Sunday, December 4, 2011

All Politics is Local ~ Anti-Growth measures are best fought at the local level to protect liberty

“All politics is local”, is a well tread slogan, by former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill

What that means is that the real power in politics is at the local level.  This is born out in the fact that the ability to affect the economy of a community has always been at the behest of the locally elected politicians.  Local politicians whine and moan that they have to do things the local property owners object to, because the State or Federal government forces them to.  The reality is that they do these things in order to get funding from the State or Federal government(s), not because they have to.  If our local communities were to live within their economic means, their tax base, then the State or Federal government could do very little to force them to over regulate the individual rights and liberties of private citizens.

Enjoy this well written article that warns us of the dangers of Agenda 21 for Sustainable Development (A21), but explains that it is not A21 that we must fear.  What we must protect ourselves from is the growing number of NGO’s who dangle the carrot stick of money, to fund the ever growing desires of local politicians to bring home the bacon, even if it means hog tying their citizens to an international agenda, through local regulations.

YiT,  Shelly

United Nations

Focus on Agenda 21 Should Not Divert Attention from Homegrown Anti-Growth Policies

By Wendell Cox , Ronald Utt, Ph.D. and Brett Schaefer
December 1, 2011

Abstract: Agenda 21, a voluntary plan adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment. However, Agenda 21 is non-binding; it depends on governments for implementation. If opponents focus excessively on Agenda 21, it is much more likely that homegrown smart-growth policies that undermine the quality of life, personal choice, and property rights in American communities will be implemented by local, state, and federal authorities at the behest of environmental groups and other vested interests. Preventing American implementation of Agenda 21 should therefore be viewed as only one part of a broader effort to convince U.S. government officials to repeal destructive smart-growth programs and prevent the enactment of new ones.

Radical environmentalists, local business groups, and the ever-present Not in My Backyard crowd have been trying for decades to reshape American communities to conform to their preferred “smart growth” policies. These advocates work to impose land use regulations that would force Americans into denser living arrangements, curtail freedom of choice in housing, discriminate against lower-income Americans, and compel people to pay more for their houses and give up their cars in favor of subways, trolleys, buses, and bicycles.

These efforts—often described as “New Urbanism,” “sustainable development,” or “open land preservation”—have long been resisted by some members of the community due to their negative impact on economic growth, competitiveness, and the nation’s standard of living. As Heritage has documented, communities implementing smart-growth policies have significantly higher home prices, which precludes moderate-income households from homeownership. In turn, these high home prices have forced buyers to take on excessive levels of mortgage debt, which has contributed to the default and foreclosure problems that have led to the current recession. Indeed, the foreclosure problem is at its worst in states with the strictest land use constraints: Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada.[1]

In recent years, however, many smart-growth opponents working at the local level have shifted their focus toward opposing the 1992 United Nations voluntary initiative called Agenda 21, which advocates many policies that reflect smart-growth principles. They should recognize that Agenda 21 is simply another facet of smart growth and not allow it to divert them from opposing the more ubiquitous, overarching agenda of homegrown environmental extremists.

Principles Outlined in Agenda 21 Are Smart-Growth Principles

Agenda 21 is a remarkably broad, ambitious action plan that was presented at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and adopted by the attending nations 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 on the environment.”[2] At well over 300 pages, Agenda 21 sets forth hundreds of specific goals and strategies that national and local governments are encouraged to adopt.[3] These policies are presented in four sections:

  1. Social and economic dimensions (e.g., international cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries, combating poverty, changing consumption patterns, promoting sustainable human settlement development);
  2. Conservation and management of resources for development (e.g., protection of the atmosphere, planning and management of land resources, promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development);
  3. Strengthening the role of major groups (e.g., women, children, indigenous people, workers and trade unions); and
  4. Means of implementation (e.g., financing, technology transfer, promoting education and public awareness, international legal instruments).

In sum, UNCED was explicitly focused on getting governments to “rethink economic development and find ways to halt the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet.… The Summit’s message [was] that nothing less than a transformation of our attitudes and behavior would bring about the necessary changes.”[4] Agenda 21 unabashedly calls on governments to intervene and regulate nearly every potential impact that human activity could have on the environment.

Click the button to read the full story. Green Tea

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