Participants at the UN’s Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador are exhorted on blue and white (the UN’s colors) billboards to do their best for the world’s cities. Our personal favorite read “Compact Cities.”

According to speakers addressing the conference, only by transforming cities and other human settlements into densely populated urban centers will future generations have any prospect of meeting the challenges facing them, first and foremost climate change (formerly known as “global warming”).

An endless parade of people described as “urban experts, “ warned  habitat-iii-bonner-cohen-w-delegate-rthat whatever plans were adopted at Quito would be pointless unless they were accompanied by comprehensive monitoring. But what would be the criteria by which a city’s performance could be evaluated? Not to worry, said Michael Cohen of the New School in New York , his graduate students had developed the criteria that would assess cities’ compliance with the UN’s plans to ensure that urban areas take the lead in combating climate change.

That’s right, kids in their early-to-mid-twenties – with precious little experience in the real world –have figured it out. With the grad students’ criteria in hand, cities can be monitored for the seriousness with they are meeting their commitment to battle the scourge of climate change.

Climate Change as the Pretext for a Radical New Housing Policy

While it’s easy to make light of such nonsense, no one should take these people lightly. They mean business. Using climate change as the pretext, they are determined to put an end to the way we have traditionally chosen the homes, where we raise our families.

Over time, the UN’s New Urban Agenda will see decision-making authority shifted from individuals and local governments to regional councils. These regional councils will be stacked with a smattering of elected officials joined by assorted “stakeholders.” These stakeholders will be composed of green groups, housing advocates, officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and other busybodies. It is they who will rewrite local zoning ordinances, land-use laws, and transportation policies.

People will see their choices limited to the few options presented them. The terms “property rights” and “individual liberty” were nowhere to be heard at Habitat III. Instead, participants were told that “decarbonization” is imperative if the planet is to be saved. And if that means packing people into compact housing like so many sardines in a tin can, so be it.

One of the sessions even dealt with the role of video games in enhancing climate awareness in urban settings. Really? Wow. Come up with a video game where a seven-year-old can figure out how to save his town from rising sea levels, and you are well on your way to indoctrinating the next generation of climate warriors.


  • Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

    Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT, where he focuses on natural resources, energy, property rights, and geopolitical developments. Articles by Dr. Cohen have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Investor’s Busines Daily, The New York Post, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times, The Hill, The Epoch Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Miami Herald, and dozens of other newspapers around the country. He has been interviewed on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, NBC News, NPR, BBC, BBC Worldwide Television, N24 (German-language news network), and scores of radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Cohen has addressed conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, and Bangladesh. He has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph. D. – summa cum laude – from the University of Munich.