Why we oppose Agenda 21
By Tom DeWeese
It’s important to note that we fight Agenda 21 because we oppose its policies and its process, not just its origins. Why do we see it as a threat? Isn’t it just a plan to protect the environment and stop uncontrolled development and sprawl?
As the late Henry Lamb of Freedom 21 put it, “Comprehensive land use planning that delivers sustainable development to local communities transforms both the process through which decisions that govern citizens are made, and the market place where citizens must earn their livelihood. The fundamental principle that government is empowered by the consent of the governed is completely by-passed in the process…the natural next step is for government to dictate the behavior of the people who own the land that the government controls.”
To enforce the policy, local government is being transformed by “stakeholder councils” created and enforced by the same NGO Agenda 21 authors. They are busy creating a matrix of non-elected boards, councils and regional governments that usurp the ability of citizens to have an impact on policy. It’s the demise of representative government. And the councils appear and grow almost overnight.
Sustainablists involve themselves in every aspect of society. Here are just a few of the programs and issues that can be found in the Agenda 21 blueprint and can be easily found in nearly every community’s “local” development plans: Wetlands, conservation easements, water sheds, view sheds, rails – to- trails, biosphere reserves, greenways, carbon footprints, partnerships, preservation, stakeholders, land use, environmental protection, development, diversity, visioning, open space, heritage areas and comprehensive planning. Every one of these programs leads to more government control, land grabs and restrictions on energy, water, and our own property. When we hear these terms we know that such policy originated on the pages of Agenda 21, regardless of the direct or indirect path it took to get to our community.
You’ll find Watershed Councils that regulate human action near every trickling stream, river, or lake. Meters are put on wells. Special “action” councils control home size, tree pruning, or removal, even the color you can paint your home or the height of your grass. Historic preservation councils control development in downtown areas, disallowing expansion and new building.
Regional governments are driven by NGOs and stakeholder councils with a few co-opted bureaucrats thrown in to look good. These are run by non-elected councils that don’t answer to the people. In short, elected officials become little more than a rubber stamp to provide official “approval” to the regional bureaucracy.
But the agenda outlined in Agenda 21 and by its proponents is a much bigger threat that just land use planning. They openly advocate massive reduction of human populations. Some actually call for as much as an 85% reduction in human populations in order to “save the planet.” David Brower of the Sierra Club said, “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.” The UN’s Biodiversity Assessment says, “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion.”
They also openly advocate the destruction of modern society as Maurice Strong, the head of the Earth Summit said, “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrial nations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?
This issue then is not about simple environmental protection and modern planning. It is about a complete restructuring of our society, our values and our way of life. They use as their model an urgency based on global warming and climate change, claiming there is no need for discussion on these dire issues. Yet science is showing more and more proof that there is no man-made global warming. Are we to completely destroy our society based on such a shaky foundation?
And that is just what the proponents are rushing to do.
Barack Obama has issued a flurry of Executive Orders to bypass the Congressional process and dictate sustainable policy. In 2011 Obama issued EO # 13575 creating the White House Rural Council. It brings together 25 Cabinet Secretaries to enforce multi-jurisdictional enforcement of farming virtually controlling every decision for food production. It is a major assault on American farm production intended to enforce Sustainable farming practices. In truth it will only lead to food shortages and higher prices as farmers have no ability to make a decision without the approval of 25 government agencies, working at cross purposes and causing chaos in farm production.
On May 1, 2012, Obama issued EO # 13609, dictating that the government must enforce coordination of international regulatory policy. Those international regulatory policies are UN-driven and the basic translation means enforcement of Sustainable Development policy.
The fact is, we fight Agenda 21 because it is all-encompassing, designed to address literally every aspect of our lives. This is so because those promoting Agenda 21 believe we must modify our behavior, our way of doing everyday things, and even our belief system, in order to drastically transform human society into being “sustainable.”
We who oppose it don’t believe that the world is in such dire emergency environmentally that we must destroy the very human civilization that brought us from a life of nothing but survival against the elements into a world that gave us homes, health care, food, and even luxury. Sustainable Development advocates literally hope to roll back our civilization to the days of mere survival and we say NO. Why should we? We have found great deception in the promotion of the global warming argument. We believe in free markets and free societies where people make their own decisions, live and develop their own property. And we fully believe that the true path to a strong protection of the environment is through private property ownership and limited government. Those who promote Agenda 21 do not believe in those ideals. And so we will not agree on the path to the future. And our fight is just that – a clash of philosophy. There is very little room for middle ground.
Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center, Editor of The DeWeese Report, and author of the book, “Now Tell Me I Was Wrong.” He has been an activist for the causes of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise and private property rights for more that 45 years. More information and writings by Tom DeWeese available on his website, www.americanpolicy.org
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