Republished from No Frakking Consensus
Greenpeace envisions a new system of global governance â€“ in which unaccountable UN bureaucrats gain â€œreal powers.â€
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) publishes a magazine calledÂ Our Planet. The February 2013 edition may be downloadedÂ here. Of particular interest is an article onÂ pages 16-17written by Greenpeace.
Greenpeace not only knows, it fully admits, that environmentalism is apoliticalÂ movement. The people who work for Greenpeace are advancing a particular worldview.
There would be nothing wrong with this if everyone was clear on that point. Indeed, if the media treated environmental activists with the skepticism that any political lobbyist deserves, if members of the public were reminded that lobbyists of every stripe mislead and exaggerate, if everyone understood that greens want power in exactly the same way that members of Conservative, Democrat, Labour, Liberal, Republican, and Tory parties want power, weâ€™d all be better off.
Instead, when we look at a green activist too many of us still see a saint rather than a politician.
So what is Greenpeaceâ€™s political vision? Judging by thisÂ magazine article, itâ€™s all about strengthening the position of the most unaccountable political body on the planet â€“ the United Nations.
Most of us donâ€™t pay much attention to the UN. But when you stop to think about it, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. Ordinary voters donâ€™t elect UN officials. Nor do we have the ability to toss them from office when they misbehave.
Nothing like a democratic system of checks-and-balances exists at the UN level. Instead, UN organizations are all about elites whoâ€™ve managed to secure themselves a position at the top of the worldâ€™s political pyramid drawing up never-ending waves of rules and regulations the rest of should follow.
Rather than doing something productive with their own lives, these unaccountable, meddling busybodies want to run yours. And Greenpeace is cheering them on.
According to this article, Greenpeace believes fervently that governments must deliver â€œtransformational changeâ€ and â€œurgent actionâ€ in order to â€œsafeguard our planetâ€™s future.â€ But since democratically elected politicians (who actually need to care about public opinion) failed to follow that script at the Rio+20 summit last June, Greenpeace is determined to get its way via other means.
This involves â€œstrengthening and upgradingâ€ UNEP. In other words, by giving it more more money and more power. In Greenpeaceâ€™s words, UNEP should be transformed into
a global authority for the environment, with greatly enhanced implementation, compliance and enforcement mechanisms.
It should be given
the tools needed to effectively monitor implementation of multilateral environmental agreements â€“ and to impose sanctions on those breaking the rules.
But thatâ€™s not all. Greenpeace envisions:
- â€œglobal rules that change power dynamics and investment incentivesâ€
- global â€œrules on corporate accountability and liabilityâ€
- â€œA binding global instrument that ensures full liability for any social or environmental damage global corporations causeâ€
The Greenpeace article disparages free markets and says that applying â€œstrong controlsâ€ to such markets is â€œan integral part of the needed reform of global governance.â€ But it isnâ€™t done yet. According to the article,
New fiscal instruments, such as a Financial Transaction Tax, need to be adopted to slow harmful speculation and deliver much needed finance for development and environmental protection. A complete social and environmental review of the global trade system is also long overdue.
Just in case we overlooked this articleâ€™s first two references to global governance, the last paragraph reminds us one more time that, in Greenpeaceâ€™s view,
We must thus strive forÂ a true transformation of global governanceâ€¦ [bold added]
When you donate money to Greenpeace you are funding people who advocate a system ofÂ global governance. A system in which unaccountable UN bodies have â€œreal powersâ€ to pass extensive new regulations and then to force people, businesses, and nations to comply.
When you donate money to Greenpeace you are funding people who want new taxes, who want to meddle with the economic system in myriad ways, who believe the entire â€œglobal trade systemâ€ is their plaything.
Whatâ€™s missing from this article is any discussion whatsoever of accountability, of checks-and-balances, of the necessity to ensure that a strengthened and upgraded UNEP wouldâ€™t abuse its power. Thatâ€™s not even on the radar.
Which means these Greenpeace officials arenâ€™t serious grownups. They donâ€™t live in the real world, where weâ€™ve learned the hard way that good intentions often lead to horrific results.
Instead, these are old-fashioned lefties, recycling mush-headed, broken-record analyses. If only corporations were made to follow more rules. If only free markets were rigorously controlled. Why, the world would be perfect.
The next time you read about UNEP in the newspaper, remember that it and Greenpeace are the coziest of bedfellows â€“ and that the world these people want to create will diminish your voice and your vote.