Restructure US Government to Make “Huge” Green Changes in America, Study Proposes

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Excerpt:  One of the major imped­i­ments, the study says, is cre­at­ed by America’s “basic frame­work of gov­ern­ment, estab­lished by law,” which is “one of sep­a­rat­ed and dis­persed author­i­ty,” in which “gov­ern­ment agen­cies at all lev­els — fed­er­al, state, local, trib­al and even inter­na­tion­al — can only do what they have been autho­rized to do by their gov­ern­ing author­i­ties — name­ly, Con­gress, state leg­is­la­tures, etc.” — not to men­tion the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion.  The new sys­tem of gov­ern­ment orga­ni­za­tion, the study says, would bring fed­er­al, state and local branch­es of gov­ern­ment togeth­er with “stake­hold­ers,” activists and oth­er inter­est­ed par­ties in ways that would not depend on the old legal restric­tions and facil­i­tate new meth­ods of deal­ing with the prob­lems of cre­at­ing a “sus­tain­able soci­ety.”  The main instru­ment for accom­plish­ing that change would be a new Nation­al Sus­tain­abil­i­ty Pol­i­cy that could be cre­at­ed by pres­i­den­tial exec­u­tive order, sim­i­lar to a Nation­al Ocean Pol­i­cy cre­at­ed by the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion two years ago.

The Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion should dra­mat­i­cal­ly reor­ga­nize the rela­tion­ships between America’s fed­er­al depart­ments and agen­cies, and over­come legal bar­ri­ers to help install the neb­u­lous prin­ci­ple of “sus­tain­abil­i­ty”  across gov­ern­ment, the econ­o­my and soci­ety at large, accord­ing to a new Nation­al Research Coun­cil study spon­sored by many of the fed­er­al depart­ments that would be most affected.

The study also calls for installing sus­tain­abil­i­ty in the “cul­ture of gov­ern­ment” and rec­om­mends that the U.S. look for inspi­ra­tion to a num­ber of “nation­al sus­tain­able devel­op­ment strate­gies” adopt­ed under the Unit­ed Nation’s con­tro­ver­sial Agen­da 21, a high­ly detailed blue­print for rework­ing the glob­al econ­o­my and envi­ron­ment that was reaf­firmed at last year’s Rio + 20 sum­mit on sus­tain­able development.

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