Listening to the local news on the radio recently, I heard a report about how newly elected Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz plans to save $8 million by, among other things, merging the “Office of Sustainability” with the Department of Environmental Protection and Resource Management.
Office of Sustainability? In the county?
According to the story, “The new agency will be renamed the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability….”
The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability
A county government has its own EPA? You must be kidding.
No, unfortunately not. We’re from the government and we’re here to help.
Baltimore County’s Office of Planning defines “sustainability” as “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of current and future generations to meet their own needs.” Doesn’t that sound nice!
I checked some of the other county websites. Carroll County’s Sustainability Plan defines sustainability as: “…meeting the requirements of social, environmental, and economic circumstances without compromising the ability for future generations to meet the same need.”
Montgomery County’s says: “To live sustainably, one strives to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (my emphasis). People living sustainably recognize the fundamental and inextricable interdependence between the economy, the environment, and social equity, and work to promote each to the benefit of all.”
Howard County’s Office of Environmental Sustainability has similar blather. I didn’t look further, but you get the idea.
A curious coincidence perhaps, but these humble county governments’ definitions of “sustainability” look amazingly similar to the UN definition:
Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Of course it is no coincidence.
This definition was first articulated in a 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment & Development titled “Our Common Future.” (See p. 24.)
This has come to be known as the Brundtland Commission. It was chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s socialist former prime minister, who also served as vice-chair of the Socialist International.
It is worth mentioning here that Carol Browner, President Obama’s Energy and Environment Czar, also served on the Socialist International’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society, although her name was stripped from the masthead the minute she got that appointment. Why?
The Brundtland Commission included Maurice Strong (Canada’s version of George Soros, an exceedingly corrupt oil billionaire who, like Soros, has called for the destruction of the West), William Ruckelshaus (first head of the EPA — the only American) and luminaries from such enlightened states as Zimbabwe, Communist China, the USSR, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Cote D’Ivoire. These are environmental paradises to emulate for sure, but somehow they left out the important states of Togo and Burkina Faso. How could they?
In any event, “Sustainable Development” is a distinctly and entirely socialist idea, and it varies from typical socialist rhetoric only in the metaphors used. It demands redistribution of land, resources and private property into government hands. One particularly odious quote:
- Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, 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 principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.
Emphases are mine. The last sentence makes clear that land must be controlled by government.