Sustainable Development or the Constitution — Which do you Choose?

By Michael Shaw
April 20, 2004

Achieving Abundance Ecology requires a direct relationship between man and the land, Abundance Ecologist Michael Shaw said in a presentation to the Trans-Heritage Association annual meeting and conference in Alpine Texas in May 2003. Shaw speaks from experience, having received acclaim for creating an ecological oasis from a weedy 75-acre parcel on the central coast of California — what he calls “Liberty Garden.” “To release the potential productivity and diversity of a landscape, an owner must be free to engage in rigorous disturbance, and free to pursue a reasoned and creative process of trial and error. This process would be suited to the choice of each individual and the uniqueness of each property,” Shaw said. Read some key excerpts from Shaw’s presentation to the Trans-Texas Heritage Association.

Land Use

Abundance Ecology
Achieving Abundance Ecology requires a direct relationship between man and the land, Abundance Ecologist Michael Shaw said in a presentation to the Trans-Heritage Association annual meeting and conference in Alpine Texas in May 2003. Shaw speaks from experience. Shaw has received acclaim for creating an ecological oasis from a blighted 75-acre parcel on the central coast of California — what he calls “Liberty Garden.”

“To release the potential productivity and diversity of a landscape, an owner must be free to engage in rigorous disturbance, and free to pursue a reasoned and creative process of trial and error. This process would be suited to the choice of each individual and the uniqueness of each property,” Shaw said. The attached article includes key excerpts from Shaw’s presentation to the Trans-Texas Heritage Association.

Shortage Ecology
“Sustainable Development” is the current buzz term that represents the effort to collectivize property in America by controlling and limiting human action. Sustainable Development is a synonym for “shortage ecology” and is embodied in the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which is the foundation of the land use element of Sustainable Development. ESA is predicated on international treaties and is rooted in the Precautionary Principle, which abandons the legal standard that presumes innocence. Since ESA puts the government in control of plants, the ideals of private property are destroyed, natural resource shortages arise, and natural calamities — such as devastating forest fires — increase.

Political Theory

George Washington was right when he said: “Private property and freedom are inseparable.”

Private property, after all, begins with our physical person, extends to our thoughts, proceeds as our expression, becomes our action, and results in something we create or obtain. If an agent of force denies an individual the use of possessions, including land, that individual is contemporaneously denied the liberty necessary to advance his or her own life. When the use of one’s property and one’s liberty have been squelched by big government, the dignity of human life itself has been trampled.

Political theory probes the question, “Who decides…?” To answer this question, it is helpful to examine the philosophy underlying the treatment of property. Immediately, a contrast is seen between the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States of America and the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration of Human Rights.

Unalienable Rights
Under the American Constitutional system, individuals decide and direct the terms of their lives. The application of political theory that respects the dignity of each individual is premised on the idea that man’s rights are unalienable, and that justice must be dispensed equally. The political theory of Liberty presupposes that an individual’s rights are inherent to, our imbued within, the individual’s nature; from this, it follows that the individual has a natural right to his or her life, liberty, and property.

Granted Rights
The political theory behind contemporary political globalism answers the question quite differently. Under the Declaration of Human Rights, the permission to have and use property is obtained by way of government grant. This is because people grant “human rights” and, as such, people can take them away.

This idea can be illustrated using the so-called Fishnet 4C ordinance that has been adopted by central California coastal counties. Under this ordinance, much of the coastal mountain ranges are dedicated as “fish land.” This land, by decree of ecology planners, is to be set aside to meet the interests of fish. It extends the “fish land” zone from the streamline halfway to the ridge-top. The ordinance states “Inappropriate development [within the zone] shall be decommissioned.”The U.N. Declaration of Human Rights states: “Property shall not be arbitrarily taken.” However, since a central authority has already decided that human relocation is not “arbitrary” under this set of circumstances, then no violation of the Declaration can be claimed. By contrast, the standards of the American Constitution strictly limit government taking of property, requiring both a public use and just compensation.

Social Justice
A system of human rights operates in concert with the pursuit of “social justice,” which might be defined as a law formulated to obtain government’s social objectives at the expense of individual liberty. The California Fishnet 4C ordinance exemplifies the application of social justice.

The Nature of Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development has three components: global land use, global education, and global population control. The international focus for Sustainable Development’s implementation is the United States. This is because America is the only country in the world where the ideal of Private Property is constitutionally recognized. Private Property, as codified by the USA, is incompatible with the collectivist premise of Sustainable Development.

U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda 21
The U.N. website verifies that the United Nations Agenda 21 action plan is Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development works to eliminate private property by manufacturing natural resource shortages to facilitate control of resources to government. Government-corporate partnerships (also called Public-Private Partnerships) are the major tool used to accomplish this objective.

What makes the United States of America unique is that we are the only country in the history of the world where management of the natural resources is under citizen control. Everything that city residents obtain comes from rural lands and natural resources. If Government-corporate partnerships complete their assumption of control over natural resources, urban citizens are doomed.

Canadian oil billionaire Maurice Strong, Secretary General at the Rio de Janeiro United Nations 1992 Conference on Environment and Development, expressed the goal of Sustainable Development by declaring a partial list of what is not sustainable:

“…current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middleclass [i.e. Americans] — involving high meat intake [i.e. cattle production], use of fossil fuels [i.e. air and auto travel, industrial and consumer products], appliances [i.e. refrigeration] home and work air-conditioning and suburban housing are not sustainable.”

Sustainable Development is Non-Partisan
The implementation of Sustainable Development is not a dynamic of Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative, or left vs. right. Rather, it is completely nonpartisan. The looming battle of ideas should be recognized as the classic — and perhaps ultimate — battle between Liberty and Tyranny.

President George H.W. Bush was the signatory for the United States when Agenda 21 was unveiled in 1992 during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and more than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21, pledging to evaluate progress made in implementing the plan every five years thereafter. When Bill Clinton created the President’s Council for Sustainable Development by Executive Order in 1993, he laid the foundation for a proliferation of intermediate and local councils that would set out to radically alter the structure of United States’ government.

Funding Agenda 21
The list of money sources paying for the implementation of U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 is impressive. American taxes fund the federal agencies’ present focus: implementing Sustainable Development. Over two thousand Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are accredited by the United Nations for the purpose of implementing Sustainable Development in America and are given massive tax advantages by the IRS code. Some of these NGOs are the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the American Planning Association, and the National Teachers Association. The third leg of the Sustainable Development money power elite are certain aristocratic tax-advantaged foundations. These include the Rockefeller Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Turner Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, the McArthur Foundation, and numerous local community foundations.

The Wildlands Project
Sustainable Development addresses land use through two action plans. The first is the Wildlands Project. The Wildlands Project is the plan to eliminate human presence on over 50 percent of the American landscape and to heavily control human activity on most of the rest of American land. Examples of the piece-by-piece implementation of the Wildlands Project include road closings, the dam-busting policies of the Clinton administration, and the adoption of United Nations World Heritage Sites — which are systematically being closed to recreational use. The most significant tools of the Wildlands Project are the rapidly expanding impositions of habitat “protection” provisions in the Endangered Species Act, various “conservation easements,” and direct land acquisitions from battered “willing sellers.”

Smart Growth
The second action plan is called Smart Growth. Smart Growth will increasingly herd Americans into regimented and dense urban communities. Smart Growth is Sustainable Development’s ultimate solution, as it will create dense human settlements subject to increasing controls on how residents live and increased restriction on mobility. In the words of one smart growth activist: “It will be the humans in cages with the animals looking in.”

Stakeholder Consensus Councils
Agenda 21 is being implemented through the use of facilitated stakeholder consensus councils, not by vote. These councils fit almost perfectly the definition of a Soviet: a system of councils that report to an apex council and that implement a predetermined outcome. Members of a Soviet council are chosen by virtue of their willingness to comply with that outcome and their one-mindedness with the group. Soviets are the operating mechanism of a government-controlled economy, whether it be socialism or government-corporate partnerships.

The Three E’s of Tyranny

The symbol of Sustainable Development most frequently found in the literature of its proponents is a diagram of three connecting circles, representing three E’s. The three E’s are: “equity,” “economy” (through global and local government-corporate partnerships) and “environment” (nature before man).

Sustainable Development seeks the restructure of human nature. Like communism, it relies on a system of social justice that requires force to suppress individual freedoms and private property, all in order to pursue a common good.

Like Italian fascism, it relies on businesses that want the protection afforded by government’s legalized force and governments that want the power of business (government-corporate partnerships), effecting the international redistribution of financial resources.

Sustainable Development is not about saving nature. It is about a revolutionary coup in America. It is about establishing a global democratic collective. It is concerned with destroying its antithetical ideal — individual liberty, equal justice, and limited government.

Link by link, Sustainable Development seeks to complete the destruction of the governing authority of the United States Constitution and to turn our sovereign nation — indeed, any sovereign nation — into a globally governed “homeland” where human beings are treated as biological resources subject to temporal “human rights.”

Conditions for Collectivism
A 21st century global collective requires the satisfaction of four conditions, as follows:

  • A global collective requires an imperialistic military power capable of squashing all others. If America abandons its commitment to an individual’s unalienable right to life, liberty, and property, collective governance will assume control of America’s might and global governance will be in the waiting.
  • Government must control the monetary system. This was achieved in America in 1913 when the Federal Reserve was established. The Federal Reserve is the granddaddy of Public-Private Partnerships.
  • Government control of the educational system is necessary. If understanding the attack on private property makes you ill, wait until you hear how the federal government is partnering with states to indoctrinate our children with global-collectivist values, attitudes and beliefs. Facts and knowledge are no longer the basis for education.
  • A collective must have control of rural lands and natural resources. This is why the ranchers in Alpine Texas and the farmers in the Pajaro Valley on the central coast of California are so important to the preservation of freedom in America.


The Foundation Principles of the United States of America are facing a great threat. Posterity will long live with the consequences of the battle over Sustainable Development and the anti-human ideas it represents.Sustainable Development activists and supporters are often — but not always — unaware that tyranny is the natural consequence of their environmental, social equity, and “third way” economic movement. Yet, these dire circumstances also propel the greatest opportunity in history to advance individual liberty, human happiness and genuine peace.

As the Sustainable Development initiative gains approval, it is wise to recall what George Washington said: “Private property and freedom are inseparable.” Freedom and a healthy planet are also inseparable.

If Americans come to a timely understanding of the threat and face the challenge squarely, the deceptive fraud of Sustainable Development will quickly come to light. America will rise to restore Liberty through an orderly transformation directed by reason and respect for the dignity of individual determination.

We are charged with protecting the ideals of Liberty and Private Property. As the implications of Sustainable Development become clear, America’s parents and grandparents will increasingly come to understand the consequences of eliminating private property. The circle sounding Paul Revere’s warning is growing. Join in now, because the green coats are a-comin’! Protect your property, your children, and the American experiment.

Draw upon the American heritage of industriousness, the hope that springs from western civilization’s culture and the human spirit to expose Sustainable Development and Advance Freedom in the twenty-first century.

Action Steps for Advancing Freedom in the 21st Century

Each of us must choose between two paths. The road to liberty requires a conscious decision to defend our neighbor’s rights if we are to be secure in having a life of our own. The road to a collective tyranny is traveled on the back of apathy. What can you do to protect and advance individual liberty and equal justice? How can individuals defend against the march of a global tyranny cloaked in the warm and fuzzy term Sustainable Development? How can we advance the cause of freedom in the 21st century?

Here is a place to start:

  • Know the Constitution. Become reacquainted with the principles of our democratic republic. Commit to securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
  • Respect the dignity of human life by respecting the rights of others to the use and enjoyment of their property – even if such activity does not advance your personal interests.
  • Understand and work to eliminate harmful indoctrination programs in the current government education system. Understand your educational alternatives.
  • Advance freedom locally:
    • Hold elected representatives directly accountable to the American Constitutional system of government that is currently being undermined by a consensus process with predetermined outcomes.
    • Participate by investigating, researching, writing, and speaking out.
    • Support freedom advocacy groups and spread the spirit of liberty.
  • Support the repeal of the Endangered Species Act. (The present ESA is the primary tool used to eliminate citizen ownership and management of America’s rural lands and natural resources.)
  • Stop contributing to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are working to undermine the Constitution or who are promoting a global political agenda that is contrary to the principles of liberty.
  • Spread the word to your friends, family and associates about the existence and nature of Sustainable Development policies and programs that threaten private property and individual freedom.
  • Stay informed. Become an advocate.

When we prevail, America and the rest of the world will begin to achieve the potential that lies within each human being. Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of liberty.

Long live freedom!

“Sustainable Development or the Constitution — Which do you Choose?” by Michael Shaw

Michael Shaw is President of

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