June 23, 2012

Sustainable Development: The latest UN scare

Paul Driessen

The UN's Rio+20 Conference on "Sustainable Development” was intended to dictate US and world energy, environmental and economic policies for decades to come. However, many of the policies advocated in Rio were not just misguided. They would have wreaked extensive harm on developed country economies and living standards – while perpetuating poverty, misery, disease and premature death in the poorest nations on earth … and severely damaging the very environmental values that eco-activists claim they want to protect.

David Rothbard and Craig Rucker’s article exposes the UN's ploy to advance its Green agenda through "sustainable development” as a substitute for the rejected notion of "imminent manmade climate change cataclysm.” It is a timely warning for free people everywhere to block the anti-development Green agenda.



David Rothbard and Craig Rucker

The UN's Rio+20 agenda would harm health, welfare and nature – and make poverty permanent.


Twenty years ago, the Rio de Janeiro "Earth Summit” proclaimed that fossil fuel-induced climate change had brought our planet to a tipping point, human civilization to the brink of collapse, and numerous species to the edge of extinction. To prevent these looming disasters, politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists produced a Declaration on Environment and Development, a biodiversity treaty, Agenda 21 and a framework for the Kyoto climate change treaty.

In developed nations, government responses to the purported crises sent prices soaring for energy, increasing the cost of everything we make, ship, eat and do – and crippling economic growth, killing jobs and sending families into fuel poverty. In developing countries, governments restricted access to electricity generation and other technologies – forcing the world’s poorest families to continue trying to eke out a living the old-fashioned way: turning forest habitats into firewood, cooking over wood and dung fires, and living with rampant poverty and disease.

This year, recognizing that people are no longer swayed by claims of climate cataclysms, Rio+20 organizers repackaged their little-changed agenda to emphasize "sustainable development” and the need to preserve "biodiversity.” To garner support, they professed a commitment to poverty reduction, "social justice” and the right of all people to "fulfill their aspirations for a better life.”

However, mostly far-fetched or exaggerated environmental concerns remained their focal point, and (as always) they have been willing to address today’s pressing needs only to the extent that doing so will not "compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

Of course, no one can foresee what technologies future generations will develop, or which raw materials those technologies will require. Sacrificing the needs of current generations to safeguard unpredictable future needs thus makes little sense. Moreover, preventing energy and mineral exploration in hundreds of millions of wilderness, park and other "protected” areas today could well foreclose access to raw materials that will be vital for technologies of tomorrow – itself a violation of sustainability dogma.

It is equally difficult to determine what resource uses are "not sustainable.” If changing economics, new discoveries or new extraction methods (like hydraulic fracturing) mean we now have 100-200 years of oil and natural gas, for example, that would appear to make hydrocarbon use quite sustainable – at least long enough for innovators to develop new technologies and sources of requisite raw materials.

By contrast, wind, solar and biofuel projects impact millions of acres of wildlife habitats, convert millions of additional acres from food crops to biofuels, and kill millions of birds and bats. Calling those projects "eco-friendly” or "sustainable” may be inappropriate – a misnomer.

Of equal or greater concern, activists have repeatedly abused the term "sustainability” to justify policies and programs that obstruct energy, mineral and economic development, and thereby prevent people from fulfilling their "aspirations for a better life.” Set forth in a 99-page report, the UN’s latest "blueprint for sustainable development and low-carbon prosperity” continued this practice.

"Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A future worth choosing” (RP2) called for a global council, new UN agencies, expanded budgets and powers, greater control over energy development and other economic activities, and "genuine global actions” by every nation and community – supposedly to ensure "social justice,” poverty eradication, climate protection, biodiversity, "green growth,” renewable energy, an end to "unsustainable patterns of consumption and production,” and other amorphous and self-contradictory goals.

RP2 also sought to prevent "irreversible damage” to Earth’s ecosystems and climate, as defined and predicted by UN-approved scientists, activists and virtual reality computer models. Reports and campaigns by the UN, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Greenpeace and similar groups supported the agenda. To ensure that they would have sufficient funds to implement the agenda – without having to rely on dues or grants from developed nations – the Rio+20 organizers also wanted the power to tax global financial transactions and other activities, with revenues flowing directly to the United Nations.

Rio+20 was clearly not about enabling countries, communities and companies to do a better job of protecting environmental values, while helping families to climb out of poverty. It was about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects, limit individual liberty and market-based initiatives, and provide sufficient wind and solar power to generate and demonstrate modest improvements in developing countries’ living conditions – while ensuring that poor families never become middle class, and communities never actually conquer poverty, misery and disease.

Advancing "social equity” and "environmental justice,” in ways that Rio+20 sought to do, would actually have meant perpetuating poverty for developing countries, and reducing living standards in wealthier countries. The goal, as in all previous incarnations of Rio+20, was to ensure more equal sharing of increasing scarcity – except for ruling elites.

The real "stakeholders” – the world’s poorest people – were barely represented at Rio+20. Their health and welfare, dreams and aspirations, pursuit of justice and happiness were given only lip service – then brushed aside and undermined. The proceedings were controlled by bureaucrats who do not know how to generate new wealth, generally oppose efforts by those who do know, and see humans primarily as consumers and polluters, rather than as creators and innovators, protectors and stewards.

If Rio+20 had achieved what its organizers had set out to accomplish, citizens of still wealthy nations would now have to prepare for new assaults on their living standards. Impoverished people in poor nations would now have to prepare for demands that they abandon their dreams for better lives.

That is neither just nor sustainable. It is a good thing that the radical Rio+20 agenda was largely rejected. Now we must all work together to find and implement constructive and sustained solutions to the real problems that continue to confront civilization, wildlife and the environment.

______________

David Rothbard serves as president of the Washington, DC-based Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org and www.CFACT.tv). Craig Rucker is CFACT’s executive director.



This essay was originally published in National Review on June 20, 2012, as "The UN’s Rio+20 Agenda: The "sustainable development” agenda will harm health, welfare, and nature.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/303268/un-s-rio20-agenda-david-rothbard?pg=1









 

 

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June 22, 2012

We Are All Keynesians Now - at least According to National Review

Timothy Birdnow

The editors at National Review have gone mad.
http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/300951

Now that you have read the piece by Ramesh Ponnuru and former Bush Treasury economist David Beckworth you are invited, nay, stronly encouraged to close your mouth lest flies nest there.

I'm still picking them out of mine.

Yes, you read that right; NRO, the legacy of William F. Buckley, is advocating kickstarting inflation as the way to start the economy.

According to the article:

"The Fed’s initial response to the recession that began in 2007 and deepened in 2008 was to tighten money. It did so actively by paying banks interest on reserves at a rate higher than they could get from alternative safe investments such as U.S. Treasury securities. The banks, therefore, were incentivized to hold money instead of investing it. The Fed passively tightened by failing to offset the sharp drop in the total number of dollars being spent in the economy. When this number — called nominal spending — drops, it is because the demand to hold money increases or the supply of money decreases. By mid-2008 both forces were at work. Households and firms were holding more money and spending less at the same time financial firms were creating fewer assets that serve as money. When the number of dollars spent falls, so of course must the number of dollars made (nominal income). Either prices have to fall, the real economy has to shrink, or both. We got some of both. The Fed has not done nearly enough since then to correct its mistake."

End excerpt.

Or to put it in plain language, people stopped spending and started saving, and banks did likewise.

Banks wouldn't invest in T-bills because they were seen as bad investments. They were seen as bad investments because they didn't pay back well and, more importantly, Obama's spending spree made Treasury Bills appear too risky; who knows if the government would pay them back, or pay them back in worthless dollars?

That's the point that is ignored here; these "traditional investments" are dangerous in an inflationary period. Inflation traditionally helps the borrower, because he pays his loan back with money that is worth less than when he borrowed it. Deflation tightens credit because there are less dollars available, and it hurts the borrower who must pay his loan back not only with interest but with dollars that are worth more than those he borrowed. Banks earn less in an inflationary period but there is more money floating around. But lending to the government during an inflationary period is risky because the government may change the rules midstream and the lender has no recourse, and lending to the government is risky because there just isn't as much profit in it as during a period of stable currency. Ponnuru and Beckworth are arguing for precisely that.

And of course inflation eats away at the buying power of the citizenry, making the public cut back, which reduces economic activity over the long haul.

The reality is inflation is a tax, albeit a hidden one. National Review is calling for a tax increase on the American People, one that can be hidden in price increases. If the Reagan era taught us anything it is that reducing taxes and inflation stimulates economic activity, increasing revenues to the government. Ponnuru and Beckworth have fallen into the trap of thinking of inflation as something different than taxation.

I suppose Beckworth and Ponnuru do not remember the 1970's ended in a period of Stagflation, something the Keynesians said was impossible; stagnant economic growth and inflation. As things stand we are going to get inflation with Qualitative Easing expanding the money supply and with the explosion of government spending; that spending can only be paid for by expanding the money supply or raising taxes if you do not have robust economic growth, and there is no incentive to cut spending - something that our betters in Washington are unwilling to do anyway. So B and P think the answer is to print our way out of it ala Weimar Germany.

They won't put it that baldly; they argue for a 5% inflation of the currency. But they surely cannot be so foolish as to misunderstand that government is a chained dragon, and letting the beast off the chain means a dragon running wild. Nobody has found a way to stop inflation once started except through the most arduous of efforts (which can only come in a most painful fashion) and given the mountains of debt we are currently amassing that simply won't happen until the value of a dollar approaches absolute zero. I am not using excessive hyperbole here; it's happened before, in Weimar Germany, in Argentina, and elsewhere. Hyperinflation. How these brave Conservatives at the NRO could not understand this is beyond me.

The economy is not suffering from an excess in austerity, but from an overlarge government eating up too much of the assets and overregulating the private sector. It really is that simple. Inflation will simply let the government off the hook for spending, giving it more money to play with. There will be no effort to rein in spending, no effort to rein in regulation, no effort to reduce the size and scope of our out-of-control Leviathan.

Take a look at this chart. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_debt_chart.html

Gross Federal Deb Debt Held by Public
FY 2013* $17.5 trillion $10.6 trillion
FY 2012 $16.4 trillion $9.7 trillion
FY 2011 $14.8 trillion $8.5 trillion
FY 2010 $13.5 trillion $8.2 trillion
FY 2009 $11.9 trillion $6.8 trillion
FY 2008 $10.0 trillion $5.3 trillion

While the balance between private and public debt have not changed much the gross numbers have. Remember, a trillion dollars is a thousand BILLION. The entire U.S. economy is only equal to $188 Trillion dollars - that's everything - or 13.4 times GDP. So, we have crossed the entire Gross Domestic Product (roughly $14 trillion) in terms of what we owe http://rutledgecapital.com/2009/05/24/total-assets-of-the-us-economy-188-trillion-134xgdp/, and our debt is eating up that much of the economy. At best, government spending moves money from point a to point b without any multiplier effect, and actually it loses money as there are many sticky fingers between here and there. So, 6.4 trillion dollars have gone down the rabbit hole, becoming nonproductive.

What is forgotten here is that these numbers will skyrocket in a few years as the bill for excessive government spending comes due. Also, please note the 10.6 trillion dollar private debt; much of that private debt is there do to governmental policies (such as subprime mortgages) and there is a real chance it won't be paid back. Where does the money needed to keep the economy afloat come from if sizable portions of the private debt defaults? Government bailouts one debtor but at the expense of economic growth in general. Inflate the currency and everyone pays, the productive as well as the unproductive.

Yes, inflation can get us out of that trap, but at what cost? Inflation has DESTROYED countries in the past.

I am horrified to see this argument not on the pages of Time magazine or the New Republic but at National Review. This is every bit as bad as the Heritage Foundation's scheme in the '90's arguing for an individual mandate for health care.

The article makes the following point:

"It is once again time for regime change. The crisis in Europe and our stagnation at home both have primarily monetary causes, and a solution will require a new approach to monetary policy that learns from both the successes and the failures of the past."
End

If by monetary policy they mean chronic overspending, then I agree with them. But their argument for ending austerity measures belies the obvious here. The fact is that the crisis in Europe stems from an overly generous welfare state spending entirely too much money for entirely too long, and the crisis here at home could have been averted had WE not spent our way to the poor house. It is not a crisis of monetary policy but of political will. To paraphrase Dan Rather's comments on Ronald Reagan "we had a big party and now we have to pay for it". The housing bubble was driven by government money in the housing market, by over-regulation and demands by government that standards be lowered. It was draconian environmental standards imposed by government that wrecked the U.S. auto industry by preventing the development of new sources of oil and makng the automakers vulnerable, as well as CAFE standards, and this lead to the automaker's bailout. It was the "too big to fail" mantra that caused government money to bail out the banks rather than let bankruptcy take it's course. All of these things have led to market uncertainty and caution. Monetary policy has been part of the problem, but only part. Certainly inflated prices for oil damaged the car manufacturers, but that was a result of inflation - precisely what our dear friends at NRO are in favor of promoting.

It is also interesting to note that Ponnuru and Beckworth make the argument that ending the gold standard somehow ended the Great Depression. First, one must ask what is meant by a gold standard; there are different varieties. Britain moved from a gold species standard (where actual gold coins were in circulation) to a gold buillion stadard where gold acted as backing for base metal or paper money in 1925. One could argue that gold backing of currency rather than gold being currency made it subject to manipulation, which made Britain vulnerable to the crash and subsequent Depression. Britain ended the gold standard in 1931. Yes, the British economy improved, but that was inevitable given that Depressions rarely lasted more than six months prior to the Great Depression, and the recovery seen in Britain was not exactly miraculous. Ditto the other countries of Europe. What would have happened had the gold standard not been abandoned? We have no way of knowing, but perhaps the Depression would have actually ended and not smoldered on for another decade.

The point is, a true Conservative argues for an economy governed by Adam Smith's "hidden hand" and not by men. Men cannot see the resutls of their actions in a clear way, and often have motives that do not jibe with the health of said economy. The Conservative view is that the best medicine for an ailing economy is to get out of the way of recovery, which means reducing government spending and regulation. To argue for inflation is to argue for more government, because that is the ultimate end of currency manipulation, after all. Government is what caused this problem to begin with.

Government is empowered by money. Giving more to government is guaranteed to make it grow, and it is the growth of that government that has caused our current economic crisis.

It is sad to see so great an iconic institution as National Review fall so low. I suppose it's inevitable; the old guard ossifying and the new order sweeping in. But it still saddens me.

Perhaps Ponnuru and Beckworth should think about retiring; they have become part of the Establishment and hence part of the problem.



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The Unknown Ayers and Obama Convergence

By Daren Jonescu

(This first appeared at American Thinker http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/the_unknown_ayers_and_obama_convergence.html)

Like a master criminal irresistibly drawn to the scene of his crime, it appears that Bill Ayers -- Marxist, terrorist, educator -- was in attendance when Barack Obama cast his "historic" vote in the 2008 presidential election. Not only was he present, but he has reminisced about the experience with his unique brand of leftist lyricism, suggesting that the moment was deeply satisfying for him.

In April of 2010, Publisher's Weekly (PW) featured an article on Ayers in its "Comics World" section, related to the publication of a graphic novelization of Ayers' 1993 book, To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher. The article includes a short interview with Ayers, in which he discusses the process of developing the graphic novel with his partner, cartoonist Ryan Alexander-Tanner.
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/book-news/comics/article/42726-bill-ayers-radical-education-theory-gets-graphic.html

Towards the end of the article, the interviewer, John Seven, broaches the subject of Ayers' sudden "notoriety" during the 2008 campaign, which happened to coincide with the period during which Ayers and Alexander-Tanner were working on their book.

Ayers' initial overview of the period is imbued with the delusional grandiosity characteristic of him, as of his presidential protégé/vague acquaintance:

"The experience was somewhat surreal, but I've never, ever in my life -- and the older I get, the more this is established -- read about myself. I don't read my clippings, so I was not as aware, for example, as my children were, about how big it had become until I was stopped in the street by somebody or until I saw myself on Saturday Night Live or I was a butt of a Colbert joke. I don't watch the media, I don't follow blogs about me, and if I did I think I would drive myself absolutely nuts. In some ways I think of all the people who might have been caught up in this madness, I was sort of well prepared for it because it's always been true of me since I was 20 years old. I know who I am and I don't take seriously the views of who I am -- neither the praise, nor the blame."
end quote

Much like the man in whose neighborhood he is "a guy," Ayers cannot simply recount an event in his life without seeming to be half-fabricating his "narrative" as he goes along. He is not so much remembering as portraying his experience, trying out a descriptive passage to see how it sounds.

For example, he emphatically declares that he has "never, ever" in his life read about himself. Nevertheless, he inserts redundantly that "this" gets more "established" the older he gets. How can one become more "established" in not doing something that one has "never, ever" done? Furthermore, this claim is patent nonsense. Does anyone believe that during the early days of the Weather Underground, when he was desperate to realize the effects of his scheming and rabble-rousing, Ayers never read a newspaper article about his activities? Can you believe that in 1980, after years in hiding, he and Bernardine Dohrn surrendered to the authorities without any idea of how they were being talked about in the press?

It is likely that Ayers could see the absurdity of the claim he was making, even as he began to say it. Thus, he tried to qualify it with the insertion -- "the older I get, the more this is established" -- thereby producing a logically confused statement.

The next part is even more peculiar. He says he was not "as aware" as his children were of just how big the Obama-Ayers story had become "until I was stopped in the street by somebody or until I saw myself on Saturday Night Live or I was a butt of a Colbert joke."

Those are three different alternative explanations of the same fact (his awareness of notoriety), offered in succession. He is speculating about himself from a third-person point of view, Obama-style, as though narrating another man's life story.

When did he realize how big the controversy had become? His statement, which purports to answer that question, is no answer at all. It is a list of various indications of his fame. As a lifelong adolescent "revolutionary," he can't resist the opportunity to boast of his accomplishment and reputation. So he raises the false issue of his supposed unawareness of what people were saying about him, as an excuse to remind us that references to him were rampant in the popular culture, and that people were stopping him in the street.

As for his follow-up remark -- "I don't watch the media, I don't follow blogs about me" -- this sounds more like the bravado of a pseudo-intellectual than a plausible self-description.

In a post-election interview on Good Morning America, Ayers was asked to respond to his written use of the phrase "friend of the family" in describing his relationship with Obama. Ayers replied that he didn't want to talk about this before the election because "t was such a profoundly dishonest narrative. But I'm describing there how the blogosphere characterized the relationship."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkRBTH-eFoM&feature=related

How does he know how the blogosphere was characterizing him if he doesn't "follow" blogs about himself?

Furthermore, a New Yorker blog post by David Remnick from Election Day 2008 begins its description of Ayers with this:
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/tny/2008/11/mr-ayerss-neighborhood.html

"He was, for the first time in a long while, in an expansive mood, making clear that, in all the months his name has been at the forefront of the campaign, he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn ... have been watching a lot of cable television, not least Fox."
end quote

Apparently, however, by 2010 Ayers had decided that it would be better for his image as a seasoned agitator to pretend he never paid attention to what people in the media were saying about him. As he goes on to remark in the PW interview, "n some ways I think of all the people who might have been caught up in this madness, I was sort of well prepared for it because it's always been true of me since I was 20 years old."

Oh, yes, hasn't he always been "caught up in this madness"? "Caught up in" is his euphemism for "seeking." He planned bombings; he sought attention for his subversive group; he bragged of instigating riots; he co-wrote a manifesto, Prairie Fire http://www.usasurvival.org/docs/Prairie-fire.pdf, laying out the international communist intentions of his organization. (By the way, I recommend this latter document to anyone laboring under the misapprehension that Ayers is some kind of evil genius. He was, and is, a purveyor of trite "workers of the world" or "creative individuality" propaganda, devoid of theoretical justification, apart from the superficial snippets of Marx and Dewey that he absorbed secondhand from his father or other teachers.)

Obama's "Ayers problem" -- which, as I have previously described, he did such a self-incriminating job of explaining away -- is exacerbated by Ayers' unwillingness to stay out of the light. He enjoys the celebrity too much and is too desperate for credit. It is not enough for him to enjoy his product from the shadows. He needs to sign his work. He needs us to know that his hands were on this, even if such self-promotion might be counterproductive, as in this case.

And so it is, that in explaining how this election-year notoriety was "a roller coaster" for his young cartoonist partner, Ayers says this:

"But also, Ryan was here when we watched the future president vote 20 feet from us at the school across the street from our house, and what a historic moment to be here in Grant Park, and the election, to be caught up in that swirling, good feeling, and in a society we all wish we lived in but only happens once in a while. ... That convergence the night of the election was electrifying, and Ryan was part of that and I was part of that."
end quote

Barack Obama voted at Beulah Shoesmith Elementary School. You can watch the "historic moment" in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_BZD9ayvPU Naturally, security would have been very tight at this event, and judging from the video, there were relatively few people in attendance, apart from election workers, other voters, and cameramen.

And yet Bill Ayers claims that he and Ryan Alexander-Tanner were among them. They are not visible in any of the video footage I have seen, presumably because they were situated behind the cameras that filmed the event. In other words, no one in the media that day thought the presence of Bill Ayers in the same room where the Obamas were voting was notable enough to warrant turning a camera around. (In case you're wondering, Illinois has no law prohibiting the reasonable use of cameras in polling stations.) Someone did film Ayers and Dohrn leaving the polling place later on. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video?id=6182166

Think of the nerve shown by both men, under the circumstances, to have stood close enough ("20 feet") that eye contact -- particularly with a familiar face -- would be unavoidable, and to have trusted that no one in the media would bother to draw attention to it.

Ayers, on his own account, was there at the polling station, and then at Grant Park, where Obama delivered his victory speech.

His description of his emotional response to that day is very interesting. Also interesting is that in the excitement of reminiscing about it, even a year and a half later, Ayers was unable to contain his enthusiasm enough to remain comprehensible. You will notice that in the passage, as I have quoted it above, there is an ellipsis prior to the final sentence. The reason is because I omitted two sentences which are apparently the proofreading comment of the author or some other transcriber.

After Ayers is quoted describing what it was like "to be caught up in that swirling, good feeling, and in a society we all wish we lived in but only happens once in a while," the following note appears, inserted into the text without proper demarcation:

"ß This previous sentence I can't quite parse. I made an edit but I'm not sure if it was true to the spirit of the thing."
end quote

In other words, the editor is claiming defeat in his attempt to make sense of Ayers' corybantic rant about the school, the park, and "swirling" in a "society we all wish we lived in."

It is possible that Ayers had second thoughts about mentioning that he was present when Obama voted, which he then tried to fudge into merely having been at Grant Park with thousands of other Chicagoans, thereby garbling his sentence, and that this is what caused the transcriber's confusion.

More likely, he just became incoherent in romanticizing the day of Obama's election. His lyrical prose got the better of him, and he left his interviewer, and rational communication, in the dust.

Think about this for a moment, and specifically about who the speaker is.

Bill Ayers, from his earliest adulthood, has been an avowed enemy of the American government. For many years, he openly sought to destroy it through violence, activism, and collaboration with anti-American organizations in other countries. Since becoming "respectable," he has continued to espouse the view that the U.S. Constitution, and America's institutions in general, are the instruments of oppression, racism, and all the rest of the Marxist assault on constitutional republicanism.

Does he seem like a man prone to waxing poetic over the election of a mere Democrat? Or was there something special about this particular Democrat that made the 2008 election unique in Ayers' imagination? Just as Obama's wife claimed that her husband's candidacy for president was the first time she ever felt "proud" of her country http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYY73RO_egw, rather than "feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment," so his mentor/guy-in-the-neighborhood, after a life committed to bringing down "the system," is suddenly rhapsodizing about that system's most elemental event, the election of a new president.

Some days ago, Joel B. Pollack at Breitbart.com revealed that Obama was present at a July 4th barbecue at Ayers' and Dohrn's place in 2005. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/04/Exclusive-The-Vetting-Senator-Barack-Obama-Attend-Bill-Ayers-Barbecue-July-4-2005 It seems that Ayers returned the favor a few years later, attending Obama's own little Americana party at Shoesmith Elementary School.

Both events, unfortunately, give off a scent of anti-American mockery on the part of their respective hosts.

Of all the depictions of him that Ayers supposedly never, ever reads or watches, the most remarkable -- both for horror and for humor -- is an excerpt from an interview with Larry Grathwohl, the undercover FBI agent who spent years in the Weather Underground.

"No one had given any thought to economics -- how are you going to clothe and feed these people? The only thing that I could get was that they expected that the Cubans and the North Vietnamese and the Chinese and the Russians would all want to occupy different portions of the United States. ... I asked, "Well, what is going to happen to those people that we can't re-educate, that are die hard capitalists?" And the reply was that they would have to be eliminated. ... And when I say "eliminate" I mean "kill" -- twenty-five million people. ... And they were dead serious. [See complete video here.] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZYVKt-b4_Q "
end quote

The horror is obvious, and should be remembered when you hear Ayers pretending to criticize Obama by decrying the use of drones to kill "American citizens" in the Middle East, even while repeatedly using Obama's famous word "transformation" to rally Occupy protesters. How much outrage can such a man really feel about political killing?

The humor comes from the fact, noted by the FBI informant, that these thugs, for all their "revolutionary" talk, had no idea what they would really do if they succeeded. None of them had ever "given any thought to economics." And a generation later, the same can still be said of them -- and of their spiritual progeny among the "fundamental transformers."

Leftists, whether of the "blue jeans" or the "well-tailored suit" sort, seem to have a fatal flaw -- namely, a practical intelligence that is inversely proportional to their desire for power.

Bill Ayers wanted to be present when Barack Obama cast his vote. He enthused like a schoolgirl, even eighteen months later, about how Obama's election felt like "swirling" in the society he had always wished to live in. (Read about that "society" in Prairie Fire.) He experienced "convergence" that night. He felt, in other words, that Obama's election was his dream come true. What does that tell you about how he perceived Obama's candidacy, and Obama's intentions?

How will Ayers react if his dream unravels this November? How will he handle coming face to face with those "twenty-five million" Americans who have resisted his "re-education" program? Let's hope we get to find out.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/the_unknown_ayers_and_obama_convergence.html#ixzz1yWSdKqQj

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June 21, 2012

Rio+20 is greatest threat to biodiversity

Paul Driessen and David Rothbard

99% of species and humans are ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites.


The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is underway in Rio de Janeiro. This time, 20 years after the original 1992 Rio "Earth Summit,” thousands of politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists are toning down references to "dangerous man-made climate change,” to avoid repeating the acrimony and failures that characterized its recent climate conferences in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban.

Instead, "Rio+20” is trying to shift attention to "biodiversity” and alleged threats to plant and animal species, as the new "greatest threat” facing Planet Earth. This rebranding is "by design,” according to conference organizers, who say sustainable development and biodiversity is an "easier sell” these days than climate change: a simpler path to advance the same radical goals.

Those goals include expanded powers and budgets for the United Nations, UN Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies, and their allied Green pressure groups; new taxes on international financial transactions (to ensure perpetual independent funding for the UN and UNEP); and more mandates and money for "clean, green, renewable” energy.

Their wish list also includes myriad opportunities to delay, prevent and control energy and economic development, hydrocarbon use, logging, farming, family size, and the right of individual countries, states, communities and families to make and regulate their own development and economic decisions.

Aside from not giving increased power to unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and activists, there are two major reasons for stopping this attempted biodiversity-based power grab.

1) There is no scientific basis for claims that hundreds or thousands of species are at risk

Up to half of all species could go extinct by 2100, asserts astronomer and global warming alarmist James Hansen, because of climate change, "unsustainable” hydrocarbon use, human population growth and economic development. At Rio+20 activists are trumpeting these hysterical claims in reports, speeches and press releases. Fortunately, there is no factual basis for them.

Of 191 bird and mammal species recorded as having gone extinct since 1500, 95% were on islands, where humans and human-introduced predators and diseases wrought the destruction, notes ecology researcher Dr. Craig Loehle. On continents, only six birds and three mammals were driven to extinction, and no bird or mammal species in recorded history is known to have gone extinct due to climate change.

The massive species losses claimed by Hansen, Greenpeace, WWF and others are based on extrapolations from the island extinction rates. Some are just wild guesses or rank fear-mongering, with nothing remotely approximating scientific analysis. Other extrapolations are based on unfounded presumptions about species susceptibility to long or short term climate shifts – fed into clumsy, simplistic, non-validated virtual reality computer models that assume rising carbon dioxide levels will raise planetary temperatures so high that plants, habitats, and thus birds, reptiles and animals will somehow be exterminated. There is no evidence to support any of these extinction scenarios.

Indeed, there is no empirical evidence to support claims that average global temperatures have risen since 1998, or that we face any of the manmade global warming or climate change cataclysms proclaimed by Hansen, Gore and others.

2) The greatest threats to species are the very policies and programs being advocated in Rio.

Those policies would ban fossil fuels, greatly increase renewable energy use, reduce jobs and living standards in rich nations, and perpetuate poverty, disease, death and desperation in poor countries.

Today, over 1.5 billion people still do not have electricity, or have it only a few hours each day or week. Almost 2.5 billion people live on less than $2 a day. Millions die every year from diseases that would be largely eradicated by access to reliable, affordable electricity for cooking and refrigeration, clinics and hospitals, clean water, sanitation, and businesses and industries that generate jobs, prosperity and health.

Opposition to large-scale electricity generation forces people to rely on open fires for cooking and heating – perpetuating lung diseases and premature death, from breathing smoke and pollutants. It also destroys gorilla and other wildlife habitats, as people cut trees and brush for firewood and charcoal.

Wind turbines slice up birds and collapse bat lungs, exacting an unsustainable toll on eagles, hawks, falcons, and other rare, threatened and endangered flying creatures.

Turbine and solar arrays cover and disrupt millions of acres of farmland and wildlife habitat, to provide expensive, intermittent power for urban areas. They require backup generators and long transmission lines, and consume millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass, polymers and rare earth minerals – extracted from the Earth, often in countries whose pollution control regulations and technologies are substantially below US, Canadian, European and Australian standards.

Corn-based ethanol requires tens of millions of acres, billions of gallons of water, millions of tons of fertilizer and insecticides, and enormous quantities of hydrocarbon fuels.

And yet, President Obama told Ghanaians in 2010 that poor, electricity-deprived, malnourished Africans should rely on biofuel, wind and solar power – and not build even gas-fired power plants.

Hunting, subsistence living and poverty are among the greatest risks to species. Denying poor families access to reliable, affordable electricity is a crime against humanity

The Rio+20 biodiversity and sustainability agenda means artificially reduced energy and economic development. It means rationed resources, sustained poverty and disease, and unsustainable inequality, resentment, conflict, and pressure on wildlife and their habitats.

Simply put, 99% of humans and wild kingdom species are being ill served by the 0.1% UN and environmentalist elites gathered in Brazil, and purporting to speak for mankind and planet.

Our Creator has endowed us with a world rich in resources, and even richer in intelligent, hard-working, creative people who yearn to improve their lives and be better stewards of our lands, resources and wildlife. The primary obstacles to achieving these dreams are the false ideologies, anti-development agendas and suffocating regulations being promoted at the Rio+20 Summit.

If we can eliminate those obstacles, the world will enjoy a rebirth of freedom and opportunity, voluntarily stable populations, and vastly improved health, welfare and justice for billions. We will also bring far greater security to Earth’s wondrous multitudes of wild and scenic areas, and plant and animal species.

That would be an enormous gain for our planet and people.

__________

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Washington, DC-based Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death; David Rothbard serves as CFACT’s president.












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