I found a comment “awaiting moderation” yesterday, and was impressed that Blogspot had read my statement that I’m not going to allow anonymous comments on my blog. This comment was submitted by “Steve.” “Steve” has been on Blogger since December 2011, and “his” profile has been viewed 4 times (twice by me).
Well, hi, “Steve.”
“Steve” commented on my blog “Agenda 21: A Straw Enemy.” That blog took issue with the claim by some folks that the United Nations, through “Agenda 21,” is pushing a one world government to be implemented through “local visioning,” “historic preservation ,” “consensus,” and the like.
The blog pointed out that this view is entirely divorced from history, in light of the fact that these concepts existed (and were being implemented) before Agenda 21.
Long before Agenda 21.
For example, here’s a pre-Agenda 21 example of comprehensive planning. It’s L’enfant’s plan for Washington, D.C., developed in 1791:
Whether or not we believe that planning is an outrageous assault on property rights, whether or not we believe that it’s OK for a French person to tell Americans how to build a city, can we at least agree that the United Nations wasn’t responsible?
That was the point of the blog, and I’m afraid that “Steve” missed it.
In the blog, I reprinted a paragraph of Agenda 21 that calls for “broad public participation in decision-making." This paragraph states:
23.2. One of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development is broad public participation in decision-making. Furthermore, in the more specific context of environment and development, the need for new forms of participation has emerged. This includes the need of individuals, groups and organizations to participate in environmental impact assessment procedures and to know about and participate in decisions, particularly those which potentially affect the communities in which they live and work. Individuals, groups and organizations should have access to information relevant to environment and development held by national authorities, including information on products and activities that have or are likely to have a significant impact on the environment, and information on environmental protection measures.
I asked: “Are you shocked, are you outraged, by the statement that ‘individuals, groups, and organizations’ should be allowed to ‘participate in environmental impact assessment procedures and to know about and participate in decisions, particularly those which potentially affect the communities in which they live and work’”?
Well, “Steve” was. “He” wrote:
You wish to rally for critical thinking - Ok. Where in that section of text quoted does it say that participation is voluntary? To highlight further "the need for new forms of participation has emerged." What new forms of participation? Many people already participate in using green products, recycling, and many other environmentally friendly movements voluntarily. There is no necessity for the UN to become involved. (Unless their goal isn't just environmentally friendly nations). We can do it ourselves, and better than they can. Also, your article is essentially Reductio ad absurdum considering you don't address any of the reasons "The Tea Party" or "conspiracy theorists" dislike Agenda 21 - Namely the removal of privacy and property
Well, I could rise to the bait. I could point out that “participation” is not an ominous term. Coercion is not inherent to the term “participation.” The On Line Dictionary says it means “The act of taking part or sharing in something: Teachers often encourage class participation.”
That hit home. I’m a teacher. I try to encourage class participation. And I swear on everything that I hold dear: the United Nations has never forced me to do so.
I could also point out that Agenda 21 wasn’t talking to us, or at least not to us alone. It’s also talking to Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria. . . It’s a big world out there. And most people, in most countries of the world, don’t have the opportunities to participate in decision-making that we have here.
So Agenda 21 suggests (and that’s all that it can do) that countries adopt a proud American product: the environmental impact assessment process. This is not “new” to us, since it’s been around since 1969 in our country. It’s not “new” in other developed countries. But it might be “new” to Afghanistan.
But no, I’m not going to rise to the bait.
The point of disagreement between “Steve” and me is not really the benefits of participation or even issues relating to property rights and privacy, where we might find some points of agreement.
The disagreement is that “Steve’s” underlying premise, untouched by any of the facts in my blog (and unresponsive to them), is that the United Nations dictates U.S. policy. At every level of policy.
When that premise remains in place regardless of all evidence to the contrary, we can’t talk about issues. We can’t debate or discuss. That big scary straw man stands in our way.
As Cervantes* said, “Fear is sharp-sighted, and can see things under ground, and much more in the skies.” Once you accept the premise that the United Nations runs our government, you can see Agenda 21 in every policy.
It is an empirical fact that a lot of groups influence government policy. The Chamber of Commerce, the Building Industry Association of Washington, and the fossil fuel industry come to mind at the local, state, and federal levels. In some small way, the dreaded ICLEI (a nonprofit intended to help local governments to implement “sustainability” goals contained in Agenda 21) may have influenced our government. That doesn’t mean that the United Nations runs the world. Nor does it mean that One World Government is either the cause or the result of every Agenda 21 policy.
*While it’s never possible to know for sure, it seems unlikely that Cervantes (1547-1616) was an agent of the United Nations. After all, his character Don Quixote was the ultimate opponent of windmills. Windmills, an example of "green energy," are alleged to be the spawn of Agenda 21. Ergo, Don Quixote must be a prequel. By tilting at windmills, the Knight of the Woeful Countenance was fighting against the "giant," which was really Agenda 21.