Tuesday, March 4, 2008


On Monday, five luxury houses in a Seattle suburb were destroyed by fires that appear to have been set by the ecoterrorist organization Earth Liberation Front.
A banner was left at the scene of the crime that read, "Built Green? Nope, BLACK! McMansions + R.C.D.’s r not green ELF” According the New York Times, R.C.D. is "apparently referring to “rural cluster developments,” which advocates say help prevent sprawl by limiting development density in rural areas."
I can't help but see the parallels in this act of violence and those perpetrated by religious extremists. Both are instances where a small group of individuals has elevated its ideology beyond regard for others' lives and safety. Both actually violate the stated principles of the groups (in regards to religious terrorists, violating the commandment to love and the sacredness of all life by killing, and in regards to environmentalist terrorists, harming the environment through the carbon released in fires, causing more trees to be cut down in order to rebuild, and in one instance, damaging research done to preserve endangered species). Both often target people who support the same basic principles as the terrorists, but whom the terrorists consider to be hypocrites. Both turn public sentiment against the cause that the terrorists purportedly support.
Terrorism cannot be a means to improve the world. Just as people of faith need to stand up and denounce acts of violence that are perpetrated in the name of their religions, so too do people dedicated to responsible treatment of the environment (in whose number I count myself) need to stand up and denounce acts of violence perpetrated in the name of environmentalism.

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