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The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

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Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

Nightmare in Green
The Authoritarian Environmental Movement Wants to Destroy
Industrial Civilization

September 01, 1998

Jarret Wollstein is a founder and director of the International Society for Individual Liberty, a global
libertarian organization with members in over 70 countries. He is also the author of eight books,
including Lethal Compassion: Why Government Medicine Is the Cure that Kills (with Mary
“The threat of an environmental crisis will be the ‘international disaster key’ that will
unlock the New World Order.”[1]
—Mikhail Gorbachev, Moscow, 1991
In Colton, California, a fly has brought economic development to a screeching halt. This San
Bernardino County town of 45,000 was already in bad shape from the closing of a military base.
The foreclosure rate is among the highest in the state, and the city council is considering
putting up the civic center as collateral to raise funds.
Unfortunately for its human residents, Colton is also home to the Delhi sand fly, which is listed
by the Environmental Protection Agency as an endangered species. To protect the fly, state



Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

authorities have blocked construction of a new hospital and industrial park that would have
brought in over $171 million in investment and thousands of new jobs. In fact, any major
development is impossible because of the fly.[2]
The incident in Colton is just one example of the increasingly acrimonious conflict between
property owners and environmental bureaucrats. It could even turn out to be the opening shot
of an all-out environmental war. On one side are ordinary citizens, farmers, and ranchers who
are struggling to preserve their property, freedom, and way of life. On the other side are
environmental bureaucrats who are issuing increasingly draconian regulations and orders.

The Environmental Elite
In the early 1970s, the environment became the focus of enormous media attention. At least
some of the problems were real, if often exaggerated. Untreated sewage was being discharged
into coastal estuaries. Toxic runoff from farms and factories was killing fish and birds. Like
many Americans, I was concerned. During the mid-1980s, I even worked briefly for the Natural
Resources Defense Council—a private environmental advocacy organization.
Today, the political climate has changed radically. Environmental groups—including the Sierra
Club, Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, and Worldwatch Institute—have
become extremely influential and powerful. Greenpeace alone boasts some six million
members. The Sierra Club and Worldwatch Institute have “adviser” status with the United
Nations. These environmental groups have become the most powerful lobby in Washington,
D.C., and at the U.N.
The result: authoritarian environmental political agendas—not science—are increasingly
determining policy. There has also been a frightening change within the environmental
movement. For many, the goal is no longer clean air and water, and a safe environment for
human beings. Instead, for many environmentalists, the goal is to protect “sacred Mother
Earth”—meaning every bug, rat, fern, and species other than man.
Extreme environmentalists are not shy about admitting their goals. As Reed Noss states in his
article “Rewilding America,” “the collective needs of non-human species must take precedence
over the needs and desires of humans.”[3] Indeed, for many, man is the enemy.
This attitude was made crystal clear by Maurice Strong, secretary general of the 1992 U.N.



Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro. Just the year before, Strong had declared: “It is clear that
current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class—involving high meat
intake, consumption of large amounts of frozen and convenience foods, use of fossil fuels,
ownership of motor vehicles and small electrical appliances, home and workplace airconditioning, and suburban housing are not sustainable.”[4]
Some extreme environmentalists want to take us back to the Middle Ages. E. F. Schumacher,
author of Small Is Beautiful, says the world was much better in medieval times, when people
rarely traveled beyond the village in which they were born. Rudolf Bahro, founder of the
German green movement, wants us all to live in small communities and to eliminate our cars,
airplanes, computers, and most other modern devices.
Other authoritarian “defenders of the earth” would like to reduce the human population to
prehistoric levels. Warren Hern says “the human species has become a malignancy, an
‘ecotumor’ that is growing out of control.”[5] David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!,
agrees. “We are a cancer on nature,” he declares.[6] Earth First!’s motto proudly declares its
ultimate goal: “Back to the Pleistocene.”
How do they propose we get there? National Park Services biologist David Graber suggests,
“Until such time as Homo Sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for
the right virus to come along.”[7] Many extreme environmentalists are determined to end
industrial civilization, one way or another.

The Rio Summit and Green Marxism
In June 1992 over 20,000 people from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro for the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The working session
of the conference was the “Earth Summit,” attended by representatives from 178 nations and
hundreds of U.N. nongovernment organizations (NGOs).
The chairman of the Earth Summit was Norway’s Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, who
was also vice president of the International Socialist Party.[8] Brundtland readily admitted that
the Earth Summit agenda was based on the party’s platform. True to form, an endless parade
of socialists, extreme environmentalists, and representatives of authoritarian regimes
chastised the United States for “consuming too much” and exploiting the Third World. Their



Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

solution: redistribution of our wealth through global taxes and outright expropriation. The
enforcement mechanism: a beefed up United Nations with new powers to jail “environmental
criminals” and seize their property without trial.
This authoritarian program was spelled out in the conference’s Rio Declaration, Earth Charter,
and Agenda 21—an 800-page agreement with 115 specific proposals. According to the late
Dixy Lee Ray, Agenda 21 seeks to establish a mechanism for transferring wealth from the
citizens of the United States to the Third World. “Fear of environmental crises” would be used
to create a world government and U.N. central direction.[9]
Henry Lamb, in his article “The Year of Decision,” writes that Americans fail to realize that
their enemy is the “hoards of NGOs [who are] cheering the proposals pushed by international
statesmen at world conferences designed to achieve with verbosity what could not be
accomplished with bombs.”[10]

Implementing the World Environmental Regime
The primary mechanism for implementing Agenda 21 and the other extreme environmental
goals of the Earth Summit are international treaties. The U.N. has passed over 300
environmental treaties, and many have been ratified by the United States.
Under the U.S. Constitution, once a treaty is ratified by the Senate, its provisions supersede all
other laws—federal, state, and local. Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution clearly states that
“all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be
the supreme law of the land.”
A treaty that gives a foreign power control over U.S. territory is obviously a very serious
matter. At the least, you would expect extensive media coverage and thoughtful debate. But in
reality, these treaties have been virtually ignored by the mainstream press and often rubberstamped by congressmen who have never read them. As a result, few Americans have even
heard of the World Heritage Treaty or the Biodiversity Treaty, or dozens of less ambitious
treaties. Yet these treaties are about to have a profound effect on every aspect of your life;
from where you live and work, to what you eat, to whether you will be allowed to own a car.
Here are two examples:
The World Heritage Treaty. This treaty imposes a total ban on human use of protected areas. It



Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

was signed in 1973 by President Nixon and subsequently ratified by the U.S. Senate. It creates
the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, charged with “protecting” any building or land
designated by the committee as a World Heritage Site.[11] No subsequent U.S. approval is
required, and a recent attempt in the Senate to require congressional approval was defeated.
Typically, U.N. “protection” of land means a total ban on virtually any human use other than
limited tourism. Banned activities include mining, logging, farming, and permanent human
habitation. The EPA and its state counterparts are the lead enforcement agencies.
In the United States, 47 designated “bio-sphere reserves” are now under partial or complete
control of UNESCO and the U.N. World Heritage Committee. “Protected sites” include the
Statue of Liberty, the Everglades National Park, Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, and
Yellowstone Park.[12]
Existing and proposed biosphere reserves in the United States now include millions of acres.
The Yellowstone Bioreserve alone has over 22 million acres. But even that pales in comparison
to the proposed Ozarks Highlands Biosphere, which will include 54,000 square miles.[13]
The total U.S. area currently under U.N. “protection” constitutes over 200 million acres, nearly
twice the area of the state of Idaho.
Human use of U.S. land in and around U.N. Biosphere Reserves is being severely limited or
banned entirely. Following the designation of the Yellowstone Bioreserve, the New World Gold
Mine—located five miles outside of Yellowstone—was forced by the EPA to suspend all
operations. In and around the Adirondacks State Park in New York—part of the North
Bioregion—landowners have been told by environmental authorities that they can’t make any
additions to their homes and have been forced to abandon farming practices they’ve used for
The Biodiversity Treaty. This treaty makes violating U.N. environmental decrees a criminal
offense, punishable by prison and confiscation of assets without trial.[14] It was signed by
President Clinton in 1993, but never ratified by the Senate. Clinton says ratifying it is his “top
foreign policy objective.”
Under the treaty, NGOs would work with U.S. agencies like the EPA to ensure “sustainable



Nightmare in Green : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

development”—which in practice means no development, and certainly none that hasn’t been
approved by U.S. and U.N. environmental bureaucrats.
Although the Biodiversity Treaty is still unratified, it is nevertheless rapidly being
implemented throughout the country by executive order. A critical step took place in January
1996, when President Clinton signed Executive Order 12986 giving the International Union for
Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources immunity from lawsuits in the United States.
The IUCN is the major administrative agency for the U.N.’s global environmental agenda. It
includes representatives from over 800 state and federal government agencies and
nongovernment organizations in 133 countries. The IUCN’s master plan for the United States
is the Wildlands Program, which is presented in U.N. Global Biodiversity Assessment (Section The goal of this incredible program is to turn 50 percent of the United States—
including thousands of existing towns and communities—into an “eco-park” in which most
human use is prohibited. According to Science magazine, the Wildlands Project calls for “23.4%
of the land [in the United States] to be returned to wilderness, and another 26.2% to be
severely restricted in terms of human use. Most roads would be closed; some would be ripped
out of the landscape.”[15] As Marilyn Brannan, associate editor of Monetary

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