Design Urban Design Agenda 21 Plot Exposed in the New York Times and Grist By Lloyd Alter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Lloyd Alter Published February 07, 2012 Updated February 8, 2021 08:34AM EST Didier Marti / Getty Images Share Twitter Pinterest Email Design Tiny Homes Architecture Interior Design Green Design Urban Design For over a year, John Laumer and I have been writing about Agenda 21 Wackos On The Move to Stop Smart Growth, Agenda 21: The United Nations Threat To Control Our Lightbulbs, Our Lifestyles, and Our Lives and John Birch Society's Back: Municipal Planning & Environmentalism Targeted. I called Agenda 21 the Tea Party Theory of Everything: It ties it all together into one neat package, making climate change, light bulbs, transit, smart growth, fuel economy, everything a plot...It is a spreading conspiracy theory that is becoming the underlying ideology of the crazy right and that has serious legs. It is no joke. Now the Republican National Committee has passed a resolution on the subject, quoted in the New York Times The United Nations Agenda 21 plan of radical so-called ‘sustainable development’ views the American way of life of private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms; all as destructive to the environment. Not Funny Grist thinks it is all very funny, and illustrates its story, Paranoia strikes deep: GOP exposes ‘dangerous’ U.N. sustainability plot with tinfoil hats. It's not funny. There is a growing anti-transit, anti-smart growth, anti-preservation (that's how I got involved) and pro property rights movement that is becoming a serious threat. In an earlier post, I listed the items that they object to in Agenda 21, but Sustainable Development is at the top of the list, which includes: Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, STAR Sustainable Communities, Green jobs, Green Building Codes, "Going Green," Alternative Energy, Local Visioning, facilitators, regional planning, historic preservation, conservation easements, development rights, sustainable farming, comprehensive planning, growth management. Not Just the Republican National Committee I think that about the only people who actually read the post were Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists who are dead serious, convinced that "It is really a method of advancing socialistic control in the attempt to steer us toward some micromanaged, globally focused eco-marxist utopia". Nor were they all anti-environmentalist Tea Partiers: As a liberal Democrat I can tell you that this is not just about putting solar panels on your roof and insulating your attic. It's about restricting civil liberties, domestic surveillance, smart meters, and limiting food independence. Water rights, property rights, and individual rights are being abridged through the implementation of UN Agenda 21. The environmental movement has been hijacked. Your refusal to see and need to make this a left/right thing is making it easier for your government to regulate and control you. There are even Democrats against UN Agenda 21 who wrote: In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Although there was the occasional: Treehuggin marxist lovin bolshiviks hate personal freedoms and us freedom loving wackos know who the real enemies of this country are. protecting biodiversity means giving the land back to the animals./Screen capture The New York Times notes that for years, the only people interested were " a handful of farmers and ranchers in rural areas." Now, however, It is much bigger than that; it threatens just about everything TreeHugger supports. Historic preservation is an invasion of property rights. Biodiversity is a way to give the country back to the animals and push us into cities. Smart planning is a way to take away our cars and make us take transit. For the last two years I was president of the major architectural preservation organization in Ontario, Canada and was in dozens of cities and towns across the province. Everywhere there were signs about property rights, against wind farms, anti smart meter, and a constant battle over property rights. Agenda 21 conflates all of these issues into one comprehensive plot that a growing number of people take seriously. I saw it. Tinfoil hats are lots of fun, but I will say it again: This thing has legs, and it is no joke.