Friday, March 09, 2012

Agenda 21 in today's news

For those of you who may not subscribe to the Tennessean, there were three separate articles in today's newspaper regarding Agenda 21. 

This is in the news because there is legislation pending in the State legislature that addresses Agenda 21. One resolution, HJR0587 will most likely be voted on next week. It says of Agenda 21 that "Agenda 21's plan of radical so-called 'sustainable development' views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership, and individual travel choices and privately owned farms as destructive to the environment." This resolution also says that according to Agenda 21, "national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice." 

All HJR0587 does is state that Agenda 21 was never ratified as a treaty by the Senate and that everyone should be aware of the destructive strategies of 'sustainable development' and goes on record as rejecting the "radical policies of Agenda 21" and reject any grant monies that may be attached to Agenda 21. There are also several other bills dealing with Agenda 21 and the conflict between land use planning and private property rights.

I don't know what to make of all of this. Some people who I admire and respect keep telling me that I need to become educated about Agenda 21 and they assure me that it is a real danger. If Agenda 21 does what HJR0587 says it does, then to pass a harmless resolution that doesn't do much more than say Agenda 21 is a bad thing, is of little consequence and should pass. Still, it sounds a little like tin-foil hat stuff to me. The fact that the John Birch Society is one of the forces behind the opposition to Agenda 21 doesn't lend credibility to the cause. The JBS believe in an elaborate theory that says the Illuminati have been pulling the strings of world affairs for about the last 250 years. The JBS are sometimes right on their policy prescriptions and I am sure many fine people belong to JBS and don't really know the full scope of the grand conspiracy theory, nevertheless, to my way of thinking anything the JBS is associated with needs to be examined independently of JBS. 

Also, if you are going to tell me that bikeways, and greenways and efforts to get farmers to voluntarily give up development rights on their property and adopt policies that keep farm run-off out of streams and that land trust and efforts to combat water and air pollution are bad things, you will have a hard time convincing me. I don't know that I think "smart growth" and "sustainable" are scary terms. 

I know many environmentalist do believe we must give up our consumer lifestyle to " save the planet." I do believe that many environmentalist are at heart socialist and view capitalism as the enemy. Because I disagree with the more radical environmentalist, that does not make dirty air and dirty water good things or greenways and landtrust bad things. 

I like "the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership, and individual travel choices and privately owned farms." I believe that markets and free enterprise and private property are compatible with a better environment. Some of the worst polluters the world has ever know have been socialist countries. Even in America, some of the worst polluters are governments. Government landfills have a worse record than private landfills. A better standard of living, I believe, leads to a cleaner, better world. If the world is facing overpopulation, it is due to poverty not prosperity. As countries become more prosperous, the people of that country choose to have fewer children. Much of our environmental problems are a result of too little private property and too little wealth, not too much. If Agenda 21 takes the opposite view and is an attempt to bring about the destruction of private property and our way of life, then I am very much against it.

I doubt I am going to read and become an expert on Agenda 21. Section one alone has 8 chapters. It is big document. I am willing to be convinced Agenda 21 is something that should concern me. If there is an expert on Agenda 21 who does not sound like a nut, who is not associated with the JBS, and who likes clean air and water, I would like to invite you to use this blog space to educate me and the public, I will welcome you to write a guest column. (If you are a lover of the great outdoors that would also add some credibility.)

Below are the three articles that appeared in today's Tennessean. 

 TN lawmaker says green policies are part of secret U.N. plot

A resolution in the state legislature opposes what is depicted as an insidious United Nations scheme to take away citizens’ property rights through radical environmentalism.
The legislation, which refers to “Agenda 21,” is pending as planners and property rights advocates spar over a series of bills related to how development should be regulated.

 Local communities can plan better than legislature

Americans have a natural sentiment against other folks telling us what we can do with what we own. So, we wish to thank Tennessee legislators for alerting us to the impending danger of a United Nations conspiracy that originated in 1992 (called Agenda 21) to deprive us of our rights; though we find ourselves insulted that legislators think their attempt to deprive local communities of the ability to propose, discuss, and implement their own zoning regulations is any less of a conspiracy.

Resolution twists facts to hinder sustainability

by Mary Pat Williams Silveira

Tennessee House Joint Resolution 587 is concerned with “the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21.” This is an alarming statement, principally because it is based on distortions and factual errors. Let us look at the facts.

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