Radical Environmentalism - University of San Diego

Report
RADICAL
ENVIRONMENTALISM
Emily Roberts – Myth Debunking/What is Radical Environmentalism?
Will Scheffler – Failure of Legislation
Anna Schonleber – Effective Tactics
Heidi Hirsh – Case Study (Sea Shepherd: Reykjavik Raid)
WHAT IT IS. HOW IT WORKS.
EMILY ROBERTS
EARTH LIFE FORCE 1977

“ELF strives to inform and inspire the people”
about environmental issues
 “This was the first eco-guerrilla unit to use
direct action and the name ELF. As originally
conceived, the ELF would have no central
leadership or chain of command. Each cell
was intended to be autonomous and an
individual could join or drop out at will. Anyone
could call him or her self a member of ELF but
no one can be an ELF leader.”
 www.originalelf.org
EARTH FIRST! 1979
 “Our front-line, direct action approach
to protecting wilderness gets results. We
have succeeded in cases where other
environmental groups had given up, and
have drawn public attention to the
crises facing the natural world.”
 “We believe in using all the tools in the tool box, ranging from grassroots
organizing and involvement in the legal process to civil disobedience and
monkey wrenching.”
 “It is not an organization, but a movement. There are no "members" of Earth
First!, only Earth First!ers. It is a belief in biocentrism, that life of the Earth
comes first, and a practice of putting our beliefs into action.”
 earthfirst.org/about.htm
EARTH LIBERATION FRONT 1992
 “If, as stated, the ELF's mission is to defend and protect the Earth for
future generations by means of direct action, then the high moral road
must be taken in order to succeed.”
www.earth-liberation-front.org
CLAIMS ABOUT RADICAL
ENVIRONMENTALISM
Claim: Radical environmentalism is the same
as eco-terrorism
 Eco-terrorism: the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature
against people or property by an environmentally oriented, subnational
group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond
the target, often of a symbolic nature
 As defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
 Ecotage: sabotage with an ecological motive
 Oxford English Dictionary
 “A dialogue with other activists led to a consensus that terrorist actions
were clearly counter-productive to the environmental movement regardless of the perceived righteousness of a given cause. The public will
always reject violence and destructive actions.”
 www.originalelf.com
 “Regardless of the frustration we all feel about the enormous perils facing
our Mother Earth, engaging the perceived wrong-doers with threats,
intimidation and destructive tactics will always fail. Fighting fire with fire
will get you burned.”
 www.earth-liberation-front.org
Claim: Radical environmentalism is violent
and puts others in danger
 The tactics used by radical environmentalists are not meant to harm or
kill people, but rather to stop actions that would negatively impact the
environment
 Monkey wrenching: to sabotage, disrupt, or damage as a form of environmentalist
protest
 Ecotage: sabotage with an ecological motive
 Oxford English Dictionary
 John Hanna, original ELF founder, was convicted for using explosives on
federal property. He no longer advocates for the group but still says:
 “ELF took extraordinary measures to avoid loss of life or injury. The devices were
designed so only the low-yield detonators would fire. The napalm mix had been allowed to
solidify so it could not catch fire. The fuses were set to ignite at 2:00am. I waited nearby
until all the detonators exploded. If someone would have happened by, I was prepared
to warn him or her off even at the risk of capture.”
 www.originalelf.org
 Claim: Radical environmentalists are misinformed about the issues and
ultimate impacts of their actions
 Advice on the Earth First! website:
 Educate yourself on the ways you can attract attention to environmental concerns and
dissuade people and corporations from destroying the Earth.
 Learn the law. While getting arrested will often bring increased media attention, weigh all
the options. Freedom is an important asset. Avoiding jail is sometimes a better strategy.
 Become aware of the risks to which you will be exposed. Activists are often arrested
during legal actions by police ignorant of the law.
CONCLUSION
 The intent is not to harm others, and radical environmentalists take safety
measures to try to decrease any possible dangers
 Radical environmentalism uses direct action that will draw public attention
to an environmentally harmful action
 Their focus is on immediately stopping the action before the natural resource is lost due
to the ineffectiveness of the slowness of legislation
THE FAILURE OF
ENVIRONMENTAL
LEGISLATION
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Environmental Legislations:
- Outdated
- Inherently Full Of Compromises
- Full Of Loopholes, Short Sight, and Corruption
- Take Too Long To Be Enacted
LAWS ARE OUTDATED
 National Environmental Protection Act: 1970
 Clean Air Act: 1970, Amended 1990
 Clean Water Act: 1972
 Ocean Dumping Act: 1972
 Endangered Species Act: 1973
 Safe Drinking Water Act: 1974
LAWS ARE INHERENTLY FULL OF
COMPROMISE
LOOPHOLES
Loopholes in current laws:
- RCRA allows “scrap” hazardous e-waste to be shipped to
other nations
Energy Policy Act of 2005 = “Halliburton Loophole”
SHORT SIGHT
EPA failed to publicize information about common
weed-killer in drinking water.
CORRUPTION
Breakup of MMS over Deepwater Horizon Blowout.
LENGTH OF TIME IT TAKES TO DRAW UP
NEW REGULATIONS
The adopting of environmental legislation and the enacting of regulations
take extremely long just like any piece of government legislation, if not
longer due to its highly controversial nature.
WORKS CITED
 http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/node/12601
 http://www.newyorker.com/talk/financial/2010/06/14/100614ta_talk_sur
owiecki
 http://www.sierraclub.org/naturalgas/details.aspx
 http://www.cleanwater.org/page/fracking-laws-and-loopholes
TACTICS: THE BRIDGE BETWEEN
WHAT DOESN’T WORK AND
WHAT DOES
Anna Schonleber
SEA SHEPHERD
COMBATING OVER FISHING
 Operation Blue Rage 2011
 Trying to lower the quota for Bluefin tuna
 Sea Shepherd holds the position that the quota should be set at zero
 Each Year Sea Shepherd sends out ships to search for illegal fishing operations
OPERATION BLUE RAGE 2011
•
“We would be happy to remove ourselves from what should be the business of
the ICCAT and the EU, if only they were actually doing the job.”
(SeaShepherd.org)
JULIA “BUTTERFLY” HILL
•Goal: To prevent the clear
cutting of of the giant
redwood forest by Pacific
Lumber Co.
•Live 180ft in “Luna” a
redwood tree
•Live on two 6ft by 6ft
platforms for 738 days
RESOLUTION
 Decision reached in 1999
 Pacific Lumber Co. agreed to preserve Luna and all trees with in a 200ft buffer zone
 Hill agreed to vacate Luna
 $50,000 was given to the logging company which was then donated to Humboldt State
University to go toward research into sustainable forestry
THE COVE
 Movie reveals massive dolphin slaughtering in Taiji, Japan
 Called attention to high mercury levels in dolphin meat that was getting
sold as part of a government sponsored school lunch program
 IWC (International Whaling Commission)
 Dolphins aren’t regulated by the IWC
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSiQVdq9Pns
CASE STUDY
SEA SHEPHERD’S REYKJAVIK RAID
HEIDI HIRSH
http://www.cherrycoloured.com/wordpress/?p=10171
SEA SHEPHERD CONSERVATION SOCIETY
“We don’t protest whaling –
we oppose illegal whaling
activities. Our opposition
are criminals engaged in
illegal behavior.”
(seashepherd.org)
http://www.seashepherd.org
FAILURE OF LAW
 1986 International Whaling Commission moratorium on
commercial whaling
 Purpose:
 Give the world’s dwindling population of whales a chance to recover.
 Allow time to develop a satisfactory data base for determining a
sustainable hunting quota for any future whaling.
 Icelandic government announced plans for a four-year study
of whale populations.
 “analysis” would require killing several thousand fin, sei, and minke whales
 Japan and Norway followed suit
http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/save-the-whales-eat-more-imperial-dwarf-deer/
TACTICS
 Mainstream environmental
groups failed
 Two Sea Shepherds
succeeded
 Attempted to bring about the
 Destroyed the refrigeration
declaration of a boycott on
Icelandic fish products
system at Whales Limited
 American secretary of
commerce, Malcolm Baldridge
 Dismantled diesel engines
 Demolished the laboratory
 Poured acid on computer files
 Sank two ships of the four-vessel
whaling fleet
$4.8 million worth of damage
REPERCUSSIONS - Ecological Awakening
 Two scuttled ships were raised but no
longer seaworthy for further “research”
 Persuaded Icelanders to change their
views on whaling
 Questioning of the formulation of
environmental policy
 Rise of Iceland’s first activist
environmental group
 Hvalvinurfelag (“Friends of the Whale”)
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/f
eatures/iceland-whaling-makes-no-sense-030209/
 Capt. Paul Watson flew to Iceland in 1988 and turned himself in to the
authorities in accordance with the Sea Shepherd guideline of accepting
moral and legal consequences for one’s actions.
 His presence was embarrassing for the Icelandic government
 He was held without charge for 24 hours then expelled without cause
http://mediaboymusings.blogspot.com/2011/05/eco-pirate-story-of-paul-watson-film.html
CASE STUDY REFERENCES
 Manes, Christopher. Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization.
Boston: Little, Brown, 1990.
 Watson, Paul. "The Big Green Do Nothing: Fundraising Machine Condemns Activism." Sea
Shepherd. 10 Nov. 2011. Web. 2 Dec. 2011. http://www.seashepherd.org/
commentary-and-editorials/2011/11/10/the-big-green-do-nothing-fundraisingmachine-condemns-activism-492
 Sahagun, Louis. "Whaling Clash Highlights Two Hollywood Donors." The Los Angeles Times.
LA Times, 07 Jan. 2010. Web. 06 Dec. 2011. <http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/
07/local/la-me-whale-boat7-2010jan07>.
 http://www.seashepherd.org
REBUTTAL
 There is too much time between realizing that there is an
environmental problem to getting legislation passed to fix the problem
 It also takes time for the legislation to kick in and have any sort of effect on the
problem

Chart from
a PBS article
on the
Clean Water
Act
 The chart continues to present times to show that there are still
environmental problems that the act is not able to fix but that people may
assume are covered by it.
 This creates the need for further action to draw public attention to the
existing problem
REBUTTAL
 Sea Shepherd believes they act under the World Charter for Nature of
the United Nations which allows NGOs to help enforce environmental
laws (within the boundaries of law) when authorities fail to effectively
do so.
OBJECTIVE
 Radical environmentalism looks to bring media attention to bigger
issues though tackling smaller issues themselves
SEA SHEPHERD GUIDELINES
 Sea Shepherd crew members cannot use weapons.
 They cannot use explosives.
 They cannot undertake any action that could result in a physical injury
to humans.
 They must take responsibility for their actions.
 They must accept moral and legal consequences for their actions.
INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT
 English schoolchildren raised
$25,000 in a save-the-whale
walkathon in
 Warner Brothers – Sea
Shepherd II
 Hollywood Donors
 Ady Gil
 Bob Barker
 Animal Planet - Whale Wars
 Hayden Panettiere
VERSUS GREENPEACE
 The Accusation (from John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace)
“…we feel that we are winning the battle against whaling by talking to the Japanese themselves. Sea
Shepherd are confronting Japanese people aggressively and it is exacerbating nationalism, and
actually making it more difficult.“
 Defense (Captain Paul Watson, founder and president of Sea Shepherd)
“Let me see John…Greenpeace builds a 33 million Euro ship to conduct fundraising tours while
we intervene directly against illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean. While you guys
sent origami whales to President Obama to protest Japanese whaling, we sent the Japanese
fleet home with only 17% of their kill quota. Sea Shepherd has prevented the slaughter of
nearly 3,000 whales while Greenpeacers were sitting and eating whale meat with the Japanese to
demonstrate so-called sensitivity to Japanese culture. Greenpeace street solicitors tell the public
that they send ships to the Southern Ocean, although they have not done so since 2006. They
blatantly lie to raise funds.”
CRITICS
 The critics of Deep Ecology and radical environmentalism have been
anything but restrained. Accused radical ecologists of…
“being fascists and Marxists, terrorists and mystics, people with axes to grind and
hucksters in pursuit of wine, women, and song, destroyers of local economies,
purveyors of distrust, obscurantists, atheists, misogynists and misanthropes.” (Green
Rage, p. 151)
 “if any insult has been left out of the list, apologies are in order.”
–Edward Abbey
 “Radical environmentalism is best understood as an attempt to enlarge
the circle of legal and ethical standing to include other species and even
entire ecosystems. In this interpretation, radical environmentalism is
anything but revolutionary and extremist; it borders on patriotic.”
 “If conservation is defined ethically, it fits quite squarely into the most
traditional of all American ideals: the defense of minority rights and the
liberation of exploited groups.”
 GOALS:
 Affect the public
 Influence legislation
 Express personal moral opposition to environmental destruction
PEACEFUL DIRECT ACTION CODE
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.


Our attitude is one of openness, friendliness, and respect toward all beings we
encounter.
We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any being.
We will not damage any property and will discourage others from doing so.
We will not run.
We will carry no weapons.
Civil Disobedience: a form of bearing witness to injustice, a way of highlighting the
violence of environmental exploitation by standing up peaceably in opposition to it.
“Direct action in the ecology movement is one way to generate tension, to expose
myths and assumption of the dominant mindset, to create a situation in which
corporations, developers and government agents are willing to negotiate.”
– Bill Devall
 Force industrial society to explain itself, to justify its actions.
 Bear witness to injustice
 Highlight environmental opposition by standing up peaceably in
opposition to it.
URGENCY
 Extreme urgency of the environmental crisis
 No second chance
 Once an old-growth forest is cut, it will not grow back for hundreds of years, if ever.
 Once a species becomes extinct the battle is lost.
 The purpose of ecological civil disobedience is not to make farreaching
changes in society’s views of the environment, but merely to buy time
for legal redress or for the emergence of public pressure.
 Ex: Little Granite Creek
 “I’m happy to be here facing harassment by the FBI. I think I’m here
because I’ve been effective in bring attention to the crisis on the planet.”
– Dave Foreman

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