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United Nations
Exclusive Report:

Sustainable SNAKES, Reinvented TOILETS
and the Pursuit of HAPPINESS!

by Cathie Adams
Eagle Forum International Issues Chairman

Further Reading: United Nations / Global Warming
August 2, 2011
The United Nations' sustainable development agenda would be laughable if it was not so destructive. In just one month, it deemed the snake trade and flush toilets unsustainable and determined that our standard of living should be measured by its undefined "pursuit of happiness" because using only the GDP (the market value of all goods and services produced within a country) could encourage unsustainable production and consumption. Such absurd decisions beg explanations.

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Feigning concern for three Asian snake species, the UN offered an extraordinary July vacation in Geneva, Switzerland to more than 200 animal experts from 50 countries to discuss the sustainability of the snake trade. Their decision to tighten government controls on snake-breeding and the trade of snake skins was just as detached from the snake trade jobs and markets as were the experts from the Asian snakes' landscape. Snake sustainability has little to do with the snake trade, but a lot to do with class warfare that targets the "expensive luxury leather goods and accessories in boutiques in Europe and North America."

The animal experts' taxpayer-funded vacation in Geneva spawned from a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1974 when Richard M. Nixon was president. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is managed internationally by the UN Environment Program and in the U.S. by the Fish & Wildlife Service supposedly to protect 5,000 animals and 28,000 plants.

Costs and inconveniences are irrelevant to radical environmentalists who want us to "live our whole lives in a different way." Next on their agenda is to "radically abandon the flush toilet." They call it "one of the world's most destructive habits . . . contaminating everything in its way." The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has responded with a donation of $3 million to eight universities to reinvent the flush toilet.

Reinventing American toilets began in 1992, but as Danish author Bjorn Lomborg points out, "Changing how we flush toilets is not going to change water supplies." Household water consumption worldwide constitutes only eight percent of total usage, while agriculture consumes 69% and industry 23%. Even so, by a vote of 328-79, the U.S. Congress passed the 1992 Energy Policy and Conservation Act to meet the radical environmentalists' sustainable development standards. The Act gave us the annoying 1.6 gallon per flush toilets that require multiple flushes causing them to use more water than the older 3.5 gallon tanks. An attempt to repeal the law in 1999 failed.

Sustainable development is at war with liberty. Liberty thrives when government gets out of the way to allow the marketplace to choose winners and losers, while sustainable development thrives on taxpayer-funded government control that causes defaults in the marketplace. As sustainable development's government controllers fret about water usage in toilets, for example, the free market developed water-saving inventions like drip irrigation and water desalination. As they fret about overfishing the oceans, the free market created aquaculture fisheries. As they fret about transportation needs, the free market developed the self-balancing personal transporter and the Mars rover.

Even though sustainable development has proved to be anathema to liberty and free markets, the UN has faith that it can produce happiness. Without a vote or a definition of happiness, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution claiming that because "the pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal," the GDP should not be the only measure of a country's well-being because "unsustainable patterns of production and consumption can impede sustainable development." The resolution calls on the 193 UN member states to "undertake steps that give more importance to happiness and well-being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development."

Happiness is when "we the people," rather than the globocrats at the UN, direct lawmakers to keep America the freest and most environmentally friendly nation in the world.

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