I've seen it pop up all over Facebook, in comments sections, all over the libertarian/Tea Party websites and heard it from the mouths of family friends: AGENDA 21 is Obama's and the UN's plan to remake the world, steal freedom, and end America.
Except of course none of that is true.
AGENDA 21, despite the ominous name, is a nonbinding memo from the UN in 1992--endorsed by Pres. Bush--that outlines how developing nations can create sustainable industry. That's it.
How did it become a bogeyman?
GOP: Ditch the Agenda 21 Tinfoil Hat Brigade - The Daily Beast
Have we entered some parallel universe where saving tax dollars and conserving natural resources has become a UN plot against American liberties?
In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed the U.S. onto a non-binding United Nations agreement called Agenda 21. The agreement is hardly more than a list of ways that local communities can better conserve natural resources. The general header for such practices is "sustainability."
During my tenure as mayor of Sturgis (MI), a city of about 12,000 people, we implemented several sustainable practices that resulted in substantial savings to taxpayers. A green roof on a new public works building minimized heating and cooling costs in the building, reduced storm water runoff, and lowered long term maintenance expenses. When a neighborhood was annexed, we utilized rain gardens in lieu of costly curb and gutter to manage storm water, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hardly controversial, you'd think.
Yet Glenn Beck, the John Birch Society, and various tea party groups have condemned "Agenda 21" as a globalist conspiracy to destroy America. And state legislators are listening.
I am a real conservative. I championed privatization of our ambulance service and our hospital, and lowered our city millage to the lowest level in fifty years. I was the first mayor in the city’s history to exercise the right to legally carry a concealed weapon (but let’s not open that can of worms right now).