Will booting ICLEI make it easier to implement Agenda 21?
by John Anthony
Sustainable Freedom Lab
for Liberty News Online
Perceptive citizens know UN Agenda 21’s method for protecting society, the economy and the environment is to control them all. In 1990, ICLEI, was born at the United Nation’s World Congress, specifically to embed this ambitious control at local levels.
By 2010, ICLEI claimed over 600 US communities had signed on for their ‘planning and environmental’ services. Today, that number is shrinking. As awareness of their UN connection spreads, more communities exit the worldwide non-governmental organization than enter.
However, booting ICLEI can create the false sense communities are safe, having successfully thwarted Agenda 21 policies. Oddly, they may have made implementation even easier.
In Spokane Washington, Mayor David Condon wrote, “We have not renewed our membership and are no longer participating [in ICLEI].” According to Westchester County, NY Executive Rob Astorino, “We determined that ICLEI was not an essential service and we dropped the membership.”
Across America, Florida, Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, New Hampshire, Alabama, Tennessee and more, crafted legislation and resolutions to protect citizens from Agenda 21 and ICLEI.
Yet, in every state mentioned, the components of Agenda 21 are flourishing, blanketed in vague, eco-friendly, ‘feel-goodisms’ slathered with enough surface appeal to disarm unwary citizens and neutralize public officials.
The problem with Agenda 21, or sustainable development, is that most public officials do not recognize it when they see it.
Agenda 21 is “renewable”, “sustainable,” “smart” and “green.” It offers “greater transportation choices,” “fewer miles traveled”, “livability”, “walkability”, and “responsibility.” It is “urban”, “efficient” , “socially just” and “economically fair”; cleans “rivers, streams, rainwater and air”, “protects endangered species”, “reduces carbon” and increases “habitats”, all while eliminating “urban sprawl.” The greener the cause, the greater the cover for Agenda 21.
Even with ICLEI gone, the policies it was designed to enforce are so culturally embedded activists may face an even greater challenge of educating and alerting public officials and private citizens.
Tennessee Senate Bill 1919, passed in 2009, authorizes redevelopment projects as a way to fight urban blight. It then incorporates urban sustainability and global sustainable development to augment their infrastructure. Few of the bill’s supporters saw the elements of Agenda 21; wealth redistribution, public land acquisition and loss of local zoning authority to international codes in the text. Yet they are all there.
Local activists, including Karen Bracken, have persevered in informing Tennessee legislators and a new draft bill is being drawn that will hopefully rescind SB1919.
New York State faces even bigger challenges from sustainable development. While Westchester County withdrew from ICLEI participation, neither the county, nor even the state can rest. Governor Andrew Cuomo, the former Sec. of HUD, is determined to pass his new Cleaner, Greener New York Agenda by the first quarter of 2013.
His goal is to “protect” New York’s environment by creating 10 regional councils covering the entire state. Once in place, local authority to plan communities according to their constituent’s desires would be diminished, if not eliminated.
Cuomo’s plan is a case study in implementation of Agenda 21/ICLEI goals without uttering the words. Urban revitalization at the expense of rural development, social engineering through sustainable communities, increased open spaces at the expense of private land, and public private partnerships rendering non PPP’s at a competitive disadvantage are all “critical” components.
Cleaner, Greener New York enshrouds “green jobs corps,” costly “renewable energy projects” and “environmental justice” in populist commitments to fiscal responsibility and the right sizing of government. Residents find it hard to reject the dizzying, but familiar jargon.
Cuomo’s plan offers an enticingly worded, yet dubious case for “protecting farmland.” It then references the American Farmland Trust, notorious for grabbing farmers’ land development rights, often draining farmers’ wealth in the long term and leaving them and their heirs forever servient to the trust.
Most officials and citizens do not see the reality beneath the rhetoric.
As in Tennessee, California, Washington, Virginia, New Jersey and so many other states, New York residents are rallying to expose CGNY. In meetings across the state, they are informing officials and citizens that Gov. Cuomo’s 170 page plan is little more than a tantalizing marketing piece. Consensus meetings and slick words sound nice, but it is the implementation that costs local officials their authority and landowners their rights.
The common theme among alert and activist residents is to expose and expand. They expose the true outcomes of liberty-robbing legislation or planning schemes. Whether it is in town meetings, flyering, radio appearances, YouTube, Twitter or self-made documentaries, Agenda 21 can no longer hide beneath glossy drafts and convoluted legislation.
Secondly, activists realize that Agenda 21 is not a political movement and cares little how you voted in the last election. They expand their own ranks of aware individuals by creating a message that appeals to all people.
Booting ICLEI is an exciting and important first move. But, sustainable development has become so entrenched in our lives it has assumed one of its own. The rejection can even provide cover for officials to move on and blindly implement every nugget of ICLEI’s intentions. What happens next makes the difference.
John Anthony – founder of Sustainable Freedom Lab
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