Smart Growth and Your Local University:
“Building Sustainable Communities Initiative”
by Anne Wilder Chamberlain
The sleepy little (ex)-timber community of Priest River, Idaho, lies in the northern part of the Idaho Panhandle - a designated “red zone” in the Wildlands Project and in the very heart of the Y2Y corridor (see “Yukon to Yellowstone,” Jan. 2010 I.O.). This town of approximately 2000 has been devastated by governmental regulations on harvesting timber from its forest service land as well as the drop in the market due to the national housing collapse. Over 500 timber workers and support lost their jobs in the last year. So with a promise of $168,000 in U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of Agriculture grants towards eco-development of the town, local government paid $10,900 to the University of Idaho Bioregional Planning Department - for the second time - to be the recipient of its Building Sustainable Communities Initiative (BCSI) “brainstorming sessions.” The meetings are facilitated by professionals to help in Priest River’s “visioning process.” However, so far the meetings have not included brainstorming sessions on how to create jobs.
The BCSI program is supported in part by the Idaho Department of Commerce, the Idaho Department of Labor, the Resilience Alliance, the American Planning Association (APA), and Second Nature.
APA states on its website that “among the highlights of the Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget request are: $4 billion for a new National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund; $527 million for new sustainable communities initiatives at the Department of Transportation; $150 million for HUD’s (Housing and Urban Development) sustainable communities grant program; $250 million for the new Choice Neighborhoods program at HUD; $10 million for smart growth technical assistance at EPA; $1 billion for the Housing Trust Fund; …and a near doubling of funding at HUD for research and technical assistance,” along with over $1.2 billion in other HUD and transportation grants funded by you, the taxpayer.
Second Nature’s mission is “to accelerate movement toward a sustainable future by serving and supporting senior college and university leaders in making…sustainable living the foundation of all learning” in higher education “by modeling ways to eliminate global warming emissions.”
It is funded by the Kresge Foundation, a $2.8 billion private foundation that in 2008 awarded 342 grants totaling $181 million “to influence the quality of life for future generations.”
Smart Growth and the Wildlands Project: Humans will be caged, while animals run free
The Wildlands Project is the plan to eliminate human presence on “at least 50 percent of the American landscape,” wrote Reed Noss, Science Editor for Wild Earth, the Wildlands Project publication.
On March 3, Obama identified 14 pieces of land for another federal unilateral land grab - more than 10 million acres in the Western U.S. - to place under the “protection” of the Department of the Interior. The federal government already owns approximately 650 million acres nationwide, including about 80% of Nevada and 63% of Utah. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) pointed out the loss from this land grab of jobs in ranching, forestry, mining, and energy development and the related loss of tax revenue needed for schools, firehouses etc., and proposed a constitutional amendment to block it (defeated 58 to 38).
Sustainable Development is the plan to accomplish global control, using land and resource restrictions as well as “social transformation through education”. The transfer of land from citizen control to government control makes it easy for government and its partners – Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), certain foundations, and certain corporations – to control what we have, what we do, and where we go. The transformation of free societies into collectivized ones ensures the presence of a ruling elite, which, by definition, excludes all but a very select few.
The land use element calls for the implementation of two action plans designed to eliminate private property: the Wildlands Project and Smart Growth. Upon implementation of these plans, all human activity is subject to control.
The Wildlands Project (see Dec 2009 I.O.) seeks to collectivize all natural resources - like water - and centralize all use decisions under government direction. Tools include the Endangered Species Act, various “conservation easements,” growth management plans, and direct land acquisitions.
The Wildlands Project is inextricably tied to its urban counterpart, Smart Growth. As human beings become barred from rural land (and lose their property due to foreclosure), human activity will be concentrated in urban areas. Through taxpayer-subsidized Smart Growth complexes, the infrastructure is being created for a post-private property era. Sometimes called “comprehensive planning,” Smart Growth is the centralized control of every aspect of urban life: energy and water use, population control, public health and diet, resources and recycling, “social justice” and education, toxic technology and waste management, transportation, and economic activity.
A typical day in the Orwellian society created by Smart Growth would consist of an individual waking up in his government-provided housing unit, eating a ration of government-subsidized foods purchased at a government-sanctioned grocery store, walking his children to the government-run child care center, and boarding government-subsidized public transit to go to his government job.
Smart Growth policies:
- A transportation plan that reduces mobility and forces people to live near their work in heavily-regulated feudalistic “transit villages.”
- Tax-subsidized, government-controlled, mixed-use developments called “human settlements,” like developments in Portland, Oregon where the lure of paying as little as $150 per year in taxes on properties valued at $1.5 million has led to high occupancy.
- Settlements distinguished from one another by how useful the citizens are for society. The Smart Growth plan for Richland County, SC, distinguishes between “employment-based villages,” and “non-employment-based villages,” with special gated communities for the wealthy individuals overseeing the plan, and “non-employment” villages located in former slums.
- Heavy restrictions on most development with the exception of that constructed and managed by government “partners” where extremely dense development is promoted.
- Rations on public services such as health care, drinking water, and energy resources. According to the Global Water Supply and Assessment Report (2000), reasonable access to water in urban areas is defined as “the availability of 20 litres per capita per day at a distance no longer than 1,000 metres.”
The Talloires Conference
In 1990 representatives from universities around the world, including the University of Idaho, met in Talloires, France and signed the Talloires Declaration, a ten-point action plan for colleges and universities committed to promoting education for sustainability and environmental literacy.
The conference was organized and hosted by Tufts University President Jean Mayer and sponsored by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. After a keynote address by Maurice Strong, secretary general of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (June 1992), the universities developed their series of recommended actions. As university leaders, they were considered uniquely positioned as “universities educate most of the people who develop and manage society’s institutions.”
The Talloires Declaration “inspired other such official declarations” including the Kyoto Declaration of the International Association of Universities (11/93) and the Student Charter for a Sustainable Future (United Kingdom, 7/95).
As of January 2008, the Talloires Declaration has been signed by more than 360 university presidents and chancellors at institutions in over 40 countries across five continents.
Visioning and Stakeholder Councils
In local communities, such as those in North Idaho, Sustainable Development is carried out using stakeholder councils: events organized to give community members a “stake” in the control over some local project. A typical meeting is run by a trained “facilitator,” whose job is, not to make sure all views are entered on the record, but rather, to guide the group to a predetermined consensus. The Agenda 21 advocates systematically promote their own ideas and marginalize any opposition, particularly that of individuals who advocate the freedom to use and enjoy private property. The facilitator will record “good” ideas and allow criticism for “bad” ones.
The result of the stakeholder council is called a “consensus” or “vision statement”, and is typically approved by local governments without question, requiring citizens to submit to the questionable conclusions of a non-elected authority that is not accountable to the voters and may not even be from the region.
“Visioning” events are generally initiated by local public officials, local or regional NGOs, or by the United Nations co-opted higher education system. It is important to remember that the same universities that are offering “sustainability” events have biotech labs that artificially manipulate seed for the financial benefit of large conscienceless corporations like Monsanto. Participating Departments of the Univ. of Idaho BCSI include the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences, of which the Univ. of Idaho Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering is a part. Biological (i.e. genetic) engineering manipulates seeds to withstand large amounts of highly toxic herbicides; to kill insects and change the bacteria in our gut; and to be unable to self-replicate, thereby destroying the sustainability of small communities and farmers worldwide.
The good news is that the “visioning process” doesn’t always work. One Sustainable Development stakeholder meeting in Greenville, SC was adjourned with the admission by the facilitator that they had not reached the consensus needed to support the predetermined plan. It goes to show that if attendees are aware of UN methods and are definite in protecting their rights, these plans will fail.
[See how to break “The Delphi Technique”, Jan. 2010 I.O.]
Pete Simmons, property rights lawyer from the State of Washington went up against his county’s application of Washington State’s Growth Management Act (GMA), which “requires all cities and counties in the state to designate and protect wetlands…and other critical areas…, plan for urban growth, [and] …adopt comprehensive plans.” He succeeded by studying the State Constitution, which reads, “All political power is inherent in the people…the purpose of government is to protect and maintain individual rights.”
Today the Stevens County Comprehensive Plan holds “private property rights free from intermeddling by outside government and interest groups.”
Sustainable Development advocates are often unaware that the natural consequence of their environmental, social equity, and “new economy” movement is tyranny. If we understand the threat and face the challenge squarely, the deceptive fraud of Sustainable Development will come to light.
- Respect each other; the road to liberty requires a conscious decision to defend our neighbor’s right to life, liberty and the use and enjoyment of his property.
- Know the Declaration of Independence and our State Constitution - the principles of our Republic - and commit to securing the blessings of liberty for posterity.
- Work to eliminate harmful indoctrination in schools by taking charge of our children's education.
- Advocate Freedom Locally: Hold elected officials accountable to the Constitution that is being undermined by federally coordinated grants; awaken genuine free-enterprise business people to the threat posed by United Nations-sponsored “Sustainability.”
- Reject government-funded conservation agreements: i.e. federal, NGO, or foundation grants, and ‘comprehensive’, ‘community’, Smart Growth, or Wildlands planning.
- Support the repeal of the Endangered Species Act
- Expose NGOs that are working to undermine the American vision by promoting a global political agenda that is contrary to the ideas of liberty.
The information regarding Agenda 21 and “Educating the Youth” are excerpted from Mike Shaw’s booklets, Understanding Sustainable Development Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development, Global to Local Action Plans, available for $3.00 each from Freedom Advocates, P.O. Box 3330, Freedom, Calif. 95019 (831) 685-2232 www.freedomadvocates.org