Agenda 21

I have no idea what is in Agenda 21, and I’m not sure I care. It probably consists of a lot of guidelines that could generally be considered either common sense or good-neighbor rules of thumb. So why bring it up? The right wing loons (RWLs) of several states have opted to propose legislation banning any adherence to Agenda 21.

David Frum in GOP: Ditch the Agenda 21 Tinfoil Hat Brigade quotes a conservative friend, Rob Sisson:

In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed the U.S. onto a non-binding United Nations agreement called Agenda 21. The agreement is hardly more than a list of ways that local communities can better conserve natural resources. The general header for such practices is “sustainability.”

During my tenure as mayor of Sturgis (MI), a city of about 12,000 people, we implemented several sustainable practices that resulted in substantial savings to taxpayers. A green roof on a new public works building minimized heating and cooling costs in the building, reduced storm water runoff, and lowered long term maintenance expenses. When a neighborhood was annexed, we utilized rain gardens in lieu of costly curb and gutter to manage storm water, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Hardly controversial, you’d think.

Yet Glenn Beck, the John Birch Society, and various tea party groups have condemned “Agenda 21” as a globalist conspiracy to destroy America. And state legislators are listening.

By the sort of logic employed by the Beck Rubes, since Mao espoused (at least, publically) female equality, the concept of female equality is forever tainted. Taking this reasoning to its logical conclusion, we could claim that, Since Pol Pot attempted to feed the population of his country, we should starve ours. Of course, this is difficult. In Jim Jong Il’s North Korea, foodstuffs were traded to foreign countries in exchange for hard currency with which to buy weapons. This was done in time of famine. Thus, if two despots have different priorities such that one cannot hope to “do the opposite” of both, this brand of logic becomes untenable.