SeaTac City Council hears passionate testimony on sustainability group
By Gwen Davis
The passionate testimony, given at a council meeting by approximately 17 people – to a full room – was in regard to a $600 payment for continued membership in ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) that provides assistance to local, national and regional governments to develop environment sustainability. ICLEI has become somewhat synonymous to the United Nation’s (UN) Agenda 21, which deals with human impact on the environment.
Despite the public comments, council members voted to continue membership in the organization.
“I am serving you notice of the unconstitutionality of your actions to be entered into the public record,” said testifier Laurie Lyford to the council. “Supporting Agenda 21, the sustainable development amendment under ICLEI violates the constitutionally-imposed limitations on your legal authority and violates your oath of office.”
Several testimonies were followed by cheering, sometimes with standing ovations.
Testifiers questioned global warming’s existence.
Testifier Dr. Gordon Fulks said that C02 does not play a primary role in greenhouse gas emission. “Most scientists recognize the overriding important of water vapor” he said, adding that the scientists of ICLEI “have on training in science.”
Testifier Larry Costello concurred.
“On the matter of climate change, there has been a pattern of inconstancy. In the 1970s, the conventional wisdom was focused on climate cooling. In the 1980 and ‘90s it became global warming. Now in the 2000s it’s become a more generic climate change.”
“That convenient use of wordplay ensures that any natural event can be swept in the grasp of a proclaimed man-made crisis that global warming advocates could fix. And I’m not alone in this
Costello noted that thousands of scientists, PhDs and NASA employees dispute climate change.
“ICLEI is being used to promote the UN global initiative Agenda 21 – it’s to change how we live life in ways most Americans would oppose. Agenda 21 includes distributing wealth to developing countries, considers private property unsustainable and promotes policy to eliminate it.”
“The consequence of ICLEI programs has been to lose jobs, hinder our economic recovery, invalidate our private property rights and even threaten our individual liberties and freedoms.”
Testifiers made clear they did not want the UN in their lives.
“Why would you want the UN – whose member countries frankly are not supportive of America and its values – telling you how to plan your city’s future?” asked testifier Bob Benze. “[The UN] believes sustainability depends on government control of the land. They have you believe that people and the environment are not compatible and we need to get people out of the rural areas and off the shores.”
The wisdom of human equality was challenged.
“The UN requires everyone has equal opportunity, which sounds nice. Who’s not for equal opportunity?” said SeaTac resident Vicki Lockwood. “But it’s about taking from this bottle to fill up this bottle,” she said holding three bottles, with varying amounts of liquid – the most full representing the U.S. and other developed countries, the middle representing average countries and the least full representing impoverished countries, she demonstrated.
When programs like ICLEI are implemented, she said, the government pours the full bottle into the least full one. “The ones in the [the full] bottle will probably kick and scream, so the government needs to shmooz – fool – these people.”
One person testified in ICLEI’s defense, Ralph Shape.
“It’s sad this has become a political issue when the goals of the city and ICLEI are the same,” he said.
“The Tea Party, Libertarian Party, Freedom Advocate… these organizations are so paranoid about government taking away their rights that they are attacking this one organization that’s leading the way to making cities more sustainable and improve air and water quality.”
“Don’t be misled by extremists who mislead with spinning wild conspiracy theories that have no basis in fact,” he told the council.