Press Release from the Democratic Party of Tennessee, March 15, 2012:
FACT CHECK: Republicans Fight Phantom Menace Instead of Fighting for Jobs
Tennessee House Republicans took a half hour to debate and pass a non-binding resolution which seeks to stop a 20 year old UN plan to promote better resource management and sustainable development.
Tennessee House Republicans, led by Rep. Kevin Brooks (R-Cleveland) found more ways to avoid focusing on the one topic that Tennesseans desperately need them to focus on, the economy.
In a 35 minute debate on the House floor the Republicans hit every major talking point of extremist conspiracy groups such as the John Birch Society in decrying “Agenda 21,” a plan passed 20 years ago passed by the UN and supported by every President, Democrat or Republican since. The agenda was designed and implemented to promote sustainable development and smart growth practices throughout the world to reduce the harmful effects of overcrowding and mismanagement of resources.
Below is a list of the wild-eyed conspiracy theories promoted in the resolution, followed by what Agenda 21 actually does:
FICTION: the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992.
FACT: Agenda 21 is a non-controversial plan supported by nearly every Democratic nation on Earth to research ways to help local and national governments voluntarily implement policies that protect natural resources and reduce the negative impacts of overcrowding. It is supported by non-partisan and conservative organizations such as the Sierra Club, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Planning Association, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.
FICTION: the United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects.
FACT: There is nothing “covert” about it. The United Nation’s Division for Sustainable Development works openly with many different groups to help design and implement policies that are voluntarily adopted by local and national authorities to help their citizens cope with pressure on environmental resources.
FICTION: this 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
FACT: Nothing in the document prohibits Americans from driving their own car, truck or SUV, nor does it seek to eliminate single family homes. There is nothing more controversial than supporting better public transportation systems and more sustainable urban development, which most major cities and business groups support.
FICTION: according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, social justice is described as the right and opportunity of all people to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment which would be accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth; and according to the United Nations Agenda 21 policy, national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice
FACT: There is nothing in the Agenda 21 plan that calls for the implementation of a communist or socialist society, evidenced by the support of the plan by major conservative and free market groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce, and many capitalist countries who have supported the plan.
The UN Website on Agenda 21 http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/index.shtml
Southern Poverty Law Center – Antigovernment Conspiracy Theorists Rail Against UN’s Agenda 21 Program http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/behind-the-green-mask
New York Times – Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/activists-fight-green-projects-seeing-un-plot.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all
The radical John Birch Society’s “Agenda 21 Action Kit” http://www.jbs.org/news/new-stop-agenda-21-action-ki