Dr. Michael Coffman addressed a meeting of the Constitutionalists of Maine on Dec. 6 in Waldoboro and talked about Agenda 21, the Gateway 1 plan, constitutional protections, and sovereignty.

Coffman said he was working on global warming and acid rain issues in the 1990s when he realized there was a secret agenda standing in the way of his science. “So I had to find out what that agenda was,” Coffman said.

He said there is a major effort in the world to achieve world government, now called global governance. “They were attempting to try to get justification using a variety of issues like global warming, like biodiversity destruction, to justify the need for having an overarching regulatory system for the entire world,” Coffman said.

Coffman said there is a close link between the U.S. government and the United Nations. Agenda 21 is a United Nations action plan for sustainable development to be implemented globally, nationally and locally.

According to Coffman, Agenda 21 “controls every aspect of every single person on planet Earth, 100 percent of the time. It is mind-boggling if it were ever fully implemented. Of course, it never will be. But the key factor is that it is designed to tell you what you can and cannot do, when you can do it, who can do it, and so forth, to manage land, to build an office, whatever the case may be. It is astonishing.”

Coffman said Agenda 21 is a 40-chapter policy that is “soft law” and cannot be enforced. However, President Bill Clinton created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, which sought to further the goals and implement Agenda 21.

Locally, Agenda 21 has come up in discussions of shoreland zoning changes in Waldoboro and Gateway 1, an effort to coordinate land-use and transportation planning along Routes 1 and 90.

Coffman said Gateway 1 is better than other plans he’s seen, but it is still cause for concern. “I’m not saying Gateway 1 should be abandoned. It has got some good points in it,” Coffman said. “But it still opens the door to the ability of the gradual encroachment of the state on your private property rights and your life. And that I have a problem with.”

On private property rights, Coffman said, “This idea that a property owner can do anything they want to is just not true. However, our Constitution, especially the Maine Constitution, is based on the principle that an individual is free to do with their property what they want to do, free from government encroachment, unless it harms safety or health.”

Coffman warned of creating “urban growth boundaries” through Gateway 1. He said some land values will skyrocket by forcing growth into certain areas. “This is one of the big, damning features of smart growth,” Coffman said. “It opens the door to corruption … it makes a huge difference what side of the line you’re on.”

He said Gateway 1’s plan to purchase property development rights is not workable. He asked, who will pay for those rights, and who will value the land. He said the need to control private property rights is a weakness of Gateway 1.

“Any step that requires the restriction of private property by an unelected official should be red flagged all over — because that’s regional government in which the bureaucrats have no accountability whatsoever to the local citizens,” Coffman said.

The EPA recently commended the Gateway 1 plan. “It is highly recognized,” Coffman said. “But it’s highly recognized because it’s the ground floor of a systematic approach that will, I think, deny people their private property rights.”

Coffman warned of the loss of control that comes when the government promotes affordable housing and more and cheaper transportation options while protecting the environment. “[Gateway 1] does do some of those things but what we’re finding is the law of unintended consequences, which is when you start denying and taking people’s property rights away you actually harm the community more than you help it,” Coffman said. “Just be careful!”

Coffman also criticized the move to invest billions of dollars in light rail projects.

Coffman gave a history lesson on John Locke and the principle that the individual — not the state — is sovereign. He talked about Thomas Jefferson’s belief that government is effective when power is distributed, rather than consolidated. Coffman said power resides in the individual and “that’s why our Founding Fathers limited the powers of the state and federal government.”

“The real danger of Gateway 1 is that it is basically diametrically opposed to the founding principles of the Constitution,” Coffman said. “…It subverts our Constitutional right to own property when people are told what they can and cannot do with their land, other than for harm, nuisance or health reasons.”

He said the Jean-Jacque Rousseau model of government is the opposite of what the Founding Fathers intended. In the Rousseau model, individual rights are at the bottom, and power is held by government.

“We now have a government that is oppressing half the people in the United States by stealing from them to give to the other half,” Coffman said. “I’m not saying some of the social programs aren’t justified. What I’m saying is that we’re on a course of action that is going to be self-destructive.”

He said the International Union for the Conservation of Nature promotes environmentalism and Agenda 21. “The IUCN was responsible for coining the concept of sustainable development, which was then made the mainstay of Agenda 21,” Coffman said. He said they advanced a plan to implement their philosophy of eco-spiritualism.

“They are taking their doctrine and forcing it into international and national law without us knowing it and then forcing us to obey their particular doctrine,” Coffman said. “That is what’s bad about this particular issue. And it’s all coming through the IUCN.”

He said IUCN members include the Environmental Protection Agency, United Nations Environmental Program, Natural Resources Defense Council and many other environmental groups.

“They meet on a regular basis, behind closed doors, where the press is not allowed, and they develop their eco-spiritual agenda on you and I,” Coffman said. “So what you find in policy formulation is the federal agencies on one side, the environmental groups on the other side, coming together to look like this is a broad concept that is accepted by the whole world because it is so great — when in fact it is well designed by a small group of people to force its way into policy formulation in different nations around the world. It’s stunning in its magnitude.”

Coffman said the Adirondack Park Agency Authority took control of land away from local residents and power shifted so government had sovereignty over the people. “It was so successful that all the efforts since that time were modeled after the Adirondack State Park regulations,” Coffman said. “Agenda 21 was spawned in this particular act in 1971.”

Coffman was speaking to the Constitutionalists of Maine, and stressed his beliefs on the founding principles of Constitution. He said the Constitution is not a living document. “Our Founding Fathers wrote that document to be an eternal document and it’s not designed to provide law for the changing culture,” Coffman said. “It’s designed to hem in man’s nature. To constrain it, keep it hemmed in so it can not exploit other people, like it’s exploiting people right now.”

He said that is the purpose of the Constitution.

“Unless you really begin to understand the Constitution, why it was created and written the way it was, there will be nothing wrong with Agenda 21 or the Gateway 1 project,” Coffman said.

Coffman holds a Ph.D. in forest science. He is president of Environmental Perspectives Inc. He is the author of several books, including “Rescuing a Broken America: Why America is Deeply Divided and How to Heal it Constitutionally.”

The Constitutionalists of Maine meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the Waldoboro Baptist Church, next to Moody’s Diner. For more information visit constitutionalistsofmaine.com.

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