For first hand information on global Sustainable Development Goals, watch the video and read the info here. I am presenting a summary along with my personal views. The video premiered September 19, 2020.
The video, interestingly, opens with an Andrea Bocelli Amazing Grace rendition on Easter Sunday ,April 12, 2020, “by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan.” This was in the middle of lockdown and I remember watching the performance and being moved by it, as were millions of others.
The SGD video concludes with some disturbing video footage during a solo performance by Beyonce. You can watch the song with footage on its own here.
This article gives the following summary of the video, Nations United-Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times:
“Nations United-Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” sets out what must be done to tackle the world’s biggest issues, from COVID-19 to poverty, inequality, gender discrimination, climate change, justice and human rights. The broadcast will also mark the UN’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 5th anniversary of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The film is directed by UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate Richard Curtis. It features leading activists such as education advocate and UN Messenger of Peace, Malala Yousafzai, Professor of Educational Technology, Sugata Mitra, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace, Forest Whitaker, actor and women’s rights activist Thandie Newton OBE, as well as UN Goodwill Ambassadors, Don Cheadle (UNEP) and Michelle Yeoh (UNDP), and UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed.
On 25 September 2015, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, 193 world leaders committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (or Global Goals). These are a series of ambitious objectives and targets to end extreme poverty and hunger, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change, by 2030.United Nations releases special 2020 broadcast calling for collective action
Here is a screenshot of the 17 sustainable goals.
The primary focus of the video appears to be on addressing inequality and climate change. It speaks positively of climate changes that resulted from lockdowns, such as air pollution lifting over Punjab and the water in Venice canals becoming clear. This is the utopian world imagined where people do not live. The slippery slope is the devaluing of human life as being hazardous to the climate. I see this as a danger greater than the supposed climate change threat.
In the video we hear, “People showed enormous capacity to adapt, change the way they live, work, organize themselves….Change is possible, the problem is political will.”
The Sept 25, 2015 Sustainable Development Goals were considered “a set of solutions to the biggest problems the world faces.” Although I am skeptical, I must say that I’m sure there were good intentions. The key areas addressed were Climate, Poverty and Inequality, and Gender Inequality.
There is an excerpt from an essay in Arundhati Roy’s book, Azadi: Freedom. Fascism. Fiction, entitled, “The Pandemic Is a Portal” in which she says, rightfully, the pandemic brought the world to a halt when nothing else could. “In the midst of this terrible despair it offers us an opportunity to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.” The quote is found here.
Regarding climate change have seen what I would say is no less than an attack on the fossil fuel industry without proposing a feasible and affordable alternative. Even banks are now being brought on board and pressured not to lend to these industries. Francis Menton points out the problem in his June 6, 2022 article, More On Energy Fantasy Versus Reality In Woke-Land, “When the demand is there and the product works, it takes off. Not so for wind and solar for energy generation, nor for that matter for electric vehicles. Nobody buys these things unless subsidized, and as soon as government subsidies are reduced or go away, they disappear.” In other words, if the government keeps putting money into alternative energy then the constructing of solar panels and wind turbines will continue.
It is noteworthy that the SDG agreement followed closely on the heals of the December 12, 2015 Paris Agreement. Incidentally, a 10 day meeting of world leaders on the subject of Climate Change just concluded in Bohn Germany. This follows on the heels of the WEF meeting of world leaders in Davos. Whenever world leaders meet, there is no shortage of private jets and limos, not to mention other evidence of excess. My whole problem with the Climate Change agenda is the total inconsistency from the leaders who promote it. In the end it makes me wonder if there is really more interest in wealth and power than climate. Investments merely shift to countries that have no climate controls, such as China.
In this article, Open Borders Must Be Part of Any Response to the Climate Crisis we read, “Over the last hundred years, borders have come to function much as serfdom did until the 19th century: as a means of restricting the movements of the poor.” This is one of the solutions proposed for the problem of poverty and inequality, but it is lacking a lot of context. Ultimately it implies a world without borders which means no more sovereign nations and anyone can come and “colonize.”
When one looks at who is involved in these world leadership meetings we see the United Nations and its subsidiary entities, such the World Economic Forum (WEF). The SDG’s are under the umbrella of the United Nations as well. I’m relatively new to this understanding of how the UN influences countries, or should I say imposes on the sovereignty of nations, because this is what we have seen in education. IGLA has been very active, lobbying the UN and following up on gender equality and education compliance in all countries.
Between 2014 and 2019, 7 Treaty Bodies selected 33 SOGIESC recommendations for their follow-up review.
17 decisions on Individual Communications were adopted by three Committees in 2014–2019, with a violation found in 9. Two of the cases were brought by trans persons, however, have been no intersex cases so far.
Out of 27 General Comments adopted by Treaty Bodies, 20 (77%) contained references to SOGIESC.
These achievements would not have been possible without the active and consistent participation of LGBTI defenders from around the world, who collected data, drafted and submitted shadow reports, travelled to Geneva, and engaged with Committee members….United Nations Treaty Bodies: References to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics
So, what we have here is powerful lobbying entities, backed by a lot of money, to be sure. There is little that is democratic about this.
I am in favor of many of the Sustainable Development Goals, however, I do not see the value in swallowing the proposals whole, without a careful analysis. For instance, perhaps we cannot get behind the plan to halve global emissions by 2030, or putting an end to building new coal power stations and subsidizing of fossil fuels, or implementing carbon taxes, but I can support reducing pollution of waters, putting limits on deforestation, and providing affordable education and health care. Many goals are not clear like the reference to need to “fix the financial system.” What does that involve? We give up our personal privacy as digital currencies are introduced?
Investing in “global peace” and “a global ceasefire” sounds good, but we have seen how impotent the UN is when faced with a real situation. The same applies to the lofty ideal to “break the vicious cycle of systemic corruption.” What systems are corrupted? How does a world governing body get involved? By creating little activists in our schools?
I nearly laughed at the proposal of a “free, independent media” seeing how we have not had this freedom throughout covid, to discuss alternate views. And “responsible social media platforms that encourage healthy debate,” after vaccine injury reports were repeatedly ignored and removed and doctors were threatened if they spoke out. “Free and fair elections” and “the right to protest.” I get the sense these were slipped in as a token to appeal to a certain audience, the Amazing Grace audience, versus the Beyonce one.
“Increase the power of the people to keep check on the people in power” stumped me as well, since this is the opposite of what we see happening. The rich get richer and the world leaders unite to become more powerful.
“Gender equality” of representation is not a good idea for reasons I don’t have time or space to discuss here. Equal access is good, but equal representation is not. It results in the less competent leading and I would say this is already becoming an apparent consequence, evidence being some of the poorly thought out proposals presented above.
I found the following on the Manhattan Contrarian website, which incidentally is a very comprehensive source for credible information on Climate Change by someone who has the knowledge to speak on the subject:
One of my intellectual heroes is Milton Friedman. In 1964 he spent a year as a visiting professor at Columbia University in Manhattan. In 1974 Friedman wrote an essay titled “Schools at Chicago” that includes the following passage:
In 1964–to the disgust and dismay of most of my academic friends–I served as an economic adviser to Barry Goldwater during his quest for the Presidency. That year also, I was a Visiting Professor at Columbia University. The two together gave me a rare entree into the New York intellectual community. I talked to and argued with groups from academia, from the media, from the financial community, from the foundation world, from you name it. I was appalled at what I found. There was an unbelievable degree of intellectual homogeneity, of acceptance of a standard set of views complete with cliche answers to every objection, of smug self-satisfaction at belonging to an in-group. The closest similar experience I have ever had was at Cambridge, England, and even that was a distant second.
The homogeneity and provincialism of the New York intellectual community made them pushovers in discussions about Goldwater’s views. They had cliche answers but only to their self-created straw-men. To exaggerate only slightly, they had never talked to anyone who really believed, and had thought deeply about, views drastically different from their own. As a result, when they heard real arguments instead of caricatures, they had no answers, only amazement that such views could be expressed by someone who had the external characteristics of being a member of the intellectual community, and that such views could be defended with apparent cogency. Never have I been more impressed with the advice I once received: “You cannot be sure that you are right unless you understand the arguments against your views better than your opponents do.