Bad actors on environment

A peculiar, unexpected link has been discovered between the Christchurch and El Paso mass murderers. 

Both are green, or “ecofascists,” as some would put it, which makes the rest of environmentalists feel rightfully queasy, maybe because their hands have not always been completely clean.

This Washington Post story does a good job of laying it out, but it has a couple of blind spots, maybe willful, maybe not, that I will point out for you.

Terrorists hiding behind a good cause is nothing new. The Animal Liberation Front, founded in 1976, says it condemns harm to people or even property, but has been linked to vandalism, at the least.

The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing (NBC News)

Go back even further and you have the leftist Weather Underground and other radical groups blowing up labs and robbing banks. On the right, Timothy McVee thought killing 168 people by blowing up an Oklahoma City federal building was a legitimate protest. 

Left and right, demented people try to pretend that evil can be justified by hiding behind the skirt of a good cause. People who support good causes usually disagree.

The Washington Post story says the Christchurch murderer railed against immigrants’ birth rates (while rising birth rates in general have been worried over by environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club). 

The El Paso killer bemoaned water pollution, plastic waste and an “American consumer culture.” Sounds almost like PBS.

The Post story reveals “many” white supremacists have latched on to environmental themes. That some people use good issues for bad reasons does not invalidate the good issues. 

Here’s where it gets tricky. 

Presenting environmental problems as a catastrophe enflames the unstable to take the wrong kind of action. 

“There’s definitely a danger of people taking dire measures when they feel there’s no way out of it,” says Jon Christensen, of UCLA. He names this effect “apocalypticism.”

When you hear of someone selling environmental disaster, does a name come to mind? 

Alexandria Osasio Cortez’s name comes to my mind, because she said we all will be dead in 12 years if we don’t act now. Apocalyptic. 

Yet her name did not come to the mind of the Washington Post.

Why?

Maybe because it agrees with her, and does not agree with the white supremacists. Few do. 

The Post has another academic, Hampshire College’s Betty Hartmann, saying we should “steer away from this apocalyptic discourse because it too easily plays into the hands of apocalyptical white nationalism.”

Not to beat a dead horse.

The Post was unable to link AOC — arguably the loudest political voice of the Green New Deal — to overplaying the environmental hand, but it did connect someone.

Who? White nationalist Richard Spencer, whose manifesto had a plank on protecting nature.

Good idea, bad person. 

AOC, good person, bad idea.

That’s how it goes.

The Post piece then goes all Godwin and drags in Nazis, with their ideas about racial purity, “blood and soil” (and don’t forget Hitler was a vegetarian).

The two mass murderers blamed immigrants and we know that is wrong.

But we have to blame someone, other than Nazis. Don’t worry — the Post is happy to oblige: “Climate change hasn’t been driven by poor people struggling to get by. The activities of wealthy nations have been the main historical source of greenhouse gas emissions, the depletion of natural resources,  and the destruction of habitats.”

Yes, WaPo readers — you are to blame. Chew on that. 

6 thoughts on “Bad actors on environment”

  1. Thanks for the “Godwin” mention. I’ve invoked it many times and it still flies over their overhanging craniums. There are several subjects similar to Godwin that push buttons.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Nazi_analogies#Stormfront_and_other_corollaries

    Not sure if you saw it but enjoy if you didn’t.

    ”To be clear: I don’t personally believe all rational discourse has ended when Nazis or the Holocaust are invoked. … But I’m pleased that people still use Godwin’s Law to force one another to argue more thoughtfully.” – Mike Godwin

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