Tom DeWeese is the President of the American Policy Center, a grassroots action and education foundation dedicated to the promotion of free enterprise and limited government regulations over commerce and individuals. Tom is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.
Agenda 21 is a plan that was introduced in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro and was the culmination of a number of plans put together through the United Nations in the previous 10 years. Non-governmental organizations (NGO's) like the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy and others helped put it together. It's an all-encompassing plan to literally change human society using the environment as the excuse when actually the goal is top-down control of every action of our lives via the redistribution of wealth and resources.
Agenda 21 was a “soft-law policy” meaning it was a suggestion. So as people criticize it, Tom said its defenders will describe it as, “an innocuous, 20 year old document that doesn't mean anything. There are no blue-helmeted troops at city hall so what's your problem?”
The problem is the NGO's. After Agenda 21 was introduced to the world (President G.H.W. Bush signed it in 1992) the NGO's began to move into our federal bureaucracy and they began to lobby, working on grant programs. If a community accepts these grants, they come with “strings attached” which includes the implementation of Agenda 21. These same NGO groups then move into state legislatures, getting them to pass regulations insisting that every community must do a comprehensive development plan. Then they tell communities that they have plans ready to go to help them including the knowledge of new international regulations dealing with everything from electrical wiring to plumbing. All communities need to do is “rubber stamp” the process which includes payment via the previously mentioned grants.
Sustainable development is the policy of Agenda 21. The idea is that we're going to preserve the resources of today for future generations when in fact it's a “locking away” of energy and natural resources.
Agenda 21 and the issue of sustainable development are the backbone of this program that looks at the following:
--A regional planning commission (a non-elected board) in Montgomery County, Ohio, put together a plan to not only widen the highway in front of a woman's house, they also put in a bike lane. The bike lane will be 7 feet away from her front door. She has been offered the “just compensation” of $23,000 when her property is worth over a million dollars yet now no one wants to buy it.
--In Seattle, Washington, a woman's parking lot was seized to turn it into yet another parking lot.
--The concept of “Smart Growth”.
--The re-”wilding” of parts of America.
--The EPA's Water Body Connectivity Report