Henry Lamb
Sustainable development or sustainable freedom
By Henry Lamb
May 30, 2011

To listen click here

Sustainable development is based on a set of principles found in Our Common Future, the report of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development.

Sustainable freedom is based on a set of principles found in the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Continental Congress July 4, 1776.

Sustainable development is based on this belief:

    "From space, we see a small and fragile ball dominated not by human activity and edifice but by a pattern of clouds, oceans, greenery, and soils. Humanity's inability to fit its activities into that pattern is changing planetary systems, fundamentally. This new reality, from which there is no escape, must be recognized — and managed." (Chapter 4.1)

Sustainable freedom is based on this belief:

    "...all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...."

Sustainable development is achieved when the recommendations contained in Agenda 21i are fully implemented.

Sustainable freedom is achieved when the
U.S. Constitution is obeyed.

Sustainable development and sustainable freedom are mutually exclusive. Sustainable development produces a society managed by government to insure environmental protection, social equity, and equal economic opportunity. Sustainable freedom produces a government managed by society to protect individual freedom, private property, and the unalienable rights identified in the Declaration of Independence.

Sustainable development was endorsed by the United States in 1992, when President George H.W. Bush signed Agenda 21 at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. Sustainable Development came to the United States in 1993 when President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12852 which created the President's Council on Sustainable Development.

Throughout the Clinton years, the PCSD gave millions of dollars to non-profit organizations and to state and local governments to encourage the implementation of Agenda 21 at the state and local government levels. Nearly every community in the nation has now been the subject of a "visioning" process to create a "strategic plan" to achieve sustainable development.

With grants from the federal government (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the lead federal agency, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Economic and Community Development Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), the American Planning Association produced Growing Smart: Legislative Guidebook. This publication provided three model statutes and two model executive orders which states could adopt to convert the non-binding recommendations of Agenda 21 into state law.

Consequently, most states and local communities now have, or are in the process of creating, a county-wide plan to implement sustainable development. A common element in most of these communities is the complete ignorance of Agenda 21 and sustainable development among elected officials. In fact, when asked, elected officials frequently deny that their county's activities are related to Agenda 21 at all. This ignorance about Agenda 21 is deliberate. Gary Lawrence, former Director of the Center for Sustainable Communities at the University of Washington, and Chief Planner for the City of Seattle

told an audience in London that:

    " In the case of the U.S., our local authorities are engaged in planning processes consistent with LA21 [Local Agenda 21] but there is little interest in using the LA21 brand.... So, we call our processes something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth."

In the United States, sustainable development is delivered to local communities in the form of a comprehensive land use plan, with little or no mention of Agenda 21. Greenville County, SC recently updated their comprehensive land use plan under the banner: "Imagine Greenville County; Tomorrow's Vision Today." Several elected officials insisted that the exercise had nothing to do with Agenda 21. A rather casual analysis of the plan, however, provides direct documentation that both the process and the outcome prescribed by Agenda 21 were achieved in the plan.

Likewise, the officials in Bradley County, TN denied any relationship to Agenda 21 in the development of their "BCC-2035 Strategic Plan." A review of the plan in relation to Chapter 7 of Agenda 21, reveals that the plan is essentially an extension of Agenda 21, modified by local names and places.

There is no doubt that sustainable development in the United States is a concept that arose from the United Nations with the clear purpose of managing societies around the world to achieve environmental protection, equal economic opportunity, and social equity. The United States was founded on the principles of limited government, individual freedom, reward for individual achievement, and free markets that produce maximum prosperity. Government is imposing sustainable development and its inevitable government management. Only an informed, involved, and determined people can stop and reverse this erosion of freedom.

© Henry Lamb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)