Struggling with Smart Growth and Sustainable Development

sustainable development, may day, marxist struggle, smart growthWith May Day approaching, it’s important to remember that ideas have legs. It’s hard, for instance, not to paint oneself into a rhetorical corner when using a Marxist term like “struggle” when battling ‘Da Man. Modern leftwing parlance has also brought us more jargon like “Smart Growth” i.e., pack the masses into urban centers to mitigate the freedom of conservative suburbs, and “At-Risk”—a repurposed insurance industry term to justify the welfare state.

But wait til you get a load of what “Sustainable Development” really means!

“Sustainable development” is a fuzzy term used as a propaganda tool to promote the conflicting agendas of a variety of special-interest groups, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow S. Fred Singer. In his latest piece for American Thinker, Singer examines the origins of “sustainable development” and its myriad meanings in debates about economic growth, population pressures, peak oil, the availability of basic commodities, wealth redistribution, and United Nations sovereignty.

“Among the worst policies being pushed with the help of [“sustainable development”] is a scheme called Contraction and Convergence (C & C),” writes Singer. “The idea is that every human is entitled to emit the same amount of CO2. This of course translates into every being on earth using the same amount of energy–and, by inference, having the same income. In other words, C & C is basically a policy for a giant global income redistribution.”

The sustainability movement has gained ground on college campuses across the United States. Singer quotes from a statement, released last week by the conservative National Association of Scholars, that chides the anti-capitalist, anti-individualist agenda of groups such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education: “The sustainability movement combines a bureaucratic and regulatory impulse with an updated version of the Romantics’ preoccupation with the end of civilization, and with hints of the Christian apocalyptic tradition…. The movement has its own versions of sin and redemption, and in many other respects has a quasi-religious character. For some adherents, the earth itself is treated as a sentient deity; others content themselves with the search for the transcendent in Nature.”


The Sustainable Development Hoax, by S. Fred Singer (American Thinker, 4/22/11) Spanish Translation

A Poverty of Reason: Sustainable Development and Economic Growth, by Wilfred Beckermann

The New Holy Wars: Economic Religion versus Environmental Religion in Contemporary America, by Robert H. Nelson

Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate, by S. Fred Singer

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Author: Bill Gram-Reefer

Bill Gram-Reefer is an expert in Public Relations, Social Media, and copywriting for business, government, non-profits, and public affairs. He offers Internet marketing services via WORLDVIEW PR.

7 thoughts on “Struggling with Smart Growth and Sustainable Development”

  1. In 2007 in his book “Unstoppable Global Warming ” Fred said: – A new climate treaty would at least pay lip service to the obligations of developing nations, although it could probably not require them to reduce emissions. Instead, a new Kyoto might be shaped by the notion of “Contraction and Convergence” [C&C] now popular in European environmental circles.
    Unstoppable Global Warming – Fred Singer Dennis Avery

    In 2011 C&C now has support well beyond European environmental circles: –

  2. Latest Bright Idea from the BHO Admin: Pay a tax for every mile you drive under the so-called “Transportation Opportunities Act” . . . sounds positively Orwellian:

    Given fuel prices, isn’t this adding insult to injury? Oh, never mind . . . it’s intended to control your actions and limit your free choice . . . “it’s for your own good” dontcha know, you poor slob.

  3. There’s a whole language of indecipherable doublespeak-bureaucratese that’s part of this assault on private property and individual freedom. It’s made-up codespeak gibberish — laughably so — but there’s nothing funny about its sinister mission to control others, as illustrated by the MTC website:

    If I hear the words “sustainable” and “smart growth” one more time I think I’ll be ill. Pass the Pepto-Bismol, please.

  4. See Michael Shaw’s excellent website:
    He is a resident of Santa Cruz and has been fighting the UN soft treaty called Agenda 21 and the many ways it is being implemented all over the US in local governments.

    You can download a copy of Sustainable Development – a Guide for Local Officials here: or buy copies from Michael’s store at:
    There are many other free downloads explaining Agenda 21 and “sustainable development”, the tool the elite are going to use to slowly but surely eliminate private property and shove us into ‘sustainable communities’ built around the ‘stack ’em and pack ’em’ ‘smart growth’ concept.

    1. “Among the worst policies being pushed with the help of SD is a scheme called Contraction and Convergence (C&C). The idea is that every human is entitled to emit the same amount of CO2. This of course translates into every being on earth using the same amount of energy — and, by inference, having the same income. In other words, C&C is basically a policy for a giant global income redistribution.”

      It is a pity that someone as expert as Fred Singer should be making statements like this. The entire basis on which his view rests is that there is no problem with climate change or the aggravation of it by human emissions from fossil fuel burning.

      C&C is not about ‘global income re-distribution’ it is about ‘global emissions pre-distribution’ subject to the limit that achieves compliance with the objective of the UN Climate Change Convention.

      Mr Singer is entitled to his view. However, it is by no means one that is universally shared. For the considerable body of people, no less expert than himself for whom there is a problem with climate change and the emissions from humans burning fossil fuels that aggravate it, C&C is portrayed as a sensible way on which the world as a whole can come to terms to address and resolve this problem: –

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