Competitive Enterprise Institute | 1899 L ST NW Floor 12, Washington, DC 20036 | Phone: 202-331-1010 | Fax: 202-331-0640
This week, Bush-administration officials are meeting in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Vienna to discuss a United Nations plan to globalize environmental regulation. Dubbed the "Strategic Approach to Global Management of Chemicals" or SAICM, the program is anything but strategic.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
SAICM would attempt to regulate basically all substances in commerce — manmade and natural — and would attempt to manage all the world's solid and hazardous waste. And in time, it could easily spill into other areas — air and water.
If you read the documents published by SAICM negotiators, you might think you are reading Al Gore's 1992 book, Earth in the Balance, in which he proposed making the environment the "central organizing principle for civilization." In the chapter titled "A Global Marshall Plan," Gore outlines a utopian vision for a "Strategic Environment Initiative" through which world regulators could effectively "discourage and phase out" supposedly "inappropriate technologies and the same time develop and disseminate a new generation of environmentally benign substitutes."
This sounds an awful lot like SAICM's "Global Action Plan." Among 288 "concrete measures" proposed in SAICM's plan are intentions to "restrict availability" of "highly toxic pesticides;" substitute "highly toxic pesticides;" "promote substitution of hazardous chemicals;" "regulate the availability, distribution and use of pesticides;" "halt the sale of and recall products" that pose "unacceptable risks;" "eliminate the use" of certain "hazardous chemicals;" and so on.
Such policies would be pushed by an international chemicals bureaucracy and implemented by "stakeholders" — government, industry, and nongovernmental organizations. Somehow we are supposed to believe that these parties know better than the rest of us — the actors in the world marketplace who must live with the consequences of such decisions.
Read the complete article at National Review Online .