Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Arizona UPRISING -- Fear and Loathing over Sustainability UPDATED 11:50pm 4-24-12

Nearing the 20th anniversary of the United Nations' Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Arizona may soon codify Tea Party paranoia into Arizona law by passing SB1507.

Earlier this month, the Arizona Republic reported:

Arizona "tea party" members are pushing through legislation to quash government-funded efforts to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency in cities, counties and the state.
Opponents of Senate Bill 1507, sponsored by Sen. Judy Burges, R-Sun City West, say the bill would shut down any government-led environmental initiative, such as Energize Phoenix, a $25 million, stimulus-funded project to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses along the light-rail corridors in central Phoenix.
Critics also say the bill is based on a tea-party conspiracy theory about a 1992 United Nations declaration.
"This is the most ludicrous bill I've ever seen in six years in the Legislature," House Minority Leader Chad Campbell, D-Phoenix, said.
With this legislation, "you could pretty much shut down any form of government sustainability" efforts, he added.
How could this shut down any government sustainability efforts?

The entire text of the bill as it currently stands:

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1.  Rio declaration on environment and development; prohibition; definition A.  The state of Arizona and all political subdivisions of this state shall not adopt or implement the creed, doctrine, principles or any tenet of the United Nations Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June, 1992 or any other international law that contravenes the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Arizona.
B.  Since the United Nations has enlisted the support of numerous independent, non-governmental organizations to implement this agenda around the world, the state of Arizona and all political subdivisions are prohibited from implementing programs of, expending any sum of money for, being a member of, receiving funding from, contracting services from, or giving financial or other forms of aid to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives or any of its related or affiliated organizations including Countdown 2010, Local Action for Biodiversity, European Center for Nature Conservation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and the President's Council on Sustainable Development, enacted on July 19, 1993 by Executive Order 12852.
C.  For the purposes of this section, "political subdivision" includes this state, or a county, city or town in this state, or a public partnership or any other public entity in this state. (emphasis added)
But why are they so paranoid?

Well, it IS the United Nations after all, that "One World Government" organization that describes itself thus:
The work of the United Nations reaches every corner of the globe. Although best known for peacekeeping, peacebuilding, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance, there are many other ways the United Nations and its System (specialized agencies, funds and programmes) affect our lives and make the world a better place. The Organization works on a broad range of fundamental issues, from sustainable development, environment and refugees protection, disaster relief, counter terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation, to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality and the advancement of women, governance, economic and social development and international health, clearing landmines, expanding food production, and more, in order to achieve its goals and coordinate efforts for a safer world for this and future generations.  
Damned subversive organization that it is!

Anyway, Wes Harris, a Tea Partisan that tried to stir things up at redistricting hearings in 2011 has apparently been working with that paragon of sensible legislation, Sen. Judy Burges (R-the seat formerly held by Scott Bundgaard). Also from the Republic's April 4 story on this bill:
Wes Harris, a Phoenix resident and tea-party member, also testified with Burges, repeating theories about the declaration that have been floated among conservative organizations such as the John Birch Society, which refer to the declaration as "Agenda 21."
Harris claimed the declaration "is an attempt to implement a one-world order. It's been going on for 20 years. It has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate. It has been snuck around the back door by the Clinton administration." (emphasis added)
What exactly does the Rio Declaration say?

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, Reaffirming the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, adopted at Stockholm on 16 June 1972, a/ and seeking to build upon it, With the goal of establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people, Working towards international agreements which respect the interests of all and protect the integrity of the global environmental and developmental system, Recognizing the integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home, 

    Proclaims that:

And it lists 27 principles, the first of which:
Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development. They are entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature.
I mean, REALLY! Just how evil can it get? Of course, that's a silly question. But it does seem to frame how people like Wes Harris and Judy Burges look at things. Unfortunately, however, they are not the only ones. Burges' bill passed the Senate by a 21-9 vote on March 1rst. The House Judiciary Committee recommended the bill pass by a 6-2 vote with an amendment to add another Executive Order to the list of what will be prohibited by our illustrious Arizona.

If you want to know more about just HOW FAR OUT in wack-a-doodle land the Arizona Legislature is trying to go, search Google for "Executive Order 13575 and UN agenda 21."

Personally, to me this seems like a dramatic reflection on the Dumbing Down of America and lack of understanding of civics and public policy in general.

The bottom line is this: the Arizona House has SB1507 scheduled for debate in Committee of the Whole tomorrow (Wednesday, April 25).

Do we dare hope that this is another bill that Jan Brewer would veto? Not at this time. We have to contact our state lawmakers.

To find out how to contact YOUR state legislators, click the link at the top of the right hand column of this blog, labeled FIND YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. When you get to the VoteSmart website, put your Zip Code in the search field and voila.

Tell your Representatives to KILL SB1507.

UPDATE 10:25pm MST 4-24-12

Dedicated friend of the Arizona Eagletarian, Lisa Hoffman, provided additional background information on what is apparently a trend trying to sweep state legislatures throughout the nation.

It appears that the John Birch Society has been pushing Tea Partisans to instigate this kind of legislation for at least the last couple of months.

The New York Times also reported on this trend in February.

It may be a serious mistake to take a flippant attitude toward people like Wes Harris and those pushing this kind of legislation. They are very serious and need to be met with serious push back.

UPDATE 11:50pm MST 4-24-12


Please consider signing and sharing this petition, started by another friend of the Arizona Eagletarian regarding this issue:


http://www.change.org/petitions/az-state-legislature-stop-senate-bill-1507-united-nations-rio-declaration-prohibition


1 comment:

  1. Hey Steve,

    Not sure if you read the piece I did, but you'll find the fiscal review that Tennessee did especially interesting. http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/04/arizona-senate-bill-1507-aims-prohibit-rio-declaration-ban-sustainability-initiatives-state-wide/ I'll be down there in the morning with crossed fingers and toes for sanity to prevail. It seems people are having a hard time seeing the BIG picture of the problems this bill could create. I also started a petition that currently has close to 500 signatures which you can read here: http://www.change.org/petitions/az-state-legislature-stop-senate-bill-1507-united-nations-rio-declaration-prohibition

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