What do the Statue of Liberty and a tropical rainforest in Australia have in common? What links the Grand Canyon and Yosemite to Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, Machu Pichu, and Auschwitz Concentration Camp?
All these, along with hundreds of other scenic and cultural treasures around the world, have come under the "protection" of UNESCO through the World Heritage Convention. Signed by former President Nixon in 1973, this treaty gives the United Nations authority to guide the safe-keeping of international sites and monuments "considered to be of such exceptional interest and such universal value that their protection is the responsibility of all humanity." 1
What if some Heritage lands are privately owned?
It doesn't matter. In the eyes of UNESCO, private owners can't be trusted to guard "a World Heritage which belongs to all humanity"2 any more than parents can be trusted to properly raise their own children. The rights of the global collective must replace the old Western individual rights. To persuade the public, a new revolutionary way of thinking-often called holistic, integrated, or "systems thinking"-must replace the contrary old Western thoughts and ways.
"The real enemy is a dysfunctional way of thinking,"3 said Al Gore in Earth in the Balance. His solution? "A worldwide education program... We should actively search for ways to promote a new way of thinking about the current relationship between human civilization and the earth...."4 UNESCO is leading the way.
From individual to collective rights. Joe Baylis' gold mine was outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. It fulfilled all state and federal environmental requirements. But those facts didn't stop UNESCO from exercising its authority over Baylis' land. According to new holistic interpretations of the World Heritage treaty, UN jurisdiction now also includes "critical buffer zones." So when World Heritage Committee members from Europe and Asia appeared in Wyoming in 1995 to help radical environmentalist fight the environmentally friendly mining company, they claimed-and won-the right to censure human activity within the entire ecosystem.
What would be the boundaries of the Yellowstone World Heritage ecosystem? They are not yet established, explained Tony Barnosky, the moderator for the international hearing. But he admitted that it would include parts of "Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, an area of between 14 and 18 million acres."5 Yellowstone Park itself covers only about 2.2 million acres.6 Must the United States then submit to UN regulations for human activity within this entire region?
Ken Smith (not his real name)7 didn't believe this could happen to him. His farm in the "wet tropics" of north-eastern Australia included a small piece of rainforest which he had researched and lovingly nurtured through the years. But when government environmentalists discovered that Smith had preserved ancient trees that had long vanished from most of the government-owned rainforest around him, they coveted his superior piece.
Australia signed the World Heritage Convention in 1974, and in 1988 the wet tropics came under the watchful eye of the United Nations. Its Australian partners, operating through the Department of Environment, counted nearly a hundred species of "rare and threatened plants" on and near Smith's property along Cooper Creek. By 1991, the Cooper Creek catchment was recognized as one of Australia's most important botanical sites.
Smith didn't want to yield his control of his land to the World Heritage administrators, but they claimed it anyway. He tried to work with the environmental agencies established to carry out UN directives. But their irrational regulations made it impossible for him to continue growing tropical fruit in his small orchard adjacent to the forest. He suggested a land "swap" - his rainforest for a cleared piece of land - but the environmental bureaucrats didn't respond. Sad and embittered, he sold his limited land rights to Prue, Neil and Brian Hewett, who hoped to earn a living on the land through ecotourism.
Led to believe they had their government's consent, the Hewetts submitted a detailed plan for their forest's further protection. They also requested permission to extend their guided walks through the forest. The government not only ignored the petition, it began to direct tourism away from their area. When bureaucratic delays tested their patience and limited resources, the Hewetts challenged the Department of Environment to answer in court.
On December 10, 1996, the Department warned the Hewetts that any form of tourism in their area would be discouraged. Only botanists and zoologist would be welcome into an area of such "great scientific interest". In other words, the original terms of the agreement had been replaced by the new systemic perspective that would guide the new managers of the land and its people.
Yet, these globalist guardians did nothing to keep swimmers and sightseers from trampling the unprotected part of the Hewett's land. "We, the owners, are in the best position to protect our land," said Prue Hewett who genuinely wants to promote what she calls sustainable ecotourism. "The managers are far away at their desks in the cities. The local people here believe the government wants to reduce the population and get rid of the whole local community."
She may be right. Could it be that World Heritage bureaucrats really don't care that much about nature or "all humanity"?
FROM APATHY TO CONSENSUS. Those who have lost property rights and freedom would probably say "yes", but the rest of the world seems oblivious to the changes. It doesn't matter whether people live in the Northern or Southern hemisphere. Few are noticing the progressive steps from national sovereignty to a global management system.
After all, the promotional literature sounds so good! To the people I met in Australia and New Zealand on a recent tour of UNESCO lands, the World Heritage label means honor, recognition, and additional income.
"It's a benefit to eco-tourism," said a New Zealand tour guide eager for more business.
"Being a World Heritage Area helps us protect our environment," added a visitor from Australia.
UNESCO and other globalist change agents would have been proud. Their efforts to build public consensus and win approval are succeeding. Young and old are accepting the environmental media messages and believe the UN propaganda. Few check the facts behind the deceptive "science" and noble visions.
"How can you be so sure that human activity causes global warming," I asked some fellow travelers, knowing well that car exhaust and other "destructive greenhouse gasses" have little effect on nature compared to the massive output of chlorine gasses from major volcanoes and ocean evaporation.8
"The scientists tell us," was the confident answer.
Few realize that environmental "scientists" who receive government funding and UN approval must provide "scientific" backing for this political agenda.9 The battle for public support is won by those who "inform" and persuade the people. "Saving the earth" provides the cause and crisis that persuades people to submit to unthinkable regulations.
As Stanford scientist Stephen Schneider said, "We'd like to... get some broad-based support, to capture the public's imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts we might have...."10
With the media on their side, global greens are winning the war. Around the world, people are bombarded with the scary images and distorted information designed to change attitudes and boost compliance.
FROM SPECIFIC FACTS TO HOLISTIC AMBIGUITY. To pacify their opposition, globalists are redefining their terms and making nice-sounding but ambiguous promises subject to their own evolving interpretations. Remember, those who define the terms control the program, and UNESCO doesn't play by the old rules.
When the three World Heritage Committee members flew to Wyoming in September 1995 to exercise their authority over Yellowstone Park, they ignored the arguments given by the US Forest Service and state agencies. Federal and state assurances that the mine would cause no environmental problems made no difference. The mine wasn't the issue. What UNESCO sought was the right to impose its evolving regulations "on properties of World Heritage."
To gain control, it added new meaning to the agreement. In the seventies, the World Heritage Convention had defined "natural heritage" as "precisely delineated areas...." For Yellowstone, that "precise" delineation was a site measuring 2.2 million acres. Now the World Heritage leaders were claiming the right to "protect" what environmentalist considered an entire ecosystem of 14 to 18 million acres
World Heritage Committee Chairman Adul Wichiencharoen of Thailand explained the new terms. He suggested that Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) being prepared by the US Forest Service was taking a "fragmented" rather than a more "holistic approach" to the Yellowstone ecosystem.
"It's a bit too much piecemeal, doesn't speak to the biological interactions outside park boundaries,"11 added Executive Director Bernd Von Droat, of Germany.
Joe Baylis, President of Crown Butte's New World gold mine, wasn't surprised. He viewed the attack on his project as part of a far greater attack on all kinds of development near the park. The UNESCO committee's call for a broadly defined ecosystem was simply a political strategy to overcome the rational but contrary facts presented by the U.S. Forest Service.
"The New World project as proposed will not threaten the park. It will benefit it," said Baylis, who had agreed to clean up all existing mine waste as well as to follow all the new state and federal regulations.
Since the UN and its army of radical environmentalists were writing the rules and standards for ecosystem management, it's no wonder the mining company lost. This new global partnership has little tolerance for commercial concerns or property rights. All who treasure the freedoms America has offered for over two hundred years share in that loss.
This loss meant victory to President Clinton. Defending UNESCO's claims, he signed the agreement that killed the gold mine. "This fight was not simply waged by those of you who live here for your families and your community and your future," he assured his army of eco-warriors. "You waged this fight for all the people in the United States and, indeed, the people of the world who believe in the preservation of our natural resources."12
Political paradigm shifts of this magnitude don't happen without opposition. So to minimize conflict, UN leaders and local partners seek the consent of a gullible public "informed" with the latest government approved "scientific" information.
"...information..." says Al Gore, "should be collected in a manner that facilitates public education and fosters a greater understanding of what the new information means within the larger context of rapid global change."23
The World Heritage Youth have been enlisted to speed the process. As members of UNESCO's "Young People Participating in World Heritage Preservation and Promotion," they are working with teachers on the production of a World Heritage Education Kit, which will be distributed to schools worldwide in 1997.24 Could we be seeing the rise of a worldwide "democratic" or "civil" government whereby the chosen elite rule by manipulating a well-indoctrinated public, starting with the youth?
In his second inaugural speech, President Clinton said "government must change. We need a new government for a new century." Could he be referring to the UN plans for managing and monitoring human and natural resources everywhere? His ambiguous visions fit the UN agenda, to which he has repeatedly pledged his support.
If global governance becomes reality, there will be no place for dissenters to hide-other than in Christ. Now is the time to watch for the signs, learn the facts, inform others, call Congress, and-above all-pray to the only God who can preserve His gift of freedom in this land.
To learn how globalists use our education system to persuade people and build consensus, read Brave New Schools by Berit Kjos. Available through Christian bookstores or call (1-800-829-5646).
1 "World Heritage", UNESCO wall map and brochure, no date.
3 Al Gore, Earth in the Balance (Houghton-Mifflin, 1992), 274.
4 Ibid., 355.
5 Chris Tollefson, "UNESCO Group Focuses on Park Ecosystem," Star Tribune (Casper WY), 9 September, 1995.
6 "Yellowstone National Park," The World Heritage website on Internet.
7 To protect the families involved in the controversy over this piece of land, I prefer to maintain their anonymity. Anyone interested in contacted them can call me for more information.
8 Read about environmental education in Chapter 5 of Brave New School.
9 See" Food Summit Speeds UN Agenda" in Media Bypass, January 1997.
10 Jonathan Schell, "Our Fragile Earth," Discover (October 1989); 44.
12 Tom DeWeese, "Yellowstone Update," The DeWeese Report, September 1996.
13 The Biodiversity Treaty has not yet been ratified by the U.S. Senate. Tell your representatives not to yield to White House pressures to ratify.
14 Henry Lamb, "Meet Maurice Strong," Eco-Logic (Box 191, Powel Rock, TN 38342), November/December 1995.
15 Cliff Kincaid, "Reform farce at the UN starring Annan," The Washington Times, 1-31-97.
18 Our Global Neighborhood, The Commission on Global Governance (Oxford University Press, 1995), 214, 216.
19 Ibid., 110,111.
20 Ibid., 112.
21 Ibid., 240 241.
22 Toward A Rapid Reaction Capability for the United Nations, Report of the Government of Canada, 1995, 56.
23 Gore, 356.
24 The World Heritage Newsletter, No. 12, October 1996. Available on the World Heritage website.