I found Neil Ridgley's Jan. 15 column on sustainability misleading. He ignores the costly means employed by sustainability activists to achieve their goals.
How many more jobs will be lost because of costly sustainability mandates that destroy America's industries? How many of our constitutional rights will be trampled by government to promulgate sustainability?
People say, "Isn't sustainability about windmills and solar panels?" Well, no.
Sustainability invokes government power to enforce activists' views of environmentalism. They want to replace farmers', ranchers' and other landowners' concept of stewardship with government-centric control. It merges environmentalism and socialism to expand government into every aspect of our lives, including land use, food production, housing, transportation, manufacturing, energy rationing and even health care.
It adopts a de-facto UN bias that capitalism is bad and government is good, while ignoring the inconvenient truth that countries with government-centric economies are usually the most environmentally irresponsible.
The UN views the world as a zero-sum game. If people are hungry in Haiti or Somalia, it's because you drive a Ford F-150, eat beef and live too long. During the 1992 UN conference on environment and development, UN undersecretary Maurice Strong proclaimed, "...current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class - involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home- and work-place air-conditioning and suburban housing - are not sustainable."
This blows Ridgley's theory that UN sustainability dogma applies only to Third World countries.
Government already tells us what kind of light bulbs to buy, requires flush taxes, builds subways without parking lots, tells farmers how to farm and determines what our kids eat in school. It takes away property rights, and now appears determined to eliminate single family homes and private vehicles.
Sustainability employs smart growth zoning templates that preserve land by cramming Americans into dense developments funded with government subsidies to create social equity where others are stakeholders in your property. It's called communitarianism.
And what happens with preserved land? Millions of acres of wildlife corridors and wildlands would eliminate or severely restrict human use, especially in national forests and open range administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This will prevent lumber harvesting and beef production.
Ridgley supports the ICLEI, an organization with extreme beliefs on global warming that promotes United Nations' big-government socio-economic policies. The UN Millennium Papers caution activists not to mention the UN Agenda because of potential American backlash, and instruct, "So, we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management, or smart growth."
In another bid for expansion, government auctions off imaginary carbon credits. The 2008 northeast auction raised $600 million in hidden taxes that are passed on to struggling families through higher utility costs.
Sustainability disciples use euphemistic terms like "environmental justice," and collude with government to enforce oppressive regulations at any cost. Don't believe me? Google "EPA TMDL lawsuits" and see the list of activists that sue the EPA and obtain federal court opinions that embolden oppressive regulations.
Why does the EPA advertise these lawsuits on its website? Ironically, every time the EPA loses to an environmental group, it grows stronger as courts direct the EPA to enforce. The courts have become unwitting accomplices to government overreach. One Maryland county faces $1.8 billion in regulatory mandates, possibly enough to push them to the brink of insolvency.
Adverse sustainability policy affects everyone, everywhere, and increases taxes.
Luckily, Americans are waking-up. On Jan. 12, the American Farm Bureau Federation sued the EPA alleging excessive overreach. I expect Carroll and several other counties may file amicus briefs supporting our farmers.
In Spokane and Virginia, citizens demand withdrawal from the ICLE. Last week, Carroll's Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate our ICLEI membership.
I encourage everyone to learn about this troubling movement by reviewing the UN Agenda 21 document. Note the emphasis on government control and wealth transfer. My democratic friends may wish to Google "Democrats against Agenda 21."
Richard Rothschild, of Mount Airy, is a member of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners representing District 5.