Earth Day came and went yesterday with little more than a whimper. Everyone seems to have forgotten it. The celebrations are no more, no one sent me an Earth Day card, and it hardly registered a blip in the media or on the blogometer. I remember Earth Days past when we went to the park with our dogs and kids, ate barbecue and played disc golf, but that was long ago and it's a new world now for most of us.
Yet for some it seems to be Earth Day every day, especially for ecoterrorists like Earth First, the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front. These folks are bent on setting the Earth free, and apparently the way to do that is through terrorizing children, beating and maiming middle class suburbanites, destroying pirvate property and personal reputations, and mailing bombs to scientists. This all sounds like great fun - and a quick route to a long jail term - but is it really a good way to win supporters to your cause? Apparently it may be, if there are people out there as crazed and obsessed as the members of these groups, and judging from some of their websites their activities and their ambition are growing, and hardcore would-be ecoterrorists are becoming a threat which might rival Al Quaeda and its allies before most of the public is even aware that they exist.
Some of these groups are circumspect about their crimes and others proclaim them proudly on their websites. Although Earth First is notorious for spiking trees and killing or wounding lumbermen, their website claims that they don't engage in that sort of activity anymore. A memo from a few years ago says they won't endorse tree spiking but that they still give their tacit support, saying:
- "We will not condemn tree-spiking, unless of course it is a completely inappropriate spiking by anyone's standards. It is completely understandable that someone would still spike trees especially after walking through a few clearcuts. Our position will be to ask for no future spikings; not to condemn what might be a logical act from someone's forlorn point of view."
Not surprisingly, trees are still getting spiked, ironically raising the ire of the Wobblies of all people, who report extensively on one of the most gruesome tree spiking injuries in which a logger was almost decapitated. Of course, Earth First continues to publish its various booklets on how to spike trees and cause other mayhem. In fact, they've moved from using metal spikes which can be found with a metal detector to ceramic and concrete spikes. Plus, spikes in trees stay there forever. Who knows how many have yet to do their damage? Tree spikes have caused 3 documented deaths and scores of major and minor injuries.