Sustaining Socialism

January 14, 2003

By Tom DeWeese

Readers of The DeWeese Report, my monthly newsletter, know the United States is changing from a nation that values individual liberty, free enterprise, and private property rights to one of top-down government command and control. It is Socialism hiding behind the name of Sustainable Development.

Here are just a few developments from across the nation that demonstrate how the plan is being implemented. “Sustainable Development” is the official policy of the Federal government and is being fully implemented by the Bush Administration and the Republican majority in Congress. Sustainable Development has now been embraced by a majority of local Republican office holders and candidates who call it a “Conservative Principle.”

Central California to ban fireplaces

For years environmentalists have been successful in blocking the construction of new power plants in California, contributing to last year’s power shortages and this year’s skyrocketing energy prices. So what’s a family to do when trying to keep warm this winter? Many burn wood in their fireplaces to supplement the furnace. Using the tired excuse of protecting the environment, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District recently released a plan calling for the banning of traditional, wood-burning fireplaces. They claim that regulations from the Federal Clean Air Act, as implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency, are forcing the local board to take the action to meet draconian clean air standards.

Under the proposed rule, most wood-burning fireplaces and stoves would be banned in new homes. Masonry fireplaces would have to be permanently disabled, converted to natural gas or upgraded to expensive soot-containing models before homes could be sold. In addition, on winter days, many Central Californians would be prohibited from lighting up their existing wood-burning stoves. More than 500,000 homes are affected.

Meeting the new requirements may cost property owners from $1,500 to $3,000, not including the thousands it can cost for installation of gas stoves, and converting traditional brick fireplaces to natural gas. The pollution-controlling inserts can cost between $2,200 and $3,400. Regulations will require those to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mankind has been heating homes with fireplaces for thousands of years. In California homeowners who use their fireplaces are feeling the brunt of yet another environmental mandate. Here’s the kicker: there’s no science to back up any of it.

Environmentally correct fishing

Under a policy in which anything can be banned with a simple sound bite, the ridiculous becomes the norm, and when government dictates every aspect of our lives, those who know how to play the game can get rich on other people’s misery.

Consider the new assault on Boston’s seafood restaurants. An environmental group made up of chefs calling itself the “Chefs Collaborative” are promoting a new line of “caught with care” Atlantic codfish. The chef’s are pushing “line-caught” cod as an alternative to farmed fish. It’s an extension of the organic food scam in which “natural” is deemed better even though there is no science to support such claims.

Here’s the bottom line; with the special “caught with care” labeling, the fish cost the restaurants 20 to 30 percent more and diners can expect to pay up to 50 percent more. So with the sound bite of a more environmentally-friendly method to sucker the American public, Sustainable Development works to line the pockets of those who go along.

UN Water

There was an old joke making the rounds during the heyday of the Soviet Union. Question: What would happen if the Soviet Union was to take over the Sahara Desert? Answer: Nothing at first, but in a few years there would be a severe shortage of sand.

Fast forward to today: The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights has declared access to water a human right and establishes water as a social and cultural good, not merely an economic commodity.

The Committee is chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, a Socialist and one of the originators of the concept of Sustainable Development. The final version of the General Comment left out any mention of private ownership of water (that’s because there won’t be any). There is also no mention of the fact that most water shortages (and its severe pollution) are caused by bad governments using dictatorial policies that mismanage and destroy natural resources.

The primary purpose of the declaration is to enhance UN control over the world’s water supply in what it calls the “Global Commons.” Watch for future edicts that require developed countries to severely curtail their water use so, theoretically, there will be more available for “poor” countries. Watch also, as water around the world begins to dry up under those policies. It’s called Sustainable Development.

Unless and until the vast matrix of environmental lies that underwrite Sustainable Development are exposed and this government policy is abandoned, no one’s home or business is safe. The sovereignty of individual nations to determine the best policies for its citizens will continue to be eroded in favor of a global government operated from the United Nations headquarters.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.