A conversation about UN Agenda 21
Guest Post by George Tremblay
I thought to share this exchange with a voter who stopped by to endorse the CCA candidates, but voiced specific concerns about the reach of UN Agenda 21, which is the product of a study group on global sustainability. I promised to get back to her, and my response follows:
First, I want to thank you for showing up to sign the papers allowing the CCA-endorsed candidates to be placed on the ballot this November. We all appreciated the turnout today.
I went on-line to learn more about UN Agenda 21 as soon as I got home. It is clear that Agenda 21 has libertarians and tea-party folks alarmed over a diabolical plan to take over the world. But what I see, in my cursory review, is essentially a global version of state and local plans to foster sustainable land use in the face of growing population pressure. Each town in RI has its own Comprehensive Plan, and the State has its Land Use Plan 2025, that addresses these issues on a local and regional level. Anticipation of growing pains is a good investment of intellectual energy, but policies for resolution are fraught with speculation, and best applied with flexibility to accommodate evolving circumstances. That appears to be what Agenda 21 is all about.
I think it’s important to point out that nations join Agenda 21 on a strictly voluntary basis, and that whatever guidelines they adopt are non-binding; they are simply recommendations for achieving a sustainable future for a growing population. Under those conditions, Agenda 21 poses less a threat to our autonomy and environment than legislation at the state level that seeks to subvert local control over planning and zoning (for example, the current “affordable housing” law, and the proposed “dry lands” bill). I can’t see that Agenda 21 is anymore hazardous to our health and welfare than a conference of clerics debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The same can not be said for the doings of our State legislature. We need vigilant officeholders on the Town Council and the Planning Commission to promote the quality of life that attracted us to Charlestown, and makes us grateful to be here. Our zoning and subdivision regulations allow for responsible development based on the carrying capacity of the land, which is a critical issue in a town that has no municipal source of drinking water and no wastewater-treatment plant. I make that point in the context of our earlier discussion.
Feel free to persuade me to think differently about your concerns.