries, NGOs, and corporations. Furthermore, there are various calls by the U.N,, the Group of Eight, and others, for the American taxpayer to increase foreign assistance to poor countries. Lastly, the United Nations supports Jacque Chirac’s call for a tax on airlines tickets to eliminate global poverty. This is just one of many other tax schemes planned in the future.
Green is now king. If a corporation does not incorporate green into its company, it will not make it. Speaker after speaker talked of the power of green stakeholders: corporate shareholders, investors, consumers, and activists. Some department stores are now introducing “energy product labels” for their products. Consumers are beginning to ask about the “carbon footprint” a company has, that they are interested in investing in or purchasing from. And many major corporations now have a Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) Department. CSR is now the new mantra and right for business to be involved in policy-making.
Stock exchanges are now setting up green indexes, with lists of corporations that are eco-friendly. The Dow Jones has one, and the Sao Paolo Stock Exchange has their new Corporate Sustainability Index. In other words, if your corporation is not upholding sustainable development, investors will not want to invest in your company and you will be blackballed. The London FTSE has adopted a definition of responsible investment: which is the “incorporation into the investment management process (analysis and research) and the on-going asset stewardship of social, environmental, and corporate governance related to matters.” In the U.K., the Pension Act of 2000 includes social environment and ethics into its assets, while the United Nations has created the U.N. Principles for Responsible Investment which is a set of principles agreed to by a group of the largest institutional investors.
Lastly, there are very sophisticated investment firms that are developing and trading in voluntary carbon trading units with the goal of driving a new market and creating liquidity in carbon trading. This must be the new income fund of the 3^rd millennium.
With regard to Agenda 21, why has the entire agenda been so secretive? Why didn’t the United Nations just “come clean” and tell us of these problems? What were they hiding? With regard to reading any of their programs of action, only an insider could interpret them, because the words they use have a different meaning than the normally accepted use of a word. Why so radical? Why take God’s place, and degrade the position God gave human beings as being dominant over the earth? Only an agenda that would seize control of the world’s assets and gather them for a greater human power would do the things that have been done over the last 15 years. This, then, leads us to the last aspect to consider.
British aristocrat Cecil Rhodes had a dream of making the world British because in his opinion, “they are the finest race in the world.” According to Georgetown professor, Dr. Carroll Quigley, who wrote The Anglo-American Establishment, “Rhodes, in five previous wills, left his fortune to form a secret society, which was to devote itself to the preservation and expansion of the British Empire. This society has been known at various times as Milner’s Kindergarten, as the Round Table Group, as the Rhodes crowd, as The Times Crowd, as the All Souls Group, and as the Cliveden set.” He explains that while Rhodes was alive, he was the leader, with William T. Stead, Reginald Baliol Brett, or Lord Esher (friend and confident of Queen Victoria, and the most influential adviser of King Edward VII and King George V), and Alfred Milner. He then describes some of their achievements:
"It plotted the Jameson Raid of 1895; it caused the Boer War of 1899-1902; it set up and controls the Rhodes Trust; it created the Union of South Africa in 1906-1910; it has been the most powerful single influence in All Souls, Balliol, and New Colleges at Oxford, for more than a generation; it has controlled The Times for more than 50 years, with the exception of 1919-1922; it publicized the idea of and the name ‘British Commonwealth of Nations’; it was the chief influence in Lloyd George’s war administration in 1917-1919; it had a great deal to do with the formation and management of the League of Nations [now United Nations] and of the system of mandates; it founded the Royal Institute of International Affairs in 1919 and still controls it; it controlled and still controls, to a very considerable extent, the sources and the writing of the history of British Imperial and foreign policy since the Boer War" (page 5).
What I am pointing out is - the Royal Institute of International Affairs was organized by Lord Robert Cecil, known as Viscount Cecil of Chelwood, along with Lionel Curtis, and others. Of those who started the RIIA, Lord Robert Cecil and Lionel Curtis were key insiders with Cecil Rhodes. When you consider the fact that the whole purpose of RIIA is to bring the world under British control, and that the League of Nations, now the United Nations, is part of their planning, it causes you to wonder about just who Agenda 21 is for.
My research shows that at the global level, the British Commonwealth, with its 53 members, has the potential to outvote the single vote of the United States throughout the whole global infrastructure. Furthermore, many of the early environmental organizations were started primarily in Britain: The Nature Conservancy was one of the four official research bodies under the British Privy Council, Prince Philip of Britain and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands founded the radical World Wildlife Federation, and later on in 1982, the World Resources Institute was founded by grants from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Prince Charles, who is known as the “eco-prince” worked behind the scenes to get Agenda 21 to “go down” at the Rio Earth Summit, and he started a major group of corporations which have been setting up public-private partnerships all over the world. Maurice Strong told me he was in England in 1991 attending a meeting at the World Wildlife Federation with Prince Philip when Prince Charles called him and asked him to jet with him to the secret meeting he was holding in Rio de Janeiro with various country leaders to strategize how to get Agenda 21 to go down.
Bottom line, it appears that all of the assets, including you and me, are going back to the Crown and we are nothing but serfs, paying an allowance back to the government for the right to use any of their resources! Capitalizing on sustainable development does not even come close to the truth. Call it green, call it gold, call it climate warming, the real description of Agenda 21’s capitalistic global corporate fascism is feudalism.
Joan Veon is Executive Director of The Women's International Media Group, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) educational non-profit organization and writes a bi-monthly newsletter documenting key global activities called UN Watch!