A CLOSER LOOK AT REGION 2020

Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley
Albert Bierstadt

"Success or failure of endeavors to substitute sound ideas for unsound will depend ultimately on the abilities and the personalities of the men who seek to achieve this task. If the right men are lacking in the hour of decision, the fate of our civilization is sealed. Even if such pioneers are available, however, their efforts will be futile if they meet with indifference and apathy on the part of their fellow citizens. The survival of civilization can be jeopardized by the misdeeds of individual dictators, Fuhrers, or Duces. Its preservation, reconstruction and continuation, however, require the joint efforts of all men of good will."

Ludwig von Mises


The more we hear about Region 2020 and the more we look at the total picture, the more convinced we become that Region 2020 is the first stage of implementing a Local Agenda 21 initiative in Alabama. For anyone who may not know what a Local Agenda 21 initiative is: it is the method chosen to implement, region by region, the provisions of the United Nations" Agenda 21 plan for the world of the 21st Century. This plan was drafted at the World Summit Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Its stated goal is to bring the world into a "sustainable" condition. That means that no one uses more than his fair share of the world's resources and that current generations do not use resources faster than they can be replaced for future generations. We must live and function in a way that can be sustained in perpetuity.

This sounds great. We all know that we have severely mismanaged our resources. We have polluted our rivers, filled our air with noxious fumes, created acres of eye-sore landscapes filled with the remains of cast off automobiles, watched helplessly as hundreds felt the effects of toxic wastes in developments like "Love Canal," etc.

It is precisely because we have seen this abuse that we have become susceptible to the cries of "crisis" that have been raised among some groups. And there have been crisis situations. The love canal was a crisis that needed fixing. The nuclear accident at Three Mile Island was a crisis that, fortunately, was caught in time. Crisis situations develop in and around highly populated areas when nature conspires with man-made pollutants and temperature inversions hold the smog captive for days on end.

These situations do not mean, however, that we are on the verge of suffocating "Mother Earth." The recovery of the area surrounding Mt. Saint Helen illustrates the remarkable resilience of God's creation (not of some primitive earth mother).

Through our greed and our lust for more-and-more, we allowed, even encouraged, the rape of portions of our planet. We were extremely poor stewards of God's bounty. We need to be better stewards. But we do not need to listen to the extremists. Their answers would prove even more disastrous than our poor stewardship. And it is our considered opinion that this great concern for "Mother Earth" is simply an opportune path some men see as a means to their goal of one-world government. It is a convenient "crisis" they intend to exploit to its fullest.

WHAT DOES ALL THIS HAVE TO DO WITH REGION 2020?

Probably most of the people involved in the Region 2020 initiative have never even heard of Agenda 21, and are fully convinced the steps they are taking will lead to greater prosperity for the region and better living conditions for the inhabitants. Some are elected public servants who see Region 2020 as an opportunity to get a better fix on what their constituents want from government. Others are civic minded citizens who want a chance to do something positive for their community. We do not hold any ill will for these, but we are firmly convinced they are being misled and that the motivating force behind the scenes leads directly to the halls of the United Nations and its quest for the New World Order, the holy grail at the end of the humanist rainbow.

Why do we believe this?

We cannot quote chapter and verse that will prove beyond any doubt that Region 2020 is the product of the United Nations, but when we look at the accumulated evidence, we are confident that Region 2020 is but one instance in a great number of actions that are taking place simultaneously across this nation and around the world. We believe in coincidence -- up to a point -- beyond that point we think it naive to honor the "coincidental" explanation. Legal convictions have been obtained on far less circumstantial evidence.

It seems to us somewhat beyond belief that we could have hundreds of efforts popping up all around the globe, all employing the same techniques, all following the same basic outline, all but those in this country admittedly aimed at achieving the goals of Agenda 21, and suddenly have one in our neighborhood that is totally independent and unconnected to any of the others.

We can understand how civic minded individuals would devote time and energy to an initiative that promises to improve living conditions, improve the economy and foster safer environmental conditions. We just do not think those individuals have looked beneath the surface to discover the ultimate cost of such a program.

When something comes along that seems too good to be true, it usually is.

We are also concerned about where the money is coming from to push the Region 2020 initiative. The first figure we heard was $300,000., but having seen the TV ads we feel pretty sure that figure has increased considerably -- or else the TV stations are providing a lot of free advertising. If that's the case, we also wonder why.

A full-blown campaign such as is being conducted by Region 2020 doesn't happen overnight. We know, from an article that appeared in the Birmingham News early in the campaign, that the initial announcement came about a year before the campaign got under way. Apparently a lot of work took place in that year, work that did not involve the people's input.

Yet, with hundreds of thousands of dollars invested and with a year's investment of time and energy by an unknown number of individuals, we are to believe that there is no desired outcome other than getting the citizens' input! Seems to us that's asking a lot.

Before the Region 2020 initiative got under way, we were seeing much of the same sort of thing from the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission (not an official arm of government), which was targeting individual communities in the area. There was a visioning initiative for Blount County, another one for Oneonta, Pleasant Grove had recently undergone such a process, Alabaster, Moody and other areas were targeted.

When questioned about the connection between these efforts and Region 2020 on the WERC "Fine Line" radio call-in show, John Zimmerman, serving as a spokesman for Region 2020, said there was no connection, that they had nothing to do with the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission.

Yet, the September 19,1997, edition of The Oxford Independent shows a picture of Larry Watts and John Rouse meeting with Oxford Mayor Leon Smith, who was welcoming them as representatives of Region 2020, and publisher John Childs, Jr. An article in the September 16, 1997, edition of The Anniston Star identified Larry Watts as being from the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission and John Rouse as being from the Southern Research Institute and both as representing Region 2020.

Where there has been one falsehood, might not there be others?

Why do we need some sort of Regional Planning Commission or some Regional non-governmental organization establishing the future planning for Birmingham and its surrounding communities?

We believe the regional planning is being set up in order to by-pass existing elected governments, under the guise of seeking to work with those governments. We believe the initial plan that these governments will be asked to agree to will be an open-ended plan, one that will provide for the details to be worked out later, but will essentially commit the various governing bodies to a contractual agreement that will give them little say-so over the final details. Pressure will be placed on the local governments to come together on this because "it is what the people have said they want."

The truth is, that even if there were a thousand individuals at each of the "visioning" sessions, the process would involve only a fraction of a percentage of the people living in the area. The sessions we have seen had far fewer than a thousand people present.

Also, the way the sessions are constructed make it impossible for anyone to know if the final report actually represents the input of the people present. The large meeting is broken down into a number of smaller meetings so that all any individual knows is what went on in a meeting of from eight to twenty or so individuals. The tabulations of those inputs will be in the hands of the organizers.

If this is the ultimate of the democratic process, as we are being told, someone has misdefined the democratic process. "Ye olde towne meeting," where all citizens gathered into a single group and discussed the pros and cons of the issues raised and then voted yea or nay has always been our understanding of the ultimate democratic process. And the town meeting did not employ trained facilitators. It had a chairman who served to maintain an orderly process.

The consensus building process is, by its very nature, a directed process. If it were not, consensus could never be reached among a group of any size.

If there are issues that need to be addressed, we already have governing bodies in place to address them through the constitutional means provided. This process may not be as quick nor as efficient as the process being proposed. It was not meant to be. It is supposed to be slow and laborious, for by being so it helps prevent us from making rash decisions we may live to regret.

The people actually lose control of their government when they turn decision making authority over to any non-elected body. That is what we see as the end product of the Region 2020 initiative.



PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

To understand something about why we are so concerned about the possibility of signing on to the concepts incorporated in Agenda 21, we would like to go back a few years to a United Nations Conference held in Vancouver, Canada.

From that Conference, in June of 1976, came a number of recommendations, sometimes referred to as The Vancouver Plan of Action. We would like to quote for you some of what came out of that gathering, asking you to keep in mind that we had representatives at that Conference who agreed to the Plan of Action it produced.


Preamble

1. Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Social justice, urban renewal and development, the provision of decent dwellings-and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole."

As we see, this paragraph says, in essence, that: Land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals. Private land ownership contributes to social injustice. Social justice can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole.

In the Vancouver Plan of Action, the section devoted to Settlement Planning contained this quote: "In this constant process of adjustments and reconciliation, the notion of region becomes central to settlement planning as a unit smaller than the national whole but larger than the individual settlement itself..."

Could this possibly be where the idea of regional planning, such as that employed in the Region 2020 initiative, stems from?

Another quote from this same section: "Settlement and environmental planning and development must occur within the framework of the economic and social planning process at the national, regional and local levels."

Three themes that run throughout Agenda 21 are: environmental, economic and social. Just how do you feel about some international organization, the members of which are appointed, not elected, telling you how you must plan for your future?

From the Shelter Infrastructure section of the Vancouver Plan, we find this quote: "If the improvement of the quality of life in human settlements is to become a reality, housing must be close to employment, schools and clinics must be placed near the dwelling, food production must be associated with food consumption.... and so on."

As we have pointed out many times, the mentality of those writing these plans is that they are the ones who know what is best for the world's populations, and it is only through "managed planning" at the upper levels that mankind can be led to achieve its true potential.

The more one reads in these UN documents, the more the arrogance of the would-be world governors comes through. We urge everyone to obtain some of these documents for yourselves and to read through them at the detail level. We believe you will readily see that the proposed New World Order is being designed to be far different from what Americans are accustomed to.

And now we are faced with the proposed Climate Change Treaty. If this treaty is passed and we sign it, you may very well have some UN inspector stationed at your local service station to ensure that you do not get more than your allotted share of gasoline. You could also have the fuel burned in your home heating system regulated, and there's a good chance that air-conditioning as we have known it would be outlawed.

Industry would also feel the impact, and much of our remaining industrial base might very well be moved to third world countries that will be exempted from the treaty provisions.

Read the treaty before you shrug off our comments.

From: The Mustard Seed

border image by Ken Stein from
Windy's Design Studio


Wisdom And Freedom produced by WORLD NEWSSTAND
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