It didn’t take long at the UN’s “World Urban Forum,” currently underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for those assembled to voice their displeasure with American freedom.

“We’re not sure what happened to North America [audience laughter] but we’re trying to make sustainable development great again,” said a panel of European Union mayors and city planners.

Debbie Bacigalupi is leading CFACT’s team in Malaysia (thanks CFACT supporters!) and we’d like to say she’s shocked, but at this point she’s seen it all too often before.

“You choosing where and how to live for yourself is not quite to their liking here at the World Urban Forum,” Debbie said.  “They envision us shivering in towering, dimly lit, concrete cubes in a government-sponsored building project, not too different from those the Soviets left strewn about Eastern Europe.  They’re confident we can squeak by on a trickle of expensive ‘Green’ electricity.  They envision themselves living a trifle larger,” she added.

Prince Charles sent a special video message to the UN Ministers, delegates, city planners, bureaucrats and “stakeholders” declaring in Orwellian fashion, “Now is the time to implement the New Urban Agenda.”  Do you think the Prince of Wales will join us in scaled-down, carbon-neutral, bureaucratically prescribed dwelling-units he now champions?  Charles appears willing to espouse any pious, left-wing cause in order to score points with the British media and ease the damage his reputation suffered by dumping the world’s most popular princess and obtain the title “queen” (which he promised to abandon) for his second wife.

“Sustainable development” has become perhaps the world’s most dangerous term.  It sounds nice, yet defies clear description.  What it means at a UN forum like that in Malaysia is giving the Left whatever it wants.  History has taught us that heavy-handed control is the most unsustainable way to govern.  For a recent lesson just ask Venezuela.

American “farmers have gotten away with murder” sniffed Professor Eugenia Birch of the University of Pennsylvania in an interview with Debbie Bacigalupi.  Birch is in Kuala Lumpur advocating an immediate resumption of the Obama-era push to bury farmers under an avalanche of over-regulation, particularly when it comes to so-called “clean water rules.”  Fortunately for Professor Birch, our farmers will keep her fed.

Our would-be UN urban masters are convinced they are smarter than us.  They’d like us to concede the point already, and do as we’re told.  They’re so “all-knowing,” in fact, that they paid to place a loose insert into Kuala Lumpur’s local The Star newspaper.  “Unfortunately, only half of the message was delivered as the bottom half of the ad was left empty with the words ‘add montage pictures of KL, Penang, Melaka, Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Medan Pasar and KLCC.'”

If the 20th Century taught us anything it is that freedom is just and efficient.  Central government planning is not.  People need to know what the UN is planning before the future becomes half empty lives for the lot of us.


Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to make CFACT’s mission to the UN Forum in Kuala Lumpur a reality.  Our team has a great deal more work to do.  If you’ve not yet made your gift, can we count on you to chip in today?  CFACT is effective, but only due to the support of our friends.  Fortunately, you are the best.


  • Craig Rucker

    Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.