Are you sure you want to delete this post?
I don't expect many people are that familiar with the United Nations Agenda 21
, unless you subscribe to the John Birch Society or Alex Jones Infowars or Glenn Beck's Blaze website...or some of the lesser right wing websites that have latched onto and capitalized on the JBS fearing manufacturing machine. I bring this topic up in this website, not so much to promote Agenda 21, but rather to cite it as an example of how the John Birch Society can use their enormous financial resources to undermine and pretty well scuttle a well thought out United Nations program to help nations and communities manage what is termed "sustainable development" in the 21st century.
Agenda 21 is not a treaty and it not a law. It is essentially a set of recommended best practices for communities to apply as needed. There is nothing binding on the nations or cities that want to use the resources of Agenda 21 to help them manage the environmental aspects of declining resources as the population expands. It is strictly voluntary. It was first conceptualized in the 1980s while Reagan was President, and finally adopted at the the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It has been supported by every president since George H.W. Bush. It is a 300 page document, that addresses (from Wikipedia):
1. The Social and Economic Dimensions of combating poverty, especially in developing countries, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, achieving a more sustainable population, and sustainable settlement in decision making,
2. The Conservation and Management of Resources for Development including atmospheric protection, combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments, conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity), control of pollution and the management of biotechnology, and radioactive wastes,
3. Strengthening the Role of Major Groups including children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business and workers and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples, their communities, and farmers, and
4. The Means of Implementation including science, technology transfer, education, international institutions and financial mechanisms.
It is all good common sense stuff that would normally be embraced by both Democrats and Republicans. I read parts of it and couldn't find anything that might cause ordinary Americans to balk. It should more or less "sell itself" but the John Birch Society has had a well planned and orchestrated campaign to undermine it. When I Googled "Agenda 21", the first few pages are full of innocuous conspiracy type websites attacking it as erosive of American sovereignty. Browsing those websites, much of the material comes directly from the John Birch Society. In fact the John Birch Society puts out a Stop Agenda 21
kit of pamphlets, booklets and videos all full of misleading and false propaganda about Agenda 21.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has highlighted the efforts of the JBS in this article: Antigovernment Conspiracy Theorists Rail Against UN’s Agenda 21 Program.
From the SPLC:
"On its face, Agenda 21 does nothing but provide countries and communities with a set of principles to grow smartly — a plan, in short, to fight overpopulation, pollution, poverty and resource depletion.
"But for a far-flung network of antigovernment extremists who have risen up to attack it, the nonbinding document that was approved 20 years ago at the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro is not really about preserving the planet at all. Between the lines, they argue, lies a blueprint for the “New World Order.”
"How such an arcane UN document that defines the concept of “smart growth” and environmental sustainability became so controversial, even though it gives the UN no enforcement powers, has a lot to do with the work of a tight cadre of antigovernment “Patriot” activists whose fears are rooted in right-wing lore about a New World Order, a kind of authoritarian one-world government. Figures such as Tom DeWeese, head of the American Policy Center, Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the anti-feminist Eagle Forum, and John Bush, with Texans for Accountable Government, have in recent years crisscrossed the country to put on seminars and conferences that strike terror into those inclined to believe conspiracy theories about powerful global elites plotting to install a socialistic global government. The John Birch Society, an archconservative group formed during the Red Scare of the 1950s, regularly assails Agenda 21 with the fervor it once reserved for communists."
I recommend reading the entire SPLC article. The final point I'll make is that it is very scary to me how these right wing groups like the JBS can so indoctrinate such a significant segment of the populace with their fear mongering. It is so pervasive that even the Republican Party Platform has embraced the conspiracy theories:
ThinkProgress, August 15, 2012: Republican Party Officially Embraces ‘Garbage’ Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theories As Its National Platform
What really worries me is that the campaign against Agenda 21 is not an isolated "one issue" topic but rather one of many issues in which the JBS uses fear to indoctrinate the ignorant amongst us. It was happened before in history as one can look at the roots of fascism in Europe and South America in the 20th century.