DO TRASH receptacles and sidewalks have an ideology? How about zoning overlays, watershed development, and tree pruning? These are the kinds of issues that animate local planning boards, those temples of wonkery and reheated coffee that produce acronym-laden reports on parochial community concerns. But to an increasingly vocal group of activists, your local planning board is in fact a cell of hidden conspiracies to undermine US freedom and sovereignty and create a system of one-world government.
At the center of this purported global threat, not surprisingly, is the United Nations, which in 1992 put forward a non-binding agreement known as Agenda 21, committing the 178 signatory countries to goals of sustainable development and conservation of land and energy resources. That known radical, then-president George H. W. Bush, signed up the United States.