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Agenda 21: How the U. N. Reaches Into Your Home Town

It sounds like just another conspiracy theory, to say that a scheme for world government has reached into your own town, city, or county without your having read or heard a single word about it in the news.

Lee Duigon
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Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21 by Rosa Koire

(The Post Sustainability Institute Press, Santa Rosa, CA: 2011)

"[T]here is a plan for world government that is in place and eating like a metastasized cancer into every nation, free and bound, in the world. Under the banner of saving the planet we are drowning liberty." — Rosa Koire (p. 8)
"Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible." — The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 29[1]

It sounds like just another conspiracy theory, to say that a scheme for world government has reached into your own town, city, or county without your having read or heard a single word about it in the news. Some of you have never even heard of Agenda 21. Or maybe you have, and dismissed it as an urban legend.

Rather than offer you an ordinary book review, we will use Rosa Koire's book to explain what Agenda 21 is. We recommend you read it as a source of information, presented clearly and concisely. We need not go all the way along with the author, a self-described "progressive" (p. 162). The important thing is the information she conveys to us.

In this she is doing a job which our country's multitude of paid professional journalists have left undone.

What Is It?

One reason for the paucity of news reporting on Agenda 21 ("an agenda for the 21st century") is because it has been deliberately designed and executed to operate out of the limelight. It has not been debated in the U. S. Senate. It has not come up in presidential debates. It requires no active participation of the national government. And it is cloaked in euphemisms, most notably "smart growth," "sustainability," and, of course, "green." Whenever you hear any of those terms used by a public official, be suspicious. Agenda 21 is lurking in the background.

The Agenda 21 logo is "the interlocking circles of Ecology, Economy, and Social Equity. Where they meet is ‘Sustainable Development'" (p. 46). The logo is found on the General Plan of Marin County, California, Ms. Koire reports. "Does your General Plan use the U. N. logo?"

You should already be able to see what a slippery slope this is. Ecology? The planet-saving business is up to its eyebrows in fraud and propaganda. Economy? What evidence is there that government bureaucrats have ever been able to manage any portion of a nation's economy without damaging it? And do you really want some political appointee deciding what constitutes "Social Equity"? Be very afraid of that!

Agenda 21 functions at the local level, often informally. Only rarely-I say this as a former local news reporter and editor-do ordinary citizens get interested in stories about planning and zoning, building codes, environmental impact statements, etc. Unless a developer is proposing to build a methadone clinic or a massage parlor in their immediate neighborhood, most people aren't interested. Besides, citizens who actually pay attention to the local news know that their towns and their counties have always had a "master plan" to coordinate land use and zoning ordinances. They may well think a "General Plan" is just more of the same. Agenda 21 is very much a stealth campaign, hiding in places where many people never look.

Agenda 21 is a set of public policies based on the philosophy of communitarianism, says Rose Koire. "Communitarianism is the balancing of the individual's rights against those of the community ... So how can you ‘balance' individual rights with those of the community? The community has no rights under the U. S. Constitution. Individuals have rights and responsibilities, but the community as a whole-what is that? The collective? Whenever we ‘balance' or subsume or subordinate or consensus-ize the individual's rights you'll get something different from what we are guaranteed under the Constitution" (p. 9).

Worse, "Because the rights of the community are not defined in a constitution they can change without warning or notice; one's individual rights are balanced against a continuously redefined amorphous rulebook. The rulebook is written in the dark and the individual runs up against it at dawn, and alone" (p. 8).

The stated purpose of Agenda 21 is "to protect the rights of future generations and all species against the potential crimes of the present" (p. 8).

Are They Crazy, Or Just Dangerous?

Let's pause to consider that extraordinary statement.

What are the rights of "all species"? Do locusts, for instance, have a right to devour our crops? Where are these rights enumerated? Are all species created equal, men and tsetse flies alike? Are our rights to be "balanced" against the rights of bacteria?

What is the difference between real crimes and "potential crimes"? What is a potential crime? Where are the statutes that define and list potential crimes? Who will enforce unwritten laws against crimes that haven't been committed yet? How would you know you have committed a potential crime, until you've been arrested for it?

Do we honestly want to get involved in this kind of Alice in Wonderland jurisprudence?

These concepts are indeed amorphous, and indeed apt to be continuously redefined without warning. In fact, they are without any hard and fast meanings at all.

That makes them dangerous.

Is It a Religious Concept?

While we're at it, let's consider the religious tenor of Article 29 of the U. N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Compare this:

"[T]he community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible"

with St. Paul's words describing God:

"For in Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28)

Here we see the religious creed-false, and secular, but still a creed-which gives communitarians permission to "balance" individual rights, spelled out in law, with the "rights of the community," spelled out nowhere. R. J. Rushdoony long ago recognized the United Nations as an enterprise "inescapably religious."[2] "The U. N. Charter gives grounds for the interference of that body into every national and religious state in existence in the name of total equality"[3]-even the equality of species!

In accordance with its totalitarian mandate, Agenda 21's "policies are woven into all of the General Plans of the cities and counties in the United States ... for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision-making in the hands of private property owners" (Koire, pp. 12, 13). Its aim is to micromanage the "redevelopment" of towns and cities into forms more agreeable to U. N. masterminds-high-density housing, bicycles instead of cards, reduced living space, restrictions on the use of electricity, public "hearings" and meetings carefully orchestrated in advance to manufacture "consensus" and deter dissent (Koire, pp. 12-17). It looks very like a plan to transform American towns and cities into Third World towns and cities.

Because the rules are nowhere written down; because Agenda 21 is an end-run around the U. S. Congress, which Congress seems neither to have noticed nor objected to; because local officials, developers, and movers and shakers are personally involved in it; because very little, if any of it, has been reported in our news media; because there has been no public debate about it-because of all these factors, Agenda 21 creeps forward virtually unopposed.

Let's take a more intimate look at it.

A New Breed of Sheriff

A reader in California has reported a recent conversation with his county sheriff. To protect our informant, we will use only fictitious names.

Normally a sheriff is elected by the county's voters and is accountable to them. In this case, the elected sheriff resigned and the county supervisors appointed James Flood to serve the three years remaining on the elected sheriff's term.

"In my county's General Plan," reported citizen John Doe, "is the statement, ‘the rights of the individual are to be balanced with the rights of the community and the needs of the environment.' I asked Sheriff Flood to define individual rights and community rights and what is meant by ‘balancing.'"

Flood replied, "As you know, John, you surrender some of your individual rights when you live in your community."

Time out! This comes as news to us. When did we "surrender" any of our rights, and to whom-and what particular rights did we surrender? But Sheriff Flood was speaking from presuppositions that are not to be found in the United States Constitution. As he put it, "Your rights are subject to the community laws and regulations."

Another presupposition is displayed: that in return for the privilege of living in a community-this applies only to those of us who are not hermits-we waive certain rights: rights which the sheriff doesn't specify. We thought the purpose of those laws and regulations was to protect our rights, our persons, and our property-not to empower some undefined "community."

Sheriff Flood said his duty is "to serve the community"-whatever that may be-and advised Mr. Doe to "stop thinking outside the system and work from within the system ... to join a committee or council and work on changing things from within." Meanwhile, Sheriff Flood will "balance" Mr. Doe's rights with the un-enumerated rights of the community and the unvoiced "needs" of the environment.

American law attempts to stabilize interactions between persons. There is no law that defines "the community," and certainly "the environment" is not a person with "needs" that can be identified and made a subject of negotiation.

"My county sheriff answers to the bureaucracy, which calls itself the community," Doe said. "It's simple logic that if the sheriff believes he can ‘balance' my rights, then he implies he owns my rights. You can only ‘balance' what you own."

But, he added, "Flood told me, ‘Look around. This is what America is today.'"

Is it?

Green Drinks for All

Now consider this press release, published in the weekly newspaper in my own home town.

"The [local] Chapter of GreenDrinks meets on the first Tuesday of every month," etc. "What is GreenDrinks? Every month people interested in the environment"-a remarkably disingenuous turn of phrase-"meet up at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. These events are very simple and unstructured but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals, and had moments of serendipity. Globally"-globally?-"Green Drinks has a lively mixture of people from NGOs [non-governmental organizations, many of which have representatives at the U. N.], academia, government and business." Just plain folks like you and me! "Come along and you'll be mad [sic] welcome. Just say, ‘Are you green?', and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there.

"It's a great way of catching up with people you know and for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there's always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organizing network." Nope, nobody pulling strings behind the scenes.

"It all started in 1989 at a pub called the Slug and Lettuce in Northern London, in which a handful of eco-conscious mates pulled some tables together and drank some beer." That shrill beeping is my baloney detector going off. "The concept evolved into Green Drinks and now its [sic] global. Each city has an organizer who arranges meetings in bars, restaurants, and other venues." I just love those natural, spontaneous, self-organizing get-togethers that have an official organizer-don't you?

Visiting the local GreenDrinks website,[4] we learn how we can get to the meeting: "Walk, cycle, bus, or NJ Transit ... Taxi or car OK if more than 2 passengers." It wouldn't be very "green" to drive there by yourself! We also learn that Green Drinks is "GLOBAL: Now active in 730+ cities (let's push it to 1100) worldwide!" The organizer is a "sustainability engineer" who is "driven to make our world better ... As a member of the Environmental Commission he shapes a greener future for the borough," and so on.

There's a good chance there's a Green Drinks chapter in your town, too, or at least in the nearest large or mid-sized city.

Agenda 21 is sneaky.

How to Fight It?

Rosa Koire suggests we fight Agenda 21 by becoming activists. Learn to spot a "smart growth" hustle when you see one (p. 144). Print and distribute flyers (p. 145). Research "who is running your city" and network with other persons opposing the agenda (p. 145).

She goes into great detail, instructing her readers just how to de-rail the stacked-deck "Delphi meetings" used by Agenda 21 agents to manufacture a "consensus" in your town-or rather, the appearance of a consensus (pp. 147-156) She also urges us to "speak out" and our local public meetings (p. 158), run for office (p. 158), and, among other things, start a blog opposing the Agenda (p. 161).

Frankly, this is all quite overwhelming. There are not many people who can do those things. And in the end, Koire wants to hold on to her "progressive" politics and worldview-as if it were possible to separate the "progressive" movement from Big Government.

Agenda 21 offers us a form of salvation by works of the flesh. The government and the insiders will do the work, and our flesh will have to pay for it and live with it. We don't mean to discourage activist opposition to Agenda 21; but activism standing alone is only the other side of the same coin.

The same thing is missing from the Agenda 21 vision that is missing from the progressive vision-God: love of God, obedience to God, reliance on God, faith in God. The Big Government mind-set that begat the United Nations in the first place, and Agenda 21, is a substitute for God. The mind-set that imagines Agenda 21 as the blueprint for an earthly paradise, and gives permission to its adherents to tyrannize their fellow man for his own good, will never leave off doing mischief until we turn away from this substitute for God and seek again the real God-who is a person, not an agenda. In the words of Isaiah:

"For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us." (Isaiah 33:22)

Persons who have truly placed themselves under God will not have that Big Government mind-set. They will not elect leaders who want to be little tin-pot gods themselves. They will not listen to such persons.

For as long as we fail to submit to God, if Agenda 21 is defeated, another monster of the same spirit will instantly rise up in its place.


[2] R. J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, [1965] 2001), 127.

[3] Ibid., 141.


Lee Duigon
  • Lee Duigon

Lee is the author of the Bell Mountain Series of novels and a contributing editor for our Faith for All of Life magazine. Lee provides commentary on cultural trends and relevant issues to Christians, along with providing cogent book and media reviews.

Lee has his own blog at

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