[Doral, Florida] This week a group of concerned citizens led by Maria Magdalena Estupinan convened a symposium in Coral Gables, Florida, to counter the Agenda 21 project of globalist technocrats. Agenda 21 has been around for over 40 years, starting in the United Nations and spreading through the administrative state worldwide, promoting so-called sustainable development. (Another reason to Defund the UN!)
The main point to grasp about sustainable development and other extreme environmental programs is that they are not about the environment; they are about expanding the power of the central-planning technocracy over the individual citizen. As they say in Europe, environmental extremists are like watermelons - - clean ecological green on the outside, and totalitarian socialist red on the inside.
The main speaker was John Anthony, a distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky and its Center for Applied Energy Research. Professor Anthony is a leading expert on the globalist impact in local matters, and on the effect of government regulations on property rights. He blogs at www.sustainablefreedomlab.org.
The first shoots of Agenda 21 sprang up in 1976 at a United Nations conference in Vancouver, British Colombia, which proclaimed that land should not be used as ordinary property controlled by individual citizens, and that private land ownership is a form of social injustice. In 1987, just as the Cold War was ending with the defeat of the totalitarian socialist power, and leftists were looking for a new weapon against bourgeois capitalism, another United Nations conference was held on “Our Common Future.” This conference proclaimed that its objective was redistribution of wealth from prosperous to poor countries, and was the first to warn about global warming, which later evolved into climate change.
The United Nations founded its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change the following year in 1988, in order to promote wealth redistribution. Climate policy is not environmental policy, but economic policy, attempting to undo the Industrial Revolution. They developed the concept of sustainable development, with a flexible meaning, but always focused on central planning for wealth redistribution.
The United Nations then organized its Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during 1992 with the enthusiastic participation of the Bush administration, and featuring three leading non-governmental organizations: the Sierra Club, the World Resources Institute and the Nature Conservancy. The objective of this summit was the central control of everything, via Agenda 21.
The following year the newly-elected Clinton administration started the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, which imposes its agenda mostly via executive orders, administrative decrees and government regulations, instead of Congressional legislation. The federal government also provides templates for state and local legislation and rule-making.
In this millennium the World Economic Forum based in Davos, Switzerland, has joined the United Nations to promote sustainable development through stakeholder capitalism. Instead of shareholder capitalism, which seeks to maximize the lawful return on investment for private owners, stakeholder capitalism diverts the objective of businesses from serving their owners, to serving woke progressive causes like ESG - - environmental, social and governance concerns. Florida and many other States have held that ESG investment is an unlawful violation of the duty of managers to maximize lawful returns for owners.
At the state and local level, Agenda 21 is implemented through policies of so-called smart growth: promoting growth management, urban boundaries and transit corridors (especially using light rail), while opposing so-called urban sprawl. These policies promote high-density instead of single-family housing, and oppose cars driven by internal-combustion engines and new construction or remodeling of existing housing. These policies have resulted in an exodus from the central cities in such places as Portland, Oregon, and Denver and Boulder, Colorado.
In Miami-Dade County, the South Dade Transit Corridor, along U.S. 1--South Dixie Highway from Coral Gables to Homestead, promotes high-density housing and so-called transit-supported growth along the light rail and busway.
This symposium in Coral Gables raised many important issues to the ongoing explosive growth of Sunny South Florida, and provoked lively debate. Hopefully, a series of serious debates on this topic will follow.