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..