By Moira Egan
For some time, men of good will had been tormented by radical environmentalists. Word came that things might intensify. Finally, in 1994 from the Great Gaia Heights of a summit in Rio, there descended upon them a golden tome, a guide to Global Green Utopia so detailed that it could take your breath away. And they called it Agenda 21.
A command to action in order to save Earth from Man, the theme of the autocratic (but ‘soft law’ ) of Agenda 21 is the integration of environment and development through sustainable development. In Agenda 21, environment refers to everything - I mean everything.
Sprinkled throughout its 300 pages and 40 chapters, are ‘sustainable’ and ‘sustainable development.’ Yet nowhere is either term defined. You might find it helpful, however, to consider that ‘sustainable development‘ had its world debut in Our Common Future, a 1983 report to the United Nations by Gro Harlem Bruntland, V.P. of the World Socialist Party.
As we form our global partnerships, Agenda 21 tells us to intertwine them with parts of the UN System (e.g. World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNESCO, Urban Management Program) and with other global UN-linked institutions like the World Bank, International Development Association, GATT, and the International Monetary Fund.
Who is ’us?’ Nations, states, governments at all levels, non-governmental organizations, delegated administrative authorities, education associations and boards, unions, private companies...every kind of group you can think of. Agenda 21 refers to ‘humanity’ as part of the environment, but it seldom mentions individuals and when it does, it is to disparage, for example, individual farmers.
What it does encourage is, “the principle of delegating policy-making to the lowest level of public authority consistent with effective action and a locally driven approach.” That’s the closest I can get to the individual in all of this. Still, once you translate it from bureaucratese, it’s worth remembering the gist of that principle when you see warm and fuzzy sustainable developers creeping about your neighbourhood. While the ‘local’ principle is a management strength of Agenda 21, it is also its Achilles heel. You’ll want to twist it.
The concept of national sovereignty has been immutable, indeed a sacred principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation -- UN Commission of Global Governance Report.
Not only are we Canadians expected to give up our personal freedoms and our sovereignty, but also we are expected to fund Agenda 21 programs in other, developing nations. Each program comes with a price tag established by one division or another of the UN. Prices vary from millions to billions of dollars. Especially since Agenda 21 aims to destroy industrialized nations (that’s us and our funds), one wonders how serious the UN can be about actually helping people in the developing nations.
“Isn’t the only hope for our planet that the industrialized nations collapse? Isn’t it our
responsibility to bring it about? - Maurice Strong, Secretary-General, 1992 UN Conference
of Environment and Development
Foreign aid might be defined as transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich
people in poor countries. -- Douglas Case, Classmate of Bill Clinton
Like the Club of Rome and other Limits to Growth fans, Agenda 21 promotes human population control and reduction - globally. The UN System has a history of refusing aid to developing countries unless they impose abortion, sterilization and other birth control measures on their people. The impoverished, the illiterate, the hungry and the ill must be dealt with somehow to save Earth.
Controlling where people can live is also a major objective in Agenda 21. While A21ers exclaim about how cities are growing and how much work they have to do to make them sustainable, they simultaneously are creating tyranny among rural and suburban people in an effort to move them to the increasingly ‘smart’ cities where humanity can be closely controlled. You can see an example of the tyrants early dreams manifested in more and more towers of grey reality huddled along Toronto’s waterfront. Is that really smart? Where’s the green?
Furthermore, some Agenda 21 activities actually pollute the Earth or slice its birds to bits or light it up with the toxin of mercury. Agenda 21 would limit our burning of fossil fuels and/or bury their emissions. That would deny trees and plants of the primary raw material out of which they construct their tissues: carbon dioxide.
So Agenda 21 is really not about helping the poor or humanity in general nor even about sustaining Earth’s bounty and beauty. It’s about constraining human beings, about putting limits on our survival, growth, prosperity and individuality.
To do that, it simultaneously passes control down to local groups and up to international institutions, thus bypassing national governments and representative democracy.
At a February meeting of Ludwig von Mises Canada in Toronto, land use planner Jessica Lauren Annis, BURPl, MCIP, RPP, of Operation Pushback gave a presentation outlining some of the anti-freedoms of Agenda 21:
The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man. -- Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point
- Replace individual common-law/natural rights with a communitarian system of ‘human rights’
- De-industrialize the economies of western developed nations
- Integrate the precautionary principle into all development decision-making processes
- Replace elected, representative forms of government with a scientific technocracy administered by unelected, appointed ‘experts’ to micromanage every aspect of life
- Restrict access to natural resources as a means to manufacture artificial scarcity
- Depopulate rural lands
- Erase national sovereignty
- Impose a surveillance-control (“smart”) grid
- Ration the basic necessities of life (i.e., land, water, energy, food, transportation, renewable and non-renewable resources)
- Drastically reduce overall consumption
- Implement outcome based education
- Destabilize neighbourhoods through imposition of high-density development
- Severely restrict mobility
It isn’t quite communism. It’s sort of like fascism. You are allowed to own real property and required to pay taxes on it but you have no rights to decide how you use your property or even if you can use it. Only the community or state can decide. If the community says it has ‘human rights’ to ‘wild lands’ for example, well...tough for you if the community wants your land to go wild. There goes your well or your wood lot or your pasture or your wheat field or your harbour or your home or your entire livelihood. The stress of the tyranny has even ended the lives of some Ontario landowners.
The Communitarian System of Agenda 21 has ‘equalized’ landowners in Ontario and will systematically equalize more of them by either taking property or restricting its use. The provincial government of Ontario has been particularly aggressive in its implementation of Agenda 21 through the provincial land use planning legislative and regulatory framework.
The Precautionary Principle
Is it impossible that you’ll wake in the middle of some night to find your bed under a snow drift? No. It’s not impossible. So every night you’d better wear galoshes to bed?
Is it impossible that man is causing catastrophic global warming by burning fossil fuels? No. There are, however, no measurable data that show catastrophic warming of the globe. There are no verifiable, real world observations that man’s emissions are doing anything serious to change the world’s climate - even as atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide rise.
Man-made catastrophic climate change* is a scare tactic central to Agenda 21. Precautionary principle propagandists continue to sound alarm bells and to bully elected representatives into dumping trillions of dollars into projects that supposedly reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere The projects do make a difference - to your energy, water, food and tax bills, to your job security, to your privacy and to natural vistas.
Wind turbines, solar panels, biofuels, closing coal plants and stopping the construction of oil pipelines are the precautionary principle at work.
Climate always has changed. The Great Lakes are puddles left from when ice sheets covered Ontario and beyond. The Sahara used to be home to crocodiles. In the 1700s, a swath of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan was desert. What caused climate to change then? Not SUVs.
The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a child of United Nations Environment and Development (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization. Together with Agenda 21 they are an example of scientific technocracy, a sort of shadow government and a totalitarian one at that. (UNEP now calls itself United Nations Division for Sustainable Development.)
The unelected head of the IPCC is an industrial engineer (and writer of fantasy love stories). He is not a meteorologist or any kind of climate scientist, nor even a computer model technician. Yet, the IPCC presents itself as the global authority on climate. Any scientist who questions an IPCC report does so at the risk of personal smears, loss of a job and court challenges. That’s not exactly the scientific method. All the while, unelected technologists, engineers and other unidentified ‘experts’ tell us authoritatively in Agenda 21 how to sustainably reorganize, manage and develop our industrial resources, trade, financial institutions, social systems, and well, everything.
Locally, we see technocracy in some 540 Ontario agencies, boards, commissions and other entities. The heads of these groups are not elected but are government appointees. They form a sort of shadow government actively striving to influence decisions made by the people we elect.
If you haven’t heard of Agenda 21 before, you are not alone. The name has a low profile because you are not supposed to know that the United Nations system is commandeering smart growth, wild lands projects, resilient cities, regional planning projects, efficient human settlements, green jobs, local visioning, stakeholder consensus, growth management, sustainable farming, conservation easements, light rail transit, high density vertical housing, biospheres, food and other commodities, development rights, smart meters, green building codes, rooftop gardens, lightbulb use, vertical urban gardens, comprehensive planning, blighted neighbourhoods, city bicycle mandates, school curricula, renewable energy, carbon taxes, happy communities, land expropriation, climate mitigation, neighbourhood summits, or any of those other concepts that just happen to be abuzz in hundreds of sustainable cities and regions that are thousands of miles apart. You are supposed to see the moves as local initiatives.
You have, without doubt, heard of earth initiatives and green initiatives and smart initiatives, vision initiatives and sustainability initiatives.
The best known initiatives, in government and non-governmental organization circles, are International Councils on Local Climate Initiatives or ICLEIs. They are intrinsic to Agenda 21 and are akin to communist soviets and Mussolini’s fasci councils that worked at the local level with direction from headquarters. ICLEIs have members, associates, partners and sponsors with other UN divisions and with international and national foundations, radical environmental groups and multinational corporations.
ICLEI operations started in 1991 in Toronto, specifically located in Toronto City Hall, as the World Secretariat. It has moved to Germany but ICLEI Canada has its home in Toronto. It offers membership to local governments and to their national and regional associations. Including Toronto, it has 27 members. Ontario members are Aurora, Blue Mountains, Durham Region, Essex, Guelph, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Kitchener, Oakville, Ottawa, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. Fees for membership in ICLEI are determined by the World Bank.
Each ICLEI has access to The Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide and to support from other local and international groups. You can bet that, if their plans are opposed at some level of government, ICLEI managers have political tacticians at the ready - globally - to help them overcome any local opposition.
Associations that promote the objectives of Agenda 21 are not always members of ICLEI but invariably there is some link to a UN division.
- Learn whatever you can about Agenda 21 in general, and in your area.
- Read your community newspaper, listen to your local radio station and TV
so you know what’s happening, or might happen, in your area.
- If you’re not happy about something that infringes on your property rights
and/or privacy, create a flyer explaining to your neighbours your objections. Get your kids and neighbours to help you distribute the flyer to homes or businesses or at the local mall or even at church.
- Find out which ‘sustainable’ or ‘green’ groups are active in your area and what they are doing
- If you find out about a group that is advocating smart growth, for example, look at who is in the group. Who funds them? What influence do they have? Try computer searching their names plus ICLEI or Smart Growth or UN or Greenpeace or WWF. Expose whatever you find.
- Write a letter to the editor
- Comment on local blogs
- Put up a lawn sign
- Watch for community demonstrations. If you believe in the cause, join it.
If you don’t, create your own protest group.
- Connect with others who feel that their property rights are being limited or taken away through excessive regulations. Tell them about Agenda 21.
- Go to community development, redevelopment, transformational, smart
growth and smart anything meetings. Take part and take a friend.
- Check out what your child is learning in school about her spiritual
relationship with Earth.
- Find out who is running your region, town or city.
- Ask your school board rep, councillor, mayor, MPP and MP what they know about Agenda 21. Keep after them with hard questions related to any concerns you have.
- Don’t waste time with partisan politics. Agenda 21 is not a partisan issue.
- Do not be afraid.
The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the
apathy of a citizen in a democracy. -- Charles de Montesquieu