Editor’s note — Agenda 21 is a topic of conversation at Tea Party meetings and coffee shops. This is Part IV of a four-part analysis series examining the issues associated with Agenda 21. Part I ran May 18, Part II ran Monday and Part III ran Wednesday.
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“In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.” (Strobe Talbot, President Clinton’s deputy secretary of state, Time Magazine, July 20, 1992)
Gaining acceptance of Agenda 21, and with it global governance, has meant promoting it in TV programs, movies, books, advertising, magazine articles, conferences, in “green” products, at U.N. and NGO events, in school and college curriculums, and referencing it in just about every federal document.
This is all part of programming the population, especially the young, to accept the idea of living in a “global collective.”
In California, planting the Agenda 21 meme has been particularly intense given the state’s reputation as a bulwark in the “green” movement. In 2008, the California Legislature went so far as to pass a bill that would have required global warming be taught as part of the public school curriculum. While Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill, advocates continue to try and work it into the school curriculum in other ways.
For example, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District developed a standards-based climate change curriculum for fourth and fifth grade levels. The Lawrence Hall of Science developed an earth science course for high-school students that includes climate change. The EPA developed a Toolkit for educators to teach middle school students about climate change and its impact on the environment and wildlife. And some teachers have taken it upon themselves to show the film “An Inconvenient Truth” starring former Vice President Al Gore.
In many ways Gore is the perfect symbol of the intersection of politics and money-making in America. Since the film came out in 2006, Gore has become a major spokesman for the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory as he has jetted around the world in a private plane lecturing others on their carbon footprints while owning a home in Nashville that consumes more energy in a month than most Americans use in a year.
The film he touts also claims that sea levels will rise by up to 20 feet in some areas due to melting glaciers. However, that didn’t stop Gore, in 2010, from purchasing a $9 million getaway home in Montecito — an exclusive seaside community.
Business ventures that Gore is associated with also raise the suspicion that AGW is nothing more than a way for well-connected individuals to become carbon billionaires. For example, a venture capital firm he is a partner in loaned money to another company to develop energy-saving technologies for utilities. That loan paid off big time when the Energy Department later awarded more than $560 million in smart grid grants to utilities that had contracts with the firm.
Green greed is good
Gore, of course, is not the only one using AGW for personal benefit. It has come out that $3.9 billion in federal grants and financing went to firms with connections to five different staffers and advisors in the Obama administration. Many of these “green” energy companies went bankrupt after taking out loans while at the same time paying out huge bonuses to their executives.
According to news reports in the Washington Post and at ABC News, Beacon Power Corp., for example, received $43 million in energy loans. In March 2010, the company paid cash bonuses of $259,285 to three executives. A year and a half later they filed for bankruptcy. EnerDel received $118.5 million in energy loans. Their parent company paid $725,000 in bonuses to three executives in 2011. In January of this year it declared bankruptcy. Solyndra, the California-based company, received more than a half billion dollars in government loans. At least 17 executives received two sets of payments ranging from $37,000 to $60,000 per payment just months before the company fired 1,100 workers and declared bankruptcy. SpectraWatt received a $500,000 grant from the Energy Department. Between March and April of 2011, payouts of $745,000 were made to five company executives while at the same time the company laid off its workforce and prepared to declare bankruptcy.
By no means are these the only “green companies” that have siphoned off billions of taxpayer dollars into failed ventures. Ventures that have benefited a few well-connected individuals while the cost was shifted to the public. Indeed they appear to be examples of what Agenda 21 calls for in the way of private-public partnerships where if a venture is successful, the company keeps the profits, and if it fails, the public absorbs the loss.
Environmental groups and university researchers have also leveraged AGW because it has become something of a cash cow in terms of fundraising and research grants. Nothing is trendier these days than saying that you produce a “green” product, are doing global warming research, or are fighting global warming.
The result has been “research” that would make for good satire if it weren’t being taken seriously by people in a position to impose taxes and regulations on the public.
For example, AGW has been described as causing, among other things: global cooling, global warming, dermatitis, drought, floods, anxiety, gender inequality, birds not singing, too much snow, not enough snow, coral reefs shrinking, coral reefs growing, fewer trees, more trees, boredom, maple syrup shortage, ozone rise, ozone loss, earth lopsided, earth melting, earth exploding, more avalanches, fewer avalanches, cholera, sex changes, world bankruptcy, income increases for lawyers, bubonic plague, ice sheet growth, ice sheet shrinkage and invasion of Scotland by spiders.
A vision of the radical left
Supporters and opponents of Agenda 21 come from all parts of the political spectrum so it is not necessarily a partisan issue. Some people argue that it is needed for survival of the ecosystem while others see it as a conspiracy to bring about a dictatorial world government.
Congressman Tom McClintock said Agenda 21 has been brought to his attention many times but he doesn’t believe it’s a conspiracy. Instead he sees it as part of a great debate over what kind of society we want.
“It dates back to early English history when the Crown tried to restrict the use of the land by commoners,” he stated. “The reaction was the Magna Carta. It appears the elite want to reverse that and reinstitute feudalism.”
According to him, supporters of Agenda 21 want to return the earth to some earlier pristine condition through restrictive zoning, restrictions on dams and reservoirs, restrictions on the use of land, destruction of roads, and so on.
“It’s really a lunatic vision that resonates with those on the radical left,” he said. “Most people don’t want to live in dense urban cores, don’t want people telling them what kind of light bulbs to buy, or how high to set their thermostat.
“It’s an age-old conflict between freedom and authoritarianism. The question being asked is whether the government is here to protect our rights or to force on people what those in government think is best for us.
“There is a large group of people who just want to be left alone to conduct their lives as they see fit. There is a smaller minority that wants to run everyone else’s life. These people are attracted to government because that’s where power is concentrated. We’re reaching a boiling point where the silent majority is starting to engage and push back.
“The vision of the American founders was of a voluntary society,” he said. “But that vision has been seriously eroded over the last century. This is an age-old question. Are men free souls or are they the property of the state?”
Conspiracy or fact?
Whether one agrees with McClintock or not, clearly something is afoot.
Legislation establishing goals for carbon emissions is not the product of anyone’s imagination. Neither is cap-and-trade legislation nor efforts by the EPA to enforce regulations based on AGW theory despite a lack of legislative authority or sound science.
The fact that America is being de-industrialized is also not debatable. Although the number of manufacturing jobs in America remains the same — around 17 million during the period 1969 to 2002 — the share of manufacturing jobs has continued to decline from 28 percent to only 9 percent in 2011.
At the same time, the American middle class has being progressively hollowed out. According to a report by the National Employment Law Project, while 60 percent of the jobs lost during the economic downturn were in midwage occupations, 73 percent of the jobs added since have been in lower-wage occupations such as cashier, stocking clerk or food preparation worker.
As a result, wage disparity and poverty have grown in America. A 2010 Pew study showed that the typical middle-class family lost 23 percent of its wealth since the recession began, versus just 12 percent among the upper class. And 45 million people are now on food stamps, a 70 percent increase from 2007.
The collapse in the housing market has also made the prospect of living in a single-family home less likely for many Americans. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of Americans who owned their own homes has seen its biggest decline since the Great Depression. The rate of home ownership fell to 65.1 percent in April 2010, 1.1 percentage points lower than it was in 2000. The decline was the biggest drop since the 1930s, when home ownership plunged 4.2 percent.
Our current president has also shown himself to be unusually dismissive of any constitutional limits on his authority, although he is just the latest in a long line of presidents to do so.
To date he has ordered the killing of U.S. citizens abroad without their being charged or tried in a court of law. He has continued indefinite detentions at Gitmo, but also brought the policy ashore by signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 which authorizes the military to arrest and indefinitely detain anyone without the benefit of due process. He has violated the Posse Comitatus Act banning domestic deployment of the military. He has expanded the surveillance state. And in March he signed an Executive Order that gives him the power to institute indefinite martial law in the United States because of a real or potential threat. The order allows him, or anyone else serving as president, to conscript all the resources in the country including forcing Americans into the military or into work details.
Obama has also shown himself to be inclined towards supporting global initiatives at the expense of this country and its citizens. He accepted the chairmanship of the U.N. Security Council even though it was unconstitutional for him to do so. He has publicly stated his support for the U.N. to take on the job of monitoring and controlling guns owned by Americans. And his most recent Executive Order internationalizes the laws that this country will operate under with its trading partners.
Individually, each of these actions would be troubling enough. But taken together, they form a pattern of actions that steer America away from a representational government and towards a corporate styled government that primarily benefits the wealthiest 1 percent of its citizens.
So if Agenda 21 is a conspiracy, it’s one that is now out in the open.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.
Editor’s note: Agree with our analysis? Disagree? Want to form an opinion of your own? Read more about Agenda 21 at www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21.