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Environmentalist Terrorists Burn with Hypocrisy

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Early in the morning of November 21, four unoccupied townhouses in Hagerstown, Maryland, were intentionally set on fire, causing approximately $300,000 in damage. An anonymous email to news organizations claimed the attack for the “Earth Liberation Front” (ELF) — to “defend what remains of the wild and the green.”

Authorities suggest it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions about the perpetrators, but experts on eco-terrorism have noted that the tactics and target are all consistent with ELF actions.

ELF is suspected, for example, of setting fire to an uninhabited apartment complex in San Diego in 2003, causing $23 million in damage. Kelly Stoner, executive director of a group called Stop Eco-Violence, told the Washington Times that since 2003 ELF has been responsible for firebombing attacks in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The email proclaiming ELF’s responsibility for the Hagerstown attack was also typical for the group. A Washington Post story on November 22 reported the following:

The brief email, which encouraged others to join the group’s resistance, contained two allusions to J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books. The sender’s address contained the name Treebeard, after the leader of the treelike beings called Ents. In the books, Treebeard watches his friends in the forest being destroyed by the forces of darkness. The email closed by quoting the ancient, talking tree, after he had seen enough:

“The Ents are going to war.”

So, if you live in a house or want to live in a house not approved by the ELF, you’re now at war with the ELF. “A man’s home is his castle,” as the saying goes. So be prepared to defend yourself, your family, and your home from the aggressor.

But ultimately, ELF and its ilk must be defeated by exposing the folly of their ideas.

ELF members are hypocrites. These people don’t live in the forest. They’ve read Tolkien, sure, but that’s the closest they’ve ever come to living outdoors like plant life.

“Environmentalist” thugs wish to impose their will by force, like an animal, but there the resemblance ends. We’re being lectured to about the “needs” of “Mother Earth” by people who lounge in the comforts of the 21st century, reading Lord of the Rings in their local climate-controlled coffee shop, grande mocha in hand, mass-produced-shoe-covered feet propped on a mass-produced plastic coffee table under the “impure” but so-bright glare of overhead electrical lighting. Then old Treebeard incarnate destroys other people’s houses in the name of all things “wild and green,” fires off an anonymous email proclaiming the righteousness of his anti-human cause, and kicks back for some late night television in the luxury of his living room. How noble.

All of which reminds me of a good joke: What’s the difference between a developer and an environmentalist? A developer wants to build a house in the woods, while an environmentalist already has one.

You can bet on one thing: Not one thug who burns a new development, or one thug who cheers him on, would ever consider burning his own house down. No “eco-warrior” is living like a caveman. After a lengthy stint in a tree, protesting deforestation, our heroes drive home for a shower and a hot meal. War’s hell all right, but not for members of the ELF.

Nor should criticism stop there. No one has the moral authority, while enjoying all the trappings of a modern abode, to deny by force that same benefit to others, in the name of “regulating growth.” I repeatedly meet self-described “environmentalists” who couldn’t be paid to suffer any more deprivation than a night or two at Motel 6, but who rail against the alleged evil of “suburban sprawl” — from the comforts of their suburban homes. They can be thankful that their local government — or ELF, for that matter — wasn’t similarly “regulating growth” when their home was built.

The desire to have clean air and clean water is laudable, and not some superficial preference. People have a right to not be poisoned by the actions of others and ought to have some recourse when this right is violated.

Unfortunately, this way of thinking has been hijacked by “environmentalist” thugs who have no respect for individual rights and instead wish to impose their view of how we should live at the barrel of a gun — or a can of gasoline. No amount of recycled paper, feeling earth’s pain, or terrorism can conceal the hypocrisy of the “Earth Liberation Front.” Building their houses also required cutting down some trees, spoiling a view, and filling a previously empty space with a “new development.”

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    Scott McPherson is policy adviser at The Future of Freedom Foundation. An advocate of the Free State Project, he lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.