Sustainable Development is a Hoax

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The world runs on hoaxes, so what’s new! Hoax is probably not quite the right word, but most people know of at least a few examples so shouldn’t be too taken aback by the general idea.

For instance, everyone who has looked under the hood of the monetary system will understand well enough how it is a racket. Human history is strewn with stories of truth-bringers and upstart-reformers who have tried to reveal that particular rort or change the system, but were crushed or murdered for trying. The walls today protecting the monetary system have become deeply rooted and grown supremely unscalable. Even for the current block-chain uprising the most likely outcome is its eventual adaptation by, then absorption into, the already existing banking system.

But the Sustainable Development hoax is different. The empire itself now faces a supremely unscalable wall, the global environmental crisis.Aiming to extend its own existence it must at least appear to have this problem in hand. Its solution is to trumpet out those corporate-friendly Sustainable Development Goals, through the UN and academic outlets. But this is really just dressing up the tail-end of sustainability to look like its head. Humans are gullible but not so nature, sustainability will prevail.

What makes Development sustainable?

Sustainable + development + United Nations – it has such reassuring overtones to it, why question it?

Firstly, if development as is now being practised is ‘sustainable’ – where once it was (say) a-sustainable – surely it must be relevant to scrutinise what exactly has changed to justify the change of label. Essentially it’s the story, it has been expanded and become more inclusive, but the core of the process remains the same as does the consortium of institutions which direct it: the IMF, World Bank, WTO, United Nations, etc. Use the references below to examine this question in more depth for yourself.

Secondly, note the ambiguity inherent in the label itself – is it development that is to be sustained, or is it sustainability that is being developed?  We assume the latter, but the truth is that they have no definitive idea of sustainability, nor log-frame for public consultation. What they do have is a set of goals which amount to little more than a rehash of the (mostly-unsuccessful) Millennium Development Goals from 15 years before. And they do have an agenda, Agenda 2030, a future vision for mankind which most people have never bothered to learn about, and probably never heard of.

There is a rub here, between what the powerful want and what the general people want. It is not just a case of under-resourced incompetence or ignorance. Sustainable Development is a hoax, one intended to extend the status quo for as long as possible. What is different about this hoax is that ordinary people can, through learning about it, actually undermine it and use it to take back their power. The climate change movement has already legitimised the need for global sustainability: it’s game on!

Do your research

To have a good look at Sustainable Development from the inside the best place I have found is the SDG Academy’s course presented by Professor Jeffery Sachs. — see reference links. You can do the course for free just by signing up. There is lots of information and some good ideas on all kinds of topics. The content is sophisticated, you will be impressed. For economists this is exactly how they see world … through a tunnell 5 ].


1 : Prof. Jeffery Sachs – Impressive bio

2 : Sustainable Development – Free online course: SDG Academy, (2019)

3 : Understanding the SDGs – video, 2017

4 : Sustainable DevelopmentU.N. 2030 Agenda source )

5 : The Poverty of Economics – (2019)

About Editor

Ross Scholes —    BSc.(Earth Sci.); PGDip.(Nat. Res.): PGDip.(Devpt. Stud.)          • Assoc, Editor, Soil & Health magazine ( 6 ) • Development Consultant, Solomon Is. ( 8 ) • Organic gardener, ( ~50 )

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