Friday, May 1, 2015

Agenda 21

    Agenda 21, which is a global plan of action to combat poverty and implement sustainable development, was adopted by the UN in 1992 at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.. President George H. W. Bush signed the agreement at the Earth Summit, which has initiated efforts in the US towards becoming compliant with the program.  I chose to briefly explore the controversy of individual property rights verses the “sustainable development” processes of the UN adopted Agenda 21 program.  The articles discuss anti Agenda 21 legislation and express concern over the infringement of personal property rights, but do not explicitly state the details of the total concern in question.  The fear held by these people is that Agenda 21 gradually reduces citizens to being restricted to living exclusively within cities, with little to no personal property rights at all, and no access to the “suburbs”
    One article focused on the New Hampshire House of Representatives' effort to ban the implementation of Agenda 21, indicating that the vote held was 201 to 99 in favor of the ban. The primary sponsor of the bill, Anne Cartwright, expressed her concern in several quotes in the article, and are best summed up with these statements: "I know it is totally against our Constitution from reading the U.N. biodiversity assessment,” "They are very slowly implementing rules and regulations that have not reached a high level yet," and "They are implementing it through zoning, planning and regional planning things that impact our property rights."  It seems that Cartwright is referring to the “renewable growth planning” aspect of Agenda 21 here, which outlines how property use is to be zoned.
    Another article described the same scenario, but in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri instead.  Tennessee HB185 and SB459 have been introduced and are awaiting approval by their respective committees to move forward.  If passed, these bills will prohibit any state or sub political agency from adopting or implementing any policy that intentionally or unintentionally infringes on individual property rights without due process of law.  Oklahoma has introduced HB 2807 as their measure to address these concerns, and Missouri proposed legislation worded very similarly to that of Tennessee. Apparently Kansas has also joined this movement.
    Judging by the words “without due process” appearing in all of the said legislation, it seems the primary concern of those opposed to Agenda 21 is that the programs implementation was never put to an official vote by Congress.  Since the program is not a treaty or binding agreement, but merely a plan to take action and follow proposed guidelines, a vote by Congress is not required.  This has allowed over 500 cities to begin zoning and planning land use in accordance with Agenda 21 policies without actually asking the people if they agree with or want it.  The Inquisitr also presents a video called “Behind the Green Mask,” by a Democrat named Rosa Koire, who claims to be a Forensic Land Appraiser that works for a government agency, as further support for the claims.  The video was full length, but very interesting.
    As Agenda 21 has made its way around the political arena and garnered plenty of media coverage, I have investigated it at length.  As an Environmental Science and Studies student, I am proud to say that I love parks, bike trails, recycling and all forms of responsible Earth stewardship.  I enjoy hiking, fishing and outdoor recreation like everybody else, and don’t wish to stand in the way of any good intentioned efforts to preserve such activities. That being said, I must admit that I am severely disappointed and even disturbed by much of what I have watched and read concerning Agenda 21. I have seen the argument of those who are alarmed by Agenda 21, and I think they generally present a very valid point.  There is evidence of Agenda 21 policies clashing with the right of private property, but the question is, what is the end state of this global initiative?  How does a responsible citizen go about determining what the end goal for this program is?  A good start is to read it, and most have not. In a country where so much has been done in the name of freedom, and where the government uses the idea of freedom to rally its citizens to support national causes abroad, I would expect folks to be more vigilant and critical of the legislative structure of their own freedoms here at home. It is disheartening to see so many folks be unwilling to even consider the idea that these claims could hold some legitimacy. What is even worse is that one cannot seem to express this concern without being asked where their tinfoil hat is. I also believe that global warming is very real, and that humans are either the cause, or greatly accelerated it. Small groups of people who are so untrusting of authority figures, including scientists, that they do not believe in global warming despite all of the supporting evidence, being touted in the media as the primary kind of people who oppose Agenda 21 adds to the disappointment. It’s disappointing that being critical to legislative wording, and vigilant about personal liberties has been equated with being radical or crazy.  In the words of Dave Chapelle, “the worst thing to call somebody is crazy…’s dismissive.”
--Travis Dunaway
Other sources: Esquire CFACT

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