South Dakota lawmakers took shots at the United Nations over environmental issues Wednesday.
The state House passed two resolutions touching on the United Nations, highlighting suspicion of the international body among many conservatives.
House Concurrent Resolution 1008 was a resolution “exposing and opposing United Nations Agenda 21.” There’s a sea of conflicting information on that agenda, with a cottage industry warning of the grave dangers to American sovereignty, and other people deriding those people as alarmist conspiracy-mongers, saying Agenda 21 is totally innocuous.
Regardless of the validity of the strong assertions contained in this resolution, the South Dakota House voted 55-14 to pass HCR 1008.
A few minutes before doing that, the House also debated and passed a resolution sticking the state into a thorny international dispute — the sovereignty of Taiwan.
House Concurrent Resolution 1007 endorsed Taiwan’s participation as an observer in two international bodies. This is thorny because China maintains Taiwan is a breakaway province, not an independent country.
But the objections to HCR 1007 didn’t come from people concerned about ticking off China. Instead, they were lawmakers objecting to one of the two international bodies in which the resolution endorsed Taiwan’s participation — the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Rep. Manny Steele said he supports Taiwan but couldn’t vote for the resolution.
“UNFCCC is a promoter of global warming and oceans rising, which is a fallacy,” Steele said.
The resolution did in fact touch on the issue of climate change:
WHEREAS, as an island in the Pacific Ocean, Taiwan is imperiled by rising sea levels and the ravages of extreme weather; and
WHEREAS, it is apparent that to overcome the challenges posed by such an immense factor as climate change, there must be concerted effort and cooperation among the world citizenry; and
WHEREAS, Taiwan’s exclusion from meaningful participation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been to the detriment of both the Taiwanese people and the global community as Taiwan not only has the means but also the incentive to make a meaningful contribution;…
Despite objections to climate change from several other lawmakers — Rep. Don Kopp, R-Rapid City, called rising sea levels and global warming “a hoax,” the House approved the HCR 1007 63-6.
Rep. Steve Hickey, said he doesn’t believe in climate change but supports the resolution.
“If the devil is going to hold a convention, I think we ought to have a seat at the table so we can tell him the truth,” he said.