Environmentalists and urban planners are on the run in Alabama as the state becomes the first to pass legislation banning Agenda 21, and all that entails. Tea Party types are ecstatic:
Defined these days as “sustainable development,” Agenda 21 seeks to transform humanity with “new global ethics.” At the most basic level, beyond the soft words like “sustainability” and “eco-friendly environments”, Agenda 21 takes away private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership, individual travel choices, and privately owned farms.
Other sites note that "Production, education, consumption, individual rights, and even people’s thoughts will all be targeted under the global plan to create a so-called “green economy." But Alabama is now safe from the threat.
This bill, that would bar the state from taking over private property without due process, is intended to shelter Alabamians from the United Nations Agenda 21, a sustainable development initiative that some conservatives see as a precursor for the creation of a world government,” explained Alabama GOP Executive Director T.J. Maloney when announcing that it had been signed into law.
The wording of the Alabama legislation acts to "bar the state from taking over private property without due process," which is pretty vague. But no doubt every proposal for smart growth, transit, higher density housing, heritage preservation, wetlands or forest preservation, shoreline preservation or environmental protection will now be bogged down in Alabama and challenged as part of the Agenda 21. Let's toss in birth control as well.
But hey, as one jubilant Agender reminds us of the words of Ayn Rand, “The evil of the world is made possible by nothing but the sanction you give it.”
Over at Huffpo, Andrew Reinbach writes a great summary of the Agenda 21 issue and its roots in the John Birch Society. I have called it the right wing "theory of everything"; Reinbach calls it "a sort of grab-bag for fringe ideas."
The JBS goal, after all, is smaller government and to the extent attempts at comprehensive land use planning and sustainability initiatives are frustrated, abandoned, or scaled back, while its followers are kept engaged and recruits filter in, it's succeeding, and sticking to what's proven to be a successful strategy -- one that brought it from near-extinction in the 1960s to being a major, if unacknowledged, influence in American politics today.
Don't count them out.