by Cynthia Toney
What’s in your back yard? How much land do you own? How much electricity and water do you consume? You’d better not be hogging a resource or misusing it, you selfish American.
Soon, the city or town where you reside may join the ranks of others that adhere to policies for global sustainable development set by the United Nations and its Agenda 21.
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is a tool being used to implement Agenda 21 at the local level. You and your private property will be subject to its mandates if your city town or county becomes a member of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA. 1
What this means for Americans is that resources previously belonging to us – obtained through the sacrifices of our forefathers – may soon belong to the world. Remember the phrases “spread the wealth” and “economic justice”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
In case you are not familiar with Agenda 21, it “recognizes that broad public participation in decision-making is one of the fundamental prerequisites for the achievement of sustainable development, and identifies specific roles and responsibilities for nine major groups of civil society: women, children and youth, indigenous people, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, scientific and technological communities, and farmers. The Division [United Nations Division for Sustainable Development] supports the participation and contribution of the major groups to the CSD [Commission on Sustainable Development] process and facilitates their interactive participation in official sessions of CSD.”
“CSD is a high-level forum on sustainable development which reviews progress and monitors and reports on implementation of Agenda 21, the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) at the national, regional and international levels.” 2
Imagine any or all of the above groups having a voice in where you are allowed to live and what your are allowed to produce or consume because someone else believes you should not take up more than your fair share of land, shelter, water, energy, or food sources. Worse, you may be forced to move off land that your family has owned for generations – because a government body or other “decision-making” group claims it in the name of “sustaining” a resource found there.
Although the UN’s formal plan to harvest American resources for the world has only recently surfaced at the average American’s kitchen table or office break room, it all began in 1992 at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (also known as the “Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There, the UN linked economic and social development with environmental protection. Refer to the history and future plans for further policy development on the UN’s website. (Hint: 2012-13 holds plans for “Forests, biodiversity, biotechnology, tourism and mountains”.) 3
And just who will pay for this planned economic and social development and environmental protection supposedly needed to sustain the planet?
“At the Earth Summit, it was agreed that most financing for Agenda 21 would come from within each country’s public and private sectors. However, new and additional external funds were deemed necessary to support developing countries’ efforts to implement sustainable development practices and protect the global environment.”
These external funds are sought through yet another UN entity, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which seeks to “conserve and make sustainable use of biological diversity, address global climate change, reverse the degradation of international waters, phase out substances that deplete the ozone layer, combat land degradation and drought, and reduce and eliminate the production and use of certain persistent organic pollutants.” 4
In other words, the GEF plans to control the collective know-how of the planet earth. Its projects are to be executed, in part, by the World Bank, and the World Bank has an axe to grind.
“We live in a world so rich that global income is more than $31 trillion a year. In this world, the average person in some countries earns more than $40,000 a year. But in this same world, 2.8 billion people—more than half the people in developing countries—live on less than $700 a year.” 5
The World Bank seeks to reduce levels of poverty in poor countries “and turn rich country resources into poor country growth.” Sounds like redistribution of wealth to me.
One GEF project addresses “Sustainable Land Management.” One aspect of that mission is “enhancing synergies between combating desertification [the process by which fertile land becomes desert] and land degradation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and biodiversity conservation”. 6
“But Agenda 21 went beyond these purely environmental issues to address patterns of development which cause stress to the environment. These included: poverty and external debt in developing countries; unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; demographic stress; and the structure of the international economy.” 7
The above list of “patterns” should unequivocally scare Americans because it intimates that the UN may determine our nation’s productivity, consumption, and economy, while using our wealth to reduce the poverty and debt of other countries.
Most Americans would probably agree that poor countries should have every opportunity to develop and preserve their own resources and pull themselves out of poverty, and if private industry and non-governmental organizations wish to help them, those countries’ governments should do everything possible to facilitate that happening. However, shouldn’t we draw the line at taking resources – electrical power, fresh water or land – and the related opportunities that go along with them, from our American citizens? I may be wrong, but I believe that is why most of our ancestors came to this country in the first place.
Greenies, see where we’re headed here? Sure, you may be happy to drive a fuel-efficient car, but would you like to be forced to downsize your home or give up half your land or wealth so that a number of families may be relocated if they must be removed from an area that has sustainability issues? Even if you haven’t already complained about paying taxes to support fellow Americans, how would you feel about being forced to support people around the globe – all in the name of sustaining the planet? It’s time to look beyond the end of your green nose.
If you think that this agenda is not creeping into your county or state and gaining a foothold, take a look at the list on icleiusa.org and determine if your city or town is already a member of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA.
If ICLEI is near or already in your community, it is time to approach and question your mayor, city council, board of aldermen, county supervisors and other local, county and state authorities (think commissioners for agriculture and public service). Very likely, environmental groups and local governments will work to control and acquire much private property through claims of managing a water, energy or food supply or protecting a species of animal or the environment in general – because that is easier for them to do at present.
The American Policy Center reveals how ICLEI operates locally:
“It [ICLEI] does this by meeting with local officials, signing contracts with them to set standards for energy and water use, building and development codes, farming policy, etc. It brings in training for city hall staff; soft ware to manage the programs; guidelines for legislation; networking with other communities, other NGO [non-governmental organizations] and Stakeholder groups and other agencies of state and federal government. They reach out to other public officials in the communities, including newspaper editors, school superintendents, local college presidents, and chamber of commerce leaders – all designed to assure everyone who helps make decisions and policy in the community are on board. And of course, ICLEI leads the officials to the most important ingredient needed to impose Agenda 21 – money – grant money that comes with specific strings to guarantee that Agenda 21 is enforced. That grant money is like heroin in the veins. Once there, the addiction and dependency is in force. Once ICLEI has done its job, the community is hooked, and an entirely new attitude and community atmosphere of top-down control is enforced by the government. ICLEI’s influence basically creates an entirely new culture in the community where it becomes natural and basically unquestioned to expect local government to be involved in every aspect of your property, job, family and your whole life.” 8
Remember the tiny fish that stole the water supply to hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland in California? The fish was just an excuse for government control of resources, and that was only the beginning.
Cynthia Toney is a freelance writer and editor who passionately studies our nation’s history in order to better understand its present condition. She is the author of two novels for young people, one contemporary and one historical, and she has written for periodicals on subjects ranging from interior design to pet care. She lives in the Deep South with her husband and two dogs.
7 http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/environment/ (United Nations Global Issues)
8 http://americanpolicy.org/sustainable-development/new-strategies-in-the-fight-to-stop-agenda-21.html/ (American Policy Center: New Strategies in the Fight to Stop Agenda 21)