A Frightful Vision Of Sustainable Prosperity

A Frightful Vision Of Sustainable Prosperity

"Time Running Out To Ensure Sustainable Prosperity For All.” That was the headline of a recent press release issued by the Worldwatch Institute. (You can read it here.) [3]. It provides some eye-opening insight into what anti-capitalist, anti-modern technology, and environmental alarmists are thinking.

For instance, Worldwatch points to the amount of resource consumption by the world’s middle and upper classes, and laments the increase in people expected to join those consumer classes in the future. According to the release, “The planet can’t maintain such increases in resource demand without serious consequences for both people and ecosystems. We must act quickly to redefine our understanding of the ‘good life’ and redouble our efforts to make that life sustainable.”

The following statement describes these people’s thought process and vision – "The Industrial Revolution gave birth to an economic growth model rooted in structures, behaviors and activities that are patently unsustainable," says Michael Renner, Worldwatch senior researcher. “Mounting ecosystem stress and resource pressures are accompanied by increased economic volatility, growing inequality, and social vulnerability. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the economy no longer works for either people or the planet."

I’ve been chastised in the past for mentioning that such groups want to remake our society, but their own words bear this out: “Instead, we need to reprioritize basic needs and pursue true sustainable prosperity: development that allows all human beings to live with their fundamental needs met, with their dignity acknowledged, and with abundant opportunity to pursue lives of satisfaction and happiness, all without risk of denying others in the present and the future the ability to do the same. This, in turn, means not just preventing further degradation of Earth's systems, but actively restoring them to full health.”

The release points to the upcoming United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development [4], which is taking place in Rio de Janeiro in June, as a means to move the global economy in their direction. There’s a lot of talk about green economies, sustainable development, and poverty eradication leading up to this conference. If you’re not familiar with the underlying meanings, it translates into decreased lifestyles and consumptive patterns for the developed world; a rejection of capitalism; income redistribution; and a framework that punishes developed modern economies in an effort to bring them in line with the developing countries of the world.

These groups continue to use the fear tactics of the environmental movement, which call the very existence of humanity into question. But, increasingly, the focus is on changing our consumer culture, our priorities, and even our definition of what is sustainable.

What’s sobering is that these folks clearly believe they must not only change our lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs, but fundamentally recreate our political and economic systems to enforce their vision of sustainability. It’s sobering to read their broader goals, which go beyond creating a “green” economy. They openly talk about “degrowth” (reducing the standard of living) in developed countries, and “demarketizing” (government seizing control) of certain sectors of the economy, including food production.

Meanwhile, “sustainable transportation” equates to moving people to the cities and eliminating automobiles in favor of mass transport, or better yet walking. They call for the reinventing of the corporation, which includes “shifts in their purpose, ownership, capital investment and governance.” Basically, it means socialism [5].

They call for more power, more money and more control; currently, they’re striving to increase the power of the UN Environment Program [6] (UNEP). And they advocate strict policies for eliminating population growth. They’re also looking to punish consumerism through taxation, and encourage industries and products they consider green and sustainable. They openly seek more government oversight of the economy, and call for food security and equity, which translates to an elimination of industrial meat production.

In fact, the president of Worldwatch makes it clear, “We know enough right now about the state of the world to see clearly that we have to change the way we live and the way we do business."

At times, those of us in production agriculture are so focused on feeding the world, providing a safe and abundant food supply, and contributing to a higher standard of living that gives all people an opportunity to succeed and better their lives and the lives of the next generation, that we forget there are those who actively seek to redefine not only our economy and culture, but our very values. If we are to prosper and be sustainable, we must actively fight these attempts.

Right now, they may represent a minority view, but they’re doing everything possible to wrap their anti-capitalist, anti-meat, anti-modern agriculture views around the protective cloak of environmentalism. In doing so, they openly aim at taking control of the levers of power and force their vision upon the world.