(Brandon Turbeville) In an example of just how deep the roots of Agenda 21 can reach, it is now obvious that the UN-generated guidelines are making their way through state legislatures as well as the federal branch. Not only that, but such legislation has expanded from inside the boundaries of the usual suspects like California and New York, and is now even reaching into southern states like South Carolina, which have traditionally been opposed to such policies.
For those who are unaware, Agenda 21 (short for United Nations Agenda For The 21st
Century) is a road map of guidelines and procedures dictated from the United Nations and implemented by the member states. In the case of the United States, the plans are implemented at the state and local level when Federal support is not adequate to meet the demands set forth by the United Nations and its affiliate NGOs. As Democrats Against Agenda 21
state on their website,
In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners. It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control. Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body. Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation. Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.
This definition seems to fit a new resolution in the South Carolina State Congress, entitled theCommercial Center Retrofit Act
, or. H.3604. Indeed, much of the bill reads as almost a direct translation of the mission of Agenda 21.
The Commercial Center Retrofit Act, now in Congressional subcommittee, has been introduced under the cover of merely encouraging the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances and guidelines that will “enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers.”
Now, let me first say that this idea, in and of itself, is not such a bad thing. Allowing andencouraging the retrofitting of buildings so that they use less energy, have less impact on the environment, and blend in with the rest of the community is actually something that should be encouraged. However, the Commercial Center Retrofit Act is not about encouraging such “green” improvements and environmentally-conscious building. This new resolution is solely dedicated to the implementation of Agenda 21.
It also bears noting that the South Carolina Council of Governments
is an unelected body made up of regional “local” governments. Each sub-council within the larger council is made up of a grouping of local governments belonging to a specific region of the state. This body is not accountable to the people of South Carolina, yet they are clearly involved in making very important decisions.
With this in mind, it is not surprising that the Commercial Center Retrofit Act contains language right out of the Agenda 21 playbook. For instance, the preamble to the bill reads:
To encourage the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers, and to encourage other measures to promote a human habitat that is hospitable and accessible to more South Carolinians while lessening environmental impacts on the state.
Immediately, it is obvious that the scope of the bill extends far beyond simple ordinances for shopping centers. Now the bill includes “other measures,” which are cleverly undefined, that will be used to determine what type of “human habitat” will be allowed in the state. The end goal, at first, appears to be the development of a “human habitat” that lessens the “environmental impact” the future tenants allegedly have.
Yet, compared to the rest of the bill, the preamble is really no big deal.
Of course, to an individual unfamiliar with Agenda 21, theCommercial Center Retrofit Act might not sound so bad. However, when one is able to decipher the language of “sustainable development” and other such terms, the new resolution sounds much more sinister. Indeed, this piece of legislation represents a threat to both businesses and individuals alike, particularly private property owners.
Essentially, this resolution communicates a directive to the South Carolina Council of Governments to begin plans for drafting and administering a society that excludes rural areas, creates centralized and compact “human habitat” areas, and discourages use of vehicles and other equipment that allegedly produce “greenhouse gases.”
For instance, the resolution states that “the State of South Carolina aspires to retrofit its inventory of automobile dependent settlement patterns into compact, walkable, diverse, and transit ready communities that are more socially equitable, consume less petroleum, and generate fewer greenhouse gases.”
The resolution’s bias against automobiles and citizen independence is then justified by the claim that “the public servicing of automobile dependent settlement patterns disproportionately consumes the tax base of South Carolina municipalities.”
This is the blueprint, at first, to evacuate rural areas into the urban districts due to claims of lack of available services, accessibility, and higher taxes. Coercion and force
, as evidenced by current actions in Africa
, will eventually replace “encouragement” and the gradual approach witnessed at the beginning of plans like the Commercial Center Retrofit Act
Laughably, the resolution pretends it is responding to social demand when it says that “the Millennial Generation, the second largest group and the most important to the future workforce of South Carolina, has show a preference to urban areas” and that “the Baby Boom Generation, the largest demographic group among South Carolina residents, will not be well served by being able to live only in automobile dependent suburban areas.”
Of course, young people are streaming into cities in droves not necessarily because they like city life, but because American jobs, particularly those once located in South Carolina, have been shipped overseas by design. Young Americans, if they have any desire to hold a job, have little choice but to relocate to larger cities.
As for the Baby Boom Generation, one might ask exactly why they can’t be well-served by living in rural areas? Considering the rate of crime and state of disrepair in most major American cities, one can scarcely see a benefit to living in an urban area at all, particularly for the aged. Plus, they have been well-served in these areas for many years so one wonders just what kind of services the resolution is referring to?
The resolution continues in regard to rural areas by saying, “the existing investment in automobile dependent settlement patterns must not be allowed to become uncompetitive and thereby lose value.” While sounding overly broad and murky at first reading, the fact that this statement is left open to the imagination is no accident. This is because, when it is read through the interpretive lens of Agenda 21, the picture comes into much clearer focus.
Because hard definitions are not provided, one must ask what “existing investment” actually means in this context. Also, who does this investment belong to? The taxpayer? The Government? The NGO’s representing the United Nations and Agenda 21? In addition, why must these areas be kept “competitive” in the first place? Why is it necessary for a rural area, which is only a designation based on demographics, to compete at all? If it is necessary for the area to compete, with whom is the area to engage in competition? What are the goals and what are the signs of winning or losing?
Most importantly, however, is the question surrounding just what is to be done regarding these alleged problems. How does the resolution and the plans resulting from it intend to prevent these areas from becoming insolvent investments if they fail to compete? If one is to take a traditional business strategy as a model, then there are only two options for the manager – invest in upgrades or sell off the asset.
For all the talk about sustainability and earth-friendly living, one can easily see that Agenda 21-style legislation such as this resolution is not about protecting the environment. For instance, in its attempt to recreate and retrofit shopping malls into “town centers,” the resolution touts a possible benefit to the change by saying that they “may revitalize the housing subdivisions around them that might otherwise become obsolete.”
This is ironic considering that subdivisions, aside from major apartment complexes, are one of the most environmentally destructive and unnatural living setups in the United States. Ironic, that is, if the environment were really what this resolution is concerned with. Obviously, subdivisions are, if nothing else, excellent ways of forcing humans to live in neat cookie-cutter housing units where they will grouped according to functional status.
As I stated earlier in this article, shopping malls are not the only areas that fall under this resolution; and neither are subdivisions. Indeed, the entire local area – urban and rural alike – falls prey to the locally-introduced Agenda 21-based legislation. This can be seen in the five-point plan which the South Carolina Council of Governments is urged to enact. It is as follows:
- Draft policy and corresponding model ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers;
- Establish protocols that encourage the incorporation of the model policy and ordinances into municipal zoning codes and subdivision regulations;
- Incorporate the associated policies into the updates or amendments of local comprehensive plans;
- Develop urban complete streets in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to serve these centers with a balanced, diverse set of travel modes; and
- Develop a set of legal incentives including, but not limited to, permitting by rights, replacing traffic impact exactions, and other state mandated assessments with a fair mobility fee, creating special state taxing districts for public improvements to sites, and funding for design and construction of the parking and transit infrastructure.
As one can see from the sections in bold, this plan is clearly designed to use the power of government to implement Agenda 21. Thus, the plan manifests itself in the form of local zoning regulations, laws, and taxation, unbeknownst to the victims at the bottom. Even the language of the resolution with terms like “human habitat” and “human settlements” directly reflects the nature and semantics of the United Nations.
South Carolina has four major cities on the ICLEI list
– Charleston, Columbia, Spartanburg, and Greenville. In addition, Councils of Governments
, like the South Carolina Council of Governments, are established worldwide and work with each other through unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats outside of Constitutional process and law.
I urge all South Carolinians to contact their State Senators and Representatives and demand that they oppose this bill. States such as Texas and Tennessee have taken recent action to expose the real meaning of Agenda 21 and preserve their local sovereignty. South Carolina certainly can do the same.
You can find your legislator by using this helpful search engine provided by the South Carolina State House.