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Southampton Residents Raise Concerns About Town's Sustainability Plan

Publication: The Southampton Press
By Michael Wright   Apr 26, 2013 10:42 AM
The town’s much ballyhooed “Sustainability Element” amendment to the town Comprehensive Plan received an unexpected kick of dirt at a public hearing on the legislation on Tuesday night from an organized group of residents raising concerns that the plan was tied to a United Nations initiative and an international nonprofit organization that might somehow start dictating laws in Southampton Town if the plan is approved.

“By approving this program you are losing your right to legislate,” Maud Pollock said. “HUD money comes with a lot of strings attached.”

The group, some two dozen people, suggested that the town’s sustainability plan was linked in some way to a 20-year-old U.N. initiative known as Agenda 21, and the broad array of sustainable programs it suggested the world’s nations adopt. The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, or ICLEI, was created to assist countries and local municipalities with some of the nuts and bolts of undertaking or designing sustainable policies.

“I am a proponent of a thing called home rule,” resident Scott Lewis told the board. “The reason is we have seen in the past with global initiatives like this we get products like Shoreham nuclear reactors. I’m a proponent of developing our plan locally.”

Seemingly somewhat aghast at the concerns raised by the crowd, town officials labored to explain that the sustainability plan was developed entirely by town officials and residents and relied on no outside or international assistance, funding or direction. Officials acknowledged that the town had become a member of ICLEI several years ago when it was first starting to approach the idea of developing sustainable planning, but said it used the group only as a resource for calculating data on energy consumption.

“This is a town effort and a town effort only,” Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst said. “Instead of throwing out this Agenda 21, take a look at this and tell us what your concerns about this are. Give us real, substantive and detailed comments on what parts of the plan you would like to have us look at further.”

Town planner Janice Scherer told the board and the audience that the town’s long-term planning team and sustainability committee had taken pains to make this round of comp plan updates flexible and focused on encouragement, rather than regulation, with as much opportunity for public decisions to be made each step of the way.

“The Comp Plan is very specific, in this we’ve taken a more conservative tack: each recommendation is ‘consider’ or ‘facilitate’ … We chose those words carefully,” Ms. Scherer said. “So when we do set an agenda with the Green Committee … you can decide at the time what you’re going to do.”
Michael Wright

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I wasn't there in the room, but the stated concerns of this "organized group of residents" give off the unmistakable fragrance of fresh-brewed Tea -- nonspecific worries about things like "global initiatives" and "an international nonprofit organization that might somehow start dictating laws in Southampton Town."

Really? These are just the sort of spectres that the Tea Party regularly conjures up to frighten the gullible. Scott Lewis, for example, is a notorious crank, a one-trick pony ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1136), Quiogue on Apr 26, 13 4:29 PM
4 members liked this comment
Having read Southampton 400+ Sustainability Element to the towns master plan some there are areas of great concern. Detail like the arrangement of driveway pavers to maximize rainwater run off, pretty intrusive. The "hubbing of development around village centers especially with affordable housing, what is the estimate of the increase in population and building density with further strain on services, schools, medical, transport. Joining regional groups like Green Long Island headed by North Hempstead ...more
By tom (21), Hampton Bays on Apr 26, 13 8:13 PM
Yep, Agenda 21. The New World Order is coming to a town near you!
By Jaws (171), Amity Island on Apr 27, 13 1:50 AM
We need to focus on sustainability right now! It is a crucial time, anything we can do to reduce our use of fossil fuels should be embraced, this Agenda 21 fear is so counterproductive. If a new world order starts to develop we can revolt, but focusing on local community resilience is of the utmost importance right now. The effects of carbon dioxide increase in the atmosphere are long term and we are just now seeing the effects of the coal burning that began over 150 years ago. Do we want to keep ...more
By LegsArmstrong (15), Amagansett on Apr 27, 13 9:58 AM
we can't revolt if the government tries to take our guns away! that's the whole plan! ...and the UN arms treaty. break down the people to gain control over them. The New World Order!!!
By Jaws (171), Amity Island on May 1, 13 12:51 AM
tom is so right. The dangers posed by totalitarian driveway pavers and socialist zoning regulations (not to mention added expense) should forbid consideration of this subject.

It is our right, as free Americans, to suffocate in our own filth.

No blue-uniformed stormtroopers here!
By highhatsize (2161), East Quogue on Apr 27, 13 10:41 AM
3 members liked this comment
What makes the current ruling class think that a village that has sustained itself since 1640 all of a sudden needs some master plan now? Sounds like a lot of big government, nanny state shennanigans. There is no reason to allow the current ruling class to perpetuate the government's take over of our food supply, our transportation and our housing. Do you want to give up your choices and your freedoms under the guise of a ruse of a power grab like man made global warming? This country was founded ...more
By BoleyII (2), Southampton on Apr 27, 13 10:46 AM
1 member liked this comment
Yes indeedy, and our forefathers wiped out an entire existing native civilization and much of its population in the course of their singleminded pursuit of the "promise of freedom".
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Apr 27, 13 11:07 AM
"promise of freedom at the expense of taking care of and protecting themselves without an oppressive ruling state..." Tell that to the slaves our forefathers brought ...Where was the "protection" and "representation" for them? tell us wise one...
By V.Tomanoku (599), southampton on Apr 27, 13 9:41 PM
1 member liked this comment
Tell that to the natives they slaved out as well. A business model so profitable, you could lose over a third of your "cargo", and still turn a tidy profit.

We've come a long way, but still have so very far to go...
By Mr. Z (6372), North Sea on Apr 28, 13 7:43 AM
It's a town, not a village.
By But I'm a blank! (825), Hampton Bays on May 1, 13 2:05 AM
I'm not a backer of these plans that begin as advisory with input representing only a minority with the time to get involved but morph into iron clad rules for all. Those who want no control at all however would quickly change their tune when their next door neighbor sold out to Taco Bell and that woodland behind them became a wrecking yard. The new world order fear mongers need to get in touch with reality.
By VOS (623), WHB on Apr 27, 13 11:51 AM
2 members liked this comment
The world has been warming since the last ice age, long before the industrial revolution and the use of fossil fuels.
A carbon tax would be detrimental to the economy, you know the evil capitalists that provide jobs that produce taxpayers who fund all the freestuffers.
By bigfresh (1248), north sea on Apr 28, 13 7:41 AM
Actually, the world stopped warming in 1816 for a bit.

To simply leave the argument against climate change to historical temperature record is not only ludicrous, it's idiotic and unscientific. Other factors such as ocean warming, ocean acidification, glacial ice loss, extreme weather, and the release of stored methane from not only the tundra, but the sea floor have their parts to play as well.

Fossil fuels are carcinogenic, and toxic to all life, with the exception of a few ...more
Apr 28, 13 7:57 AM appended by Mr. Z
And, you may also want to read up on "The Little Ice Age". It's a bit of a misnomer, but does add to the evidence that your opening salvo in the above post is just plain uninformed.
By Mr. Z (6372), North Sea on Apr 28, 13 7:57 AM
1 member liked this comment
True about the little ice age Mr Z, pre industrial revolution if I remember correctly. Kinda shows that the cliImate is in the hands of Mother Nature. I agree that the climate is changing, what I don't agree with is that man is wholly responsible. There are some who view the climate change as a way to grab more power to further a political agenda through taxes and regulations. Carbon offsets anyone?
By bigfresh (1248), north sea on Apr 29, 13 6:38 AM
It was a quest for power and political agenda which created big oiled and Big Timber in the first place. When diesel and Ford both came out with their prototypes and early models they were not based on petroleum. They were based on sustainable carbon neutral resources. Rudolf Diesel intended for farmers to be self sufficient when it came to their fuel requirements.

Men like DuPont with his petrochemical empire, and William Randolph Hearst with his timber industry interests saw things ...more
By Mr. Z (6372), North Sea on Apr 29, 13 8:17 AM
Every kind of change can be accompanied by a power grab, there are opportunities in everything and people are keen on abusing them. This is one situation where it is imperative that we act swiftly in spreading awareness about the future we are creating with our unsustainable activities. To slow the progress of sustainability due to fears of power shifts is to put nails in our coffin.
By LegsArmstrong (15), Amagansett on Apr 29, 13 9:38 AM
1 member liked this comment
"If you're not part of the future, then get out of the way."

~ John Mellencamp
By Mr. Z (6372), North Sea on Apr 29, 13 7:22 PM
1 member liked this comment
Every warming and cooling cycle is caused by feedback loops which are triggered by an initial event. When things start warming they keep warming, when things start cooling they keep cooling. If you have a block of ice and it starts melting, cracks that form increase the surface area on the block and make the warming speed up, or, if you have ground under ice that becomes exposed when, lets say, a volcanic eruption happens and causes local melting, then that darker colored exposed ground warms up ...more
By LegsArmstrong (15), Amagansett on Apr 29, 13 9:34 AM
The unexpected melting of Greenland recently was attributed to soot. It darkened the ice, and it melted faster.

Soot. Now where does that come from...
By Mr. Z (6372), North Sea on Apr 29, 13 9:11 PM
Good thing I got married before Rush and the other nutters were on the airwaves or my Republican relatives might not have attended my wedding at the UN, afraid the New World Order might suck their brains out. Instead, we all had a nice, apolitical, interdenominational ceremony and a happy reception with no fears of thought interception, black helicopters, communist indoctrination and intrusive global legislation.Those were fun days.
By Heinz57 (17), Water Mill on Apr 29, 13 8:50 PM
Will Southampton Town have the only "sustainability plan" on Long Island?
By nellie (446), sag harbor on Apr 30, 13 6:59 AM
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