|RP duo speaks out against Agenda 21
These are perilous times for our country here in the 21st century. What with the Israeli-Palestine conflict, Iran tinkering to build a nuclear reactor, attempts to rebuild war-ravaged Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan and China’s economic growth as it struggles to combine communism and capitalism, we have a plentiful supply of planet-wide problems to brood about.
Now we have Agenda 21.
It’s a plan to preserve diminishing natural resources by “re-arranging” population growth to place less reliance on the use of fossil fuels and forests to create a more sustainable planet. It’s a United Nations document drafted at the UN’s Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro 20 years ago and approved by many nations.
Agenda 21 lays out a collection of voluntary suggestions for countries to “grow smartly,” to help curb pollution, overpopulation, poverty and slow down the use of fossil fuels. Environmentalists everywhere thought it was a sensible step. President George H.W. Bush signed it and his successor, Bill Clinton, accepted it. Since then, Agenda 21’s been lying dormant in Washington.
It’s been categorized as a “soft law,” meaning it exists but no one in Congress wants to touch it at this time. It was rarely mentioned during the election campaign.
But in the last few years, protests against its existence have been building nationwide, almost all of it from right wing and conservative political factions. They say it’s an insidious plan for a New World Order. It hasn’t cohered into a formal movement, only people who share a belief that Agenda 21 is a surreptitious attempt to form a world government under the guise of “global stability.”
Or as right wing spokesman Glenn Beck said on Fox News, “By agreeing to follow Agenda 21, the U.S. government has colluded with internationalists to undermine its own sovereignty and turn the nation into an environmental refuge where nature would take precedence over people … once (they) put their fangs into our communities and suck all the blood out of it, we will not be able to survive.”
Opponents have many vocal points
Since I’m a reporter looking for a local angle, I got together with Bill Anderson and Jim Bennett, two voluble spokesmen against Agenda 21. Anderson, 61, is a realtor with Home Sellers Realty and has offices in RP’s Commerce Plaza; Bennett, 51, is a writer and frequent contributor to George Barich’s monthly newspaper, the Cotati Independent.
They had a veritable blizzard of data showing the evil intrusion of Agenda 21 into national and local governments. But almost all of it was verbal. No press releases, no brochures, no flyers to tack on telephone poles, no public notices of meetings in mail boxes.
Bennett, a highly articulate spokesman, dominated the exchanges and Anderson often had to interrupt to make his points.
“They’re subverting the founding principles of our country,” said Bennett. “We’re going from capitalism to communism.”
“Take away our property rights”
“You can favor environmentalism, but the idea of man causing global warming is inaccurate. It’s a lie,” said Anderson. He reminded me: “The Republicans passed a resolution against Agenda 21 at their convention.”
Bennett noted the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management “have both been hijacked by Agenda 21. They take away our property rights by using eminent domain laws.”
Attempts to get a handle on the local campaign were difficult. “There a lot of overlapping local patriotic groups supporting us,” said Bennett. He didn’t name any except Democrats Against Agenda 21.
Opponents of the UN pact have apparently not organized into a national group. Here in the North Bay, they have no president, secretary, or any other appointed officers. Neither mentioned the existence of by-laws or meeting schedules. It’s just this amorphous nationwide network working to eliminate Agenda 21 or at least sweep away its “soft law” status in Washington and make sure it never gets on any Congressional agenda.
“Behind the Green Mask”
Anderson gave me a soft cover, 168-page book called “Behind the Green Mask – UN Agenda 21,” which told the complete story. It was written by Santa Rosa author Rosa Koire. Anderson had underlined many passages inside along with red stars for added emphasis. It was about the closest I could get to a local angle.
Their campaign is similar to environmentalist and activist Peter Calthorpe’s drive 20 years ago to get people out of their automobiles and build communities near railroad stations with “mixed use” buildings and jobs clustered close to train depots. But his point was to preserve open space. The anti-Agenda 21 stance contends government open space lands take away people’s private land use rights.
Anderson also rejected the mixed use concept. “They just want to stack people up in small apartments.” He’s also against SMART trains. “They’re not for transportation but for globalization of sustainable development on a local level.”
Added Bennett, “Individual living styles and property rights” can be destroyed if Agenda 21 is passed.”
The John Birch Society has consistently attacked it with the same fervor it did to communism in the 1950s.
Defending Agenda 21, Michael Barkun, a professor of political science at Syracuse University said, “Any time you get some sort of UN program that says any kind of change in the way people live, even if it seems outwardly benign and even voluntary, it’s going to be taken up by people of a conspiracist bent.”