“The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant program is also a step in implementing ‘Agenda 21, the Global Plan of Action on Sustainable Development,’ signed by the United States at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All of these programs require broad community participation to identify and address environmental issues.”
– Environmental Protection Agency, 63 Fed. Reg. 45157 (August 24, 1998).
On January 26, 2012, I attended the final meeting in Batavia, NY, for the Finger Lakes “Regional ‘Sustainability’ Plan,” part of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s $10 million statewide program to have regional Planning Departments orchestrate “sustainability” plans described in NYSERDA’s “Cleaner, Greener Communities” Program. Here is my take on what is going on in regard to this extensive plan across New York State.
As those who have studied the United Nations’s ‘Agenda 21’ plan know, “Sustainability” is a key buzzword that is part-and-parcel of the UN’s ‘Agenda 21’. There is no doubt that the “Sustainability” Plan currently being devised by Planning Departments across the state, who are acting “under NYSERDA’s thumb” (as one Planner phrased it at their first meeting in Batavia), is ‘Agenda 21’ in the works (think carbon taxes, ‘green’ energy transfer-of-wealth schemes, and one-world governance).
At the “open-house style” meeting in Batavia last week, folks were asked to read the poster boards relevant to each part of the overall plan: Land Use, Water Use, Agriculture, Forestry, Waste Management, Economic Development, and Energy — and to then use sticky notes to post their comments on the boards for each particular segment of the plan.
“Planning” is Theirs, Not Ours
Free-market economists sharply differentiate between central government planning and decentralized market planning (see Hayek appendix below). So while many see little wrong with developing an overall plan, remember that their coercion crowds out your own planning. And while different aspects of the extensive plans look good at first glance, the devil is in the details.
The fact that NYSERDA is the bureaucracy over-seeing this process is the tell-tale warning sign, as the development of renewable energy across the state and ways to regulate carbon emissions is the overarching goal in each area of the plan.
This should leave everyone very wary about the remaining $90 million — that came from the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) ratepayer dollars, that will be offered as ‘grants’ (the proverbial ‘carrots’ used to lead the sheep) to guide our communities into “compliance” with the overall underlying agenda – that of ‘Agenda 21’.
Who knows where the money will come from for Governor Cuomo’s proposed billion-dollar “Green Bank”, and $1.5 Billion dollar Solar fund? Remember when Obama said there were other ways to skin the cat than cap-and-trade?
One of the biggest warning flags I noted last evening (besides the ‘green’ energy push and carbon regulation goals) was on the chart regarding ‘Land Use’. I noted one line that said, “Home Rule” interferes with inter-municipal cooperation…” The obvious subliminal message here is that “Home Rule” is a bad thing.
Our municipalities’ long-held, Constitutionalright to “Home Rule” is being progressively undermined in this whole process of State-led planning. We are unwittingly, slowly and methodically giving over total control to unelected bureaucrats and planners who are devising these “green”, “sustainability” plans — which are part and parcel of ‘Agenda 21’ (which many officials and bureaucrats say they still know nothing about).
Planners Lack Expertise
The sad reality is that most of these planners are not at all educated about energy and power. As I was getting ready to leave the meeting, one of the FL Planners asked me what I had thought of the display.
I told him straight out that the obvious push for “unreliables” (aka ‘renewables’) like wind is a complete waste of our tax- and rate-payer dollars. I told him that while I am certainly all for scientifically-vetted, economically-sound energy-innovation, industrial wind was the biggest scam to ever come down the pike. Not surprisingly, he did not like my response.
Sadly, he responded with the decades-old propaganda line, “Well, we have to do something. Oil is responsible for so much of our pollution.”
I responded, “I’m not talking about oil – which is used for transportation. I’m talking about unreliable wind power – which is used for electricity!”
He tried to argue that eventually we would end up going to all electric vehicles. I just laughed, and said, “Sir, I’m afraid you’ve drank the Kool-Aid! I couldn’t even make it home and back in an electric car.”
Thankfully, a local guy who does get it, stepped in and said that even if electric vehicles became more prevalent, they could never be used to do the kind of heavy work required on our farms.
As our conversation proceeded, we had the attention of the entire small crowd that was in the room – which played out great, as the facts totally destroyed this planner’s entire argument.
Not one of the five planners who were there knew what “Capacity Value” was, nor that wind provided virtually NONE. I told him that wind is not the future, and in all actuality, there is a direct correlation between RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE power, and increased health and longevity in this country, which he could verify by doing a little research.
I ended up leaving a copy of John Etherington’s The Wind Farm Scam: An Ecologist’s Evaluation and Robert Bryce’s Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future with one of the head planners there.
Hopefully, they will actually read them and reverse course for New York State to cut its budget and environmentally gain at the same time. As it is now, the energy-illiterate planners who are guiding the development of [UN-initiated] “Sustainability Plans” in New York State (Governor Andrew Cuomo and his cohorts at NYSERDA) are not basing their decisions on sound science, but on politics surrounding the UN’s “New World” religion of “Environmentalism.”
As stated by Paul Driessen:
Climate alarmism and pseudo science have justified all manner of regulations, carbon trading, carbon taxes, renewable energy programs and other initiatives that increase the cost of everything we make, grow, ship, eat, heat, cool, wear and do – and thus impair job creation, economic growth, living standards, health, welfare and ecological values.
Whether it be “Sustainability Plans” in New York State, or Timbuktu, there is nothing at all that is “sustainable” about any of this.
Appendix: Hayek on Planning
The free-market economist F. A. Hayek differentiated between central government planning and decentralized market planning throughout his long career. This passage from Hayek’s Road to Serfdom (1944: pp. 34–35) elucidates this distinction, which should be kept in mind with programs such as Agenda 21.
‘Planning’ owes its popularity largely to the fact that everybody desires, of course, that we should handle our common problems as rationally as possible and that, in so doing, we should use as much foresight as we can command.
In this sense everybody who is not a complete fatalist is a planner, every political act is (or ought to be) an act of planning, and there can be differences only between good and bad, between wise and foresighted and foolish and shortsighted planning.
An economist, whose whole task is the study of how men actually do and how they might plan their affairs, is the last person who could object to planning in the general sense. But it is not in this sense that our enthusiasts for a planned society now employ this term, nor merely in this sense that we must plan if we want the distribution of income or wealth to conform to some particular standard.
According to the modern planners, and for their purposes, it is not sufficient to design the most rational permanent framework within which to the various activities would be conducted by different persons according to their individual plans. This [free-market] liberal plan, according to them, is no plan — and it is indeed, not a plan designed to satisfy particular views about who should have what.
What our planners demand is a central direction of all economic activity according to a single plan [my emphasis], laying down how the resources of society should be ‘consciously directed’ to serve particular ends in a definite way [my emphasis].
The dispute between the modern planners and their opponents is, therefore, not a dispute on whether we ought to choose intelligently between the various possible organizations of society; it is not a dispute on whether we ought to employ foresight and systematic thinking in planning our common affairs.
It is a dispute about what is the best way of so doing. The question is whether for this purpose it is better that the holder of coercive power should confine himself in general to creating conditions under which the knowledge and initiative of individuals are given the best scope so that they can plan most successfully; or whether a rational utilization of our resources requires central direction and organization of all our activities according some consciously constructed ‘blueprint‘ [my emphasis].
The socialists of all parties have appropriated the term ‘planning’ for planning of the latter type, and it is now generally accepted in this sense. But though this is meant to suggest that this is the only rational way of handling our affairs, it does not, of course, prove this. It remains the point on which the planners and the liberals disagree. 1
 Hayek was a classical liberal, or an advocate of change away from statism. He used the term “liberal” as in libertarian, not in the sense of what today in America is called Liberalism or progressivism.