The environmental movement has been described as the largest and most influential social phenomenon in modern history. From relative obscurity just a few decades ago it has spawned thousands of organizations and claims millions of committed activists. Reading the newspaper today it is hard to imagine a time when global warming, resource depletion, environmental catastrophes and ‘saving the planet’ were barely mentioned. They now rank among the top priorities on the social, political and economic global agenda.
Environmental awareness is considered to be the mark of any good honest decent citizen. Multi-national companies compete fiercely to promote their environmental credentials and ‘out-green’ each other. The threat of impending ecological disasters is uniting the world through a plethora of international treaties and conventions. But where did this phenomenon come from, how did it rise to such prominence, and more importantly, where is it going?
“The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up
with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming,
water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these
dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through
changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome.
The real enemy then, is humanity itself.”
– Club of Rome
While researching for these articles, and during my academic studies, I have come across many references to the The Club of Rome (CoR), and reports produced by them. Initially I assumed that they were just another high-level environmental think-tank and dismissed the conspiracy theories found on many websites claiming that the CoR is a group of global elitists attempting to impose some kind of one world government.
It’s all there – in black and white. The CoR claims that “we are facing an imminent catastrophic ecological collapse” and “our only hope is to transform humanity into a global interdependent sustainable society, based on respect and reverence for the Earth.” In the end I came to the conclusion that there are two possibilities – either the CoR wrote all these reports and setup a vast network of supporting organizations just for fun or they actually believe what they have written and are working hard to fulfill their role as the self-appointed saviors of Earth.
Based on my close observation of their actions, and watching the recommendations made by the CoR many years ago now being adopted as official UN and government policy – well, I have become personally convinced that they are deadly serious. On this website I try to use quotes and excerpts as much as possible and let the reader reach their own conclusions.
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
So, what exactly is the Club of Rome and who are its members? Founded in 1968 at David Rockefeller’s estate in Bellagio, Italy, the CoR describes itself as “a group of world citizens, sharing a common concern for the future of humanity.” It consists of current and former Heads of State, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists, and business leaders from around the globe.
The Club of Rome subsequently founded two sibling organizations, the Club of Budapest and the Club of Madrid. The former is focused on social and cultural aspects of
their agenda, while the latter concentrates on the political aspects. All three of these ‘Clubs’ share many common members and hold joint meetings and conferences. As explained in other articles on this website it is abundantly clear that these are three heads of the same beast. The CoR has also established a network of 33 National Associations. Membership of the ‘main Club’ is limited to 100 individuals at any one time. Some members, like Al Gore and Maurice Strong, are affiliated through their respective National Associations (e.g. USACOR, CACOR etc).
I would like to start this analysis of the Club of Rome by listing some prominent members of the CoR and its two sub-groups, the Clubs of Budapest and Madrid. Personally it isn’t what the CoR is that I find so astonishing; it is WHO the CoR is! This isn’t some quirky little group of green activists or obscure politicians. They are the most senior officials in the United Nations, current and ex-world leaders, and the founders of some of the most influential environmental organisations. When you read their reports in the context of who they are – its gives an entirely new, and frightening, context to their extreme claims.
Some current members of the Club of Rome or its two siblings:
Al Gore – former VP of the USA, leading climate change campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Academy Award winner, Emmy winner. Gore lead the US delegations to the Rio Earth Summit and Kyoto Climate Change conference. He chaired a meeting of the full Club of Rome held in Washington DC in 1997.
Javier Solana – Secretary General of the Council of the European Union, High Representative for EU Foreign Policy.
Maurice Strong – former Head of the UN Environment Programme, Chief Policy Advisor to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the Rio Earth Summit, co-author (with Gorbachev) of the Earth Charter, co-author of the Kyoto Protocol, founder of the Earth Council, devout Baha’i.
Mikhail Gorbachev – CoR executive member, former President of the Soviet Union, founder of Green Cross International and the Gorbachev Foundation, Nobel Peace Prize winner, co-founder (with Hidalgo) of the Club of Madrid, co-author (with Strong) of the Earth Charter.
Diego Hidalgo – CoR executive member, co-founder (with Gorbachev) of the Club of Madrid, founder and President of the European Council on Foreign Relations in association with George Soros.
Ervin Laszlo – founding member of the CoR, founder and President of the Club of Budapest, founder and Chairman of the World Wisdom Council.
Anne Ehrlich – Population Biologist. Married to Paul Ehrlich with whom she has authored many books on human overpopulation. Also a former director of Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, and a member of the UN’s Global Roll of Honor.
Hassan bin Talal – President of the CoR, President of the Arab Thought Forum, founder of the World Future Council, recently named as the United Nations ‘Champion of the Earth’.
Sir Crispin Tickell – former British Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Permanent Representative on the Security Council, Chairman of the ‘Gaia Society’, Chairman of the Board of the Climate Institute, leading British climate change campaigner.
Kofi Annan – former Secretary General of the United Nations. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Javier Perez de Cuellar – former Secretary General of the United Nations.
Gro Harlem Bruntland – United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Change, former President of Norway
Robert Muller – former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, founder and Chancellor of the UN University of Peace.
The Dalai Lama – The ‘Spiritual Leader’ of Tibet. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Father Berry Thomas – Catholic Priest who is one of the leading proponents of deep ecology, ecospirituality and global consciousness.
David Rockefeller – CoR executive member, former Chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, founder of the Trilateral Commission, executive member of the World Economic Forum, donated land on which the United Nations stands.
Stephen Schneider – Stanford Professor of Biology and Global Change. Professor Schneider was among the earliest and most vocal proponents of man-made global warming and a lead author of many IPCC reports.
Bill Clinton – former President of the United States, founder of the Clinton Global Iniative.
Jimmy Carter – former President of the United States, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Bill Gates – founder of Microsoft, philanthropist
Garret Hardin – Professor of Human Ecology. Originator of the ‘Global Commons’ concept. Has authored many controversial papers on human overpopulation and eugenics.
Other current influential members:
(these can be found on the membership lists of the COR (here, here, and here), Club of Budapest, Club of Madrid and/or CoR National Association membership pages)
Ted Turner – media mogul, philanthropist, founder of CNN
George Soros – multibillionare, major donor to the UN
Tony Blair – former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Deepak Chopra – New Age Guru
Desmond Tutu – South African Bishop and activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Timothy Wirth – President of the United Nations Foundation
Henry Kissinger – former US Secretary of State
George Matthews – Chairman of the Gorbachev Foundation
Harlan Cleveland – former Assistant US Secretary of State and NATO Ambassador
Barbara Marx Hubbard – President of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution
Betty Williams – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Marianne Williamson – New Age ‘Spiritual Activist’
Robert Thurman – assistant to the Dalai Lama
Jane Goodall – Primatologist and Evolutionary Biologist
Juan Carlos I – King of Spain
Prince Philippe of Belgium
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
Dona Sophia – Queen of Spain
José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – current Prime Minister of Spain
Karan Singh – Former Prime Minister of India, Chairman of the Temple of Understanding
Daisaku Ikeda – founder of the Soka Gakkai cult
Martin Lees – CoR Secretary General, Rector of the UN University of Peace
Ernesto Zedillo – Director of The Yale Center for the Study of Globalization
Frithjof Finkbeiner – Coordinator of the Global Marshall Plan
Franz Josef Radermacher – Founder of the Global Marshall Plan
Eduard Shevardnadze – former Soviet foreign minister and President of Georgia
Richard von Weizsacker – former President of Germany
Carl Bildt – former President of Sweden
Kim Campbell – former Prime Minister of Canada and Senior Fellow of the Gorbachev Foundation
Vincente Fox – former President of Mexico
Helmut Kohl – former Chancellor of Germany
Romano Prodi – former Prime Minister of Italy and President of the European Commission
Vaclav Havel – former President of the Czech Republic
Hans Kung – Founder of the Global Ethic Foundation
Ruud Lubbers – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Mary Robinson – United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Jerome Binde – Director of Foresight, UNESCO
Koïchiro Matsuura – Current Director General of UNESCO
Federico Mayor – Former Director General of UNESCO
Tapio Kanninen – Director of Policy and Planning, United Nations
Konrad Osterwalder – Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Peter Johnston – Director General of European Commission
Jacques Delors – Former President of the European Commission
Domingo Jimenez-Beltran – Executive Director of the European Environment Agency
Thomas Homer-Dixon – Director of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto
Hazel Henderson – Futurist and ‘evoluntionary economist’
Emeka Anyaoku – former Commonwealth Secretary General, current President of the World Wildlife Fund
Wangari Maathai – Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founder of the Green Belt Movement
and many more….
The concept of ‘environmental sustainability’ was first brought to widespread public attention in 1972 by the Club of Rome in their book entitled The LIMITS TO GROWTH. The official summary can be read here. The report basically concluded that the growth of the human population, and an increase in prosperity, would cause an ecological collapse within the next hundred years:
“If the present growth trends in world population, industrialization, pollution, food production, and resource depletion continue unchanged, the limits to growth on this planet will be reached sometime within the next one hundred years. The most probable result will be a rather sudden and uncontrollable decline in both population and industrial capacity.”
“It is possible to alter these growth trends and to establish a condition of ecological and economic stability that is sustainable far into the future. The state of global equilibrium could be designed so that the basic material needs of each person on earth are satisfied and each person has an equal opportunity to realize his individual human potential.”
“The overwhelming growth in world population caused by the positive birth-rate loop is a recent phenomenon, a result of mankind’s very successful reduction of worldwide mortality. The controlling negative feedback loop has been weakened, allowing the positive loop to operate virtually without constraint. There are only two ways to restore the resulting imbalance. Either the birth rate must be brought down to equal the new, lower death rate, or the death rate must rise again.”
“The result of stopping population growth in 1975 and industrial capital growth in 1985 with no other changes is that population and capital reach constant values at a relatively high level of food, industrial output and services per person. Eventually, however, resource shortages reduce industrial output and the temporarily stable state degenerates.”
“Man possesses, for a small moment in his history, the most powerful combination of knowledge, tools, and resources the world has ever known. He has all that is physically necessary to create a totally new form of human society – one that would be built to last for generations. The two missing ingredients are a realistic, long-term goal that can guide mankind to the equilibrium society and the Human Will to achieve that goal.”
“Without such a goal and a commitment to it, short-term concerns will generate the exponential growth that drives the world system toward the limits of the earth and ultimate collapse. With that goal and that commitment, mankind would be ready now to begin a controlled, orderly transition from growth to global equilibrium.”
So as you can see the even back in 1972 the Club considered modern industrial society to be completely unsustainable. They state that even if population was frozen at 1975 levels, and industrial activity at 1985 levels, then the earth’s ecosystems would still ultimately collapse. The CoR has not changed these views in the slightest, in fact, in the last three decades their warnings have become increasingly more urgent and alarmist. They call this imminent collapse the ‘World Problematique’ and their proposed solution the ‘world resolutique.’
The LIMITS TO GROWTH is considered to be the most successful environmental publication ever produced and propelled the Club of Rome to its current position of an environmental thought-leader and a major consultant to the United Nations. It has been translated into more than forty languages and sold more than 30 million copies. Throughout the 1970s and 80s the concept that humanity was irreparably damaging the earth gained popularity and facilitated the formation of mainstream and activist environmental groups.
All meetings of the CoR are held ‘behind closed doors’ and no public records are kept. However the Club does produce many ‘discussion reports’ that can be found on its website. The United Nations contracts the Club of Rome to prepare ‘Policy Guidance Documents’ which it uses in formulating its policies and programmes. A quick search for Club of Rome on the UNESCO publications site reveals 250 such documents. There are many other documents there authored by CoR members acting in other capacities. As many high ranking UN officials are actually CoR members, this is like a man asking himself for advice, and then agreeing with that advice. Not very objective! Various UN organizations also hold joint conferences with the CoR.
While checking the Club of Rome website this morning the first item in their ‘current news’ section refers to a briefing delivered by the CoR to G8 officials in preparation for the upcoming G8 meeting. The second item is a summary report from the Club of Romes ’strategy planning retreat’ with 150 senior UNESCO officials. The joint CoR/UNESCO communique states:
“We are at the end of an era – a turning point in history. We are approaching the threshold of runaway climate change. We underline the urgency of radical action to reduce emissions, by both immediate action and longer-term measures; to stress to political leaders the non-linear nature of the processes at work which will generate sudden change; and to assert that the overriding priority must be to avert the impending risk of catastrophic climate change.” – CoR/UNESCO communique
Twenty years after the Limits to Growth the CoR published another major report that became an instant best-seller. In The First Global Revolution the Club of Rome claimed that the time to act had run out. It was now or never. Delay in beginning corrective measures will increase the damage to the world ecological system and ultimately reduce the human population that will eventually be supportable. They also stated that democratic governments are far too short-sighted to deal with the ‘problematique’ and new forms of governance are urgently required.
In order not too violate any copyright protection I will not reproduce the text of the book on this site. However, it is permissible for me to quote a brief excerpt in the context of this wider discussion. The complete text (third ed.) can be read and searched online at Google Books. As you read the following quote (from page 75, first ed.), please remember the names of the leaders listed above. This is not some quirky little cult. This is the stated agenda of the leaders of the environmental movement:
“This is the way we are setting the scene for mankind’s encounter with the planet. The opposition between the two ideologies that have dominated the 20th century has collapsed, forming their own vacuum and leaving nothing but crass materialism.
It is a law of Nature that any vacuum will be filled and therefore eliminated unless this is physically prevented. “Nature,” as the saying goes, “abhors a vacuum.” And people, as children of Nature, can only feel uncomfortable, even though they may not recognize that they are living in a vacuum. How then is the vacuum to be eliminated?
It would seem that humans need a common motivation, namely a common adversary, to organize and act together in the vacuum; such a motivation must be found to bring the divided nations together to face an outside enemy, either a real one or else one invented for the purpose.
New enemies therefore have to be identified.
New strategies imagined, new weapons devised.
The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.
The old democracies have functioned reasonably well over the last 200 years, but they appear now to be in a phase of complacent stagnation with little evidence of real leadership and innovation
Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything and it is unaware of its own limits. These facts must be faced squarely. Sacrilegious though this may sound, democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature of many of today’s problems do not always allow elected representatives to make competent decisions at the right time.”
So, long before Global Warming became a well known issue Al Gore and his Club of Rome colleagues stated that they would use the threat of global warming to unite humanity and “set the scene for mankind’s encounter with the planet.”
In the same way that shamans and sooth-sayers in medieval times used their advance knowledge of when eclipses would occur to control and terrify their followers, they would use a natural phenomenon as their ‘enemy’ to achieve their objectives. But then they state that although Global Warming would be presented as the initial enemy, the real enemy of humanity would be portrayed as man himself. I am already noticing how frequently the terms climate change and overpopulation are being uttered in the same breath.
Having discovered that all these influential environmental leaders were associated with the Club of Rome I set about reading all the reports, lectures and speeches on their website as well as the reports commissioned by the UN. I was amazed to find that they lay out their entire agenda for anyone who has eyes to see. Exactly the same themes, concepts and phrases are repeated continuously throughout their publications. They are full of references to ‘imminent collapse’, ‘dying planet’, ‘wrenching transformation’, ‘united global society’, ‘global consciousness’, ‘new forms of governance’ etc. They truly intend to bring about the world’s First Global Revolution.
The Kosmos Journal provides perhaps the best insight into their worldview. This Journal was founded by the Club of Rome in partnership with with several of its sibling organizations. The CoR has established a network of supporting organizations, each focusing on a different aspect of their agenda. The Kosmos Journal contains many articles written by CoR members. The basic premise of their worldview is:
“Modern industrial civilisation is fast outstripping the Earth’s natural regenerative and life-supporting capacity…”
“At current rates of resource depletion and environmental degradation a near complete collapse of ecological integrity will occur within the next 100 years…”
“A small window of opportunity now exists to transform humanity into a sustainable global interdependent society based on respect and reverence for Earth…”
“A radical change from the current trajectory is required, a complete reordering of global society…”
“Humans only truly unite when faced with a powerful external enemy…”
“At this time a new enemy must be found, one either real or invented for the purpose…”
“Democracy has failed us, a new system of global governance, based on environmental imperatives, must be implemented quickly…”
Now that Obama is firmly ensconced in the White House the Club of Rome and its affiliates are swinging into high gear. The CoR recently unveiled a new 3-year programme entitled A New Path for World Development. The Club of Madrid has launched the Road to Copenhagen, a joint programme with the UN Environment Programme intended to facilitate a binding global climate change treaty in 2009. Perhaps most interesting is the State of Global Emergency declared by the Club of Budapest in October 2008. The declaration states that we only have four or five years to prevent a total collapse of the Earth’s ecosystems. To quote from the document:
“If we continue on our present unsustainable path, by mid-century the Earth may become largely uninhabitable for human and most other forms of life. Such a total systems collapse could occur much sooner, however, due to runaway global warming or other eco-catastrophes, and/or by nuclear wars triggered by religious, ethnic or geopolitical conflicts or access to diminishing natural resources. The macro-trends driving these global threats and challenges have been apparent for decades and are now building toward a threshold of irreversibility. The scientific modeling of complex systems shows that when systems reach a state of critical instability, they either break down to their components or break through to a higher order of integral functioning. At these “points of no return” maintaining the status quo, or returning to a previous mode of organization and functioning, are not a feasible option.
This may seem very strange – a group of prominent world leaders talking about ancient Mayan prophecies many leading global warming activists openly advocate earth-reverence and other New Age philosophies. “Gaia,” Global Warming, and Global Governance are intricately entwined, if one truly believes in Gaia, and that Earth being fatally harmed by the current system, then a new system of global governance and control would appear to be the only answer. Global Warming provides the ideal ‘enemy’ to bring about this objective. It is easy for these global elitists to talk about sacrifice, wrenching transformation, population reduction and eliminating the use of fossil fuels but the implications are truly horrendous.
Even if you think this is all nonsense I would ask you to at least read these quotes and excerpts, and think about the implications of their agenda. Everyday I am amazed at how quickly things are changing. It is coming hard and fast. It’s almost like reading a book and then watching the television adaptation, except that this adaptation is not a movie – it’s on the evening news. As Al Gore said in the closing sentence of his statement after he won the Nobel Peace Prize … “This is just the beginning.”