Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Observations From the Back Row: Sustainable Development is an Oxymoron

By Rich Kozlovich

The problem with any issue is properly defining it. That includes the terms used, such as "sustainable development"! What is the correct definition for that term?

• Sustainable means "able to be maintained at a certain rate or level" - able to be upheld or defended."
•Development means the process of developing or being developed. synonyms: evolution, growth, maturation, expansion, enlargement, spread, progress.
•Sustainable Development: economic development that is conducted without depletion of natural resources.

So in effect to "sustain" anything means doing the same thing over and over again and "development" means abandoning what's being done over and over again and try something else that will get a better result for whatever goal that's desired.  Sustainable development is a nice sounding term whose definitions are antithetical to each other - making just another  meaningless term used by activists and government to keep people confused and compliant.  And this "depletion of resources" theme has been a scare mongering tactic for decades by activsts. 

And that's where we come to the rub isn't it? What are the goals?  What are the "real" goals?   Who determines what the goal should be, and for whom, how many and in what areas? 

This article, "Global goals offer clear objectives for corporate sustainability reporting, but challenges remain" on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development web site spews out a lot of clabber about "international accounting" and "sustainable development" saying:

The private sector has a significant role to play in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and with the establishment of the SDGs in November last year, the accounting community now have a clear set of goals for their reporting on corporate sustainability.

I wonder just exactly who are they going to report to? The corporation? The government? The United Nations? The green NGO's? What exactly does that mean. Now we're to have goals for "sustainable accounting"? Here are the goals as I read this:
  1. To adopt a "multi-stakeholder" approach that reaches beyond the accounting community and include players from policy communities at national, sub-national and international levels
  2. To ensure coherence between financial, economic, social and environmental policies.
  3. To harmonize standards and indicators with an integrated framework.
  4. To provide a worldwide structure that will help small and medium enterprises to comply with standards and indicators.
Goal one wants to impose a "multi-stakeholder" approach that will include policy wonks from a great many levels. Who will that include? Invariable that ends up being a bunch of green activists.

Goal two wants coherence between financial, economic, social and environment policies. What does that mean? How do the define coherence?

Goal three wants to "harmonize standards and indicators with an integrated framework" We just jumped from "sustainable", and "development" to "integrated", which means, "with various parts or aspects linked or coordinated. synonyms: unified, united, consolidated, amalgamated, combined, merged, fused, homogeneous, assimilated, cohesive, complete; joined-up . Okay, that means what and to whom?

The article goes on to say they; "noted the tremendous challenge of going from single-issue financial reporting to reporting with social, environmental, and other sustainability factors"..........."It is not easy to set these standards, but it is more difficult to implement them, especially in developing countries,"..... but never fear......."Accountancy and development communities must find "new synergies" to overcome these challenges". 

So now we go from "sustainable", "development", "integrated" and finally new "synergies" "to overcome these challenges".

Synergy means "the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects". Which brings us to goal four. 

Goal 4  wants to "provide a worldwide structure that will help small and medium enterprises to comply with standards and indicators"  What kind of worldwide structure are they talking about?  who's in charge?  How is compliance going to be inforced? 

I have to say this is just more gobblegook and activity as a substitute for accomplishment, - unless of course - the real goal is to impose some form of global governance under the guise of sustainable development and place the United Nations in charge.  The most corrupt, incompetent organzation the world has ever known.   The real goal?  Bankrupt the United States and destroy the Constitution of the United States.   Sound like irrational conspiracy theorizing?  Here's what happened in Tasmania when the greens were in charge. 

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