Agenda 21 coming to your community

By Steve Mann
for Freedom 21

Posted 5/5/2011

One of the GOP’s battle-cries during the recent showdown over the 2011 budget was to defund the Environmental Protection Agency. It was in response to what many see as the Obama administration’s backdoor attempts to bypass Congress and impose unnecessary regulations on small businesses to regulate carbon emissions. But another reason to defund the EPA is because it monitors and promotes activities related to sustainable development.

What? Never heard of Agenda 21?

Agenda 21 is not a conspiracy theory; it is a comprehensive plan of action at international, national, regional and, most important, local levels to implement the United Nations’ vision for a centrally managed global society.

One-world government sound familiar?

The number “21” refers to an agenda for the 21st century. The U.N. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 was adopted in 1992 during a signing ceremony at the U.N.’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. President George H.W. Bush signed the nonbinding document for the United States, and in 1993, six months after his inauguration, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development.

The council was established to translate the recommendations of Agenda 21 into public policy administered by federal agencies. The agencies that were part of the council included the departments of the Interior, Commerce, Energy, Education, Transportation, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development; the EPA; NOAA; and the Small Business Administration. Those agencies affect almost every aspect of life in the United States.

Agenda 21 is a 40-chapter document divided into four sections that detail eight areas for action: agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem management, education, energy and housing, population, public health, resources and recycling, and transportation and sustainable economic development. It emphasizes the abolition of private property, the establishment of human-settlement zones and the increasing limitations and restrictions on mobility. And, of course, it requires a redistribution of wealth.

As it says in the Preamble, “The development and environmental objectives of Agenda 21 will require a substantial flow of new and additional financial resources to developing countries….’’ It has never been debated or adopted by Congress, but it has been implemented by the administrative agencies of the federal government. It is monitored by the EPA’s Office for Sustainable Communities. And it’s a good bet that few in this country have ever heard of it, including politicians.

“I think environmentalists don’t want people to find out what’s truly involved in Agenda 21,” Steve Henson, the executive director of the Southern Appalachian Multiple-Use Council in western North Carolina, said. “If they did, it would create a situation where it would make it difficult to implement it piecemeal. “They’re happy to move it along a piece at a time. They spend a lot of time preaching to followers that we’re not going to do it overnight, but we can do it if we’re persistent. (They say) “We get what we can get when we can, and move on.’’

Henry Lamb, the founder and executive vice president of Freedom21, Inc., says he estimates that as many as 75 percent of politicians probably don’t see a relationship between laws they enact and policies they adopt and the goals of Agenda 21.

Henson has seen the environmentalists’ efforts firsthand. Groups in North Carolina’s mountain regions are working on a petition drive that would allow local governments to control timbering on private property. State law currently prohibits government from restricting how you use your own land as long as you follow your management plan, Henson said. “I thought common sense would prevail on some of these environment issues, but that hasn’t happened,” he said.

Many communities across the country have dealt with Agenda 21 and probably never even knew it. It commonly involves annexing large tracts of land and then limiting what owners can do with their property. It includes attempts to create wilderness areas, buffer zones and urban-growth boundaries.

President Obama will ask Congress to double spending, to $900 million in the 2012 budget, on the Land and Water Conservation Fund used to buy property.

The federal government already owns about 635 million acres, about three out of every 10 acres in the country. The land-use policies fall under different catch-phrases: smart growth, green jobs, green building codes, regional planning, conservation easements, development rights, growth management, sustainable communities.

Any of those sound familiar?

“(Environmental groups) do like big corporations do,”Henson said. “They hold focus groups and hire the best marketing firms to do research and try to find phrases and words that people will accept without them knowing what they are accepting. There are lots of environmental groups out there, but central direction is being given. There’s a big picture they are working toward.”

Among the 40 chapters of Agenda 21 are: “Combating poverty”, “Changing consumption patterns”, “Promoting human-settlement development”, “Protection of the atmosphere” and “Strengthening the role of workers and their trade unions.’’ The objective of sustainable development is to use economic, social and environmental policies to reduce consumption, achieve social justice and preserve and restore biodiversity. Supporters insist that every decision by society be based on environmental impact.

What’s considered unsustainable under Agenda 21? Golf courses, ski areas, irrigation, paved roads, commercial agriculture and farmlands. As Maurice Strong, the secretary general of the U.N.’s Earth Summit in 1992, said: “Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.’’

In his report, Sustainable Development: Transforming America, Lamb writes: “Sustainable communities of the future will bear little resemblance to the towns and cities of the 20th century. Single-family homes will be rare. Housing will be provided by public/private partnerships, funded by government, and managed by nongovernment Home Owners Associations.’ Housing units will be designed to provide most of the infrastructure and amenities required by the residents. Shops and office space will be an integral part of each unit. … Each unit will be designed for bicycle and foot traffic, to reduce, if not eliminate, the need for people to use automobiles.”

How best to achieve that vision? Supporters say it’s an emphasis on education, specifically the indoctrination of a generation of children so that they accept the concepts and goals of Agenda 21. In fact, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has declared the period from 2005 to 2014 as the decade for education on sustainable development.

There’s also the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (formerly International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), an association of more than 1,200 local governments around the world that have made a commitment to sustainable development. It represents about 70 countries and almost 570 million people.

More than 600 local governments in the United States are members. ICLEI collects fees from the local governments in exchange for access to software, training, community plans and technical consulting that measures compliance with or progress toward certain environmental goals that dovetail with the goals of Agenda 21. The result of the coordinated efforts will be a world that even the indoctrinated children might not recognize.

“What an incredible planet in this universe this will be,’ ’the late Robert Muller, a former U.N. under-secretary general, said, “when we will be one human family living in justice, peace, love and harmony with our divine Earth, with each other and with the heavens.”


Steve Mann is a freelance journalist who spent 33 years in the newspaper business.