Those trying to establish policy in the field of climate change need to understand why environmentalism became so popular and what has been done to damage its standing.
The environmental movement at one point enjoyed more widespread support and respect than religions in the 20th Century. I remember Earth Day as a great coming together of diverse people to express their commitment to reducing pollution, repairing damage done by previous development and working towards a day when once again food, water and air were safe.
Wikiepedia has an entry on eco-terrrorism: “Eco-terrorism is a term used to refer to acts of violence committed in support of ecological or environmental causes, against persons or their property. Eco-terrorism is defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as “the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against people or property by an environmentally oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.” The FBI credited eco-terrorists with 200 million dollars in property damage between 2003 and 2008, and a majority of states within the USA have introduced laws aimed at eco-terrorism.”
From today’s headlines I would say eco-terrorism looks like this:
“Suspected ‘eco-terrorists’ have threatened to poison baby formula in New Zealand unless authorities ban a particular agricultural pesticide.
Anonymous letters have been sent to a national farmers’ group and to Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, containing samples of infant formula laced with the poison known as 1080.”
Looking back at headlines we see this: “Peru will seek criminal charges against Greenpeace activists who it says damaged the world-renowned Nazca lines by leaving footprints in the adjacent desert during a publicity stunt.”
this… “If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this: We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many, but you be few.”
this… “Two million children a year are dying, and every year it is delayed, another two million kids are dying. The blood of that is on the hands of the people who have made it impossible to make an exception for golden rice.” Greenpeace has campaigned against golden rice for more than a decade, saying that it is an unnecessary diversion from the real causes of vitamin-A deficiency.
this… “Any attempt to hinder or undermine world agreement to eliminate DDT under the Stockholm Convention would obstruct attempts to break the current cycle of misery related to the use of DDT for malarial vector control.”
the very existence of a group like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Liberation_Front
Or this: “On New Year’s Eve in 1999, for example, arson caused about $1 million in damage to Michigan State University’s architectural landmark Agriculture Hall, damaging offices involved in a project intended to enhance the use and commercialization of crop genetic engineering in developing countries. The Earth Liberation Front, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said that it was “in response to the work being done to force developing nations in Asia, Latin America and Africa to switch from natural crop plants to genetically altered sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, and pineapples.” (The research, under the direction of Professor Catherine Ives, actually was intended to enhance the nutritional value of African staple foods like sweet potatoes.) A U.S. Attorney in Michigan condemned the act as domestic terrorism.”
As I said above, those trying to establish policy in the field of climate change need to understand why environmentalism became so popular and what has been done to damage its standing.
Environmentalism became a strong movement because environmental damage was easy to see, widespread and had real and measurable impacts.
Crimes committed in the name of (but without permission or even support from) the general population stepped on the message, trashed the brand and sent millions away from the movement.
“Since 2000, there has been a slight increase in the percentage of Americans claiming to be active participants in the movement, from 16% to 19%, but a noticeable decline of 13 percentage points in those claiming to be sympathetic to the movement. The result is a 10-point drop (from 71% to 61%) in the overall percentage of Americans holding a positive orientation toward the environmental movement over the past decade.”
I support the broader (and earlier) goals of the environmental movement, just as I support well-considered action to reduce future human contributions to climate change and to also reduce the impacts of climate change whatever the cause.
But just as I despise the criminals who have trashed environmentalism, so too I despise those who have resorted to criminal and unethical actions to coerce the world into adopting their preferred regime of policy responses to global warming.
Peter Gleick, stealing and forging documents kills the fight against climate change. Naomi Oreskes, Jim Prall, John Cook and Stephan Lewandowski, making up numbers to create an imaginary unanimity of opinion of scientists kills the fight against climate change. Greenpeace, trashing archeological remains to call attention to climate change just puts you in the same league as ISIL or the Taliban, both of whom do exactly as you do.
I’m not talking about the pranks and deceptions that are common to any highly charged policy issue–the No Pressure video, the photoshopped polar bear crisis, or even advocacy of one-sided reports, such as those about Syrian drought, Amazonian rainforests or African agriculture. Not even Himalayan glaciers.
The Argentinian couple that killed their child and then themselves in despair over climate change should be lesson enough that your hysteria is counter-productive. What more do you need in the way of a lesson?
In September 2010 one person, the late James Lee walked into the Discovery Channel armed with a gun and a bomb demanding that Discovery changed it’s programming to the content of an 11 point Green manifesto that Lee had published on the Internet, after an explosion Lee was shot dead by a SWAT sniper.