Putting environmental concerns first hits individual freedoms, claims Republican

A Republican candidate to become Governor of Colorado has warned that initiatives to promote cycling in Denver are part of a United Nations plot to impose its will on American cities, which he described as “very well-disguised, but it will be exposed.”

Dan Maes said that at first he thought the pro-cycling and other environmental policies of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper were harmless and well intentioned, but he says he has now concluded “that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."

"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," he added, saying that Hickenlooper’s environmental endavours, and particularly his efforts to promote cycling, risked "converting Denver into a United Nations community."

Criticising initiatives such as the planned introduction of the B-Cycle bike hire scheme, already operating in Chicago and other cities, in Denver, Maes added: "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."

According to the Denver Post, Maes has said that his concerns are grounded in the city’s membership of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), an international organization that works closely with the United Nations and which seeks to promote sustainable development among local councils worldwide and which has 1,200 member communities around the globe, half of them in the United States.

A spokesman for Mayor Hickenlooper, who with incumbent Bill Ritter stepping down will be the Democratic Party candidate in this November’s elections for the governorship of Colorado in which, according to the latest polls, Maes will be his opponent, said that the city had “limited” contact with ICLEI.

A second spokesman, for Hickenlooper’s campaign to become governor, added that the ICLEI’s aim was "to bring cities from all over the world together to share best practices and help create the kinds of communities people want to live and do business in. John Hickenlooper believes collaboration leads to smart decisions."

Hickenlooper is a long-term supporter of cycling as a means of sustainable transport, although he is not without his critics – last week, he reportedly attracted fire from motor traders after posing the question, as he outlined the benefits of the B-Cycle scheme, of “How do we wean ourselves off automobiles?"

For his part, Maes, whose candidature is backed by the grass-roots conservative Tea Party faction, maintains that ICLEI places environmental issues above concern for individual citizens, claiming that it is "signing up mayors across the country, and these mayors are signing on to this UN agreement to have their cities abide by this dream philosophy."

He claims that there are valid causes of concern in ICLEI policies such as provision of showers for people wishing to cycle to work and making parking spaces available for fuel-efficient vehicles, explaining: "At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize ICLEI is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty.”

He added that he was concerned about Denver since “Mayor Hickenlooper is one of the greatest fans of this program."

"Some would argue this document that mayors have signed is contradictory to our own Constitution," Maes concluded.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


slippycam [1 post] 7 years ago

That is insane. That Tea Party has a lot of whackiness to answer for. New Left Media's interviews with their members make for some shocking if funny viewing.

How can there be a downside to that agenda of getting people out of their cars? Unless you're a car maker of course, but then businesses change. They used to make other things before cars, most of those companies, and they can make something else instead eventually. Of course we all want cars, just not all the time and not in the center of cities

thelonerider [10 posts] 7 years ago

As an American cyclist who *is not liberal* and agrees with some of the more sane statements of the "tea party" -- that the gov't is basically getting too big for its britches, should represent the people, not rob them, etc., -- I am constantly shocked at the ire many of the people I may agree with on some other issue direct at cyclists like myself. WTF is wrong with people? Cyclists are Americans too!

This idiot says ""This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms,"", but what about cyclist;s personal freedoms, I must ask? Many cyclists often risk death and injury at the hands of idiot drivers, who are seldom held accountable for their carnage. Anything that causes cycling to be more noticed, or more in the public eye, has a safety improvement in my mind sicne it will help coutneract our rampant car culture and the general ignorance of most noncyclists here regarding cycling. Like the idiot lady in the SUV who made a turn alongside me nearly smooshing me against the curb, without signal and without looking, as I was wearing a neon safety yellow jersey. She almost had my u lock thru her window!

There is legitimate concern with foreign influence here -- already in the US many people have begun arguing that court rulings should take into account foreign laws, etc. This is wrong, a country must have its own self rule, and I understand concern over that. But claiming cylcist is part of some conspiracy? Idiot!!! Ten times an idiot! The real conspiracy seems to be the almost universal apathy of the drivers, policemen, and lawmakers, whose only response to cyclists being hit by cars is to tell us our blood is worth less than car paint. It's a miracle, given this attitude, that some cyclist hasn't gone on a rampage! We need more cycling advocacy, what we don't need is people denouncing cycling advocacy as some sinister plot. What stinking nonsense!

- The LoneRider

jova54 [679 posts] 7 years ago

They used to make other things before cars, most of those companies, and they can make something else instead eventually.

They can always go back to making bikes seeing as many car companies started off as cycle manufacturers in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.

David French [50 posts] 7 years ago

I don't mind the whole idea of getting people out of unnessicary car journeys and things, but to be honest I bet that in a few years I will somehow be priced or forced out of driving my beloved car and onto some sort of public transport *shudder*

bendt1 [30 posts] 7 years ago

These people are clearly in so much denial about what the human race is doing to the world that they have to fabricate ludicrous stories like this to live with themselves.

handlebarcam [1082 posts] 7 years ago

Ladies and gentlemen of the supposed Colorado electorate, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense! Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with the election to appoint the next governor? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this election! It does not make sense! Look at me. I'm a Republican candidate, and I'm talkin' about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you're in that polling booth deliberatin' and conjugatin' over who should run this state, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must vote against the Democrats!