Editor’s note — Agenda 21 is a topic of conversation at Tea Party meetings and coffee shops. This begins a four-part analysis series examining and explaining the issues associated with Agenda 21.
“In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill …. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.” (The First Global Revolution, the Club of Rome.)
In 1968, a global think tank called the Club of Rome issued a report called “Limits to Growth.” Composed of heads of state, U.N. bureaucrats, business leaders, scientists and others, the group called for resource conservation, population reduction and global governance.
The Club of Rome was not the first group to develop this thesis, but in the modern era it was one of the most influential when it came to laying out an overall plan for governing humanity.
Other think tanks and researchers followed, issuing reports documenting environmental degradation due to industrialization and overpopulation. The culmination of these concerns was a U.N. sponsored conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. At the end of the conference a plan was released called Agenda 21 which was signed by 178 governments.
Primarily the brainchild of central planners in developed countries, Agenda 21 found fans on both sides of the aisle in Washington, D.C. In 1992 Congress ratified, and President George H. Bush signed, the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The purpose of the nonbinding treaty was to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations alleged to be due to manmade activities.
This was followed by President Clinton signing an Executive Order establishing a Council on Sustainable Development that employed different federal agencies to implement parts of Agenda 21. Clinton also signed the Kyoto Protocol, which was an international environmental treaty designed to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” However the Senate refused to ratify the treaty and President George W. Bush later withdrew the U.S. from the treaty.
President Barack Obama brought Agenda 21 back to center stage once again by signing an Executive Order to establish a White House Rural Council to coordinate federal management of rural America, including family farms. Recent examples of their activities include a proposal by the Department of Transportation that would require everyone on a farm to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License to operate farming equipment. Also proposed was a ban on children under 18 from working on family farms, although that proposal was withdrawn after a firestorm of protests. And a continued war by the FDA on dairies that sell raw milk.
The use of Executive Orders and the federal bureaucracy to pursue actions related to Agenda 21 has resulted in the enactment of laws not supported by the public and not passed by Congress. For example, one of the most important environmental programs tied to Agenda 21 was cap-and-trade legislation.
The “cap” in cap-and-trade being the legal limit on the quantity of greenhouse gases a region could emit each year and “trade” meaning that companies could swap emission permits among themselves. When cap-and-trade legislation failed to pass in the Senate, the EPA took it upon itself to regulate greenhouse gases, in effect usurping the role of Congress.
According to critics, at the heart of Agenda 21 are a number of goals that are contrary to American values, including: redistribution of wealth; abolishment of private property; population control and reduction; government-sanctioned monopolies through private-public partnerships; implementation of “sustainable development” policies at the local level; elimination of the middle class; collective instead of individual rights; and elimination of unsustainable uses of the environment, such as single-family homes, private cars, air conditioning, paved roads, dams and reservoirs, power lines, ski runs, fences, hunting, logging, industrial activity, livestock grazing and farming.
In effect, a form of neo-feudalism, but with a high-tech, “we are the world” look to it. Call it “1984″ meets “Brave New World.”
Americans remain largely in the dark about these developments because they are not widely covered in the mainstream media and because the plans have been put into effect gradually over the past 20 years. Indeed what is covered by the national media is little more than tub thumping by the global warming crowd. The most recent example of this being an editorial in Scientific American stating that “Effective World Government Will be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe.”
To make its case for Agenda 21, proponents have relied on “research” coming from governments, universities, think tanks and other nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Critics have accused some of these groups of altering their findings to fit a particular political agenda. One example of this being the claim that industrialization has resulted in climate change or manmade global warming.
Anthropogenic global warming: science or politics?
One of the major tenets of Agenda 21 is the need to control human development because of the damage done to the Earth.
Energy use, and particularly the use of fossil fuels, is blamed for alleged changes in the climate worldwide and makes up what is called the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory.
However, research and events over the last few years have raised doubts about the science behind AGW.
In 2009, for example, 61 megabytes of confidential e-mails between researchers at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit (UEACRU) were hacked and released to the public in a scandal later dubbed “Climategate.”
The e-mails revealed that East Anglia researchers had conspired with other researchers to exaggerate the amount of global warming, had silenced dissent by making it difficult for scientists who disagreed to have their work published, had manipulated temperature data to fit their theory, and had destroyed evidence at odds with their theory.
Since it was East Anglia, along with other institutions, that was feeding research findings to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), air began leaking out of the global warming balloon.
Following the Climategate scandal, additional research has cast even more doubt on the theory of AGW. The director of East Anglia, for example, finally admitted that the earth was actually warmer during the Medieval Warming Period than it is today.
Surveys of polar bear populations revealed their numbers were stable or growing, not declining. Claims of losses in the rainforests that were attributed to global warming were instead the result of logging. A new study established that the Himalayas have suffered no significant loss of ice over the past decade. Last, the most recent evidence is that world temperatures have risen less than two-tenths of 1 degree Fahrenheit in the last 20 years. Indeed some researchers now think it’s more likely that we are entering a new mini Ice Age.
Scientists dissenting from the theory of AGW have also become more outspoken about the flaws in the science.
One of these is Dr. Richard Lindzen who is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He has written and spoken out against the AGW theory.
He said that over the last 150 years there have been temperature changes of only tenths of a degree, which calls into question the claim that industrialization has raised the Earth’s mean temperature.
“There’s no doubt that what we do will have some effect, but even the doubling of CO2 would have a relatively small effect, only a change of 1 degree,” he said. “Models created by AGW scientists increase CO2 levels by a factor of 5 and everyone acknowledges that those are highly improbable.”
Lindzen said that scientists who don’t agree with the AGW proponents are often silenced. The Climategate e-mails included statements to the effect that any scientific journal editor who published articles critical of AGW would be severely attacked or fired. He said that he has been subject to it himself in cases where he was written articles for publication. Once those articles were published, the editor was immediately fired.
“Moreover, journals like Nature and Science have publicly declared that they will not publish anything that questions global warming,” he said. “This is a political movement that co-ops a lot of things. Any time you hear anyone say, ‘Believe us because we have authority and you can’t check it yourself,’ you should be suspicious. And I think the public at large is.”
Lindzen is not alone in his skepticism. A petition was submitted to Congress in 2008 that was signed by over 31,000 American scientists, including 9,000 with Ph.D.s. Many of the signers currently work in climatological, meteorological, atmospheric, environmental, geophysical, astronomical and biological fields directly involved in the climate change controversy.
The petition states,”There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate … Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
However, not much has changed as a result of these revelations, because ultimately AGW theory is not about science but about global governance and, to a lesser extent, about making money. It is more about a belief system.
In short, it’s bunk.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.