The New York Times wrote an intriguing article on the effort to get ICLEI (and Agenda 21) out of the United States. Here’s a couple of highlights:
Tom DeWeese, the founder of the American Policy Center, a Warrenton, Va.-based foundation that advocates limited government, says he has been a leader in the opposition to Agenda 21 since 1992. Until a few years ago, he had few followers beyond a handful of farmers and ranchers in rural areas. Now, he is a regular speaker at Tea Party events.
Membership is rising, Mr. DeWeese said, because what he sees as tangible Agenda 21-inspired controls on water and energy use are intruding into everyday life. “People may be acting out at some of these meetings, and I do not condone that. But their elected representatives are not listening and they are frustrated.”
Fox News has also helped spread the message. In June, after President Obama signed an executive order creating a White House Rural Council to “enhance federal engagement with rural communities,” Fox programs linked the order to Agenda 21. A Fox commentator, Eric Bolling, said the council sounded “eerily similar to a U.N. plan called Agenda 21, where a centralized planning agency would be responsible for oversight into all areas of our lives. A one world order.”
The movement has been particularly effective in Tea Party strongholds like Virginia, Florida and Texas, but the police have been called in to contain protests in states including Maryland and California, where opponents are fighting laws passed in recent years to encourage development around public transportation hubs and dense areas in an effort to save money and preserve rural communities.
One group has become a particular target. Iclei — Local Governments for Sustainability USA, an Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit, sells software and offers advice to communities looking to reduce their carbon footprints. A City Council meeting in Missoula, Mont., in December got out of hand and required police intervention over $1,200 in dues to Iclei.
If ICLEI is merely an “Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit”, I am a communist! ICLEI-USA may be a domestic non-profit but it is a subsidiary of ICLEI fully in league with other cities around the world to engage in political, foreign policy goals and to implement Agenda 21. Try this quote from ICLEI responding to the Times article:
“Because of our longtime leadership on sustainability, ICLEI has been singled out by extremists who mislead others by spinning wild conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact,” said [ICLEI-USA Executive Director Michael] Schmitz. “We are proud of the work we do, acting as a champion of local government priorities and providing a network for local governments in the United States and around the world to share challenges and solutions.” (emphasis added)
This is at best misleading: Where’s the conspiracy and why is it false? Tell the people, ICLEI! There’s more:
About ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USAICLEI USA is the leading nonprofit membership association of local governments committed to climate action, clean energy, and sustainability. We are the only organization that provides all of the necessary resources to help local governments achieve their sustainability goals. ICLEI USA’s mission is to build, serve and drive a movement of local governments to advance deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve tangible improvements in local sustainability. Learn more at www.icleiusa.org . For answers to frequently asked questions about ICLEI and sustainability, visit www.icleiusa.org/faqs .
Again, not very helpful. The Constitution forbids cities and towns and counties from having a foreign policy – even New York City! The NYT article did not discuss the constitutional issues but did admit that our efforts are gaining traction and that there are legitimate issues of sovereignty:
Jeremy Rabkin, a professor of law at George Mason University specializing in sovereignty issues, said there were “entirely legitimate concerns about international standards that come into American law without formal ratification by the Senate.”
Again, let’s not give the opponents a cheap shot. Keep it on a high level. But there is hope! We got some good press even in the New York Times. Keep it up!