With her long gray-blonde hair and distinctly Californian profile, Rosa Koire acknowledges she's not the typical opponent of environmental friendliness. "[I've] been a Democrat since I was registered to vote . . . I'm anti-war, I'm gay, I'm [a] feminist."
But Koire is one of the leaders of an influential but relatively unheralded grassroots movement to block sustainability initiatives nationwide. Koire and her allies have played a role in everything from Arlington, Texas drastically cutting plans for new bike lanes to Baldwin County, Ala., rescinding its three-year-old development guidelines to a Houston woman pulling a gun on a utility worker.
These events and many others like them are connected by one resonant term: Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a United Nations advisory document, adopted in 1992 by 178 signatory nations including the U.S., which provides guidelines for sustainable development.