One Young World: A Good Thing?

The City will roll out the welcome mat for another international-flavored conference called the "One Young World Summit" in mid-October 2012. Of course the Mayor and civic boosters are all titillated to have the summit coming since by then it will have been three years since the G-20 came to town. The Mayor stated "2,000 of the world’s brightest young people will have the opportunity to experience why Pittsburgh is America’s most livable city. They’ll see firsthand the transformation Pittsburgh has undergone that is second to none in the country."

That’s in case they were unable to read, listen, or view any of the media that came out of the G-20, which officials noted at the time was "…a chance for us to showcase our city, and our region, for the world." Perhaps the young leaders that comprise the "One Young World Summit" were, well, too young to pay attention.

One Pittsburgh area delegate noted that at the recent conference (the group’s second, held in Zurich) "There were some anti-American sentiments expressed here…so I’m looking forward to breaking down some of the barriers in Pittsburgh and showing them what good we can do as well." That’s going to take a Herculean effort based on the impact areas featured on the group’s website. To wit, the group calls upon:

"Global businesses to define and act on their role in the fight against poverty"

"Our political leaders to make clear their stance on humanitarian issues before we consider our support for them."

"Governments to take more deliberate, legislative action to help guarantee that appropriate carbon emissions reduction targets are both agreed and met by 2020."

Sounds decidedly anti-market, anti-growth, and pro-redistributionist; so why would the local delegate be at all surprised at anti-American sentiment?

And what of the conference attendees? Are they going to take time out of the meeting to stroll around Downtown, spend money, eat at restaurants, and stay in hotel rooms without deep contemplation about where the food and services came from, how much profit the sellers of the goods are making, or the presence of multi-national corporations in the City where the summit is held?

While they are drifting off to sleep they might want to do a mea culpa or two for the carbon footprint they imposed on their flight to the Steel City.