A resolution passed by the Republican National Committee last month repudiates sustainable development and describes the global effort to achieve it as “destructive and insidious.” The New York Times has identified Agenda 21, the U.N.’s 1992 non-binding resolution on sustainable development, as part of a broader effort by conservative activists to fight local initiatives around public transportation, sprawl reduction and preservation of environmental resources. Protests linked to the Tea Party movement have centered recently on the nonprofit organization ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.
Local Government Association “Covertly” Pushing New World Order??
ICLEI-USA is a nonprofit membership association of local governments; its mission is “to build, serve and drive a movement of local governments to advance deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve tangible improvements in local sustainability.” The organization has become linked in the minds of radical right-wing activists with a move to one world government and domination by the United Nations in the form of Agenda 21, a non-binding action plan for sustainable development agreed to in 1992 by 178 countries, including the U.S.. [Sustainable development is defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."]
Last month the Republican National Committee explicitly repudiated Agenda 21, when it passed a resolution, stating, in part:
“the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992 …
WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects; …”
(see full text of the RNC resolution on page 2 here.)
Currently over 600 local governments in 49 states are members of ICLEI-USA, from Sitka, Alaska to San Antonio, Texas to New York City. A press release issued by ICLEI-USA in response to the New York Times article states, “ICLEI USA reaffirms its support for cities, towns, and counties who are defining their own goals and objectives to protect clean air and water, increase energy independence, prepare for a changing climate, and become more economically competitive in the process. Because of our longtime leadership on sustainability, ICLEI has been singled out by extremists who mislead others by spinning wild conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact.” ICLEI-USA’s executive director states, “As our nation attempts to recover from the economic crisis and a record-breaking year of extreme weather that cost us tens of billions of dollars, we must not allow common-sense community planning efforts to be derailed. Let’s focus on the issues, not conspiracy theories.”
The New Scapegoat
Of course, paranoid conspiracy theories are nothing new. Ignorant and fearful groups have always searched for scapegoats when they feel that they don’t control their world. Whether it’s Masons, Jewish bankers, or, now, U.N. and association bureaucrats, while the accusations are ludicrous, the resulting harm is not.
Read more: agenda 21, conservation, Earth Summit, environment, ICLEI, local government, politics, republican, republican national committee, right wing, rnc, sustainability, sustainable development, tea party, united nations
Photo by Fred Askew via Flickr, Creative Commons license.
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