I was disappointed with The Right Stuff column that published June 1 in the Daily Republic article, “Some facts, history of Agenda 21.” I was expecting some facts and history of Agenda 21, but all I saw was a bunch of puzzling, out-of-context quotes from environmentalists.
Agenda 21 consists of a series of recommendations coming out of several world environmental conferences, designed to help us leave our planet in better shape for our children. As you might expect, it supports the preservation of green spaces, increasing the availability of eco-friendly transportation choices, and limiting pollution.
By absurdly contorting the recommendations, or by misquoting or taking snippets of quotes out of context, as was done in the column, ecological advice on how we can live a more Earth-friendly life can magically transform into world-controlling domination and tyranny at the hands of vicious, psychopathic tree huggers.
Like the “Birther Movement” and climate-change deniers, this Agenda 21 conspiracy theory is alive and kicking with the tin-foil, tri-cornered hat crowd.
It seems to me that we get to hear their warnings of creeping green doom every two years, around election time. The last time we discussed this Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, in this Daily Republic column, was just before the 2012 presidential election. Then, as now, my column was in response to fantastical claims, conspiracy theories and paranoia from the extreme right, trying to use fear and hate in order to snag some votes from frightened and angry citizens.
The message that’s coming from sources like Glenn Beck, Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, the John Birch Society, extremist tea parties and various right-wing organizations is that “socialist” President Barack Obama is using Agenda 21 to change our way of life and destroy the United States.
This manufactured panic and chest-thumping “patriotism” of the Agenda 21 conspiracists is truly adorable, but misguided. More than a decade ago, Agenda 21 was a darling of Internet conspiracy theorists as part of the globalist takeover of America at the hands of Republican President George W. Bush, a “New World Order” puppet, just like his dad. Unlike this flimsy, new Obama creation, the Bush plot had plenty of solid background information going back generations. This left-wing, Bush-Agenda 21 horror story pretty much died out after he was termed out of office, but arose anew as the right-wing’s Obama-Agenda 21 horror story we have today.
Here are some real facts and history: Republican President George H.W. Bush signed the Agenda 21 proposal in 1992, along with representatives from 177 other nations, and Democratic President Bill Clinton issued an executive order in 1995 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development. Also, both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, via executive orders, have sensibly continued to push for Agenda 21 proposals like renewable energy, increased engine efficiency and recycling.
Here’s a common-sense approach to Agenda 21 that I think most of us can agree on: Let’s not panic over the bicycle paths and greenery, fear high-mileage cars and trucks, freak-out over solar and wind power, or dread better mass transit options. But when the tree huggers start putting us into beautifully landscaped concentration camps, we should all just say, “No!”
Beyond all the unreasonable hyperbole, hysteria and handwringing, there is a real problem with the fringe-right focus on ethereal, mystical threats, like Agenda 21. They are simply meaningless, do-nothing, dead-end wastes of time. It seems congressional Republicans would rather consume every minute of Obama’s presidency with hot air, still fighting to make sure he never gets a second term, than to address serious national problems that continue to fester.
History will be a harsh judge.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.