How UN Scientists Are Preparing For The End Of Capitalism

I have warned for years that the UN intends to deep-six Capitalism in favor of Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. Now, the UN is coming out in the open as the global economy turns downward. Cries that “Capitalism is dead” will soon be heard while Technocracy will be offered as the only possible solution to save the world. ⁃ TN Editor

Capitalism as we know it is over. So suggests a new report commissioned by a group of scientists appointed by the UN secretary general. The main reason? We’re transitioning rapidly to a radically different global economy, due to our increasingly unsustainable exploitation of the planet’s environmental resources and the shift to less efficient energy sources.

Climate change and species extinctions are accelerating even as societies are experiencing rising inequality, unemployment, slow economic growth, rising debt levels, and impotent governments. Contrary to the way policymakers usually think about these problems these are not really separate crises at all.

These crises are part of the same fundamental transition. The new era is characterised by inefficient fossil fuel production and escalating costs of climate change. Conventional capitalist economic thinking can no longer explain, predict or solve the workings of the global economy in this new age.

Energy shift

Those are the implications of a new background paper prepared by a team of Finnish biophysicists who were asked to provide research that would feed into the drafting of the UN Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR), which will be released in 2019.

For the “first time in human history”, the paper says, capitalist economies are “shifting to energy sources that are less energy efficient.” Producing usable energy (“exergy”) to keep powering “both basic and non-basic human activities” in industrial civilisation “will require more, not less, effort”.

At the same time, our hunger for energy is driving what the paper refers to as “sink costs.” The greater our energy and material use, the more waste we generate, and so the greater the environmental costs. Though they can be ignored for a while, eventually those environmental costs translate directly into economic costs as it becomes more and more difficult to ignore their impacts on our societies.

And the biggest “sink cost”, of course, is climate change: “Sink costs are also rising; economies have used up the capacity of planetary ecosystems to handle the waste generated by energy and material use. Climate change is the most pronounced sink cost.”

Overall, the amount of energy we can extract, compared to the energy we are using to extract it, is decreasing “across the spectrum – unconventional oils, nuclear and renewables return less energy in generation than conventional oils, whose production has peaked – and societies need to abandon fossil fuels because of their impact on the climate.”

The UN

A copy of the paper, available on the website of the BIOS Research Unit in Finland, was sent to me by lead author Dr Paavo Järvensivu, a ‘biophysical economist’ – a rare, but emerging breed of economist exploring the role of energy and materials in fuelling economic activity.

I met Dr Järvensivu last year when I spoke at the BIOS Research Unit about the findings of my own book, Failing States, Collapsing Systems: BioPhysical Triggers of Political Violence.

The UN’s GSDR is being drafted by an independent group of scientists (IGS) appointed by the UN Secretary general. The IGS is supported by a range of UN agencies including the UN Secretariat, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the UN Environment Programme, the UN Development Programme, the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the World Bank

The paper, co-authored by Dr Järvensivu with the rest of the BIOS team, was commissioned by the UN’s IGS specifically to feed into the chapter on ‘Transformation: the Economy’. Invited background documents are used as the basis of the GSDR, but what ends up in the final report will not be known until it is released next year.

The BIOS paper suggests that much of the political and economic volatility we have seen in recent years has a root cause in this creeping ecological crisis. As the ecological and economic costs of industrial overconsumption continue to rise, the constant economic growth we have become accustomed to is now in jeopardy. That, in turn, has exerted massive strain on our politics.

But the underlying issues are still unacknowledged and unrecognised by policymakers.

More in, less out

“We live in an era of turmoil and profound change in the energetic and material underpinnings of economies. The era of cheap energy is coming to an end,” says the paper.

Conventional economic models, the Finnish scientists note, “almost completely disregard the energetic and material dimensions of the economy.”

The scientists refer to the pioneering work of systems ecologist Professor Charles Hall of the State University of New York with economist Professor Kent Klitgaard from Wells College. This year, Hall and Klitgaard released an updated edition of their seminal book, Energy and the Wealth of Nations: An Introduction to BioPhysical Economics.

Hall and Klitgaard are highly critical of mainstream capitalist economic theory, which they say has become divorced from some of the most fundamental principles of science. They refer to the concept of “energy return on investment” (EROI) as a key indicator of the shift into a new age of difficult energy. EROI is a simple ratio that measures how much energy we use to extract more energy.

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The UN Wants To Be Our World Government By 2030

The U.N. is the solo driver for planetary Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. As a totally managed economic system run by science and engineering, it will be a Scientific Dictatorship and that will be the governance. Government as we know it will not be necessary. ⁃ TN Editor

In the 1960s, an informed but naïve undergraduate, I was walking across the campus of the University of Pennsylvania with the Chairman of the Chemistry Department, Prof. Charles C. Price. He told me that he was president of the United World Federalists, and asked if I knew what that organization was. When I said that I did not, he replied that they believed in a one-world government that would grow out of the United Nations. I was nonplussed as I had never heard anyone suggest that idea before. To me, the United Nations was a benevolent organization dedicated to pressuring the world community in the direction of peace, and to operating charitable programs to help the struggling, impoverished peoples of the world. I imagined the UN as a kind of United Way on a worldwide scale.

How would Prof. Price’s vision of a new world government emerge? Although there was a socialistic thread in its founding document, the United Nations was formed based on a vision of human rights presented in the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (UDHR) which placed the concept of rights at the forefront for the progress of the world body. And rights are the mainstay for uplifting human freedom and the dignity of the individual. The UDHR document followed many amazing documents that presented rights as the central concept of the post-feudal world: the English Declaration (or Bill) of Rights of 1689, the U.S. Declaration of Independence with its important and forceful assertion of inalienable natural rights, the powerful U.S. Bill of Rights enacted in 1791, and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789).

The word “rights” appears in almost every sentence of the 1869-word UN document. The document is literally obsessed with rights, and one must assume they are likewise obsessed with the rights successes as manifested in the United Kingdom, the U.S., and France. However, there are some deviations from the rights usage we are all familiar with. In Article 3, Instead of the inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” found in our Declaration of Independence, the UN declares everyone’s right to “life, liberty and security of person.” Are they implying that security will bring happiness? Or are they implying that happiness is too ephemeral a value, and too Western? Perhaps more mundane survival goals are needed by most of the world.

We see a reprise of items from our Bill of Rights such as condemnation of cruel and unusual punishment (Article 5), due process (Articles 6,7,8,9, 10, 11, 14, 17), illegal search and seizure (Article 12), and freedom of speech and assembly (Articles 19,20). But there are new rights introduced which, as early as 1945, were pointing the way towards intervention by the UN in the daily lives of people throughout the world. Throughout the document, they assert the right to food, clothing, medical care, social services, unemployment and disability benefits, child care, and free education, plus the right to “full development of the personality,” (imagine, the UN says I have the right to be me) and the “right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community… and to enjoy the arts” (we each have the right to enjoy a painting or a movie). However, they do not state the right to appear on the “Tonight Show” or “Saturday Night Live”, so there were limits to their largesse.

In 2015, seventy years after their original rights-based document, the UN took a giant step towards the global government that was only hinted at in their first organizing document. They issued a document entitled “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” This document has 91 numbered sections of the UN’s program for world government. The UDHR is only referenced once in the entire document in Article 19. Unlike the original “mother document” that was under 1900 words, this document is 14,883 words. The 91 items are addressing issues under the five headings of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership. Additionally, the document provides 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve life on the planet.

What is meant by the term “sustainable?” The most often quoted definition comes from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The earlier ideas and ideals of rights, freedom, equality, and justice are subsumed under meeting of needs and an explicit environmentalism which emphasizes preventing the depletion of scarce planetary resources. Of course, the takeoff is the Marxist axiom that society should be organized around the idea of “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.” Thus, Marxism is implicit in sustainability, but is nuanced by its alliance with seemingly scientific adjustments and goals related to environmentalism. A technical jargon is welded to Marxist intentionality to produce a sense of fittingness and modern progress.

The entire “Transforming Our World” document is cast in a stream of consciousness of pious platitudes for a utopian future. It is an outsize utopian dream. Five of the 17 items pertain to the environment. There are goals for the cities, for women, for the poor, and even for life under the water. Absolutely no sphere of human activity is exempt from control by the UN. The key word of course is no longer “rights” except the oblique reference in Article 19. In fact, this writer did not see the word rights even once in this document even though that word appeared in practically every sentence of the original UN document.

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Emergency Room Visits From E-Scooter Accidents Soar 160 Percent

Electric bicycle and scooter rentals are the latest craze to give urban dwellers ‘alternative transportation’  to eliminate carbon. Scooters in particular have caused a pandemic of injured riders. Residents in San Francisco detest these sidewalk intruders, and are moving to have them banned. ⁃ TN Editor

As injured electric scooter riders pour into emergency departments around the country, doctors have scrambled to document a trend that many view as a growing public safety crisis.

A detailed statistical portrait of that crisis won’t be available for another year, emergency physicians say, but some early samples are beginning to emerge.

In Salt Lake City — where dockless e-scooters have been on city streets since June — one hospital says it has seen a 161 percent increase in the number of visits involving scooters after comparing its latest statistics with the same three-month period a year earlier.

Between June and September 2017, physicians at University of Utah Health’s emergency room treated eight patients injured by scooters, though each of those were likely people’s personal devices and not the electric fleet vehicles owned by companies like Bird, Lime and Skip.

During the same period this year, that number had climbed to 21, according to Dr. Troy Madsen, who practices at the University of Utah Health’s Emergency Department.

“Most of the patients with these injuries specifically reported that they were riding an e-scooter or a rental scooter,” Madsen said, noting that they ranged in age from 20 to 50 years old and were often injured attempting to catch themselves in a fall. “Interestingly, more than 80 percent of the injuries this year happened between Aug. 15 and Sept. 15, which would correspond with the increasing popularity and availability of the e-scooters.”

“It’s worth noting that these were only emergency department visits,” he added. “Patients with more minor injuries may have gone to an urgent care, and the patients we saw were likely those with more significant injuries who required a higher level of care in an emergency department.”

Already a failed experiment?

The hospital reported that nearly half of this year’s injuries were fractures and dislocations of ankles, wrists, elbows and shoulders, as well as several cases of sprains and lacerations. Emergency physicians also treated several head injuries, and multiple patients told doctors they were intoxicated when they were injured and not wearing a helmet.

Emergency physicians noted that their statistics may represent a fraction of Salt Lake City’s e-scooter injuries. University of Utah Health’s Utah emergency department is “fairly close to the downtown area,” where most rentable scooters are located, but there are other emergency departments even closer, Madsen said.

Emergency physicians in a dozen cities around the country have told The Post that they are seeing a spike in scooter accidents. In seven cities, those physicians are regularly seeing “severe” injuries – including head traumas – that were sustained from scooters malfunctioning or flipping over on uneven surfaces as well as riders being hit by cars or colliding with pedestrians.

Some safety experts have raised questions about the gig economy workforce companies like Bird rely on to maintain their growing fleets. The company has posted ads on Craigslist seeking mechanics that say experience is not necessary in addition to providing training for new hires via YouTube videos. Videos posted online show Bird scooters with accelerators stuck in place and with wobbly handlebars and loose brakes.

“I just signed up to be a Bird mechanic,” one mechanic says on camera. “I realized there are a very large amount of scooters with problems.”

Last week, The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office revealed that a 24-year-old man who fell of a Lime scooter on his way home for work this month was killed by blunt force injuries to the head.

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UN Secretary General Praises Xi Jinping’s Commitment To The 2030 Agenda

This is one of the shortest press releases ever seen from the UN, but Secretary-General Guterres has nothing but praise for Xi Jinping for his part in pushing Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda. This is not surprising in that both of them are Technocrats and China is the leading example of Technocracy in the world. ⁃ TN Editor

During an official visit, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday met in Beijing with Xi Jinping, President of China, where he congratulated the President on his recent re-election.

Mr. Guterres expressed his appreciation for President Xi’s support to the UN’s work and told him that the UN continues to count on China’s leadership and commitment to the implementation of the  2030 Agenda, including through international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Secretary-General also commended China’s consistent and constructive advocacy for a diplomatic solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Moreover, he underlined the UN’s commitment to assist in supporting a process of sincere dialogue, leading to sustainable peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

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United Nations: Global Partnerships Pledge Improved Coordination for Water Security

The five ‘multi-stakeholder’ water partnerships include a rich assortment of public-private partnerships that will give global corporations direct access to this precious resource of life. The UN predicts a 40% shortfall of water availability by 2030, even though the same amount of water has existed sine the creation of the earth. In order to insure Technocracy, shortages must be created to drive the investment. ⁃ TN Editor

Five global, multi-stakeholder water partnerships – the World Bank Water Global Practice, the 2030 Water Resources Group, the Global Water Partnership, the World Water Council, and the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate – announced plans to cooperate on water security. Their commitment follows the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) forecast of a potential 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030. The five partnerships, which represent business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations, plan to convene a series of discussions between their leaders, with a view to accelerating progress on the international water agenda. They will organize their discussions starting August 2018.

The groups announced their commitment following their endorsement of the HLPW report titled, ‘Making Every Drop Count – An Agenda for Water Action.’ The UN Secretary-General and the World Bank President convened the HLPW in 2016 to champion better management of water resources worldwide. The HLPW report, released on 15 March 2018, calls for doubling water infrastructure investment over the next five years.

The five groups also recognized the value of SDG 17 on partnerships as an important means of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The collaboration will also progress achievement of SDGs and targets under: SDG 2 on zero hunger; SDG 3 on good health and well-being; SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation; SDG 7 on sustainable energy; SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities; and on water-related and land-based ecosystems under SDG 14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land).

They announced their partnership on World Water Day on 22 March, as the Eighth World Water Forum (WWF8) drew to a close.

Press release:

Stark Global Water Report Triggers New Collaboration Among Global Partnerships

In the face of profound global water challenges, on World Water Day 2018 five global multi-stakeholder partnerships representing business, governments, intergovernmental organizations, academia, and civil society organizations announced a new collaboration effort designed to accelerate progress toward ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation around the world. (Full statement at right.)
The partnership was catalyzed by the discussions at the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, including the Citizens Forum and Sustainability Focus Group, and the High-Level Panel on Water report, “Making Every Drop Count”. The report says if the world continues on its current path, it may face a 40 percent shortfall in water availability by 2030. Health, food security, energy sustainability, jobs, cities, and ecosystems are increasingly at risk due to exacerbating natural variability of the water cycle and growing water stress.The World Bank Water Global Practice, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Water Partnership, World Water Council, and UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate announced their commitment to coordinate a set of actions toward increased water security. Water security underpins economic growth, social development and environmental sustainability.

The organizations agreed to:

  • Take into account the outcomes of the 8th World Water Forum, proposed by the various political, thematic, regional, citizen, and sustainability processes
  • Endorse the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) “Making Every Drop Count”
  • Recognize the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 17) that promotes partnerships as a key means of implementation of the 2030 development agenda – in particular for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals calling for a Water Secure World (SDG6)
  • Commit to convene a series of discussions between the leaders of the organizations, starting in August 2018
  • Explore and agree on pathways towards improving global coordination and collaboration among these and other organizations, in view of accelerating progress towards a water-secure world

 Oyun Sanjaasuren, the Chair of Global Water Partnership, said, “The Global Water Partnership is prepared to offer its on-the-ground multi-stakeholder networks to advance better water governance.” Echoing GWP’s “Act on SDG 6” campaign, launched during the 8th World Water Forum, Sanjaasuren added, “It is time for policy makers to make SDG6 implementation a top priority.”

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UN’s World Water Forum Closes With Calls To Action On Justice, Human Rights and Youth

Imagine an International Court of Justice for Water, where ‘water justice’ rulings are made to control and allocate water to sustain life. The United Nations has fully set its sights on controlling all the water of the world. Further, it has tightly integrated water policy into the Sustainable Development Goals. ⁃ TN Editor

The Eighth World Water Forum (WWF8) in Brasilia, Brazil has concluded. The conference, on the theme of ‘Sharing Water,’ comprised several parallel processes that affirmed the respective roles of judges, local and regional authorities, parliamentarians and young people in the governance of water resources. The Forum’s Political Process included a ministerial programme, a local and regional authorities programme, a mock “water court” involving judges and prosecutors, and a parliamentarians’ process. Water and sanitation ministers issued a Ministerial Declaration, which urges better coordination of UN activities in support of water-related goals, and encourages governments to strengthen their own national integrated water resources management (IWRM) policies and plans.

The 5th Conference of Local and Regional Authorities convened from 20-21 March as part of the WWF8 Political Process. In a call for action issued at the close of their meeting, authorities made five recommendations, to: promote sensitive integrated water practices, taking into account human rights and gender concerns; bring forward legislation for fair, efficient and sustainable use of water resources; strengthen and increase decentralized funding for water and sanitation projects; promote urban water resilience; and strengthen the capacity of local governments and citizens in water-sensitive governance. Their call to action commits to contributing to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda.

The Political Process also included mock court proceedings, referred to as the International Court of Justice for Water, and a meeting of parliamentarians. Judges and prosecutors issued the ‘Brasilia Declaration of Judges on Water Justice,’ which puts forward 10 principles for water justice, and affirms various policy frameworks, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation. The Declaration calls for strengthening the capacity of judges and lawyers to apply water law and the environmental rule of law. The meeting of parliamentarians debated ‘The Role of Parliaments and the Right to Water,’ focusing on the themes of climate change and water security, universal access to drinking water and basic sanitation, and legislative innovation and best practices for water management. Speakers welcomed the presence of 134 parliamentarians from 20 countries at the conference.

Other processes that took place alongside the Political Process were a Thematic Process that hosted 96 separate sessions, a Regional Process that involved almost 7,000 people from 101 countries, a Citizen Process, a Sustainability Focus Group, and a Business Day.

On Thursday 22 March, participants from water and sanitation services in Brazil reported on the outcomes of Business Day, which was organized by the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry. Business Day resulted in Brazilian companies making six commitments for water security: engaging supply chains; contributing technologies, knowledge and human resources; encouraging shared projects; measuring and communicating companies’ own water management practices; recognizing the importance of water in their business strategies; and mitigating water risks.

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Energy Is At The Heart Of 2030 Agenda And Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy, is a resource-based economic system driven by science and controlled by energy. Even in the 1930s, when Technocracy was originally codified, energy was considered the only possible accounting system that could be used. ⁃ TN Editor

Three years ago, all countries of the world adopted 17 ambitious policy goals to end poverty, protect the planet, promote gender equality, or ensure prosperity, as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda, and vowed to achieve specific targets by 2030.

Energy is at the heart of many of these Sustainable Development Goals – from expanding access to electricity, to improving clean cooking fuels, from reducing wasteful energy subsidies to curbing deadly air pollution that each year prematurely kills millions around the world. One of these goals – commonly known as SDG 7 – aims to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by the end of the next decade.

All these topics are fundamental to the work of the International Energy Agency. As the world’s leading energy authority, the IEA has unmatched analytical capabilities based on its unique data collection, technological network, research, and policy recommendations, which we put in the service of understanding the energy system. As I have often said – in the world of energy, data always wins.

The adoption of energy specific sustainable development goals was a milestone in moving the world towards a more sustainable and equitable system. The IEA continues to support this critical goal with unbiased data and projections. This has long been a personal and professional priority for me. Fifteen years ago, we recognized this basic fact when we first compiled data for electricity access and mapped out a scenario for delivering universal electricity access by 2030 in the World Energy Outlook, the IEA’s benchmark publication.

As a result, the IEA has been tracking country-by-country progress on energy access (SDG 7.1) on an annual basis since 2002. As the world’s most authoritative source of energy statistics, the IEA is also the lead custodian agency for reporting progress towards substantially increasing the share of renewables in the global energy mix (SDG 7.2) and doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency (SDG 7.3).

The United Nations will have the first in-depth review of SDG 7 goals at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development organized in New York, in July this year. This will be a good time to assess where we stand with our global energy goals, where existing national policies are taking us, and how to steer the global energy system towards a more sustainable path. To assist this critical process, the IEA has decided to create a new online resource to centralize all of our data and scenario projections in support of the 2030 Agenda.

It is clear that the energy sector must be at the heart of efforts to lead the world on a more sustainable pathway. But our data and analysis show that the current and planned policies fall well short of achieving our critical energy-related sustainable development objectives.

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Secretary Of The Interior Orders First-Ever National Survey Of Critical Minerals

In keeping with Public-Private Partnerships, Secretary Zinke has ordered an inventory of all mineral resources on public and private land in the U.S. When he states “Other nations are far ahead of us with mapping of their mineral resources, leading to private sector investment overseas rather than right here at home”, note that his eye is on private sector investment. This is a setup to give precious American resources to selected global corporations. ⁃ TN Editor

Today, following President Donald J. Trump’s executive order to break America’s dependence on foreign minerals, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed a secretarial order directing the initial steps to producing the first nationwide geological and topographical survey of the United States in modern history. The order also directs Interior bureaus to begin work on identifying immediate domestic sources for critical minerals.

“Right now the United States is almost completely reliant on foreign adversaries and competitors for many of the minerals that are deemed critical for our national and economic security. As both a former military commander and geologist, I know the risk this presents to our nation,” said Secretary Ryan Zinke. “The problem is we can’t fix the problem if we don’t know where the minerals are within our own boarders. Other nations are far ahead of us with mapping of their mineral resources, leading to private sector investment overseas rather than right here at home. Drafting a complete topographical and geographic survey of the United States is exactly the kind of task the USGS was created to do.”

“Our nation’s growing dependence on foreign minerals is a distinct threat to our economy, our national defense, and our international competitiveness,” Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said. “We need to improve all aspects of the supply chain – from geologic surveying to permitting reform – so that our nation produces more of the minerals that are fundamental to energy, health care, manufacturing, and other technologies. I welcome Secretary Zinke’s determination to strengthen our nation’s mineral security, and will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure we complement these efforts with legislative action.”

“A country blessed with abundant mineral resources shouldn’t be mineral-dependent and vulnerable,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT). “This is an economic and security threat that’s festered across administrations for too long. I look forward to continuing our work with the Trump administration to unlock our domestic mineral potential and reverse this disturbing trend.”

The United States is heavily reliant on imports of certain mineral commodities that are vital to our national security and economic prosperity. This dependency on foreign sources creates a strategic vulnerability to U.S. industry and the military if supplies of these key minerals were disrupted by foreign government action, natural disasters, or other events.

Despite the presence of significant mineral deposits of some of these materials across the United States, our miners and producers are currently limited by a lack of comprehensive, machine-readable data concerning topographical, geological, and geophysical surveys; permitting delays; and the potential for extended litigation when permits are issued.

Western Caucus and House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals Chairman Paul Gosar said, “Our reliance on foreign nations of questionable stability and demonstrated hostile intentions towards the United States for critical minerals constitutes a serious national security problem. This situation has come about even though the United States could readily procure the vast majority of the 23 minerals identified in the USGS Report domestically and sustainably, were we only to choose to greenlight development of our bounty of mineral resources. At a recent hearing of the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee which I chair, I emphasized the extent to which arbitrary mineral withdrawals and a federal bureaucracy loathe to authorize mineral projects have brought us to this precarious juncture. But there is a way forward. I applaud President Trump and Secretary Zinke for taking action to advance American energy dominance and strengthen our national security.”

The SecretarialOrder directs the following action:

  1. Direct the United States Geological Survey to:
    • Identify new sources of critical minerals;
    • Ensure that our miners and producers have electronic access to the most advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data, with appropriate limitations to protect critical infrastructure data such as those related to national security areas
  2. Direct the Bureau of Land Management and USGS to within 30 days provide a list of minerals defined as “critical minerals” to the Secretary of the Interior. Within 30 days after receiving the list of critical minerals from the BLM and USGS, the Secretary will coordinate with the Department of Defense and consult with the heads of other relevant agencies and departments to establish the final list.
  3. Within 60 days of the completion of the critical minerals list, provide a plan to the Secretary to improve the topographic, geological, and geophysical mapping of the United States, and make the resulting data and metadata electronically accessible to support private sector mineral exploration of critical minerals.
  4. Within 60 days of the signing of the Executive Order, each bureau head with land management responsibilities shall submit to the Secretary a list of recommendations to streamline permitting and review processes related to developing leases, accessing critical mineral resources, and increasing critical mineral discovery, production, and domestic refining.
  5. Within 60 days of the signing of the Executive Order, each bureau head with land management responsibilities shall submit to the Secretary a list of recommended options for improving access and developing critical minerals.

“I applaud Secretary Zinke for initiating a review of the outdated, job-crushing policies that inhibit our ability to utilize our own mineral resources,” said Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). “Nevada is one of the most mineral rich locations on earth, and hard rock mining contributes to thousands of jobs in ourstate. In order to harness our nation’s true mineral potential and end our reliance on foreign production, we need to streamline and update these policies, and that’s why I authored legislation that would do just that. I thank Secretary Zinke for his leadership on this issue and his work to help allow Nevada and this country to enact a strategy to fully maximize our nation’s mineral potential.”

“I commend Secretary Zinke for his work to support our miners, streamline the permitting and review process, and enhance our national defense with this important order today,” said Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN). “Minnesota, like so many states across this great nation, is fully prepared to step up and help unleash America’s full mining potential which will improve national security, add jobs, bring economic prosperity and enhance the lives of every American. Additionally, our current environmental regulations ensure that we can secure critical minerals like copper and aluminum, while protecting our nation’s vast, beautiful landscape. I am glad that this administration agrees sound economic, environmental, and security policy can and should coexist.”

“I applaud Secretary Zinke’s efforts to end our reliance on foreign countries for minerals that are critically important to our economy and national defense. American companies need access to these minerals to remain competitive globally and the Department of Defense needs access to these minerals to defend our country,” said Senator James E. Risch (R-ID).

“This report highlights a critical problem that has gotten far less attention than it deserves,” said Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT), Chairman of the Senate Republican High-Tech Task Force. “Many of our most important—and common—electronic devices require rare-earth metals such as yttrium, lanthanum, and gadolinium to function properly. Television sets, computer processors, and iPhones all incorporate these scarce elements, and the fact that the United States relies so heavily on other countries for so many of them makes our supply chain exceedingly vulnerable. We need a concerted effort here at home to boost recycling and, as appropriate, production of rare-earth minerals so that we have better control over crucial components of our supply chain.”

“Secretary Zinke has taken a critical step by highlighting how our national security is tied to our need to develop rare earth resources. This is an important issue, and one our office has been leading on in Congress. West Virginia University has been leading in this effort by conducting research on recovering rare earth elements from coal mine drainage,” said Congressman David B. McKinley (R-WV). “As they continue to refine this process, it has the potential to have a significant impact on West Virginia’s economy, and help reduce environmental impacts. I applaud Secretary Zinke’s leadership and look forward to working with him on this issue.”

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Secretary Of The Interior: Public-Private Partnerships Will Blanket All Public Lands

In 2016, the UN convened the Third International Conference on Financing for Development and stated “both public and private investment have key roles to play in infrastructure financing, including through public private partnerships”. It is now clear that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is playing directly into the hands of the United Nations. ⁃ TN Editor

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced the establishment of the “Made in America” Recreation Advisory Committee. The Committee will advise the Secretary of the Interior on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways.

“The spirit of American innovation and ingenuity is what built our country, and the Interior Department wants that same spirit and energy to resonate within the realm of outdoor recreation on our public lands,” said Secretary Zinke. “By forming this committee, I look forward to hearing from the best and the brightest in our private sector on how to improve the public experience on our federal lands and waters by expanding access for all Americans. We already have thousands of private partners who operate on federal lands. Whether it’s the iconic Jammers in Glacier National Park, the historic El Tovar lodge at the Grand Canyon, or the kayaks that you can rent on the Potomac River, American workers are at the heart of helping American families experience our great outdoors.”

The members of the Committee will be selected for their diverse backgrounds and their experiences with the recreational industry. Prospective members will have knowledge utilizing public-private partnerships, providing recreational visitor experiences, developing and deploying infrastructure improvements, or a thorough understanding of recreational equipment.

“America’s abundance and beauty is something to be both preserved and admired,” said Representative Dennis A. Ross. “As an RV enthusiast, I have been able to experience firsthand the glorious landscape of our great nation, and am thankful for those American entrepreneurs and innovators who think of new ways to experience what our country has to offer. I hope that with their guidance, more Americans will be able to witness the vast bounty of our land, from sea to shining sea.”

“Northern Indiana is the RV Capital of the World, so Hoosiers know outdoor recreation plays a critical role in growing our nation’s economy and creating American manufacturing jobs,” said Representative Jackie Walorski. “I’m pleased Secretary Zinke is launching the “Made in America” Recreation Advisory Committee to help achieve the important goals of increasing access to our nation’s public lands, boosting investment in outdoor tourism, and building more American-made products like RVs and boats.”

The duties of the Committee are strictly advisory and will consist of, but not be limited to, providing recommendations including:

Policies and programs that:

  • Expand and improve visitor infrastructure developed through public-private partnerships;
  • Implement sustainable operations embracing fair, efficient and convenient fee collection and strategic use of the collected fees;
  • Improve interpretation using technology;
  • Create better tools and/or opportunities for Americans to discover their lands and waters.

You may submit comments and/or nominations by any of the following methods:

  • Mail or hand-carry nominations to Teri Austin, Associate Director for Business Services, National Park Service, Office of Business Services, 1849 C Street, NW, MS 2717, Washington, DC 20240; or email nominations to: teresa_austin@nps.gov

The Committee will meet approximately two times annually, and at such time as designated by the Designated Federal Officer. The Committee will terminate two years from the date the Charter is filed, unless, prior to that date, it is renewed in accordance with the provisions of Section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).

The Committee will not meet or take any action without a valid current Charter. The Committee is established by authority of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) pursuant to 54 U.S.C. 100906, and is regulated by the FACA, as amended, 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2.

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Mechelen Declaration: Cities Adopt UN Declaration for Global Compact on Migration

Cities are jockeying for more autonomous control within the nation-state, claiming that all societies will be multicultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual. Peter Sutherland, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration and Development, once stated that multiculturalism is the only path to implement Sustainable Development.   TN Editor

Over 50 cities from Europe, North, Central and South America, Asia and Africa were represented at the Global Conference on Cities and Migration, which sought to create a more positive narrative on migration from the perspective of local and regional authorities. The outcome of the Conference – the Mechelen Declaration – sought to capture the vision of mayors and governors of regional and local governments with regard to cities and migration.

The Global Conference on Cities and Migration took place from 16-17 November 2017, in Mechelen, Belgium. The event was organized by Belgium’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and UN-Habitat. The meeting consolidated local governments’ contributions to developing a Global Compact on Migration, and reviewed progress in implementing the migration-related commitments of Habitat III, ahead of the intergovernmental stocktaking meeting for the Global Compact on Migration, convening in December 2017, and the 9th World Urban Forum (WUF 9), convening in February 2018.

The Declaration builds on the SDGs, the New Urban Agenda and the New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees. In an annex, it presents the mayors and leaders’ actionable commitments, means of implementation, and a monitoring and evaluation mechanism, which serves as the basis for the first follow-up and review of the migration-related commitments included in the New Urban Agenda. The document recognizes the importance of a community-driven approach to local urban governance that benefits communities of origin, transit, and destination as well as migrants, refugees, returnees and internally displaced people (IDPs).

The Declaration calls on Member States to consider the following policy gaps in the process for the Global Compact on Migration:

  • recognize the support required for cities of origin, transit and return, as well as host destination cities;
  • treat local and regional governments as part of their nation-state, and not external or non-governmental stakeholders;
  • set up coordination mechanisms to enable local and regional governments to contribute to migration policymaking;
  • enable integrated urban solutions that are inclusive;
  • ensure the roles and responsibilities of local, regional and national governments on migration are clear;
  • ensure that the allocation of resources to local and regional authorities, as well as service provision, is done in a manner proportional to the growth of the population;
  • enhance the capacity for disaggregated local level data-collection and analysis, including for assessment reports and policymaking;
  • recognize and provide support to local and regional governments, in “their joint responsibility with the state” to ensure safety and access to justice for all.

The document was submitted to Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for International Migration, and to the co-facilitators of the process for the Global Compact on Migration. The mayors, local and regional leaders also called on the next World Council of UCLG to endorse and promote the Mechelen Declaration. The next UCLG World Council will take place from 6-9 December 2017, in Hangzhou, China.

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