Thursday, August 4, 2011

Agenda 21, Rio Declaration Mandate Use of Junk Science

In 1992 the first Bush Administration signed Agenda 21. The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development was one of the outcomes of the Rio conference. It is posted on the UN's website.   According to the Declaration, junk science must be used as a basis for national policy (see principle 15).  The principles seem to use ordinary language, but a lawyer could easily subvert or invert their meaning. The Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill already has done this.  "Cap and Trade" originally referred to a mechanism whereby manufacturers could sell pollution rights. The Cap and Trade bill proposed in 2009 would have established punitive regulations on homes and required retrofitting of home insulation at large financial cost to occupants.  The first Bush administration should not have been a party to the Rio Declaration because it is a totalitarian Pandora's box. Another example is the highly elastic term "sustainability." The vacuous term could be used to say that anyone who uses any resource is failing to be "sustainable."  The US needs to revoke its agreement to the Rio Declaration. As well, the Declaration states that women, youth and "indigenous peoples" play a special role in the implementing the provisions.  Some of the provisions are:

Principle 3

    The right to development must be fulfilled 
so as to equitably meet developmental and 
environmental needs of present and future 
Principle 8

    To achieve sustainable development and a 
higher quality of life for all people, 
States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable 
patterns of production and consumption and 
promote appropriate demographic policies.
Principle 11

    States shall enact effective environmental 
legislation. Environmental standards, management 
objectives and priorities should reflect the 
environmental and developmental context to which 
they apply.  Standards applied by some countries 
may be inappropriate and of unwarranted economic 
and social cost to other countries, in particular 
developing countries.
Principle 13

    States shall develop national law regarding 
liability and compensation for the victims of 
pollution and other environmental damage.  States 
shall also cooperate in an expeditious and more 
determined manner to develop further international 
law regarding liability and compensation for adverse 
effects of environmental damage caused by activities 
within their jurisdiction or control
to areas beyond their jurisdiction.
Principle 15

    In order to protect the environment, the 
precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States 
according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of 
serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific 
certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-
effective measures to prevent environmental degradation. 

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