ECOTERRORISM ALIVE AND WELL IN AMERICA
Commentary by Harold Hough
When environmental radical James Jay Lee took over the Discovery Channel headquarters on September first, it once again highlighted the threat posed by ecoterrorism. Lee had taken several Discovery Channel employees hostage in order to force the network to broadcast his radical environmental agenda.
Although what Lee advocated seems radical to the average person, it falls within the mainstream of environmental thought. His demands included, “All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants,” and, “Civilization must be exposed for the filth it is. That, and all its disgusting religious-cultural roots and greed. Broadcast this message until the pollution in the planet is reversed and the human population goes down! This is your obligation. If you think it isn’t, then get hell off the planet! Breathe Oil! It is the moral obligation of everyone living otherwise what good are they??”
Reports are that Al Gore and the movie An Inconvenient Truth inspired him. However, it is clear that he was mentally unstable. Unfortunately, the hype of the environmental movement, combined with his mental problems lead to this unfortunate incident.
This story made the national news, but many other stories of ecoterrorism never make to print. However, there is a growing concern amongst law enforcement that we are going to see more ecoterrorism in the near future. Here’s an extract from an FBI Bulletin dated Aug. 23, 2010:
ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMISM LIKELY TO BECOME A GREATER THREAT TO THE ENERGY SECTOR (extract from FBI Bulletin, 23 Aug 10) Environmental extremists continue to target the energy industry by committing criminal incidents, primarily to oppose the fossil fuel industry. To date, the energy industry has encountered little more than vandalism, trespassing and threats by environmental extremists. But this pattern is beginning to morph - transitioning to more criminal, extremist measures actions. Based on several recent reported criminal incidents toward energy companies and affiliated industries or individuals, environmental extremism will become a greater threat to the energy industry owing to our historical understanding that some environmental extremists have progressed from committing low-level crimes against targets to more significant crimes over time in an effort to further the environmental extremism cause.
And, this from a Pennsylvania homeland security bulletin: “The FBI also assesses - with medium confidence - extremists will continue to commit criminal activity against not only the energy companies, but against secondary or tertiary targets. This assessment includes the use of tactics to try to intimidate companies into making policy decisions deemed appropriate by extremists. Previous incidents also seem to support this assessment…Analysts expect that groups of environmental activists and militants on the one hand - and property owners, mining and drilling companies on the other will be focusing their attention on one another in the future months as production increases.”
Some of the groups advocating ecoterrorism are the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Mountain Justice, and Climate Ground Zero. And reports are that they are holding training session for activists on how to disrupt operations. And, what’s worse, the acts have evolved from pranks that cost money to the use of firearms and the threat to life. Even the Anti Defamation League, which monitors the KKK and the militia movement says, “ecoterrorism remains one of the country's most active terrorist movements.”
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to the problem, but a vigilant law enforcement community. Let’s hope that Lee’s case is an isolated one and that we’re not facing a resurgence of eco-terrorism. The country has enough problems as it is.