Global Green Goals:
How Environmentalists Intend to Rule the World
by Ron Arnold
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Critics have long believed environmentalists were planning global domination.
The problem with making a credible case against such an ambitious plan was simple: no environmental leader had published one.
Yet conflicts over global warming, world trade, multinational corporations, population control, sustainable futures, and transnational government left little doubt that environmentalists in fact shared the unspoken aim of wielding supreme power over a green future. But there was no proof.
For years, critics, lacking hard evidence, were reduced to piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of suspicious environmentalist actions ― funding from huge charitable trusts, ties to the broader “progressive” community, and dissemination of concepts hostile to American democracy ― in hopes that the emerging picture would reveal a dictatorial smoking gun. Results ranged from isolated case studies to pathetic conspiracy theories. They missed the mark because there was no visible mark to hit.
All that changed March 14, 2002.
On that date, Randall Hayes, president of the radical Rainforest Action Network, presented a paper at the Johns Hopkins 2002 Symposium on Foreign Affairs in Baltimore, Maryland. Its title was Restructuring the Global Economy: Eradicating Bretton Woods and Creating New Institutions.
It’s the smoking gun.
Restructuring the Global Economy is a detailed roadmap to a green future ruled by radical elites from new command structures to be created in the United Nations. It is not an insignificant personal quirk of Randy Hayes individually. It is, he tells us, the result of his participation in a think-tank called the International Forum on Globalization (IFOG).
IFOG itself turns out to be an assortment of some 60 anti-capitalist organizations and intellectuals from 25 nations who have been assembling pieces of the roadmap since the mid-1990s, some much earlier.
About the time Hayes made his presentation, IFOG released a document titled, A Better World Is Possible: Alternatives to Economic Globalization. It was characterized as the “Summary of an Upcoming Report by the Alternatives Committee of the International Forum on Globalization.” The 18-member drafting committee included Hayes. The committee’s document is the source of Hayes’ shorter, more concise Restructuring the Global Economy.
Hayes opens the text of Restructuring the Global Economy with a prologue by author Jerry Mander, regarded by many as today’s most articulate and outspoken critic of technology and economic globalization. Mander is founder and president of the International Forum on Globalization. Mander sets Hayes’ stage:
Economic globalization is the greatest single contributor to the massive ecological crises of our time, yet this is an aspect that is often ignored—by the media, NGOs, policymakers, and citizens. Its inherent emphasis on increased trade requires corresponding expansion of transportation infrastructures—airports, seaports, roads, rail-lines, pipelines, dams, electric grids—many of these are constructed in pristine landscapes, often on Indigenous people’s lands. Increased transport also uses drastically increased fossil fuels, adding to the problems of climate change, ozone depletion, and ocean, air, and soil pollution. Further, under trade liberalization rules, corporations have easier access to already depleted natural resources and environmental standards are harmonized to the lowest common denominator.
Hayes then fills twelve pages with the IFOG plan and supporting arguments. The core of their message is contained midway through in these six paragraphs:
When we look at global governance we find two competing sets of global governing institutions. The first set, of course, includes the United Nations with related institutions such as the World Health Organization, International Labor Organization, Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations Development Program, United Nations Environment Program, UNICEF, and others.
At the end of World War II there was a seminal meeting at a New Hampshire hotel called Bretton Woods that spawned the “Bretton Woods” institutions. These include the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the GATT, out of which came the WTO. This is the second set of governing institutions.
The Bretton Woods institutions offer much less democracy and accountability. It is time to throw out those babies…
We have to wrest control of global economic rule making away from the tiny, powerful clique of WTO and transnational corporate executive powerbrokers…
First, we argue for the dismantling of the Bretton Woods Institutions: the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO. Second, we claim this must be done hand-in-hand with reforming and strengthening certain UN agencies. Third, we believe that new institutions within the UN must be created.
With this three-part package, we will see global economic governance unified under the UN system.
The gun couldn’t be much smokier.
Caution: Hayes has a reputation for bluster and show.
Warning: His colleagues in IFOG do not.
Danger: His Rainforest Action Network also has financial backing from more than a few of those “transnational corporate executive powerbrokers” he derides. Although most of RAN’s donors are executives of nonprofit corporations, some important ones are profit-making capitalist moguls with a bent for anti-capitalist philanthropy, such as Ted Turner (CNN-Time-Warner), Douglas Tompkins (Esprit and North Face clothing), and Richard Goldman (insurance). Mander’s International Forum on Globalization has even more ties to great wealth.
As we examine Restructuring the Global Economy in detail, we might think of it as the plan of a radical few, paid for by a wealthy fewer.
Hayes follows Mander’s prologue with three stock paragraphs echoing the anti-capitalist, anti-globalization theme. As soon as these obligatory remarks are out of the way, Hayes makes his first major point:
Attractive alternatives to a capitalistic economic system are not popularly available. After talking with friends and colleagues across the progressive spectrum, I know of no coherent alternatives gaining momentum. Capitalism is the ruling system; therefore we must ask the fundamental question: Can capitalism be radically improved, humanized, and ecologized?
We learn a great deal in this short paragraph:
· Progressivism is the basic IFOG ideology, not just environmentalism.
· The IFOG authors are practical; they won’t waste resources promoting unpopular alternatives.
· This is not an attempt to revive communism, but something more radical.
· They are not curious whether capitalism could survive being “radically improved, humanized, and ecologized.”
Hayes now rambles through three pages of justifications for wresting control of economic rulemaking from capitalists, national governments, and international financing institutions, but he does not yet explain why economic rulemaking is so significant to him. Instead, he begins:
I have three important premises to provide a general context for my perspective. First, nature bats last. The second premise is that the house is on fire. Finally, in times of crisis our plans be commensurate with the scale of the problems. We need something akin to another Marshal Plan—starting with restructuring the rulemaking processes for the global economy—to provide a roadmap to help reverse dangerous trends and get us to a better world.
The first two premises are bogeymen we must fear if we are to answer his later call to action.
· Nature bats last. Catchphrase meaning nature will destroy you if you violate her rules, and capitalism violates nature’s rules. We’re doomed.
· The house is on fire. Capitalism is the fire, earth is the house, capitalism is destroying everything, air, water, soil, all life on earth. We’re doomed.
That’s sufficient reason to justify destroying capitalism.
The third premise is a scheme to save us from the two bogeymen: “another Marshal Plan,” which Hayes later calls, “Marshal Plan II.”
It’s worth recalling that the original Marshal Plan, officially dubbed the “Economic Recovery Plan,” was proposed in 1947 by Secretary of State George C. Marshal, and ended up pumping vast amounts of American money into war-torn Europe to prevent the spread of communism and to stabilize the international order in a way favorable to the development of political democracy and free-market economies. It is ironic that Hayes named his proposal — which would prevent the spread of capitalism and eliminate free-market economies under United Nations control — after the diametrically opposed Marshal Plan.
The “better world” that Hayes and the IFOG see coming from Marshal Plan II is one of “sustainability.” Hayes is emphatic that it is not a world of “shivering in the dark,” but one of “rich and rewarding lifestyles” lived “within the planet’s natural systems.” Sustainability, Hayes teaches us, “has three fundamental parts to a whole-systems approach”: 1) ecology, 2) economy, and 3) equity, the “Three E’s.” He assures us this is a “unifying, something-for-everybody approach.” Since that’s a little thin on details, Hayes explains:
A more precise definition of sustainability would be: diverse and rewarding lifestyles many would want to emulate and, if they did, the planet’s natural systems and wildlife populations would increasingly flourish, generation after generation.
Hayes seemed to think that was much clearer.
Before getting into the key discussion of rulemaking for the global economy, Hayes tells us:
The rules of the global economy are not the only strategic concern. Other root causes of the social and ecological crisis must be addressed simultaneously. Below is an eight-point list-in-progress of root causes. The first six points draw from the work at the Foundation for Deep Ecology in Sausalito, California.
· Anthropocentrism, the assumption of human superiority over nature. This is related to patriarchy and the “dominator” paradigm.
· Unlimited, linear economic growth in a world dependent on nonrenewable resources and closed loop cycles.
· Technology worship, the prevailing paradigm that technological evolution is invariably good and that problems caused by technology can be solved by more technology.
· Modern chemistry, the invention of substances that cannot be returned productively into the planet’s natural cycles. For many modern chemicals, such as DDT or PCBs, there are no organic counterparts capable of biologically degrading these substances.
· Domination of mass media (particularly TV and advertising) by viewpoints that serve the interests of the industrial world and suppress alternate views.
· The concentration of power amongst corporate executives and owners, and the consequent loss of democratic empowerment that has been profoundly detrimental to human beings as well as nature.
· The absence of a geologic or long-term time perspective: actions based on the desire for short-term gratification can degrade the conditions for life and reduce options for subsequent generations.
· Lack of education in industrial cultures in general systems theory or whole-systems thinking leading to eco-illiteracy and lack of ecodesign.
Since the Foundation for Deep Ecology paid for most of the International Forum on Globalization report that underlies Hayes’ paper, this eco-sociology lesson comes as no surprise. IFOG’s president is the same Jerry Mander who is the program director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.
The International Forum on Globalization (IFOG) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization based in San Francisco. It was formed by Jerry Mander in 1997 and received increasing foundation contributions up to the most recent IRS filing, which shows $933,017 in 2000. Its primary donor has been Esprit and North Face clothing mogul Douglas Tompkins through his Foundation for Deep Ecology ($852,500), which has also given large amounts of money to Hayes’ Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Other IFOG donors, listed in order of funding totals, are: the MacArthur Foundation ($200,000); Rockefeller Brothers Fund ($165,000); Ford Foundation ($150,000); Educational Foundation of America (the Prentice-Hall textbook fortune, $55,000); HKH Foundation (the AMAX mining fortune, $25,000); and Turner Foundation ($20,000). Five of the seven also fund RAN. All fund other anti-globalization groups.
“It’s an extraordinarily incestuous world out there,” as foundation consultant Robert Schaeffer once told the Boston Globe.
Four pages into his presentation, Hayes finally begins his discussion of economic rulemaking:
Let me explain why I focus on the economic aspects and, in particular, the rule-making systems of the global economy. At Rainforest Action Network, fighting to save the rainforest has largely involved trying to stop billions of dollars from being used to fund deforestation and disaster. Groups around the world put their shoulder to the task. With the Burger King boycott and 18 months of demonstrating in the streets, we stopped the funding flow from a thirty-five million dollar contract that was turning ancient tropical rainforests into cattle pastures to provide the U.S. market with cheap, greasy hamburgers. On the heels of that success—and with just the threat of a boycott—we stopped hundreds of millions of dollars that would have funded giant U.S. companies, such as Scott Paper, from slaughter-logging Indonesian forests to make toilet paper for the Japanese market. We prevented the World Bank from lending billions of dollars to ill-advised projects. In countries such as Brazil, such projects would have cleared vast areas of the Emerald Forest to build giant hydroelectric projects—shortsighted dams that would soon silt up and become useless legacies. It was influencing the flow of money that saved the most acres, species, and traditional Indigenous economies.
In short, Hayes understands the power of stopping economic activity by going outside the political mechanisms of constitutional democracy. He tells us how he does it:
Home Depot is the largest retailer of old growth wood products in the world. The company claims to account for ten percent of the world’s retail wood sales, opening a new big box store an average of every 48 hours. Home Depot’s marketing of old growth contributes to the slaughter logging that is rapidly deforesting the planet. When asked to stop selling old growth wood, Home Depot executives did not return our calls. We had to generate pressure. Grassroots pressure resulted in more than 250,000 calls and letters, and hundreds of demonstrations in the United States and Canada. The company’s branding faded from a clean Home Depot orange to mud. Now Home Depot answers our calls.
The campaign resulted in Home Depot and several other large retailers agreeing on a “no old growth sales” policy.
In other words, Hayes runs a shakedown operation, as RAN’s arrest record indicates. He doesn’t mention here that his organization used unlawful activities such as trespass, intimidation and vandalism against his targets. The Internal Revenue Service has been asked to revoke RAN’s tax exempt status for various offenses.
Hayes makes one thing clear: progressivists will use unlawful tactics to reach their goals.
What did Hayes learn from his activism?
I came to realize that the most important environmental policy is, in fact, economic policy…
Asking “who makes the economic rules” is essentially the same question as “who rules the world?” Increasingly, transnational executives and boards of directors, whose worldview is “corporate economic globalization, control the global rulemaking processes.” That amounts to corporate global governance.
Hayes and his colleagues appear to want that job for themselves. It is at this point that Hayes launches into his remarks quoted at the outset, ending with IFOG’s three-part package that “will see global economic governance unified under the UN system.”
Finally we get to the details of the IFOG plan to rule the world.
The first part of the IFOG plan is to dismantle the Bretton Woods institutions. In terms of the World Bank, the plan would be to appoint an International World Bank Decommissioning Commission. Just as aging nuclear power plants must be decommissioned, so should other failed concepts. Perhaps half of the members would come from outside government, since we’re the ones who informed governments and the world of the Bank’s destructive projects. We would start by cutting the World Bank staff from about 8,000 (including 3,000 consultants) to about 1,000. Bilateral loans and grants, which generally have more accountability, could help fund worthy projects in the Global South and former Soviet Union. This commission would develop plans to distribute the assets of the Bank. Perhaps the General Assembly would vote on final distribution.
In terms of the IMF, the plan would be to appoint an International IMF Decommissioning Commission. Again, half of the members would be from outside government. We could start by cutting the IMF staff from about 1,000 to about 200. We would dismantle all structural adjustment programs in the Global South and former Soviet Union. This commission would also develop plans to distribute the assets of the IMF.
With the WTO, we believe the aim is not to reform the institution, but to radically reduce its power and to eventually eliminate it. This can be done. The alternative to the WTO is not chaos, as the corporate powers would have you fear. We achieved a temporary reduction of the WTO power at the ministerial meeting in Seattle when concerned citizens stopped expansion such as the Free Logging Agreement. As described in the IFOG report, shrinking and eventually eliminating the WTO will help citizen movements around the world to break apart transnational corporate power. This will help eliminate special corporate rights and privileges, eliminate corporate welfare, and decharter corporations with a pattern of criminal activities.
In short, the IFOG plan to dismantle the instruments of capitalism and take control away from the nation-states that charter corporations.
Now for Step 2:
The second part of our package is strengthening and reforming the UN. We need to achieve more clarity on the UN’s mandate. It must assume the role of global economic governance. This would be under the jurisdiction of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations General Assembly.
In short, the IFOG plan to put total power within its grasp and take it away from national governments.
Now for Step 3:
The third part of our package involves creating new organizations within the UN. Here these five examples serve not as blueprints, but as a basis for an ongoing dialog. Consider a UN with:
· The International Insolvency Court to deal with debt relief. For many countries in the Global South, external debt has become a kind of indentured servitude that is paralyzing. Here we endorse the recommendations from the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Jubilee 2000, and the Canadian government. It would arbitrate settlements between debtors and creditors. Where conciliation cannot be reached, an arbitration panel would make legally binding final rulings.
· The International Finance Organization (IFO) would help UN member countries achieve and maintain balance and stability in global financial relationships. The IFO would promote domestic investment and domestic ownership of productive resources. The IFO would effectively replace the IMF, but with full accountability to the UN. Its charter would favor community and ecological concerns over corporate or finance interests.
· The Regional Monetary Funds (RMFs) would help with the legitimate need for short-term emergency foreign exchange loans. The RMFs would be accountable to the member countries in their region.
· As for replacing the WTO, some colleagues argue that no global trade organization is necessary. We should just strengthen regional bodies. Others say we should go back to GATT and make it more transparent and democratic. Still others say that we need an International Trade Organization, changed to bust cartels, foster ecological economics as well as be more transparent and democratic.
· The Organization for Corporate Accountability or (OCA) would be under the UN, but enforcement would be at national or local levels. The OCA would support national initiatives on corporate accountability by providing the public with authoritative information on corporate practices around the world for possible legal action and boycotts.
· I would add a sixth agency, the World Overconsumption Reduction Bank. We need to break the patriarchal approach and underscore the ecological and social harm done by the wasteful lifestyles and systems of the industrial north: Japan, Europe, Canada, and the United States.
In short, the IFOG plan to rule the world.
Hayes also calls it the “kickoff to Marshal Plan II.”
The rest of Hayes’ paper is more or less pep-talk, calling the faithful to action, and of no further concern to us here. It can be read in its entirety at restructuring.pdf. The PDF document requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for free download at www.adobe.com.
We’ve now seen what IFOG has in mind: Give non-profit groups access to supreme economic decision-making power within the United Nations framework. Remove corporations and nations from economic decision-making. Dictate austere lifestyles to the industrial north. Do it in the name of ecology and the oppressed poor. Do it with foundation money.
Their plan was written by 18 people on a special Alternatives to Economic Globalization committee.
Who are these guys?
Hayes tells us:
In order to work more effectively in the economic arena, I joined a San Francisco-based think tank called the International Forum on Globalization (IFOG). As a result, I’m now working with leading social, ecological, and systems thinkers and activists from around the world, including Vandana Shiva from India, Teddy Goldsmith from Europe, Martin Khor from Malaysia, John Mohawk from Six Nations Confederacy in upstate New York, Maude Barlow from Canada, Oronto Douglas from Nigeria, Sara Larrain from Chile, Victoria Tauli-Corpus and Walden Bello from the Philippines, as well as David Korten and Jerry Mander from the United States. The web site—www.ifg.org—has more information on what we mean by “economic globalization.”
That’s not much to go on. Here are thumbnail profiles of these people and Randy
· Randall Hayes, filmmaker, produced The Cracking of Glen Canyon Damn for Earth First! in 1982, where he met Mike Roselle. Made award-winning anti-mining film The Four Corners: A National Sacrifice Area? Co-founder of Rainforest Action Network in 1984 with Mike Roselle (co-founder of Earth First! and campaigner with Greenpeace) with mentoring of David Brower, who conceived the need for a rainforest-focus organization, and Herb Gunther of Public Media Center. RAN was originally located in a storage room in Gunther’s office, later moved to space in Brower’s Earth Island Institute offices. At the kickoff meeting in 1985, Hayes was credited as the sole founder of RAN to hide influence of Roselle and Brower. Has been arrested in several "ceremonial" banner-hanging protests involving celebrities.
· Vandana Shiva, Indian small-farm advocate strongly opposed to biotechnology, is founder and director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, based in Delhi. She is also the ecology advisor of the Third World Network, and is author of “Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge.”
· Edward Goldsmith, a catastrophist and anti-technology advocate, is the brother of the late billionaire, Sir Jimmy Goldsmith, and founder of the journal The Ecologist. He is president of 'Ecoropa', France; member of the board of the JMG Foundation (part of the fortune left by his brother), principal environmental consultant to the Ecological Foundation; member of the Council of The Rainforest Foundation; and trustee of the Foundation for Gaia. Co-editor with Jerry Mander of The Case Against the Global Economy and For a Turn Towards the Local (1997).
· Martin Khor is director of the Third World Network, a nonprofit organization based in Penang, Malaysia, with offices in Delhi, India; Montevideo, Uruguay; Geneva; London; and Accra, Ghana.
· Professor John Mohawk is co-director of the State University of New York (Buffalo) Center of the Americas and Director of Indigenous Studies. He is author of many articles and 3 books, including A Basic Call to Consciousness (1978) and Exiled in the Land of the Free (1991). His work emphasizes Native American spirituality.
· Maude Barlow is chair of the anti-corporate organization, Council of Canadians, and co-author of Global Showdown: How the New Activists Are Fighting Global Corporate Rule.
· Oronto Douglas, a lawyer from the Niger Delta, is founder of Environmental Rights Action (affiliate of Friends of the Earth), and leader of the Chicoco movement, an anti-government, anti-Shell Oil organization.
· Sara Larrain, director of Chilean Ecological Action Network (RENACE).
· Victoria Tauli-Corpus, director of the anti-capitalist Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research & Education), a United Nations consultative group based in Baguio City, Philippines.
· Walden Bello, director of the Bangkok-based anti-capitalist group Focus on the Global South. He is Professor of Public Administration and Sociology at the University of the Philippines. He is also a Fellow of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute, created by the cosmetics fortune of Samuel Rubin and headed by Rubin’s daughter, Cora Weiss, both of whom described themselves as “socialist.” Weiss used the Rubin fortune to establish the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., the premiere leftist think-tank in the United States, from which emerged the Transnational Institute.
· David Korten, chairman of the anti-corporate Positive Futures Network, based on wealthy Bainbridge Island in Washington State (funded by the Ford Foundation $875,000; Foundation for Deep Ecology $35,000; Rockefeller Brothers Fund $20,000; Kellogg Foundation, $11,909), is author of When Corporations Rule the World; The Post-Corporate World: Life After Capitalism; Globalizing Civil Society: Reclaiming Our Right to Power. “Civil society” in that last book title means, in progressivist jargon, only non-governmental organizations with a progressivist agenda; other non-profits and all for-profit enterprises are excluded.
Edward Goldsmith and John Mohawk were not on the Drafting Committee of the IFOG Alternatives to Economic Globalization report. Hayes did not mention eight others who were on the committee. The missing eight are:
· John Cavanagh, Drafting Committee Chair; Director, Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, D.C.; Fellow, Transnational Institute, Amsterdam. They don’t get a lot more anti-American or anti-capitalist than this man.
· Sarah Anderson, director, Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
· Debi Barker, co-director of the International Forum on Globalization.
· Robin Broad is a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.
· Tony Clarke, Director, Polaris Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, chair IFOG’s committee on corporations.
· Colin Hines, author of Localization: A Global Manifesto, associate, IFOG.
· Helena Norberg-Hodge, founder and director of ISEC (International Society for Ecology & Culture), based in Devon, United Kingdom.
· Simon Retallack, managing editor for special editions of Teddy Goldsmith’s The Ecologist in the United Kingdom and co-director of Goldsmith's Climate Initiatives Fund.
· Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, a Ralph Nader group.
There are 60 organizations with such people. And that’s just in IFOG.
In closing, we come to the man who made this all happen.
· Jerry Mander is the founder of the International Forum on Globalization. He has written two books, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television (1977), and In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure Of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations (1991) and co-edited with Edward Goldsmith, The Case Against the Global Economy (1996). He is senior fellow of the San Francisco-based Public Media Center, and program director of the Foundation for Deep Ecology.
· Mander’s foundation role makes him influential. He is active in the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization, a project sponsored by the Environmental Grantmakers Association. FNTG is governed by a 12 person steering committee. The current members are:
o Anannya Bhattacharjee, Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program
o Diana Cohn, Solidago Foundation
o Michael Conroy, Ford Foundation
o Jon Cracknell, JMG Foundation
o Melissa Dann, Wallace Global Fund
o Carolyn Deere, Rockefeller Foundation
o Sarah Hansen, Environmental Grantmakers Association
o Jerry Mander, Foundation for Deep Ecology
o Michael Northrop, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
o Christina Roessler, FACT
o Marni Rosen, Jenifer Altman Foundation
o Ada Sanchez, CarEth Foundation (withdrawn, per CarEth officials)
This is the money trying to centralize global economic rule-making in the United Nations. Some of the money.
Tracing it all is now a matter of good detective work.
Back to Green Tracking Library Home Page