The editorial page editor of the Boulder, Colorado Daily Camera recently confessed to a “momentary failing” for publishing a letter that said the people of Boulder “have a moral responsibility to blow up wells and eliminate fracking and workers.”
It wasn’t the entire letter that troubled him. It was just that one sentence that urged the citizens of Boulder to kill their neighbors. The rest of the letter—which equated fracking with murder and lauded a Canadian activist who “blew up [oil] wells”—the editor thought was “worthy of community conversation.”
“We should permit discussion of such activities on a philosophical level,” he wrote.
By encouraging a debate over the merits of ecoterrorism, even on a “philosophical level,” the Daily Camera is fueling a growing trend among extreme environmental activists to demonize the oil and gas industry and the millions of people who work in it. And it’s a trend that’s going to get people killed if we don’t turn it around soon.
The tactic of demonizing your opponent is nothing new. Warner Bothers produced some cringe-worthy cartoons during World War II—for which they have since apologized—that characterized German and Japanese soldiers in racist and vulgar ways. It’s a trick used since the dawn of civilization to make it easier—and more desirable—to kill your opponent.
Today’s ecoterrorists are taking this unfortunate war-time practice and using it against innocent, hard-working Americans whose only “crime” is working for an industry that produces the raw materials that make our modern life possible … including, ironically, the computers and satellites needed to incite violence against them.
And the violence against the industry is mounting.
Last week, arsonists caused $150,000 worth of damage to equipment at the Dakota Access pipeline construction site, just a few miles from where an arson fire caused over a million dollars’ worth of damage late last year.
Two months ago, ecoterrorists put up a website “honoring the life and death of pipeline saboteur, James Leroy Marker,” who was killed by police after he shot up the Sabal Trail pipeline site.
Activist at the Dakota Access pipeline made international headlines last year when they threatened to murder the wives and children of law enforcement officers protecting that site.
And the Department of Homeland Security recently released a report that warned of the potential of “mass casualties” related to protests against the Diamond Pipeline project.
In their endorsement of “community conversations” about ecoterrorism, the editors at the Daily Camera tried to put some distance between themselves and the people actually committing acts of violence against the industry and its employees by saying, “The Camera does not condone or endorse violence or property destruction of any kind. However …”
This self-absolution does not undo the damage they have done. By encouraging a debate over the merits of terrorist action, the Camera is advancing the agenda of the most extreme ecoterrorists.
The Deep Green Resistance, one of the largest and militant ecoterrorist activist groups in the environmental movement, published a manifesto calling for rampant terrorist actions to “dismantle the industrial energy infrastructure as rapidly as possible.” But much like the Daily Camera, they maintain that “the people who might take up militant action are not us.”
“If somebody wants to think about [militant action] then that’s what we are trying to encourage—at least a discussion in the environmental movement about taking up alternate tactics before it’s too late.” (Emphasis added.)
According to their manifesto, such discussions are part of a “push for acceptance and normalization of more militant and radical tactics where appropriate.” And they encourage their less extreme allies to “argue that the situation is serious enough to make such action legitimate, even though they have personally chosen a different course,” much like the Daily Camera did.
In a contentious era, the press is an important forum for discussion. It’s truly unfortunate that the Daily Camera chose to use that forum as a megaphone for terrorism against an industry that has done so much for the state of Colorado.