How the "Green Machine" took control

By Henry Lamb
web posted September 4, 2000

A land owner dares not clear the brush on a streambank on his property for fear of intruding into a "buffer zone" that some bureaucrat has claimed to be the jurisdiction of the federal government. Woe be unto Ocie Mills, the convicted criminal who dared to "pollute the waters of the United States" by dumping a load of sand on his private property where he had secured a permit to build a house. How dare Brian Bea build a home on a Washington hillside that is visible from the highway. The Green Machine has taken control of public policy.

The Green Machine is a cadre of like-minded individuals who have wrestled public policy-making away from elected officials in order to advance their green agenda which often is devoid of common sense, based on a questionable "deep-ecology" philosophy, and uses propaganda sprinkled with the color of science, to frighten people into compliance.

John Muir
Muir

These people have been around forever. John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, was preaching his gospel at the beginning of the 20th century. As recently as the mid 1970s, common sense prevailed over the radical beliefs of the deep ecologists when the Comprehensive Land Use Planning Act was rejected by the U.S. Congress. Since then, however, the environmental extremists have developed a strategy to by-pass common sense, public opinion, and elected officials.

The strategy is no accident. It has been developed over a half- century, gaining momentum in the 1070s, declining slightly during the 1980s, and accelerating dramatically again throughout the 1990s until now the Green Machine is firmly in control. The strategy can be traced directly to the creation of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization), by Julian Huxley, one month after the United Nations came into existence.

Huxley then created the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1948. This organization consolidated and expanded the work of a couple of European conservation organizations, and has become the pre-eminent non-government organization in its influence over public policy.

The IUCN accepts three types of members: non-government organizations; government agencies; and sovereign governments. Membership fees range upward of $50,000 per year for agencies such as the U.S. State Department, the Department of Interior, and four other agencies of the federal government. The membership application requires each member to declare that it will engage in no policy opposed to the policies of the IUCN. Both the State Department and the Fish and Wildlife Service contribute to the IUCN, beyond the membership fees.

Nearly a thousand NGOs are members of the IUCN. Organizations such as the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and a wide array of national and international environmental organizations. Two NGOs hold special status with the IUCN: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the World Resources Institute(WRI). The WWF was actually created by the IUCN in 1961 to be a more visible public fund-raising organization.

Russell Trane, as president of the WWF-USA, is primarily responsible for the creation of WRI in 1982. The IUCN, WWF, and WRI, are responsible for the global environmental agenda now being implemented around the world.

In collaboration with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), these three NGOs published three major documents that set forth the global environmental agenda: World Conservation Strategy (1980 - UNEP, IUCN, WWF);Caring for the Earth, (1991 - UNEP, IUCN, WWF); Global Biodiversity Strategy, (1991 - UNEP, IUCN, WWF, WRI).

These three documents are the foundations for two environmental treaties: the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Framework Convention on Climate Change. These three documents are also the basis for Agenda 21, the policy guide adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The NGOs develop the policy. The United Nations then legitimizes the policy by incorporating them into an international treaty, or policy guide such as Agenda 21, and member nations (Parties to the Conventions) are legally bound to implement the policies.

Since 1993, the Clinton/Gore administration has been a major force in the implementation of the global environmental agenda, whether or not the U.S. Senate ratified the treaties, and often, without any kind of Congressional approval. Agenda 21, for example, calls for the creation of a national council on sustainable development. The President created such a council by Executive Order. The Council consists of heads of various federal agencies - the same federal agencies that are members of the IUCN - and the leaders of several environmental organizations, which are also members of the IUCN.

The Convention on Biological Diversity (not ratified by the U.S. Senate), provides an excellent example of how the Green Machine prevails. The treaty was first proposed by the IUCN in 1981. The IUCN enjoys "consultative status" (super accreditation) with the United Nations, and is chief consultant to UNESCO, which operates the Man and the Biosphere Program and oversees the World Heritage Treaty. The instruction book for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (1140 pages) is called the Global Biodiversity Assessment. The Chairman of the project was Robert O. Watson, a top advisor in the Clinton/Gore administration who now heads the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Section 13 of the Global Biodiversity Assessment, the section which identifies the "Wildlands Project" as "central" (page 993) to the implementation of the treaty, was coordinated by Kenton Miller, an employee of the World Resources Institute (WRI).

WRI's president since its founding in 1982, Gustave Speth, left WRI to join the Clinton/Gore transition team in 1992, along with his chief policy analyst, Rafe Pomerance. Speth then moved on to head the United Nations Development Program, while Pomerance remained in the Clinton/Gore administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, Health and Natural Resources. The U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program is administered by the U.S. State Department, and was created by Memorandum of Understanding and has never been approved by Congress. The program is guided by UNESCO and operates in compliance with what is called the Seville Strategy, which Congress has never seen, debated, or approved.

Al Gore created the "Ecosystem Management Policy" as a part of his 1993 re-invention of government. The policy reflects quite precisely, the aims, goals, and recommendations contained in the Convention on Biological Diversity. To implement the new policy, Clinton/Gore chose individuals directly from major NGOs affiliated with the IUCN. Thomas Lovejoy, an official with the WWF, was chosen to be the Scientific Advisor to the Department of Interior. Jessica Tuchman Mathews, former Vice President of WRI, was chosen to be Deputy Secretary of State for Global Affairs.

David Gardner, Legislative Director for the Sierra Club, was chosen to be Assistant Administrator for Policy Management at the Environmental Protection Agency. Audubon Society Vice President, Brooks Yeager, was chosen to be Director of Policy Analysis for the Department of Interior. John Leshy, former official with the Natural Resources Defense Council became Solicitor for the Department of Interior.

George Frampton, President of the Wilderness Society became Chief of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and Alice Rivlin, Vice President of the Wilderness Society, was named to head the Office of Management and Budget.

These are only a few of the NGO officials whose organizations helped to develop the global environmental agenda through their affiliation with the IUCN, and then were named to important government positions through which their policies could be implemented.

To complete the take-over, the Green Machine has implemented a strategy recommended in Agenda 21, and adopted by the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD): the consensus process. This process seeks to by-pass elected officials and stifle dissent while giving the appearance of public input into the decision-making process.

At the eleventh meeting of the PCSD, heads of federal agencies reported the results of an analysis of their respective departments. Ron Brown, then Secretary of the Department of Commerce, reported that his department could implement 67 per cent of the PCSD recommendations by re-interpreting existing law and through new rule-making procedures. Other officials made similar reports. The mission of the agencies of government became the implementation of PCSD recommendations, without having to go to Congress for authority.

The Clinton/Gore administration has become proficient at avoiding Congress and other elected officials, and at effectively by-passing public input and dissent. Executive Orders and Presidential Declarations have been used extensively to by-pass Congress.

Presidential abuse of the Antiquities Act to designate millions of acres as national monuments is a current example of administrative over-reach to achieve global environmental objectives. Rule-making authority has been used by all agencies to extend legislative intent to match PCSD recommendations.

The public comment process required in the rule-making process has become a sham under the consensus process. The rule- making process was selected as the method to implement the Clinton/Gore "Roadless Initiative" designed to help achieve the 50 per cent wilderness requirement of the unratified Convention on Biological Diversity. The Department of Agriculture scheduled and announced more than 100 "public hearings" within a thirty-day period, before the draft rule change was even published, making it impossible for the public to provide any meaningful input into the process.

Throughout the administration, public comment meetings have been transformed into presentations by government agencies rather than meetings to gather public input. The meetings give the agencies cover by allowing them to report to Congress that they complied with the law by conducting public meetings, but the meetings are designed and controlled so that very little public comment can be received.

The Green Machine has, indeed, taken control of the process of government at the international and national levels. By bringing policy recommendations that carry the weight of international acceptance and top-level federal acceptance, state and local officials are unwilling to resist the pressure, especially when that pressure is also weighted by the promise or denial of federal funds.

Only recently has the public begun to develop an organized resistence to the Green Machine. Opposition efforts are routinely discredited by the administration as "right-wing extremists" or hate-mongers who may be potential terrorists. The Green Machine has NGOs whose primary function is to monitor opposition forces and immediately wage public relations campaigns to destroy their credibility. The current attack on ABC's John Stossel by the Tides Foundation's Environmental Working Group provides an example of their work.

The Green Machine is well-organized, well-funded, and solidly in control of public policy. The policies which constitute the global environmental agenda consider individual freedom, private property, and free markets as obstacles to be overcome in the creation of a new global society for the 21st century.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chair of Sovereignty International.

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