Written by Alex Newman
Following in the footsteps of officials in other states, lawmakers in Texas introduced legislation that would prohibit some state and local government participation in the deeply controversial United Nations “sustainability” scheme known as Agenda 21. With bills targeting the UN program introduced in both houses of the legislature and outrage about Agenda 21 still growing across Texas and the nation, activists and lawmakers are hopeful that the state will succeed in protecting property rights, self-government, and economic freedom from the Obama administration-backed UN scheme. However, elements of the establishment media and UN-loving forces in Texas and beyond have already made clear that they intend to fight back.
The anti-Agenda 21 legislation, filed last week by Republican State Representative Molly White in the House (HB1654) and GOP State Senator Bob Hall in the Senate (SB445), take aim at state and local government funding to UN-linked organizations involved in imposing the planetary scheme. “A governmental entity may not enter into an agreement or contract with, accept money from, or grant money or other financial aid to a nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization accredited by the United Nations to implement a policy that originated in the Agenda 21 plan adopted by members of the United Nations at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in June 1992,” the bill explains.
While the legislation is not nearly as strong as Alabama’s ban on Agenda 21, supporters of the measure in Texas say it is a good start at the very least. If signed into law by popular Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a strong proponent of sovereignty, the measure would, among other points, restrict state and local officials’ funding or implementation of the UN scheme in the state. Sen. Hall, who introduced the Senate bill, said it targets “city organizations and cities that are adapting the UN programs.” Rep. White, meanwhile, sponsor of the legislation in the House, was quoted as saying that the measure would protect Texas and Texans from the “global agenda” propagated by “a handful of unelected, unaccountable people.”
Indeed, the UN’s Agenda 21 does represent a global agenda, and it is being advanced mostly by unelected and unaccountable forces — primarily from the shadows under misleading names, for now. First adopted at a UN “sustainability” summit in Brazil more than 20 years ago, the far-reaching agenda was described on the dictator-dominated global body’s website as “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts [sic] on the environment.”
To understand the scope of such an agenda, consider that the UN considers carbon dioxide — a gas exhaled by human beings and required by plants — to be a “pollutant” in need of regulation and taxes because it allegedly harms the environment. Indeed, literally every human activity has some impact on the environment.
Signed by then-President George H.W. Bush for the United States, Agenda 21 has never been ratified by two thirds of the U.S. Senate as constitutionally required to be valid. Still, using executive orders, grants, councils, public-private partnerships, taxpayer-funded “non-governmental organizations,” federal bureaucracies, and more, elements of the global agenda are being implemented all across America and worldwide.
Local governments, too — particularly those involved with the Agenda 21-promoting outfit ICLEI — are implementing the UN-backed schemes in communities nationwide. Several Texas cities have withdrawn from ICLEI, but many of the state’s largest cities remain members.
Despite the threat of the scheme being downplayed by ignorant or agenda-driven reporters and UN supporters, proponents of Agenda 21 readily admit the massive scope of the global agenda. “You’re talking about a document that covers everything from healthy living, preventing child abuse, promoting public transportation,” Chris Whatley, executive director of the United Nations Association of the United States of America, was quoted as saying this week by the Texas Tribune. “If you specifically write a really big bill that says the state of Texas can’t work with any of those organizations and it can’t work with anything that’s included in that document, that 350-page set of suggestions, it could lead you into territory you don’t anticipate.” It was not clear why Whatley thought the UN, dominated by ruthless autocrats, should be involved in policymaking in Texas.
Even supporters of the legislation to rein in the UN scheme in Texas have suggested that pro-Agenda 21 officials may be able to find loopholes in the language to continue attacking private property rights and self-government. Indeed, with so many names and outfits being used to conceal Agenda 21’s tentacles in America, the bill may leave numerous avenues for continuing implementation of Agenda 21-linked schemes. Still, numerous Texas activists and leaders who spoke with The New American said the measure was worth supporting for a variety of reasons.
“I view this bill as another tool to help educate people on how the UN is exploiting environmentalism to gain control of communities,” said Frank Koch, the founder of Stop Agenda 21 Texas.
UN Agenda 21 is sold under such names as ‘smart growth’ or ‘sustainable development’ and offers benign suggestions like more bike paths and recycle programs to ‘save the earth,’ but the objective is to get UN tentacles and infrastructure in place for the future. As the tentacles become more powerful, the ideas morph into passing laws dealing with carbon taxes, limiting private property, and population control as a means to ‘save the earth.’ We Texans care about the environment, clean air, and using natural resources more efficiently, but we don’t need the United Nations telling us what to do.
Of course, notwithstanding the establishment media’s propaganda — some particularly deceptive UN supporters even dismiss the UN plan posted on its own website as a “conspiracy theory” — opposition to Agenda 21 is about as mainstream as can be. Consider that every state lawmaker in Alabama, including every Democrat, voted to ban the UN scheme across the state in 2012, and the governor signed the bill into law. Numerous other state legislatures and local governments have also passed bills and resolutions attacking the UN “sustainability” scheme as a dangerous anti-freedom program that must be opposed.
While many Democrats also oppose Agenda 21 — including the group Democrats Against UN Agenda 21 — opposition to the UN scheme is stronger among Republicans. The Republican National Committee, for example, adopted in 2012 its platform that specifically opposes Agenda 21 and a broad range of UN scheming. “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty,” the national GOP declared in its platform. The language echoed another national Republican Party resolution describing Agenda 21 as a scheme of “extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control” which would be “accomplished by socialist/communist redistribution of wealth.”
The Texas Republican Party also officially opposes Agenda 21. In a 2012 resolution, the state party said Agenda 21 is “designed to destroy our fundamental rights and liberties as a people, hitherto enjoyed under our system of just government, in order to transform us from men made in the image of God to men re-made in the image of compelled beings, oppressed, having no acknowledged rights or liberties held inviolate; all designed by the enemies of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in order to reduce us to misery and bondage, without hope or God or natural moral absolutes.”
The people of Texas, the resolution observes, believe in “freedom and property and self-government under Nature and Nature’s God, and thoroughly reject the tyranny of globalism in the form of Agenda 21, Sustainable Development.” So, the party resolved to protect the God-given rights enshrined in the Constitution “in order that our fundamental rights and liberties shall be held inviolate forever, standing in opposition to all forms of religious, social, economic, and political globalism as set forth in the United Nations Agenda 21 Program.” All Texas Republicans are expected to follow the party’s lead. Countless states, counties, cities, and state Republican parties have also adopted resolutions with similar language.
Meanwhile, popular conservative U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has also been an outspoken opponent of Agenda 21. “Under the guise of world sustainability the plan establishes a regime of rules that attempt to bypass Congress and the American people, handing … power over vast areas of the U.S. economy to unelected UN bureaucrats,” explained Cruz, widely viewed as a leading potential contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. “Agenda 21 is wrong, and it must be stopped.”
A separate Texas bill introduced by Republican State Sen. Donna Campbell takes aim at another UN scheme targeting the Lone Star State. Dubbed the “Protect the Alamo Act,” (SB191) the legislation would protect the historic San Antonio mission-turned-fortress from the UN, which is considering the landmark for adoption as a so-called “UNESCO World Heritage Site.” Sen. Campbell was quoted by the Associated Press as warning that the UN scheming “could create a conflict regarding future management of the San Antonio landmark.”
Other states including Mississippi and Montana are also considering laws to protect citizens from Agenda 21 and its myriad tentacles. Alabama passed the toughest law yet against UN Agenda 21, the “Due Process for Property Rights Act,” that formally prohibits the adoption or implementation of any Agenda 21 schemes that infringe upon the right to private property. As outrage and awareness of the plan grow, analysts expect opposition to continue building.
Activists say numerous UN Agenda 21-linked plans, including what the UN calls a “bicycle sharing scheme” for “sustainable mobility,” have been and are being implemented in some areas of Texas. UN-inspired attacks on private property rights, water rights, rural land owners, and self-government under the guise of “sustainability”are unfolding nationwide. Whether Lone Star State lawmakers will take serious action to protect Texas and its citizens from the UN plan under all of its names, though, depends on how much Texans are willing to do to preserve their rights.
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.