Twenty years ago, the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro marked the arrival of environmentalism as a potent force in international affairs. That 1992 conference produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to set limits on global emissions of greenhouse gases, and the Convention on Biological Diversity, which promotes ecosystem conservation. At the time, Chris Flavin of the Worldwatch Institute crowed, “You cannot go to any corner of the globe and not find some degree of environmental awareness and some amount of environmental politics.” With socialism in disrepute, Flavin said, environmentalism had become the “most powerful political ideal today.”
Two decades later, that ideal is in disarray. A 20th anniversary conference in Brazil last June, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development—nicknamed Rio +20—was an undisguised flop. Greenpeace spokesperson Kumi Naidoo judged Rio +20 a “failure,” while Oxfam Chief Executive Barbara Stocking called it a “hoax.” More than 1,000 environmentalist and leftist groups signed a post-conference petition entitled “The Future We Don’t Want,” a play on The Future We Want, the platitudinous document that diplomats from 188 nations agreed on there. Naidoo lamely vowed that disappointed environmentalists would engage in acts of civil disobedience.
This isn’t to say we need to open the stopcocks on the chemical waste dumps or avoid cleaner ways of conducting business…its just that the Environmentalist movement has been flooded with political hacks and Luddite extremists. We were warned of toxic smog, acid rain, mass extinction, “Greenhouse Effect, come “Global Warming”, come “Global Climate Change”, among many others.
People want to keep the place clean, but they also want to live their lives, and spare expense at their business. There just aren’t enough true believers to keep the lies alive!
H/t Mrs. Weer’d