A Letter to the CATO Institute

Posted on Freedom Advocates on March 27th 2003

By [post_author] –

SUMMARY: Excerpts from a letter to Cato Institute Director of Natural Resource Studies Jerry Taylor, from Michael Shaw regarding “Sustainable Development: A Dubious Solution in Search of a Problem.” “Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 is the ultimate collectivist design, and is therefore, more than dangerous. Fortunately, its underlying precepts are simple to understand and condemn. The challenge is in the exposure.”

Dear Jerry Taylor, (Cato Director of Natural Resource Studies):

I want to thank you for excellent analysis that demonstrates that, at its root, Sustainable Development is anti-human.

Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 is the ultimate collectivist design, and is therefore, more than dangerous. Fortunately, its underlying precepts are simple to understand and condemn. The challenge is in the exposure. My hope is that Cato’s work proceeds to expose the organized reality of the political philosophy that underlies Sustainable Development. This political globalism, or New World Order, is being arranged through the United Nations. The American government at federal, state and local levels is knowingly administering this program. This movement is being facilitated through the establishment of an American soviet – a system of councils that report to an Apex designed to implement a foreign idea -the elimination of private property, via so-called Sustainable Development.

Unfortunately, citizens have been losing the struggle to retain any management control of the natural resources here in the West. Such a loss would complete the decimation of laissez faire. Public/Private partnerships are paving the way for tyranny.

The depth of understanding, o­n the ground and in the trenches, of Sustainable Development is rapidly emerging amongst a growing and coalescing group of local and national researchers, journalists, citizen investigators, property rights activists, family advocates, resource industry leaders, libertarians, Christians, Objectivists and constitutionalists.

People with organizations that have a history of research in this area include: Henry Lamb, Tom DeWeese, Michael Coffman, the researchers at Freedom 21 Santa Cruz and others. Communities around the country are waking up to the Sustainable Development cookie-cutter invasion of a land use regime coupled with the Agenda 21 government school indoctrination program. If implementation succeeds, the American experiment of self-government will end.

This collectivist road map was released to the public at the Rio conference in 1992. Bush Sr. committed the U.S., with his signature, to administratively implement Agenda 21/Sustainable Development. Clinton then set up the President’s council for Sustainable Development. The U.N.-accredited NGO, ICLEI (The International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, o­ntario Canada) advises and monitors U.S. community compliance with the Agenda. I think time is short, and that o­nly the light of day has any prospect for reversing the trend. That is why Cato’s continuing work in this area is critical.

I sat in o­n the United Nations Santa Cruz Local Agenda 21 councils for Sustainable Development in the mid-nineties. Along with others, I can now see and understand the framework of the implementation process. The objective is clear – the elimination of private property. This is intended to be achieved by creating a “Wildlands” (Rural Cleansing) to cover 50% of the American landscape that is to become devoid of human presence and by implementing “Smart Growth” (Urban Containment) – high-density human settlements o­n public transportation lines, subject to increasing controls o­n where and how we live, with increasing restrictions o­n our mobility.

An absurd, yet illustrative example: Locals are getting ready to observe the “Tree Celebration Ordinance” where anyone can designate someone else’s tree a “heritage tree”. o­nce so designated an environmental review and city approval will be required to remove, prune or plant under the tree. A fine of $15,000 will be assessed for each violation. Oh, so Sustainable! And so Smart!

What is happening in Santa Cruz (and everywhere else, for that matter) is the creation of a hierarchy of “Councils” that report to an apex and which implement a predetermined outcome. The outcome is the promotion of Sustainable Development – meaning the creation of shortages. “Useful idiots” and other opportunists receive “poison candy” rewards/subsidies as they work to reinvent government o­n a basis that is inconsistent with the principles of Individual Liberty. This reinvention includes the creation and overlay of watershed boundaries in substitution of discrete political boundaries and jurisdictions, thus undermining separation of powers, checks and balances and representative democracy.

The subject of Sustainable Development’s current “Action” focus is the war for control of America’s rural land and natural resources. Achievement of this goal, coupled with other already completed Constitutional erosions is all that may be needed to destroy the American ideal of Individual Liberty for a very long time. Locally, the committed collectivist insiders, hiding behind various partisan facades, are viciously attacking private property and can already be observed licking their chops claiming that the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence ought to be dismissed as “anachronisms”! Local Congressman Sam Farr writes, “The local Agenda 21 Action plan will have regional and national impacts.”

When exposed to the facts, people are rising to meet the challenge. Coordinating the realities and insights known by those in the trenches with scholarly exposure may be necessary to avoid Rand’s warning about a return to the primitive. Reisman warns of a new Dark Age. The manipulative parallels to earlier times are ominous. The societal evasion and sanctioning by Americans, the ultimate victims of this charade, must end.

Thank you again for your excellent scholarship, demonstrating the folly of Susustainable Development. It is a great pleasure to circulate it. Again, I hope this marks just the beginning of Cato’s exposure of America and posterity’s greatest threat ever.


Michael Shaw

P.S. …While much exists o­n the site at present, more is in process including:

  • The demonstration of emerging local water policy intended to create shortage,
  • An analysis of Santa Cruz County Habitat Conservation Plan, couched in a “Fire Safe Council” comprised with “stakeholders” including: Dept of Interior, California Department of Forestry and Fire, County Planning Department, Fire Chiefs, NGOs; the Sierra Club and Native Plant Society, and Congressman Sam Farr’s office. Following citizen objections, the Council Chairman, and supporter of the program, described the plan as o­ne that would, in some cases, prevent citizens from walking o­n their own land!
  • The creation and operation of an American “Soviet”, a system of councils to implement Sustainable Development. (A matter that I am having discussions o­n with Ed Hudgins), Regionalism as a tool of Sustainable Development: the undermining of the separation of powers, checks and balances, and representative democracy.
  • Using Sustainable Development to promote collectivism in government schools (using local Aptos High as the prototype),
  • The “contractual” relationships and executive orders that connect the actions of: *U.N. agencies, *Non Governmental Organizations accredited by the U.N. for purposes of implementing Sustainable Development within The United States (e.g. Sierra Club, Audubon Society, and the Nature Conservancy), and
  • Federal government agencies.

We agree about the idea that laissez faire creates abundance. My little illustration of abundance ecology is described in the cover article of the June 2002 edition of Ecological Restoration (U. of Wisconsin). …[The] editor was courageous enough to allow presentation of our prototype land management success that argues for the wholesale elimination of the ESA.

“The fatal flaw of Sustainable Development is that it abandons the principles of freedom.” – Henry Lamb http://www.Freedom.org

Michael Shaw is an abundance ecologist who is a founding participant of Freedom Advocates [formerly Freedom 21 Santa Cruz].


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