Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Green strife...

The news has had a number of items recently concerning various groups taking "direct action" against something or someone they don't approve of. As I have commented here before this, there is a very fine line between protestors taking "direct action" and terrorism. Its merely a question of the level of violence in some minds, but in fact, they are looking at the wrong measurement. The level of violence is immaterial, the damage and the cost of that damage, done by the action, should be the measurement.

For instance, an action which causes a ship to be damaged or destroyed, but which does not employ arms or weapons of any sort, is generally considered "acceptable protest action", provided only property is damaged. But is this really true, or is this just another of the left-wings propaganda myths the legal profession and the media now foist upon us? In my book, the damage to the ship may run into millions of Pounds/Euros/Dollars for the expenditure of a few hours of obstructive and threatening behaviour by the protestors. If the "intent" was to cause that damage, then it is clearly terrorism, regardless of the force/weapons used. But proving "intent" in any court of law is a very tricky business and subject to wide ranging "rules" of evidence which render it almost impossible for an authority to prove that the protestors set out to destroy or damage the ship.

This came to me as I watched the latest Greenpeace "action" against tuna fishing and farming in the Pacific. Frankly they endangered the ships, they endangered the crews and they caused an enormous amount of damage and financial loss in the process. So why are they not prosecuted? One reason, I'm told, is that they "do not profit" from their actions. Therefore they are not pirates, second, they do not intend to overthrow a state, therefore they are not terrorists. Now I would argue that they are, because their actions cause damage to national economies and a visit to their website or a reading of their literature confirms that they DO intend to bring changes of government by their actions.

Ergo, they are terrorists.

But there is a second more insidious set here. They are in the White House and sit beside the American President. This is the group campaigning to get all drilling for oil shut down. They have succeeded in ramming through legislation "protecting" the land environment and preventing onshore drilling for the huge reserves of oil that lie under the North American landmass. But the US is an oil hungry country, it cannot exist without oil, so they developers and producers have to look elsewhere. The South American oil states charge an arm and a leg for their oil to US buyers, because men like Chavez have picked up the "Destroy the US" theme song and this is an easy way to do it. So firms like BP, Shell, Texaco and others are forced to tap into the deep water offshore wells to supply the demand in the US.

So now we face the idiocy of the White House blaming the producers for an accident that even the producers foresaw and warned would be difficult to control, while offering no assistance of any sensible sort. Yet these same eco-warriors in Washington will not allow the drilling on land of much safer sites, using much safer technology - while still demanding oil at the lowest possible price.

Now I find myself asking an important question here. Just who is really responsible for some of the eco-disasters we have experienced recently?

Let me list some: -

- Wild Mink destroying local fauna in the UK - result of "direct action" against Mink Farming.

- Rivers silting up and becoming unnavigable in the UK - result of decisions made under presssure from "Countryside protection" groups (Mostly city based and ignorant of the management of eco-systems) to "preserve" habitats which are now vanishing.

- Piling up of nuclear waste at sites in the UK, US and Europe. - Direct action and virulent campaigning by "pressure" groups such as CND to block any form of processing.

- The Brent Spar debacle - Greenpeace claimed it had "thousands" of tons of oil and radioactive "waste" aboard. Result, it was eventually broken up on land revealing that it did indeed have around fifty tons (50) of oil and some drill mud from the seabed itself which was mildly radio-active. But this was naturally radio-active material, not, as claimed, "nuclear waste". The result has been a long and extremely costly clean-up onshore which created many more hazards than would have arisen from simply sinking the damned thing.

The time has probably come when the Western World needs to stop pandering to the disaffected and frequently misguided idiots who embark on "direct action" as a means for achieving their vision of Utopia. A spell marooned on an island somewhere fending for themselves may just cause a change of attitude. That, or we have to start taking a really close look at their funding, the sources of their information and the "science" they claim to be informed by.

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