Sustainability C2: the Roots of Controversy (Ideologies & Values in…
Sustainability C2: the Roots of Controversy
United Nations & Agenda 21
Agenda 21 (1992): voluntary non-binding statement describing how countries can work toward implementing various aspects of sustainable development. Designed to provide a wide array of guidance to countries wishing to pursue sustainability.
Those who distrust the UN see A21 as an instruments for reducing the influence for the US in world affairs & for imposing a radical socialist agenda on US domestic politics & policy.
"If the UN advocates sustainability, it must be bad for US." Advocated point at scandanavian countries even though they are not the most sus. countries. Since dem.socialist countries can & the us can't, sus. presents an anathema to free enterprise capitalism.
The UN, Climate Chage Science & Climate Science Skepticism
1988 the United Nations Environmental Program created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Purpose: to bring together scientists working on research related to climate change in order to scientifically understand whether & to what extent climate change was occurring.
IPCC's main findings: global temperatures have been rising & that much of the increase is attributable to human activities.
Climate Skeptics/Deniers: skeptical of findings, feel scientific evidence is inadequate or insufficient to allow those conclusions to be drawn. rooted in understanding of the implications for policies and behavior of individuals.( implications to the American way of life). Also the proportion of scientists that believe that climate change is either caused/effected by human activity. (very few!)
Ideologies & Values in Opposition to Sustainability
: perception that in order to protect the biophysical environment some personal freedoms must be curtailed.
believe in the primacy of ind'l freedoms even if environmental consequences. Sustainability & environmental protections acceptable only if they are the an exercise of individual freedoms w/o government intervention/coercion.
Efficacy of free markets: exercise freedoms in pursuit of profit through interacting in competitive markets. Free markets are the only way to maximize social welfare & well-being. Regualtions cause markets to be restricted/restrained, seen as working again free-markets.
Subordinating/Sacrificing nat'l sovereignty to Int'l governance, distrust of UN. Seen as org commited to undermining US. :
Distrust of Gov'ts & policies: gov'ts get in the way of personal freedoms, impede rather than protect the operation of free and competitive markets (through restrictions on idv. behaviors/taxation).
Manifestations of Political Oppression in the US
State level efforts to make sustainability illegal: Legislative resolutions (KS, MO, NH, ME, AZ) & laws (AL, OK) designed to prohibit use of public funds for purposes related to to policies & programs on sustainability. The RNC passed Resolution exposing UN A21
Alabama 1st state to enact into law a ban on the pursuit of sustainability (2012): prohibits the state and all political subdivisions from adopting or implementing sustainable development policies or programs.
The organized Opposition: The Tea Party & related Groups
Tea Party Movement: nationwide effort providing mechanisms for like minded people to express views on p.p.: Americans for prosperity (David Koch), Freedom Works, American Policy Center, 9/12 groups (glen beck)
A21 represents a serious threat the the "american" way of life, restricting freedoms & property rights.
City based Opposition to Sustainability
: Tea Party groups: do they have a discernible effect on the ability of cities to pursue sus policies & programs? NO EVIDENCE. Their focus, however: local planning & commissions & policy reversals (OK & CA drop membership to ICLEI
tech assistance for climate protection programs org.