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?