Motorcades, Closed Drafts — and the Long March


On Thursday, as we traveled through Rio, helicopters, flashing lights, and motorcades were everywhere. Heads of state (but not President Obama) were arriving, snarling traffic as they moved about the city.

The preliminary conference has concluded, leaving behind a stripped-down version of The Future We Want document that sustainability activists had drafted. This may have represented the future they want, but it was one that most people, in rich and poor countries alike, would surely dread.

The changes left Greenpeace, WWF, and other green pressure groups wailing and gnashing their teeth. The U.S. delegation lamented the absence of “reproductive rights” from the draft, shedding tears for what are really code words for coercive population control.

Even the watered-down draft retains their beloved redistribution of 0.7 percent of GNP, a beefed-up U.N. Environment Programme, a power grab over oceans and ocean resources, and point after point from their extensive wish list. And yet they are never remotely satisfied –and they may get more before Rio+20 is done.

If the current language stays in place — presenting the Greens’ favorite items as goals rather than mandates — it will give them a severe case of deferred gratification. But they will resume their long march for world control and economic strangulation.

On Wednesday, the real Rio+20 started in earnest, and the U.N. “closed” the document, setting the stage for possible last-minute backroom wrangling. Lapping up copies of the latest version of the final draft became every NGO’s top priority. When the U.N. online document system went down, a greenie blog post lamented that had become one of the best places to obtain the draft, apologetically making it clear that CFACT was “not their first choice.”

We know the standard U.N. fire drill. On the last nights of the conference, there is usually a frantic all-night plenary, a sudden “breakthrough” is announced, and the delegates emerge with some amendment or agreement that permits them to tearfully decree the earth has been saved, once again, though barely, from human predation.

The alternate view is that they may be so terrified of another total Copenhagen-style failure that they will hold tightly onto the current, revised draft out of fear that they could leave Rio with nothing more than nice tans.

Either way, expect that the next scheduled “tipping point” (probably within two years) will compel them to reconvene en masse at another exotic five-star resort — at taxpayer expense, of course. 

David Rothbard is president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow ( and Craig Rucker is CFACT’s executive director.


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