Agenda 21

This month, the Mechanicsville Tea Party is bringing Right Wing activist and conspiracist Michael Coffman to Hanover County.  Coffman argues that the United Nations is secretly taking over America, namely by chipping away private property rights in the name of “sustainable development,” i.e., Agenda 21.  Coffman manages a website called “Discerning the Times,” which catalogues how the environmental movement is supposedly tied to the coming New World Order predicted in the Book of Revelations.

The “sustainable development will take your land” meme is spread by a small group of men, including Coffman, who have extensive ties to the industries of land development, agriculture, livestock production, paper production, and pest management.  Coffman and his ilk use an imaginary threat to consolidate their own power.  We urge local chapters of the Tea Party to question the fact that a small cadre of men provide all of the “educational” material the Tea Party movement uses to propagate the Agenda 21 conspiracy.

In an explanation of the enforcing power of Agenda 21, Tariq Banuri, the director for the United Nations’ Division for Sustainable Development, stated in an interview with Media Matters for America:

“Agenda 21 is not a binding treaty. It sets out a sort of common vision. Agenda 21 is trying to say that environmental concerns are common concerns of everyone on this planet.  Without any mechanism to enforce sustainable policies, Agenda 21 is literally powerless to coerce anybody to anything.”

The irony of the Tea Party’s resistance towards local land use planning is that they fantasize about protecting the virtues of “small town” rural America and yet they seem to fight the hardest against measures aimed at limiting urban sprawl?!

It is important that we understand and counter narratives that trash sustainability by the likes of Michael Coffman and the Tea Party because they’re dangerous, paranoid falsehoods.  Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that Coffman and others that sow the seeds of Agenda 21 paranoia have their plows paid for by the very industries whose bottom line is most threatened by sustainability.

Coffman & Agenda 21 Propaganda
September 15, 7 p.m.
8700 Bell Creek Road