Who's the eco-terrorist?

There have been a lot of headlines in the news recently about the indictment of a crew of alleged “eco-terrorists.” These people destroyed property as a form of protest against the damage that they believed various organizations were doing to our environment.

I’m not going to pledge my allegiance to either side of this; I have a lot of problems with the concept of private property (and ski areas), but I can’t support someone’s right to go destroy it in order to make a statement. Meanwhile, the destruction these “terrorists” caused cost no human lives whatsoever. They did not poison anyone. They did not crush anyone to death with an automobile. They did not feed chewing gum wrappers to cattle, slaughter them and sell the meat as “Rancher’s Choice” at your local grocery store.

But that’s not the point of this post. The point of this post is, every time I see a headline about the indictment of eco-terrorists, I think, Wow! Have we finally decided to get serious about punishing these corporations who have poisoned our air, water and food supply? What a great name, “eco-terrorist”! I wish I’d thought of that. Then I realize that “eco-terrorist” is a name for…someone who breaks things…in the name of the preservation of the environment. And here I thought terrorists were people who killed other people.

So, for real: When do we get to indict the coal companies who are destroying entire mountains, and human lives along with them, in the Appalachians? How will we sentence the paper companies, the automobile oligarchy, the Bush administration for their crimes against the American people? When are we going to get angry and self-righteous about the damage done by the real weapons of mass destruction — the ones parked on the street in front of my house, the ones that mangle the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Americans every year, the ones that kill tens of thousands of people simply by way of their toxic emissions, and are the number one cause of preventable death for kids?

When are these bastards going to pay for the destruction they have caused?


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One Response to Who's the eco-terrorist?

  1. extramsg says:

    The problem is that the corporations have
    largely worked within the system and abided
    by the social contract and been given their
    right to terrorize the environment, if
    that’s what you want to call it, by the people
    through their democratic institutions and
    their patronage. Why blame the companies whose
    job it is is to make money for their
    investors and jobs for their communities and
    families? We establish the limits of what
    these companies can do through our laws, votes, and spending.

    Further, it’s the lack of private property that is often the problem.
    What incentive is there for a company to treat a resource conservatively
    if they don’t own that resource and if they purchase their rights to its
    bounty without having to compete on the open market? Instead, their only
    incentive is to strip it of everything they can indiscriminately.

    I’m not keen on the term “eco-terrorist” for what would more
    properly be called “eco-vandals”. I don’t like calling some college
    guy or gal who gets caught with a high schooler of the opposite sex
    a child molester, either. It doesn’t adequately capture the nuances
    of what they did and treats every crime of even remotely similar type
    as equal in degree.

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