Enviro-terrorists twist facts and use scare tactics to convince themselves of their righteousness, but in reality, they are just like other terrorists.
Scare tactics and fearmongering are the ordinary tools used by enviro-terrorists, although they are instinctively drawn to vandalism and violence as a natural outgrowth of their cult behavior. They take snippets of information out of context and blow it widely out of proportion to be disseminated to their fleet. The problem isn’t so much that they use these tools, but rather, that they are masters of their craft and take it to a new level by believing their own hyperbole, acting upon it and attracting the support of wanna-be enviro-terrorists too cautious to do it themselves (e.g., when Bill McKibben tweeted support for enviro-terrorists with masks and torches).
These wanna-be enviro-terrorists seem to be everywhere I look, probably because I consume a lot of media from places such as NPR. Before you think you’ve caught me in an embarrassing faux pas; I can explain.
First, I like to listen to podcasts, and one I’ve been a fan of is More Perfect, where they discuss the Supreme Court’s history. It’s sponsored by EarthJustice, which tells they us exist “because the Earth needs a good lawyer.” Every time I hear that pompous corny line, it sounds to me an awful like any other ambulance chasing trial attorney and I almost feel like asking them if they would want advertise on NaturalGasNow.
Second, I despise morning radio talk shows as they all put up the most annoying guy in the studio to ramble on about everything, so I listen to our local NPR station to hear traffic updates and catch up on local government happenings.
This is when I recently heard, Tom Pelton, Director of Communications for the Environmental Integrity Project, of whom I have written on a few times, describing counterterrorism tactics being used on environmentalist groups by ‘big oil’.
He started off telling a story of how he was taking pictures of a refinery in Texas from a public road. He was stopped and questioned by a security guard and reported to the FBI as a potential terrorist. While the libertarian in me cringes, I can understand why one could be stopped and briefly interviewed. This is common and has been for years. Usually, the officer or guard will just find out what is going on and be on their way. Pelton, however, uses this instance to portray himself as a victim of the oil and gas companies’ efforts to smear environmentalists when, in fact, it’s the opposite — oil and gas companies defending themselves from enviro-terrorists and smears by their wanna-be allies.
He then referenced a report that some energy companies were using a military contracting firm, TigerSwan, to spy on and disrupt protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline. The released report mentioned internal documents calling the protestors eco-terrorists and compared the water protectors to jihadist fighters, to terrorists — a national security threat. The author of the report, Alleen Brown with The Intercept, said:
“Although the protesters were, in fact, peaceful and nonviolent, the internal documents show that the security firm falsely described the clean water activists to law enforcement as terrorists”
Well, not so fast; they are terrorists by all accounts under the standard definition: “A person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” We know the protesters met this definition because of what actually happened.
Phelim McAleer, Filmmaker of Fracknation, was held hostage by the “peaceful” protesters. The protesters burned equipment, destroyed property, trespassed and sabotaged the pipeline – far from being peaceful. Check out the North Dakota website with pictures of the enviro-terrorism if you doubt Phelim. It was bad enough for Energy Transfer Partners LP to launch a suit against GreenPeace, Earth First, and others for inciting terroristic acts. There’s more on that here. They have plenty of ground to stand on when you consider how ISIS-like the protesters were behaving.
The kicker of Pelton’s piece isn’t that he goes on to discuss RICO, skipping over the #ExxonKnew scandal, but that he closes with:
“The oil and gas companies often argue that their interest is the national interest. But there is also a competing interest: the first Amendment to the Constitution.”
While the oil and gas is, indeed, clearly of national interest, as virtually our entire economy involves or depends upon the industry, where does Pelton come off bringing freedom of speech enter into the discussion? Since when does freedom of speech include the right to trespass, burn bridges, establish illegal encampments, vandalize others’ property and commit acts of violence?
This pathetic rationalization of “unlawful violence and intimidation against civilians in the pursuit of political aims” (terrorism) exposes Pelton as one of the enviro-terrorists in spirit if not in practice. Acting so, he victimized his own cause more than the oil and gas industry he attacked. Influence depends upon credibility and the closer fractivism edges toward enviro-terrorism, the less credibility it has. The DAPL protests might have felt good and even seemed like a win for a time but, in the end, the protesters gave up far more than they gained. Enviro-terrorists are losers.