We've frequently written about one of the conspiracy theories that's a staple in the diet of fear on the right in parts of Minnesota: Agenda 21, and we're not the only one in Minnesota to call whatever on this malarky. Over four years ago, John Gilmore wrote in the Minnesota Conservatives post, Agenda 21: Because There's More Room For Crazy:
Thought hemp, raw milk and ending the Fed was the sum of craziness currently infiltrating the Republican Party of Minnesota? Think again. Agenda 21 is the next big thing in making a political party entirely irrelevant in Minnesota. . . .
MinnPost urban columnist Marlys Harris also ran into the Agenda 21 organizers at the GOP state convention that year and lived to write about it.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) takes a more serious and extended look at the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory in Agenda 21: The UN, Sustainability and Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory. It's the report that prompted The Daily Beast to write Agenda 21: The U.N. Conspiracy That Just Won’t Die. More recently, the Guardian reported that Agenda 21: a conspiracy theory puts sustainability in the crosshairs.
Will Morrison County's comprehensive plan fall victim to a conspiracy theory?
We've written in the past about how there are those in Morrison County who seem are into flooding their fears, almost as if it's an addiction to that emotional rush (we recommend rides at amusement parks instead).
In Morrison County, those who fear Agenda 21 are afraid of the county's revised comprehensive plan--indeed, any comprehensive county plan. In Minnesota, the ability and authority of counties to zone and plan--and to create comprehensive plans--is defined in Statute 394. The ability of counties to create comprehensive plans first became part of state law in 1959 (see 1959 c 559 s 2), some 33 years before the 1992 conference in Rio where a nonbinding statement of intent aimed at dealing with sustainability was signed by President George H.W. Bush.
Fearful souls in Morrison County are having none of historical fact. At the Morrison County Record, Tyler Jensen reports in Public fears loss of property rights with new comprehensive plan:
Members of the Morrison County Board of Commissioners said they’re satisfied with the comprehensive plan for the county. Still, some members of the public are less than thrilled. . . .
One issue present at both the planning meeting and the Planning Commission’s public hearing July 25, was local versuss regional control and more specifically, Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 is a UN created plan for sustainable living local governments can choose to follow. Critics say the plan can be used to take away property rights.
“The reason we are concerned about this wording is how it has been used in other parts of the country,” Greg Smith said.
Smith and others were looking for the county to add protective language into the plan saying it would not follow outside mandates on issues like open/green spaces. These are areas that can’t be developed and are used for things like parks or community gardens..
Commissioner Kevin Maurer proposed an added piece to the plan addressing local control.
“The county comprehensive plan is not intended to or meant to be a means by which local control is given to any other entity. It is a plan meant to encourage and support local control,” Maurer said at the July 25 public hearing.
His statement was added to the draft the commissioners looked at Tuesday. The commissioners said they were OK with the plan, but residents Richard and Shirley Japp were not.
“There is still not anything in the plan about Agenda 21,” Richard said.
Maurer asked whether or not it would hurt the county to add language specifically saying the county doesn’t accept the directives of Agenda 21 and other regional plans. . . .
Alrighty then. How prescient was the Minnesota legislature to authorize comprehensive planning years before the conference in Rio? Bwwaahhhaaaa....
Photo: A scary Agenda 21 word list, via News Corpse, the graphic from our classic post, Central Minnesota Tea Party rebrands conservation grazing as scary Agenda 21 stuff. The Tea Party later apologized to the DNR for misunderstanding the practice.
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