Category Archives: Agenda 21

Cul de Sacs and Agenda 21

Agenda 21, or the UN Agenda for the 21st century, which was formulated at a conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, is all about strategies for sustainability on our planet. There are groups (especially on the Conservative Right) who see this agenda as a sinister move by the UN to take over and create a global government and a global economy subject to the sustainability agenda in Agenda 21. Copies of Agenda 21 are available as a PDF. The document is very detailed and is about 360+ pages long.
Others say that the UN is not powerful enough to impose a world order or any agenda as regards sustainability or any other issue. They say that such green initiatives as roof-top gardens and bike paths are local attempts to cash in on energy savings and grant monies.
However, I keep running into initiatives which seem to be pieces that would perfectly help to complete a puzzle which would look very much like the picture described in Agenda 21. Besides roof gardens, bike paths, etc, the arguments Mr. Engdahl makes about Seed Banks, and especially the Doomsday Seed Bank (see link) which says that farmers are sold hybrid seeds by the seed banks – hybrid seeds do not generate usable seeds—in the next growing season new seeds must be purchased — and that the point of this is to drive people off the land and into the cities.
We have also discussed “micro-apartments, those new urban domiciles that occupy only 230 – 300 square feet of space (see link). To compare:  a 14’ x 60’ mobile home has about 800 square feet. This does along with a call in Agenda 21 for low cost, high density housing near cities.  Now I have found a video called “Built to Last” (see embedded link below) advertised on one of my bookmarked pages (a Bing home page I think) which is all about cul-de-sacs and the inefficiency of our current suburban housing model where infrastructure has to be continually extended to serve fewer and fewer houses that are further and further from the city centers, where subdivisions take over farmland and wetlands, and where people burn lots of extra fossil fuels commuting fairly long distances back and forth to work.
The video suggests that we start changing to a more sustainable community model which would involve building small communities that are walkable – communities where schools, grocery stores, etc are within walking distance for everyone living in the community. These “villages” would also snuggle in close to the city center freeing up farmland and shortening commutes.
One difficulty is that this sounds exactly like what we had before suburban sprawl began after WW II. It sounds expensive and wasteful to reverse the trend of the last 60 years, although trends have changed before. It would be more appropriate if we could think of ways to make the homes people already live in more acceptable by changing the infrastructure used to move us and our utilities from place to place. Why doesn’t someone work on ways to transport us that don’t use fossil fuels – oh wait, we are doing that! Why doesn’t someone work on ways to generate energy that don’t require a complex grid and vulnerable wires – oh wait, we are doing that too! Moving water and sewage are two areas where we have not done a lot of innovation, and most innovation in the other two areas involves technology that many of us cannot afford. If we are to make our suburbs more sustainable we have a lot of work to do.
I don’t think that we object to trying to sustain the resources available on our little planet in space, except for the people who don’t believe that we are plundering and changing our planet. However, we do love our freedom and we don’t like to be manipulated so if it turns out that an Agenda 21 is being imposed on us without our consent that is something we will eventually have to deal with. Is someone attempting to use propaganda or brainwashing to move us around the chess board, or are all of these approaches just creative problem solving? In the meantime, until we know the answer to that either/or question, some of these individual initiatives, if pursued, may benefit our beautiful Earth and therefore all of Earth’s residents (like us). We can deal with the manipulation issues — if they prove to be true — later..

Agenda 21 and Microapartments

I am thinking that I might have to give Agenda 21 a bit more of my attention. Agenda 21 is the result of a United Nations conference held in 1992. The actual Agenda 21 document is available on the internet as a PDF. It is about 350 pages long but if you read over the 40 chapter headings you will get the drift. I have written about Agenda 21 before, notably during “paranoia week”. Conspiracy theorists call Agenda 21 a “plot for global domination and forced environmentalism.” The word “sustainability” as in a sustainable life on this planet is the “code” word in Agenda 21 (agenda for the 21st century).  Conspiracy theorists are also called Agenders. They say that if you start hearing suggestions like roof top urban gardens and bike paths, capturing and reusing rainwater, and ideas for improving sustainability (of water, air, soil, trees, etc) then you are being steered by UN agenda 21.
Another facet of Agenda 21 is a recommendation that governments move in the direction of high density housing in urban areas. This week we learned that San Francisco is building micro-apartments which require tenants to live in about 230 square feet. Looking around the internet it seems that Mayor Bloomberg in NYC asked architects to design apartments in the Kip’s Bay area with floor plans between 200 and 300 square feet. These mini apartments are already being built and in fact people are already living in these tiny spaces. After all, there are 7 billion people on the planet. We should be in favor of plans that will sustain the earth’s resources.
So when my local community says that they do not intend to extend infrastructure into new areas for developers, when they limit development to infilling areas that already have infrastructure like water and sewers and roads sufficient to handle increased traffic and so on, this is something we should be in favor of. If would seem to be more realistic in terms of our current economic restraints. However, it becomes unpalatable if it is part of some overall plan to which our local, state, and federal governments have agreed without our knowledge.  The idea that someone may be pulling strings from behind the scenes and manipulating us to conform to an agenda that has been kept on the “down low” rubs our American souls the wrong way. We like to have problems explained to us in clear terms, we like to have input into the solutions that are decided upon, and then we like to have a role in the implementation of any plans for the future. What bothers us most about this “sustainability movement” is that someone may be moving us around like pawns on a giant chess board. This we would find very unacceptable, if it turns out to be true.
Here’s where we point a finger at each of our eyes, adopt a threatening stare, and then point those same two fingers at your eyes. We’re watching you!

Agenda 21 – Rio 20 Years Later

Agenda 21, which is the subject of much speculation on the internet these days, is recorded in a written document that is 20 years old. The ideas that were agreed to in a conference in 1992 will be the subject of a new conference this week in Rio de Janeiro when over 50,000 people from 680 countries (this is incorrect, it should be 193 countries)  will meet to discuss all aspects of sustainability on Earth once again.

Here is there “mission statement”: “Sustainable development emphasizes a holistic, equitable and far-sighted approach to decision-making at all levels. It emphasizes not just performance but intragenerational and intergenerational equity. It rests on integration and a balanced consideration of social, economic and environmental goals and objectives in both public and private decision-making.
The concept of green economy focuses primarily on the intersection between environment and economy. This recalls the 1992 Rio Conference: the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.”
This conference called optimistically, “The Future We Want” will be held from June 20-22, 2012. The area pictured below will be discussed at the conference:

I have written several blogs about the conference of 1992 and there is quite a bit of material about the “sustainability movement” on the internet. A number of people are fearful that we are being nudged into agreeing to plans that sound simple on the surface, but will eventually lead some overall abdications of our autonomy, our property, and our freedom. These people are being labeled “conspiracy theorists” and perhaps that is what they are. 
However, after taking a look at the info graph on this very interesting website I am starting to have a new Twilight Zone moments around this “movement.” Maybe we are about to be manipulated to do things that we might agree to do voluntarily if given the total “vision” of the future that is supposedly being created . Also it looks like societies that are more sophisticated, organized and less energy efficient will be easier targets for these plans than less developed nations, so we’re up first.
Here’s the link to a video of the info graph:
I will continue to keep an eye on the “sustainability movement”, but for now permit me to just say “Yikes!”

Agenda 21 Revisited

People who feel that the UN Agenda 21 (which is supposed to mean agenda for the 21st century) is a plot for global domination and forced environmentalism point to a number of modern trends that they feel prove their point of view. They feel that the foreclosures that have hounded so many Americans and forced them out of their homes were planned by the “sustainability movement” to get people to move away from the suburbs and into high density housing nearer to the cores of our cities. They feel that reverse mortgages are also part of this “sustainability movement” as they will keep the next generation from inheriting properties from their parents.
In addition they cite things like all the recent discussion of bike lanes, green roofs, zero run-off, and other green initiatives as signs that the “sustainability movement” is real, is active, and has a deep grassroots agenda.
Then there is the Engdahl analysis of the activities of the Doomsday Seed Bank, in which he says that the seed bank sells farmers hybrid seeds which not capable of reproducing and which therefore must be repurchased every season. Mr. Engdahl believes this is a purposeful procedure designed by the corporate sponsors of the seed bank to drive farmers off their land and into the cities. Is Agenda 21 a plan to manipulate humans according to some grand UN design? Is this not at all the intention of Agenda 21 and simply paranoia on the part of extremist elements in our culture? I’m sure we will continue to hear more about this.
In fact, yesterday, 6/11/2012, I read an article in the Huffington Post Green section that says the UN just completed a conference on how to produce a happiness economy to accompany its sustainability agenda. Here’s some of what the article had to say:
A high-level United Nations meeting on happiness has taken place, marking a significant step towards governments placing wellbeing at the heart of economic progress.
The first of its kind, the meeting took place at UN headquarters in New York on 2 April, 2012, and brought together more than 600 participants from government, academia, business, civil society and spiritual and religious groups.
Following the conference, wellbeing is now intended to be at the centre of new sustainable development goals, which are expected to replace the millennium development goals when they expire in 2015.
“This will add a positive aspiration to improve human wellbeing alongside existing essential goals such as eradication of extreme poverty and universal education,” said Mark Williamson, director of Action for Happiness, who attended the meeting.
This is not about being anti-growth,” said Williamson, “it’s about redefining what we mean by progress. We should be aiming for growth in human happiness. A healthy economy is part of this, but other things are essential too – like vibrant communities and greater equality.”
The April meeting was convened by the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, which in the 1970s introduced the concept of gross national happiness (GNH). It began measuring GNH in 2008, looking at factors such as living standards, health, education, culture, good governance, and psychological wellbeing.
In this context, Bhutan describes happiness not as relating to an everyday passing mood, but as “the deep, abiding happiness” that comes from living in harmony with the natural world and with others – that is, from “feeling totally connected with our world.”
The report, which was published by the Earth Institute and co-edited by leading economist Jeffrey Sachs, states that although the least happy are poorer countries, more important than income are social factors such as supportive relationships, personal freedoms and the absence of corruption.
The report also found that happiness has increased in some countries as living standards have risen, but not in others such as the United States; and mental health is the biggest single factor affecting happiness in any country.
Awarded first place in the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index in 2009 and regarded as the ‘greenest’ country in the world, Costa Rica made primary education free and mandatory in 1870 – before the UK or US – and abolished its army in 1948. In 1970 a network of national parks was set up, protecting nearly 30% of its territory and it now aspires to become one of the first carbon neutral countries.

 Will this ameliorate some of the paranoia or make it deeper? Are we talking lobotomy here? Is happiness an attainable goal without legal drugs. OK I’m just being ridiculous but, I can’t wait to follow this continuing saga.

Agenda 21 Again – What’s on the Internet

This video is one of the most comprehensive expressions of the fears some people have expressed about United Nations Agenda 21. It appears to be anything but hysterical. With these sober, scholarly people in their suits it seems totally possible that there is a United Nations plan to use sustainability issues for World Domination.

But there are many who feel that this is a fringe “conspiracy theory” and as such is somewhat equivalent to all the hoopla about Area 51. You will have to judge for yourself which side of this debate you will come down on, however, this particular set of beliefs is likely to make environmental issues more contentious than ever, which is difficult to imagine.

Opposite View

Here are some arguments from those who contend that there is no UN conspiracy connected with Agenda 21. This article is from the Richmond Times-Dispatch on March 18, 2012 and was written by Rex Springston

Agenda 21: plot or paranoia?

When the agents of totalitarianism come to crush you, they will do it not with tanks and guns but with electric meters and bike paths.
And your plight, according to that view, will be the work of a United Nations plot for world domination called Agenda 21.
Tea party members and others concerned about Agenda 21 are increasingly popping up at local government meetings to rail against proposals they see as part of the plot.
Among the measures they have tied to Agenda 21: growth plans for Chesterfield and Mathews counties; concerns about rising sea levels along the Middle Peninsula; the Chesapeake Bay cleanup; open-land protections; modern electric meters in homes; and things such as bike paths that are labeled “smart growth” or “sustainable development.”
“It is a methodology that has been devised to promote control over resources, the environment and ultimately, people,” said Andrew Maggard, a Mathews retiree and avid battler against Agenda 21.
In addition to tea party activists, those opposing Agenda 21 include the John Birch Society, GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich and the Republican National Committee.
Professional planners and others who have looked into Agenda 21 say the alleged plot is a nonsensical conspiracy theory stemming from long-held fears that the U.N. is bent on ruling the planet under a world government.
“The fact that local governments believe in things like smart growth, livable communities and planning for climate change … doesn’t mean that local governments are part of a nefarious U.N. plot to take over land-use decisions,” said Noah M. Sachs, a University of Richmond law professor and environmental expert.
Agenda 21 — the term means an agenda for the 21st century — is a nonbinding set of U.N. guidelines for protecting the environment, Sachs said. It was ratified in 1992 by more than 170 governments, including the U.S. during the first Bush administration.
“Agenda 21 has been a dead letter for 20 years,” Sachs said. “Its recommendations have not been implemented by most governments, and the U.S. has largely ignored it.”
Those trying to end Agenda 21 — sometimes called “Agenders” — say the federal government pushes the U.N. plan to the local level. Then local officials impose it, often unwittingly, on citizens through measures such as the protection of open lands — a move some see as forcing people into dense “human settlement zones” where bikes are preferred over cars.
For more than a decade, few people mentioned Agenda 21. But with the rise of tea parties over the past few years, the issue has arisen with a vengeance.
Donna Holt, director of the Virginia Campaign for Liberty, a tea party group, said she and other Agenders helped defeat Chesterfield’s proposed comprehensive growth plan.
Language in the plan about land and energy conservation, among other things, represented “a blueprint of what I had read coming out of Agenda 21,” Holt said.
Another of the Agenders’ concerns is “smart meters” in homes — computerized devices that can be read from remote locations. Smart meters “are, by definition, surveillance devices,” says a posting on the website Virginians Against UN Agenda 21.
At Dominion Virginia Power, which is just beginning to test smart meters, customers’ privacy is a “top priority,” said spokesman David Botkins. “I haven’t even heard of Agenda 21.”
Virginia’s Middle Peninsula is a hotbed of Agenda 21 activism, said Lewis L. Lawrence, acting executive director of the region’s planning district commission.
Some people see references to zoning, comprehensive plans, conservation easements, bike paths, sustainability or smart growth and immediately assert that Agenda 21 is the force behind them, Lawrence said.
“It makes it really hard to have meaningful discussions about what you want to do with your community when 95 percent of the professional language is off-limits because of the supposed nexus to Agenda 21.”
Lawrence, whose family goes back to the early 1800s in Gloucester, said he has been accused of being “brainwashed” and “a dupe for the U.N.”
Agenders couldn’t defeat the Mathews comprehensive plan, but they helped remove what they considered some worrisome references like “sustainable development,” said Maggard, the retiree.
Concerns about the environment are affecting property rights and imposing “a draconian form of control over the people,” Maggard said. “I cite Agenda 21 as the principal method used to achieve that control.”
Much of the Agenders’ wrath has been directed toward an Oakland, Calif., group with the unwieldy name ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability. A membership group of local governments, it provides advice on issues such as energy conservation.
Agenders say ICLEI is a conduit through which the U.N. plan moves to local governments. Both Don Knapp, a spokesman for the group, and Holt, the tea party activist, say Agenders were instrumental in getting Albemarle County, James City County and Abingdon to cut their ties to ICLEI.
“It takes very little scrutiny to see that (the U.N. plot) is complete fiction and paranoia,” Knapp said. “It’s based on fear. People seem to just keep piling more and more things onto this conspiracy theory, and it’s absurd.”
Some Agenders claim Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as an ally. Cuccinelli said through a spokesman that he was aware of Agenda 21, adding: “I am concerned about anti-free-market land-use policies that do more harm than good.”
Tucker Martin, a spokesman for Gov. Bob McDonnell, said, “Our work is done in coordination with federal and local entities, not the United Nations.” McDonnell is committed to protecting property rights, Martin added.
In a January resolution, the Republican National Committee criticized the “destructive and insidious nature” of Agenda 21. And Gingrich says in a YouTube video that the United Nations, through Agenda 21, is “seeking to create an extra-constitutional control over us.”
Holt, the activist, predicted more battles over Agenda 21. “I don’t see it going away.”

UN Agenda 21 – A Little Paranoia Break?

The internet is all atwitter-this time about a United Nations document called Agenda 21, and one way or another there may be something to it this time. This 325 page document is a result of a conference in Rio in 1992 by a UN group tasked with coming up with a plan for sustainability. This is a very comprehensive plan for sustainable air, forests, water, trade, and how agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and all human activity can be included in planned and sustainable communities with planned population growth and health care arrangements. The agenda talks about how to wipe out poverty and equalize incomes. It talks about how to use education to teach sustainability.
Perhaps this plan was intended to be benign, but many are seeing it as anything but. In fact, they see this as a sinister plot to form one global community, regulated from “above”, and they aren’t referring to a deity. They interpret this as a devious plan to push people off the land and into high density multi-dwelling urban areas of low-cost housing. The land will be returned to a wild state so as to “sustain” these urban areas, the earth, and all the species that remain on the earth. These critics of Agenda 21 interpret the educational goals of the agenda as designed to center on only sustainable practices and refer to it as a “dumbing down” process.
This sinister plan is already in place, opponents say, and, if you look you will see signs of it operating in your community. It seems that 600 cities in 60 countries have signed onto Agenda 21 and may be devising ways to comply with this agenda that are affecting our lives already. This includes the redevelopment of the city core with mixed use buildings, retail on the bottom, apartments above. It includes lots of talk about rail lines and bike lanes. They swear that it is the intent of Agenda 21 to kill Democracy, in fact to end all nationalism and leave us with one global system, to end choices, dictate where people will live, what they will do, and how they will transport themselves.
If this scary vision of our future is true, we actually might like to know about it and find ways to prevent such “official” manipulation.
On the other hand, some say that Agenda 21 is a benign plan designed to help us “sustain” our existence on our planet for many generations to come. They say that the United Nations is an amazingly powerless organization. It has no clout. It has little ability to get anything of this scope done at this time. They say that the UN may have written Agenda 21, but no one has looked at it in 20 years and it certainly isn’t being systematically implemented.
Even if this isn’t a totalitarian plan to move us all over the earth’s surface like little pawns until we assume the “proper” configurations deemed appropriate to sustainability, the fact that it exists and sounds so “Orwellian” is enough to give unnecessary ammunition to groups who already feel that environmental concerns were “made up” by liberals to create roadblocks to Capitalism. This will really ramp up the great divide.
Unless it’s real, and in that case it just might bring us all together – Federation vs. Empire.
(Thanks to Trimby for bringing this story to my attention.)