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Champagne socialist full of bubbles: Maurice Strong profits from pushing leftist ideas


Edmonton Journal - logo

EDMONTON JOURNAL

Maurice Strong & Paul Martin, Part 2

Champagne socialist full of bubbles: Maurice Strong profits from pushing leftist ideas

Friday 18 July 2003

p. A18

"Economic growth is not the cure; it is the disease."

That is Maurice Strong's take on what is wrong with the world, today, and what is the greatest threat to the environment. Everything that is wrong can, in Strong's mind, be traced to three sources -- industrialization, wealth and free markets. I'd add a fourth -- Christianity -- except Strong never quite comes out and blames it for the world's ills. He merely hints at it with statements such as "We are all gods now, gods in charge of our own destiny," which he made in his autobiographical 2000 book Where on Earth are We Going?

Actually, Strong's three sources of evil are really just one source -- Western civilization. Although he has reaped enormous personal profits from the Western ways of business and life, Strong has been a lifelong biter of the hands that feed him so well. In 1990, he even mused about a possible revolution against "industrialized civilizations."

What if it were concluded, Strong romanticized, "that the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? ... Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring this about?"

Strong wasn't exactly speaking for himself in this daydream. His nightmarish scenario involved a "small group of ... world leaders," gathered together at a semi-private conference, who decide to overthrow the established political and financial orders "in order to save the planet."

But he was not speaking for himself, either. Strong revels in telling fawning audiences that he is "a socialist in ideology," but "a capitalist in methodology." His socialist core would explain his attraction to revolutions against rich, industrialized civilizations.

And his membership on a dozen international business and environmental organizations would explain why he thinks such a revolution might spring from a small, semi-private gathering of world leaders.

Those are the circles Strong runs in. They are the people he knows. Undoubtedly, as he has sat through literally hundreds of such gatherings, he has occasionally marvelled at the amount of power represented by the leaders in the room, and speculated on what might convince those leaders to suspend democracy and diplomacy, and join him in the top-down coup of his dreams.

If the idea of a revolt against power, privilege and wealth, led by the most powerful, privileged and wealthy strikes you as a bit incongruous, then you need to understand two more things about Maurice Strong: He has made his fortune, reputation and influence out of peddling radical leftist ideas to the international jet set, to champagne socialists like himself, who very much enjoy what rank and riches have given them, but who despair the consumerism and capitalism they see in those beneath them.

The other piece you need to the Strong puzzle is his contempt for ordinary people and the institutions that give them control over these leaders. Strong thinks only superior mortals who run in his circles and share his philosophy are fit to decide how the world should be run.

Only once has Strong lowered himself to stand for public office -- in the 1979 Canadian general election that saw Joe Clark's Tories squeak into power. But he couldn't even bear to see that through to election day.

According to an eye-popping indictment of Strong's smug contempt for democratic accountability, in the book, Fight Kyoto, Calgary journalist and lawyer Ezra Levant points out that Strong withdrew as the Liberal candidate in a Scarborough riding one month before voting day because he found his "constituents' priorities were parochial."

Strong is a founder of the Council on Global Governance; the author of the Earth Charter (earthcharter.org), that he wants to be not only the supreme law of the planet -- replacing national laws and constitutions -- but a new "Ten Commandments," as well.

Strong is or has been a board member with Earth Council, the World Wildlife Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, the United Nations Environment Program and two of three of the UN's big world environment gatherings -- Stockholm in 1972 and Rio in 1992.

The 1997 Kyoto accords sprang directly out of Strong's Rio conference in 1992, with Strong having a hand guiding the accords to fruition all the way, as a special adviser to the UN secretary general, periodically with the status of undersecretary general, himself.

Levant claims Strong has "never stopped pressing for a world where the UN's resolutions would be enforced as the law in every corner of the Earth." And Strong has made it clear he sees no harm in carbon taxes, air travel taxes and financial transaction taxes that raise billions or even trillions annually to fund a super world bureaucracy where he and others can influence world affairs without every grubbying themselves by seeking approval from -- ugh -- voters.

This is the man Paul Martin wants to make a senior economic and environmental adviser in his PMO. But that's no surprise, either. Levant details how Strong hired Martin to be his personal assistant at Montreal's Power Corporation, even before Martin had left university, and later helped Martin get his stake in Canada Steamship Lines, the company that is the source of Martin's personal wealth, not to mention his pride and joy. Martin's enthusiasm for Strong's counsel goes way, way back.

_______________________
Lorne Gunter
Columnist, Edmonton Journal
Editorial Board Member, National Post

(See also Part 1 of this series, and the references shown at the end of this page. —WHS)


Index to some of Lorne Gunter's articles

On global Warming

On other issues


The following is not part of Lorne Gunter's article:

Why Canada promotes the implementation of the Kyoto accord.

The Kyoto Accord is ostensibly intended to curb or reduce man-made global warming.  Realistically, the Kyoto accord will do no such thing.   At worst, man-made contributions through combustion of fossil fuels causes a maximum of one third of the warming experienced in the northern hemisphere.  All or most of the warming that we have experienced since the globe climbed out of the Little Ice Age is caused by long-term variations in the amount of solar radiation....

At the very least, the Kyoto accord will bring serious harm or perhaps even ruin to the economies of the developed nations.  The collapse of the developed nations will lead us into a new dark age for the world.  Still, powerful and influential individuals have been at work for many years to implement exactly that sort of design for the future of humanity. (Full Story)

White RoseThe White Rose
Thoughts are Free

__________________
Posted 2003 07 18