I think all the evidence we have from the IPCC Reports, the UNEP Global Environmental Outlook, the Planetary Boundaries work, etc should be enough to tell us that we are not living on this planet sustainably. What that means is we need to do things differently. Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation were roadmaps to how we might start to do that.
What is clear twenty years from the first Earth Summit is that our politicians did not take those warnings seriously enough.
Since 2002 a series of new terms have come into use such a climate security, energy security, food security and water security. The beginning of a new nexus of environment and security. What this should do is redouble our efforts to find a way to live in balance with each other on this planet.
What worries me is not just that the politicians do not understand the urgency but that those associated with the Tea Party are attacking Agenda 21. From the mother jones blog on what the TEa Party is saying: http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/11/tea-party-agenda-21-un-sustainable-development
"Agenda 21 paranoia has swept the Tea Party scene, driving activists to delve into the minutiae of local government."
Its as if Agenda 21 and the sustainable development community are the new communists. Of course underlying all this is the comments by President Bush in 1992 that "the US way of life is non negotiable" so we should all be entitled to that way of life if we do then we will need a few more planets to be able to achieve a similar standard of living.
Trump now not a US Presidential candidate went very close to in an interview with George Stephanopoulos saying that the US should secure its oil with force. What he did say was about the Iraqi oil. "To the winner belong the spoils. You go in you win the war and you take it."
These comments and approaches in part are due to the worry of many that the way of the life will have to change and that it will not look like it has for the last thirty odd years. There has been a role back of benefits for the poor in the north and a huge increase for those who have money. When President Reagan came to power the top tax rate in the US was 70% now its round 35%.
The question is what kind of world do we want to live in and how can we do that equitably. Agenda 21 gives a solution attaching it might seem fun for the Tea Party but what is their solution?
The next decade will need very fundamental change in our ways of consumption and production - it will need a change in our lifestyles. If we want to live in a fair, equitable and democratic world then there is much that needs to change. The approach of people in the tea party is just going to ensure we get to a unfair, unequal and non democratic and unstable world much quick. The new Earth Summit in 2012 needs to address this.