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Point: Sustainability is ‘good stewardship’



Edmond called a meeting to discuss a “sustainability plan,” but protesters disrupted the meeting and shouted down citizens. The protesters believe Agenda 21 — a United Nations plan for sustainable development — is an effort to impose a global socialist government run by a small ruling elite. They must think the U.N., under a green cloak of sustainability, infiltrated Edmond City Hall, and in our ignorance, socialism was being foisted upon us in the meeting.

Let’s consider the evidence to support the protesters’ position.

Does Edmond and its citizens foster socialist ideas?

Edmond is not a hotbed of socialism.

It is relatively affluent, and its wealth comes from capitalism, powered by producing and burning fossil fuels. It has some of the reddest ZIP codes in the reddest state in America. Edmondites have not abandoned the U.S. Constitution for U.N.-imposed socialism.

Did the community meeting address legitimate topics?

The subjects were “water conservation, land use and transportation planning, … waste management, energy consumption, … public and alternative transportation …” These are important topics because Edmond must curtail water use almost every summer, an Edmond neighborhood flooded during 2010 rainstorms and oil is nearly $100/barrel again.

Is Agenda 21 an effort to impose global socialism?

Agenda 21 is a U.N. document about how countries should use public policy to promote sustainability. Not all members of the U.N. are democracies with capitalist economies, so Agenda 21 is written for many types of governments — communist, socialist, dictatorship, monarchs and democracies. Thus, parts of Agenda 21 are not consistent with concepts in the Constitution. This doesn’t mean the purpose of Agenda

21 is to undermine the Constitution. It does indicate the U.N. wants all types of governments to promote sustainability. It is not a plan to impose global socialism.

What are the principles of sustainability?

Economic viability, environmental protection and social justice. This is a different way to describe “good stewardship” and “the golden rule.”

Finally, is there a conspiracy to impose one-world government?

You bet. Alexander the Great sought to conquer the world, Roman Caesars occupied most of the known world, popes of the Middle Ages claimed power over the crowned heads of Europe. In the 20th century there were Hitler’s Nazism and Stalin’s communism. The quest for domination burns in U.S. political families — Kennedy, Bush, Gore, Clinton, etc. It thrives in multinationals — Monsanto, Halliburton, etc. This is the story of Western civilization — wealth and power are concentrated in a few until people rise up and take it back. The achievement of U.S. democracy is that citizens reclaim wealth and power without bloodshed. This was happening in Edmond when protesters disrupted the Dec. 6 meeting.

I presume the protesters are goodhearted, honest and intelligent, but I don’t think they should disrupt the key achievement of U.S. democracy — self governance through civil discourse. I hope they exercise their rights and fulfill their responsibilities to engage in free, vigorous discussions of topics that will influence our economy, environment and social conditions. If they are mistrustful of big government and big business, I will likely agree with them.

Hentges, an Edmond resident, is a private property rights lawyer, and executive director of Center for Energy Matters Inc. a nonprofit that promotes sustainable energy.

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