When planners redesignated property as a future flood zone, activists said officials were acting on a hoax. They argued in meetings and on Web sites that local planners are unwitting agents of Agenda 21, a United Nations environmental action plan adopted in 1992 that the activists see as a shadowy global conspiracy to grab land and redistribute wealth in the United States.
“My professional credentials have been challenged,” said Lawrence, who holds degrees in municipal planning and provides professional and technical planning advice to municipalities throughout the peninsula. He said he has heard whispers behind his back after meetings: “I’ve been brainwashed. I’ve been called a dupe for the U.N.”
“Environmentalists have always had an agenda to put nature above man,” said Donna Holt, leader of the Virginia Campaign for Liberty, a tea party affiliate with 7,000 members. “If they can find an end to their means, they don’t care how it happens. If they can do it under the guise of global warming and climate change, they will do it.”
Yet the sea is rising, especially around the Chesapeake Bay, where global seal level rise is accelerated by a slow sinking of the land. The Navy is spending hundreds of millions to make sure its Norfolk area port facilities will still be usable. Planning for a change you can measure is in no way an endorsement of the theory that our CO2 emissions are responsible for the change. But climate change has become one of those emotional issues that just make some people crazy.