Environmental activists responsible for justifying lawbreaking and inciting panic 0
Animal Liberation Front. (SCREENSHOT)
We are all environmentalists now. So why aren't activists happy the RCMP is watching for terrorists infiltrating their organizations?
Before some readers reject the "environmentalist" label because of the dirty crazies, note that as recently as the 1957-58 "International Geophysical Year" oceanographers promised to study "the use of ocean depths for the dumping of radioactive wastes." As Bill Bryson comments in A Short History of Nearly Everything, "This wasn't a secret assignment, you understand, but a proud public boast."
Today it has about as many supporters as killer smog or rivers so polluted they burn. Remember, Cleveland's Cuyahoga River fire in 1969 was not its first or worst. But it was its last. In the 1970s environmentalism went mainstream, adopted by celebrities, politicians and citizens. So it's time prominent environmentalists were more responsible about lawlessness.
No movement can be held accountable for everything done in its name, of course. Charles Manson claimed the Beatles told him to slaughter people. But environmental activists are answerable for justifying lawbreaking, inciting panic and cheapening human life.
Even Greenpeace Canada, on its website, boasts "Peaceful direct action is a crucial part of our campaigns." Direct means "illegal" though they insist they won't assault you or resist arrest. Still, when someone's pushing past you to wreck your lab, tempers can flare.
Now consider this 2000 statement still posted on the radical Animal Liberation Front website: "Let it be known to everybody that the earth is not dying, it is being killed! And all who are guilty of that have names and addresses." Pity if something were to...happen to them.
The ALF insists it favours non-violence. That statement adds "Whenever a cell chooses to destroy a company who takes part in killing animals...by arson, they always check the distance between the subject of attack and the nearest house, to make sure that it is not too close." But fires can spread. And tree-spiking, which one Earth First! co-founder endorsed, risked gruesome injuries to loggers.
Encouraging lawbreaking is riskier if you also incite panic. Like Al Gore in Earth in the Balance saying "we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization" or Jeremy Rifkin calling global warming the "greatest threat to ever cross the human family" or Barry Commoner's "We have a single decade" to avoid environmental catastrophe (40 years ago, but never mind).
It makes a truly volatile mix if you also call human life cheap. Like the U.S. National Parks Service biologist who called mankind "a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth...until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along." (His government career prospered.)
Around the same time, a German Green Party spokesperson urged "a cultural model in which the killing of a forest will be considered more contemptible and more criminal than the sale of six-year-old children to Asian brothels." And you'd attack a pimp to save kids from sexual slavery, right? That party's successor, Alliance '90/The Greens, holds over 10% of Bundestag seats.
Then there's PETA, famous for salacious publicity, whose co-founder and president Ingrid Newkirk claimed "When it comes to feelings, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. There is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights."
Some hothead might act out the idea that humans are vermin without rights, especially if you also say "Thinkers may prepare revolutions, but bandits must carry them out" as Newkirk has. Or if Maurice Strong fantasized about someone kidnapping everyone at Davos to halt industry and save Earth.
All just fun and games? No. Environmental vandalism is very real, including firebombing gas stations and wrecking genetically modified organism labs. The FBI estimates there have been over 2,000 incidents causing over $110 million in losses in the U.S. since 1979.
Why is any of this necessary when environmentalists are mainstream in Canada, the U.S. and Western Europe? The air is cleaner, the water doesn't burn, we care about endangered species, and politicians, academics and voters are on their side. They should be happy the police are too, guarding against violent lunatics creeping into their camp.