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South Dakota farmers ought to like Agenda 21's policies designed to increase producers' access to global export markets.
South Dakota farmers ought to like Agenda 21's policies designed to increase producers' access to global export markets.

Agenda 21: When Common Sense Becomes Conspiracy

Jun 27, 2012

Do you recycle your milk jugs and compost your kitchen scraps? Do you support using conservation easements to protect wetlands, shelterbelts, and the ongoing productivity of South Dakota farmland?

If so, you're a Marxist dupe.

At least, that's what one might read in a resolution passed by the South Dakota Republican Party last weekend. Delegates to the state GOP convention raised their voices in fearful denunciation of the latest popular bogeyman of the far right, something called "Agenda 21," a secret Marxist plot by the United Nations.

Agenda 21 comes from the United Nations, but it's no secret. The UN posts it publicly on their Sustainable Development website. It comes from the 1992 Rio Conference. It's not a binding plan. It's not a roadmap for world conquest. It's just a bunch of reasonable people saying it would be nice if local, state, and national governments worked together to fight poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, and pollution. 

South Dakota's GOP condemns this document as a "destructive and insidious" plan "covertly" pushing its "dangerous intent" in "local communities throughout South Dakota." Our Republican neighbors "hereby reject its destructive strategies for sustainable development."

Destructive policies... like increasing producers' access to global export markets. South Dakota farmers ought to like that. 

Destructive policies... like stimulating savings and reducing deficits. South Dakota Tea Partiers ought to like that.

Destructive policies... like helping economies "grow and prosper while reducing the use of energy and materials and the production of harmful materials." South Dakotans with grandkids ought to like that. 

Such paranoia bubbles around South Dakota. The Siouxland Republican Women have condemned the Sioux Falls Residential Guide to Sustainability as Agenda 21 plotting. My Black Hills neighbors Sam Kephart and Shad Olson think Agenda 21 will abolish private property and depopulate the planet. Steve Rosenberger ran for Lawrence County Commission this spring to fight the looming UN takeover of the Black Hills and "Delphi" mind control.

My Marxist UN overlords haven't sent me the memo on how to read minds, let alone control them. But here's what I hear in the heads of Republicans who turn such nutty conspiracy theories in formal party resolutions: 

Those darn hippies are right: resources are finite. We need to use land and water and energy more responsibly. But we can’t bear to think that. Ah-ha! If we conflate "sustainable development" and the United Nations and Marxism, we can still kick the hippies in the shins and not feel guilty about driving really big cars really fast! Whoo-hoo! The evil of Agenda 21 trumps every argument!”

I'd rather sustain our resources and economic development with sensible policies than sustain a selfish, obsolete worldview with black-helicopter theories. 


Cory Allen Heidelberger writes the Madville Times political blog. He grew up on the shores of Lake Herman. He studied math and history at SDSU and information systems at DSU, and is currently teaching French at Spearfish High School. A longtime country dweller, Cory is enjoying "urban" living with his family in Spearfish. 


10:52 pm - Mon, July 2 2012
Georgine Scott said:
I find it truly amazing how people with so little information are willing to annihilate those who who have a differing opinion. It makes me wonder how these people can be so arrogant as to think they have reached the ultimate truth by doing so little research on a subject! Amazing. Too bad this author didn't even scratch the surface of where this Agenda 21 policy comes from or what its about. No Conspiracy, just truth and a total disservice to the public. When the public eventually learns the deceptive means the Agenda 21 plan was implemented by they will think you are a fool. It's no conspiracy theory as you seem to need to make people believe in order to believe your story, it's all on the internet and they can read it for themselves. I'm so sick of these stupid stories that try to frighten or manipulate the public into believing something that isn't true with no proof. Just look up AGENDA 21 and read the documet for itself and then go to ICLEI's website to see how it's distributed in the United States by the Local Agenda 21 planning guide. No need to pretend whose right when people can read the truth for themselves.
06:41 am - Tue, July 3 2012
Oh, Georgine. You don't get to keep the conspiracy theory alive by telling everyone who debunks it that they just haven't read enough. I've read the truth myself. There is no there there. Crying "Agenda 21!" is an easy dodge for people who would rather go on mythical crusades or re-enact Red Dawn than engage in ongoing study and debate of real, practical, complicated local political issues.
12:31 pm - Tue, July 3 2012
floyd r turbo said:

If it's on the internet, then it must be true.
07:55 pm - Tue, July 3 2012
Jeff Hogan said:
Read the essay I wrote available on the attached website and see if you can discredit its assertions and the Agenda 21 Sustainable Development case studies. Your obliviousness is palpable.
01:56 pm - Sun, November 25 2012
tom said:
Lets say the UN and their agenda 21 is a good thing. Even if it is, why do we need an outside entity to come in and tell us how to run our country or how we should manage our land? We are supposed to be a sovereign state. That means we can do things ourselves. They say they want to make the world a better place. they have good intentions. Ya well so did hitlar. Agenda 21 is definitely not the answer. If you are so quick to get rid of our god given rights, move to europe.
06:35 am - Thu, December 6 2012
Tim H said:
The UN, the Democratic party, and Obama are the biggest threats to our freedom since Hitler. Anyone who listens to and agrees with their propaganda should be sent to reeducation camps.Just like they would have the non believers do. Wake up Sheep you are losing the country to people who only want to steal every dollar they can get, and most of them are from other countries not THE USA.
01:19 am - Mon, January 21 2013
Will said:
Tom...Agenda 21 is a voluntary agreement between sovereign countries... non legally binding. Read the text of the conference and you will see the written statement of the United States which outlines numerous opt-outs: between sovereign nations is nothing new, and is vital in tackling global issues.Your local and national politicians make policies to try and deal with environmental issues, which may be informed by Agenda 21, but will certainly overlap with issues of local and national interest. You have democratic rights to oppose policies where they are to your detriment, but to oppose everything and anything which 'smells' like it's somehow connected to Agenda 21, no matter whether it is beneficial or not, would be barmy and exactly what the industrialist overlords want.
05:25 am - Sun, July 6 2014
dave said:
such foolishness, and such dupes, remember what thHeidelbergerose who supported Lenin got when they asked for their share, the lucky ones were shot....remember how Obama was going to fix everything, and now its another year or two it was so bad he can't fix it without more time, yet he was one in the know (a Senator) and he didn't know!!!!! I'd say bad planning just as these guys have here with agenda 21, all sounds good in the little bites passed out...look behind the curtain of fools and mouthpieces, follow the money, those who preach more tax, yet they never pay more, we the average worker pays and pays....the rich get richer by getting the workers to surrender their rights for a future of brightness, that never arrives, then it's the fear factor of the "far right" yes Mr. Heidelberger, you also like to throw that factor confuse, and shift blame...take our eyes off the ball so it can be switched and then scream and rant how it was (Bush/Cheney), interject any name you care to in that matters not, they are almost all the same, liars and cheats who are out to protect us from amazes me that we have survived as long as we have, with out the human leaders to tell us when to breathe.... and yes Cory (may I call you Cory), that is what this is all about, only if it were put out in black and white the people of the world would throw off the yoke of oppression, installed by the educated idiots, who think they are smarter than the rest....
11:16 am - Sat, April 25 2020
Cindy said:
Agenda 21, agenda 2030, and any "sustainable" program are nothing more then globalist death cults. They are designed to control you and to "depopulate"... kill you... and your children. Do not let south Dakota families and children fall prey to this death cult.
08:12 am - Sun, December 13 2020
Donna Hunt said:
Look at what covid is doing to the United States. It is putting us in our homes, away from our churches, our work, our schools. This appears, to me, to be just the beginning of Agenda 21, et al.
09:23 pm - Fri, October 22 2021
Geneo trex said:
As the great, or so so comedian & philosopher, Ron White once said: “ you can’t fix stupid.”

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