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Agenda 21 & Sustainable Consumption
By: Darin Moser American Alert News December 22nd, 2011

As folks learn about the reality of Agenda 211and the overall philosophy of Sustainable Development 2 they often seek to understand how this radical, yet seemingly far off, global, United Nations doctrine could threaten their daily way of life personally as American citizens. One area that is being radically altered every single day as we are transitioned to a sustainable world is the way in which we consume.

Sustainable Consumption has been a key component of the sustainable development philosophy since its beginning. The concept of sustainable production and consumption is directly addressed in United Nations Agenda 21 in Chapter 4.3 it says:

The major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable pattern of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which is a matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.

The advocates of sustainable development believe that we as a global society, with a particular emphasis on western developed nations, are consuming entirely too many of the Earth’s natural resources by a wide variety of methods; including chiefly how we shop for and buy things. The incredible opportunity provided by our American capitalist system to walk into a shopping mall and with the swipe of a debit card fulfill virtually every possible material need we could ever have is considered consumerist, wasteful, and greedy.3 One of the main focuses of sustainable development is the control of this so-called unregulated and irresponsible consumption.


In the years following the launch of Agenda 21 the sustainable development proponents have pursued sustainable consumption on numerous fronts around the world ranging from global planning initiatives to steering the agendas of government regulatory bodies. One such example known as the Marrakech Process4 was launched after the United Nations 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its purpose was to create a 10 year framework of initiatives to push the world, through efforts by various governments, institutions, and stakeholders, toward sustainable production and consumption.


Globally and here in the United States specifically we see numerous projects and initiatives at virtually every level of society that are both directly or indirectly linked with and working to advance the goals of the Marrakech Process and sustainable consumption and production in general.

Some examples of these are efforts by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development5, The United Nations Global Compact6, The Center for a New American Dream7, and The Story of Stuff Project8 which is funded by the Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption9 which is in turn funded by the George Soros supported Tides Foundation10; and those are just a tiny fraction of the numerous NGO’s and initiatives that are promoting the concept of consuming sustainably.

In some cases sustainable consumption is called responsible consumption indicating that you can somehow irresponsibly consume with your own hard earned money. You become responsible under this new system to the greater common collective of global citizens.


The Sustainable Consumption mindset brings under collective scrutiny virtually every decision you make as a consumer. From whether or not you use eco-friendly light bulbs in your home to whether you frequent businesses whose products contain palm oil you are under constant obligation as a consumer and good global citizen to consider the greater common good with every single purchasing decision you make.

Many various methods are being employed to push us as a society toward sustainable consumption and production some of which are much more obvious than others, ranging from aggressive mass marketing campaigns like the overwhelming edict for us all to “go green”11 to the slightly less obnoxious efforts encouraging energy efficiency through implementation of Energy Star12 standards for home appliances, to the generic and constant mantra urging us each to “do good” and “reduce, reuse, and recycle.”13 While these may differ in approach and forcefulness of message they ultimately share the same end goal of constraining the patterns in which we consume.


In many cases the ways in which we consume are being manipulated directly through subversive concepts of behavioral engineering. One such method is known as Choice Editing14. This particularly insidious form of resource control seeks to remove your choices as a consumer long before you ever even realize you had a choice to begin with.  Here is how Choice Editing works in practice…Say for example there is a certain product that is considered unsustainable according to the triple bottom line -three pillars of sustainable development. Under the Choice Editing concept rather than facing the challenge of convincing millions of individual consumers not to buy the offending product, efforts are instead directed toward the manufacturer, distributors, and retailers to pressure them to no longer make, distribute, or sell the perceived unsustainable product therefore making it impossible for you the end user to purchase it, your choices have just been edited. According to the Wikipedia definition Choice Editing is…

“...shifting the field of choice for mainstream consumers: cutting out unnecessarily damaging products and getting real sustainable choices on the shelves. ” The process involves "... [removing] environmentally offensive products from commercial consideration or [making] such products expensive to use." Choice editing is a direct control of the impact from consumption and aims to only provide sustainable products in the market. Not only products can be edited out or replaced, but also product components, processes and business models.

The availability of many items has already been directly affected by this method of controlling what you consume. The situation revolving around the incandescent light bulb is one well publicized example of choice editing but it is far from the only instance of it occurring. Some of you may have noticed when you go to shop that many products that are appearing on store shelves lately aren’t of the same high quality as you have always known them to be. Does your dishwasher or laundry detergent no longer seem to clean quite as well as it once did? If so, you probably have the recent ban on phosphates15to thank for that. Is your container of bottled water light and flimsy and more like a water-bag than a bottle? Maybe that’s because it’s no longer available in plastic only recycled plant matter. Perhaps you have noticed that your favorite food doesn’t taste quite the same anymore? If that is the case make sure and let the manufacturer know you’re displeased because it is very likely that they are one of many corporations who have recently began the process of reformulating their products16 to make them not only healthier to support healthy communities initiatives but also in many cases more compliant with various sustainable food certifications. All of these and many more examples just like them are real world indicators of just how your freedoms as a consumer have fallen victim to the sustainable consumption aspect of the Sustainable Development agenda.



Choice editing is just one of the methods employed by the sustainable consumption advocates but there are many others. Various initiatives encourage everything from Meatless Mondays17where no meat is consumed to “Buy Nothing Days”18 where you pledge to make zero purchases. One major retailer of outdoors gear even purchased a full page ad in the New York Times that admonishes readers to “not buy”19 the new jacket that they manufacture in order to take a stand against over-consumption.


The promotion of sustainable consumption is weaved through virtually every facet of our commerce. Let’s take a look at a few sectors of the marketplace and see how pressure tactics pushing for sustainable consumption are being employed.


In the area of energy use, we as consumers are constantly encouraged to conserve, to use less, to be efficient, to switch to alternative sources of energy and to even voluntarily accept the attaching of smart meters20 to our homes by electricity providers so that our family’s energy consumption level can be monitored.

When it comes to transportation we are continually told about the advantages of owning a hybrid and how our old school SUV’s are oversized and are frankly, burning up all the world’s fossil fuels, while simultaneously melting artic ice sheets21, killing polar bears, and creating poisonous, asthma22 causing emissions that are making our children and elderly sick. Really shouldn’t we all just be riding public transit or a bicycle anyway23, they say.


When it comes to what we eat, well apparently the numbers change each day, either we are experiencing an overwhelming “epidemic of obesity”24 the likes of which we have never seen before; or we are stranded without a single healthy morsel in the midst of a parched and barren food desert25.  It’s a crisis that only a new sustainable food system can possibly ever alleviate with its pillar of social equity that will surely herald a new era of sustainable healthy communities26, food justice and dietary utopia. In the midst of all of this uncertainty one thing is for sure. According to the sustainable development proponents the system we have now just isn’t working. This false message is repeated ad nauseam even though the United States has the most wide-ranging and accessible food system that has ever existed on the face of the Earth. Almost anywhere in the nation you can walk out your front door and be within minutes of virtually any food that is manufactured anywhere on the planet. Want a watermelon in mid January, guess what, freedom and capitalism make it possible, but you’ll likely never hear that in the message of sustainable consumption and production. Sustainable consumption suggests that to eat sustainably you will likely need to consume a whole lot less than you have been. You’ll be eating mostly organic plants and limited meat, locally grown and in season and by the way definitely never eat anything processed! So you better toss out those chocolate chip cookies and nacho cheese chips otherwise you will be consuming irresponsibly and harming the common good by not fulfilling your role as a responsible, sustainable, good global citizen.


Unfortunately the push toward sustainable consumption and production is not only in force at the consumer level but is a factor that is affecting virtually every level from the consumer all the way up to the manufacturer and supply chain aspects of products.27 This pressure on manufacturers to use only products and services that are “sustainable” affects everything from the formulation and design of products, to the materials used to make the products, to the ways they are packaged and shipped, all the way down to the methods by which they are sold to the end user and none of this comes without added cost burden that typically lands with a heavy thud right on the consumer’s wallet28.



The promotion of a radical shift of our capitalist culture toward a United Nations directed, Agenda 21 driven pathway of sustainable consumption and production is a major segment of the UN’s efforts to move us toward a new world order governed under their doctrine of sustainable development. Though it is but one aspect of the larger sustainable development philosophy it is an area where Agenda 21 has gained tremendous traction.  If we are to overcome this social-engineering march toward an eco-Marxist, one world, Utopia we must rapidly re-develop once again our strong voices as American consumers and remind those who would dare infringe upon our freedoms and bind us in red tape and regulations that we still live in a free market capitalist system in the United States of America and that we refuse to give up our individual rights to advance the cause of some United Nations orchestrated collective common good.

Sustainable Development, is an anti-liberty movement with political goals, that is advancing the cause of a UN, socialistic, eco-utopian, New World Order while being largely portrayed as altruistic. I would encourage everyone to research the worldview and beliefs that lie behind this positive “green” spin.
For more information I would invite each of you to visit my news blog about the issue of Sustainable Development at:


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