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Ken Winter

Ken Winter

Agenda 21

December 21, 2012

A northern Michigan legislator, State Rep. Greg MacMaster (R-Kewadin), and the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners find themselves at odds with both the United Nations and some of their constituents for officially challenging what they believe is a road map to global government and the loss of local property rights.

One would think with economic challenges facing Michigan, fighting a 20-year-old non-binding, voluntarily implemented UN action plan for sustainable living would not be high on the political radar screen.

“In July, I introduced House Bill 5785 to prohibit any Michigan governmental entity from adopting, or implementing policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to, the United Nations’ ‘Agenda 21’ or any other international laws that would infringe or restrict private property rights without due process,” the long-time northern Michigan TV weather forecaster and meteorologist wrote when introducing HB 5785. The bill was co-signed by 10 other Republican lawmakers from across the state.

“Agenda 21 took root as a result of concerns regarding environmental conservation and improving the health of the global environment. This movement is commonly known as ‘environmentalism’. As a meteorologist and past president of the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve, I am acutely aware of the importance of responsible stewardship over our environment and preserving it for generations to come. However, Agenda 21 calls for policies that I believe will adversely affect the very foundation America was founded upon. As a result, our “inalienable rights” to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are in jeopardy,” he added.

Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regards to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development. (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.

Some, like MacMaster, and other Michigan lawmakers, believe Agenda 21 is a clandestine program encouraging local governments to join the International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI).

“As if the elimination of private property ownership, population control, and education, based on U.N. standards were not enough, Agenda 21 will eventually affect our lives in other ways like the relocation of people from rural areas into cities, limiting the type of vehicles we drive, higher gas prices, changing routes of transportation, banning human access to land, seizure of private property, restrictions on water usage, quotas on harvesting, prohibitions on plowing the soil, limitations on raising animals for meat, regulations on what we eat and drink, control of home energy usage, increased taxation, and even forced community involvement,” MacMaster argues.

McMaster notes that the Michigan cities of Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City are among over 500 communities nationwide, listed as members on the ICLE.org website. McMaster’s bill would ban implementation of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 in Michigan.

In late October, the Charlevoix County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the treaty, earlier signed into law by President George Bush in 1992. Commissioner Ron Reinhardt told the Petoskey News-Review, “Any country that tries to influence the way this country is run, or even suggests it, I’m against.”

Petoskey News-Review editors last month took the county board to task suggesting their “emphasis should not be that different from so many small governments across the region and state –balancing budgets, sustaining services and making the smart policy decisions on behalf of their fellow country residents”. They asked what category did banning UN Agenda 21 fall under?

“This vote is just the latest example of a board that chose to stick its collective head in northern Michigan sand at times, then leap without looking at others. It has led to uneven and indecisive leadership that needs proper direction,” the Petoskey editors opined.

Michigan environmentalists described MacMaster’s legislation as bizarre. Marvin Robertson, a forest ecologist with the Sierra Club, told the Traverse City Record-Eagle, that Agenda 21 is a one-world, government conspiracy theory first circulated by talk show host Glen Beck. He’s convinced a string of new Michigan laws that affect Michigan’s natural resources policies are driven by state legislator’s fears of Agenda 21.

“No one paid scant attention to Agenda 21 for 20 years until somebody on Glen Beck’s staff started talking about it, then academic crazies took it up,” Robertson said. “It basically says if your mayor is pushing through a smart growth plan, he’s unwittingly used by Agenda 21 proponents. My Martians say otherwise.”

Scott Smith, a retired international land conservancy expert, wrote a letter to the Petoskey News-Review, challenging Charlevoix Commissioners to find any “radical policies” in the non-binding Agenda 21 and questioned how commissioners could oppose anything after admitting publicly they had not read it.

Glen Chown, executive director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, said the “Agenda 21 conspiracy stuff is out there.” He and other conservancy directors are trying to work constructively with their northern Michigan legislators after realizing there is a lot of misunderstanding about what conservancies do.

Ken Winter, former editor and publisher of the Petoskey News-Review and member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, teaches political science and journalism at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey and Michigan State University.

December 20, 2012 · Filed under Winter

35 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter Eckstein // Dec 27, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Maybe our public officials should be required to take a sanity test before assuming office. Maybe we also need a law “to prohibit any Michigan governmental entity from adopting, or implementing policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to” Glenn Beck.

    The only good thing about this is that it diverts the nutcases from getting involved in issues that really matter.

  • 2 pete // Jan 7, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Ken Winter appears to be one of those people who shy away from giving credence to anything that some people try to label as a “conspiracy”. While labeling something as a conspiracy is a tried and true recipe for blunting opposition, it does ignore the fact that many local governments are adopting (and sometimes using public tax dollars to pay for) energy sustainabilty memberships and programs that are either directly or indirectly related to Agenda 21. You also have smart meters, phase out of incadescent bulbs, and a whole host of related energy policy that is counterproductive but supposedly “in vogue” with international groups or governments. If MacMaster’s bill draws attention to all of Michigan’s standards that are being based on knee-jerk international standards that may not be in our best interests, I’m not sure what the problem is. Is blind group- think in these policy areas a desirable outcome?

  • 3 Linda // Jan 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Having read many books and articles on Agenda 21, and having observed what has been occuring in this country to limit or take away liberties that we have always enjoyed, I support Greg MacMaster and other representatives who work to protect our country’s sovereignity from UN usurpation. I do hope that those who think this is conspiracy will study the issues and wise up before it is too late!

  • 4 Ken David // Jan 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    I support the actions taken by Rep Greg McMaster HB 5785 and the Charlevoix County Commissioners. They are on the right track.

    It is no surprise opposition from the Sierra Club and Land Conservancies is out there speaking against them.

  • 5 Jason Gillman // Jan 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    It was never “high on the political screen”.

    Thus, we have allowed over-planning, grant generating non-government-organizations such as the NMCOG to legitimize the grand vision type of tripe which implements A21. Its been hiding out in the open in fact. Now that people throughout the country are paying attention, the UN has removed its A21 promotional pieces which make clear what A21 involves. I imagine you have not read it all.

    Now, fighting this on the ground here is non stop. The use of the Delphi technique to make the disagreeable participants in consensus visionary workshops give up or be ostracized guides the outcomes to a predetermined end.

    Yet its not something worthy of this good representatives time? He ought not pursue ‘shadowy’ conspiracies?

    Get a clue Mr. Winter.

  • 6 Jason Gillman // Jan 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    And furthermore, viewing an attempt to protect property rights as ‘bizarre’, certainly speaks for itself.

  • 7 Mary Oele // Jan 12, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    After doing reading on Agenda 21, I too support Greg MacMaster. I thank them for introducing this legislation and hope that it makes gains with other legislators. We do not need some out of country organization telling us how to preserve our environment or anything else for that matter. We ought to be able to connect the dots here and see how this manipulation will lead to global governance. Sometimes environmentalists need to be kept in check too.

  • 8 Paul Peterson // Jan 13, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Isn’t it convenient that throwing around the label ‘conspiracy’ has come to mean automatically that those who alert others about them are somehow crazy or incredible? This assumes that there is never, nor can there ever be, conspiracies among mankind, that somehow, everything is reasonably good among human beings, and that we should assume the best without questioning. Who’s crazy? Reasonable people who question unreasonable things (particularly the ones that seek to tell local authority how to run their own living space, but have no right to), or people who will blindly follow? This sentiment takes advantage of the automatic bias of incredulity to the “Big Lie”, which is a chief strategy of the Left, and articulated as such by Hitler himself, one of the worst bad actors on the Left in history (yeah, folks, it’s a lie that the 3rd Reich was in any way ‘right-wing’).

    There are conspiracies in the world, some so vast that they challenge even the intellects of the best among us. Why? Because there is evil in the world among human populations; we call it The Left. All they do is conspire for power to control people, and to engage in population control. Any reasonable American who reads it should plainly see that is what Agenda 21 is all about. Are you gonna be the one captured in their human settlements running a treadmill to supply power to the elites who live high on the hog off your labor, while you get slopped like hogs to keep you alive so you can do their bidding? Sounds like the Matrix to me… Strange coincidence, isn’t it, knowing who writes the movies and likes to hide things in plain sight as fantasy so they can decry people who notice as fiction-believers (uh, that’d be The Left, folks).

  • 9 christian // Jan 14, 2013 at 8:43 am

    By definition, a conspiracy is when two or more people work in secret for evil purposes. I believe this definition fits a number of groups working against the independence of the United States. Extensive study has shown us that history is rarely accidental.
    The philosophy of liberty and freedom as presented in the Declaration of Independence and the framework of limited government as structured in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution clearly states the enumerated powers of the federal government. To call anyone who presents clear understanding of these documents; to be “Bizaare” or incompitantly labeled a conspritor, is exactly why there are Elected and non-elected citizens of the United States speaking out by wittnessing in small doses, the effects of A21.

  • 10 John // Jan 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Paul Peterson proves his ignorance by claiming Hitler and the Third Reich were not “right-wing.” It’s such an incredible statement that any other comment he posts loses any credibility.

  • 11 Wesley Price // Jan 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

    First they put your nation in serious debt. Then they take your guns. They kill babies and complain that abortion clinics don’t need standards. Now they systematically take your land. Its all about “serious responsible public planning” and if anyone questions it they bring in the sierra club to tell you its all made up!The progressive agenda is not progressive its animal farm . The sierra club only likes agenda’s that fill their coffers and make them sound relevant. You would think that america has better things to do than fund the united nations – 90% of hates us anyway – why are we giving them money and listening to their poop . Then Mr. Winters comes along and says their poop don’t stink? As a Michigan taxpayer I say it does.

  • 12 chris // Jan 23, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Watch out for the black helicopters, Ken.

  • 13 Melody Meachum // May 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Hi…Is there an organization already formed that I can be involved with in Michigan?
    I have read brief introduction to Agenda 21 by prominent author/speaker Rosa Koire.
    Thanks you.

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