ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

12 December 2001


1. Rebranding the opposition


1. Rebranding the opposition

Post-Sept. 11 the ongoing quest to re-brand industry's environmental critics as dangerous extremists is being pursued with renewed vigour.

Even mainstream environmental groups are portrayed as deeply sinister. Note in the article below for instance: "extreme anarchist or nihilist entities such as Greenpeace... widely known" for tactics that jeopardise "both lives and property".

The inevitable conclusion in the light of all this "ecofundamentalism" and "ecoterrorism" which, of course, have much in common with "terrorist ideologies centered in the Middle East"?

Ecoterrorism "...should be given the same new awareness, focus and prosecution priorities as those terrorist attacks that awakened and shook the American psyche on Sept. 11"


Ecoterrorism: An Overlooked Threat to the U.S.

Paul Taylor
Insight on the News
December 10 2001

The perverted ideology-over-humanity beliefs that motivated the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington are analogous to the hateful motivations of ecoterrorists operating today in the United States.

The new awakening of Americans to the horrifying, incomprehensibly evil attacks by terrorists on Sept. 11 is being used to establish new domestic-security measures in our immigration, transportation and communication systems. The liberalization of these systems of American government and commerce during the last quarter-century have placed our very survival in jeopardy.

The suspected terrorists appear to be from a religiously aligned extremist group where ideology eclipses the value of human life. America, and Americans, are forever changed by the aerial hijacking and bombings of terrorists who have exploited the flamboyant arrogance of those among us who are too cowardly to understand that the truest and darkest forms of evil do exist in the human heart. The last decade of American political obsession with "political correctness" has emasculated our military, intelligence and criminal-justice systems, rendering them blind and wholly ineffective in maintaining that most-basic responsibility of the federal government: national security.

Mimicking religious movements, the environmental movement has grown worldwide to become the largest, most-densely-organized political cause in human history. Environmentalism, and its environmentalist believers, have become skilled at gaming the U.S. environmental-regulatory system for political advantage in the guise of politically correct progressive public service as tax-exempt organizations. Noted for particularly aggressive growth and fund raising, U.S. environmental groups have grown from about 2,000 to more than 4,000 as tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations in the last decade.

As nationally or internationally organized groups, environmentalists can become radical, extreme, anarchist or nihilist entities such as Greenpeace or Earth First with truly ecoterrorist tendencies. Greenpeace is widely known for its eco-stunts of installing human chains and large
protest signs on ships, trees, skyscrapers and bridges, jeopardizing both lives and property. Something even more disturbing called the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) has, in recent years, taken responsibility for firebombings of U.S. housing-development construction sites, timber-harvesting operations and genetic-engineering research laboratories.

While extremist ecogroups such as Greenpeace and Earth First may not be supporting ecoterrorists directly, neither have these groups issued firm public condemnations of ecoterrorists. The FBI has recorded and investigated more than 30 attacks in the United States by ecoterrorists in the last five years. ELF and the Animal Liberation Front have been connected to many of these ecoterrorist attacks. Like other terrorist groups, ecoterrorist groups operate beneath our "security radar" among covert, loose cells that convene only in the mass anonymity of World Trade Organization or antiglobalization demonstrations.

The central organizational medium of ecoterrorists is the Internet and a college-dropout computer hacker who lives in Oregon. Radical environmentalists are intolerant of growth, prosperity and free enterprise. More extreme ecofundamentalists and ecoterrorists hate capitalism, political diversity and corporate global trade - the same as terrorist ideologies centered in the Middle East.

To date, U.S. ecoterrorist acts have included firebombings and arson attacks. One flurry of incidents destroyed logging camps and equipment with firebombs in the Northwest. In a May 2001 incident, simultaneous arson attacks on a genetic-engineering lab at the University of Washington and a tree farm in Oregon destroyed the research records that included new seed plants for starving African tribes. New housing-construction projects in New York, Colorado and Arizona have been torched, leaving walls scrawled with "ELF." A remote, multimillion-dollar mountaintop resort in the Rocky Mountains was burned to the ground, and ELF members are prime suspects. ELF ideology deems these attacks to be nonviolent because no lives have been lost.

However, we should have no doubt that property destruction is a violent, criminal act under the law and that loss of human life will be the eventual result of such acts of ecoterrorism. U.S. ecoterrorist acts are well-known and documented and should be given the same new awareness, focus and prosecution priorities as those terrorist attacks that awakened and shook the American psyche on Sept. 11.

Paul Taylor is a Los Angeles-based environmental consultant, speaker and author of the newly released book, Green Gone Wrong: Ecopolitics Exposed.



Subscribers to the investigative quarterly PR Watch have just received the latest issue examining how the PR industry and its clients are exploiting the September 11th terrorist attacks. You won't find this issue on the PR Watch website ( until early next year, but you can receive it now by subscribing via the PR Watch site.

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