by Tom DeWeese (American Policy Center)
Awareness of Agenda 21 and sustainable development is racing across the nation as citizens in community after community are learning what their city planners are actually up to. As awareness grows, I am receiving more and more calls for tools to help activists fight back. Many complain that elected officials just won’t read detailed reports or watch long videos. “Can you give us something that is quick and easy to read that we can hand out,” I’m asked.
So here it is: a one page, quick description of Agenda 21 that fits on one page. I’ve also included for the back side of your handout a list of quotes for the perpetrators of Agenda 21 that should back up my brief descriptions.
A word of caution: use this as a starter kit, but do not allow it to be your only knowledge of this very complex subject. To kill it you have to know the facts. Research, know your details; discover the NGO players in your community, identify who is victimized by the policies and recruit them to your fight, and then kill Agenda 21. That’s how it must be done. The information below is only your first step. Happy hunting.
What is Sustainable Development?
According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social, and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components: global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction.
Social Equity (Social Injustice)
Social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people “to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment.” Redistribution of wealth. Private property is a social injustice since not everyone can build wealth from it. National sovereignty is a social injustice. Universal health care is a social injustice. All part of Agenda 21 policy.
Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Special dealings between government and certain, chosen corporations which get tax breaks, grants and the government’s power of eminent domain to implement sustainable policy. Government-sanctioned monopolies.
Local Sustainable Development Policies
Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, STAR Sustainable Communities, Green Jobs, Green Building Codes, “Going Green,” Alternative Energy, Local Visioning, facilitators, regional planning, historic preservation, conservation easements, development rights, sustainable farming, comprehensive planning, growth management, consensus.
Who is Behind It?
ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (formally, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives). Communities pay ICLEI dues to provide “local” community plans, software, training, etc. Addition groups include American Planning Council, The Renaissance Planning Group, International City/ County Management Group, aided by US Mayors Conference, National Governors Association, National League of Cities, National Association of County Administrators, and many more private organizations and official government agencies. Foundation and government grants drive the process.
Where Did It Originate?
The term sustainable development was first introduced to the world in the pages a 1987 report (“Our Common Future”) produced by the United Nations World Commission on Environmental and Development, authored by Gro Harlem Brundtland, VP of the World Socialist Party. The term was first offered as official UN policy in 1992 in a document called UN Sustainable Development Agenda 21, issued at the UN’s Earth Summit—today referred to simply as Agenda 21.
What Gives Agenda 21 Ruling Authority?
More than 178 nations adopted Agenda 21 as official policy during a signing ceremony at the Earth Summit. US president George H.W. Bush signed the document for the US. In signing, each nation pledged to adopt the goals of Agenda 21. In 1995, President Bill Clinton, in compliance with Agenda 21, signed Executive Order #12858 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development in order to “harmonize” US environmental policy with UN directives as outlined in Agenda 21. The EO directed all agencies of the Federal Government to work with state and local community governments in a joint effort “reinvent” government using the guidelines outlined in Agenda 21. As a result, with the assistance of groups like ICLEI, sustainable development is now emerging as government policy in every town, county and state in the nation.
Revealing Quotes From the Planners
“Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions which are intended to be implemented by EVERY person on Earth… it calls for specific changes in the activities of ALL people… Effective execution of Agenda 21 will REQUIRE a profound reorientation of ALL humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced…” Agenda 21: The Earth Summit Strategy to Save Our Planet (Earthpress, 1993). Emphases – DR
Urgent to implement – but we don’t know what it is!
“The realities of life on our planet dictate that continued economic development as we know it cannot be sustained… Sustainable development, therefore, is a program of action for local and global economic reform – a program that has yet to be fully defined.” The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide, published by ICLEI, 1996.
“No one fully understands how or even, if, sustainable development can be achieved; however, there is growing consensus that it must be accomplished at the local level if it is ever to be achieved on a global basis.” The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide, published by ICLEI, 1996.
Agenda 21 and Private Property
“Land…cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice.” From the report from the 1976 UN’s Habitat I Conference.
“Private land use decisions are often driven by strong economic incentives that result in several ecological and aesthetic consequences…The key to overcoming it is through public policy…” Report from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, page 112.
“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.” Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s Earth Summit, 1992.
Reinvention of Government
“We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better decisions, more rapid change, and more sensible use of human, natural and financial resources in achieving our goals.” Report from the President’s Council on Sustainable Development
“Individual rights will have to take a back seat to the collective.” Harvey Ruvin, Vice Chairman, ICLEI. The Wildlands Project
“We must make this place an insecure and inhospitable place for Capitalists and their projects – we must reclaim the roads and plowed lands, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres or presently settled land.” Dave Foreman, Earth First.
What is Not Sustainable?
“Ski runs, grazing of livestock, plowing of soil, building fences, industry, single family homes, paved and tarred roads, logging activities, dams and reservoirs, power line construction, and economic systems that fail to set proper value on the environment.” UN’s Biodiversity Assessment Report.
Hide Agenda 21’s UN Roots from the People
“Participating in a UN advocated planning process would very likely bring out many of the conspiracy- fixated groups and individuals in our society… This segment of our society who fear ‘one-world government’ and a UN invasion of the United States through which our individual freedom would be stripped away would actively work to defeat any elected official who joined ‘the conspiracy’ by undertaking LA21. So we call our process something else, such as comprehensive planning, growth management or smart growth.” J. Gary Lawrence, advisor to President Clinton’s Council on Sustainable Development.
USED BY PERMISSION OF THE AMERICAN POLICY CENTER