There’s been a shift in mainstream Leftist acceptance of and even advocacy for environmental terrorism in recent months.
It started in mid-July when it was revealed that President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Land Management had been indirectly involved with a “tree-spiking” incident in the late 1980s. A retired federal investigator who worked on the case said that the nominee, Tracy Stone-Manning, engaged in “vulgar, antagonistic, and extremely anti-government” behavior in the investigation of the incident. As the Daily Caller explained: “Tree spiking involves inserting metal or ceramic rods into tree trunks to prevent them from being cut down. The impact from a saw can make the saw explode, sending sharp metal flying. The practice can be deadly and lead to severe injuries.”
While responding to written questions from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Stone-Manning said “I do not condone tree spiking or terrorism of any kind” and “I had no involvement in the spiking of trees,” according to Politico.
Stone-Manning had ties to the group Earth First and sent a letter to federal officials in 1989 that warned “a lot of people could get hurt” if loggers continued to work in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest. She also warned that trees had been spiked.
When Stone-Manning was asked if she had ever been the target of an investigation, arrested, or charged with a crime in her official Senate committee questionnaire, she answered “no.” But the federal investigator contradicted her claim, providing a written statement from the investigation in 1989 that said: “Ms. Stone-Manning was extremely difficult to work with; in fact, she was the nastiest of the suspects. She was vulgar, antagonistic, and extremely anti-government.”
Just days after Stone-Manning’s testimony, New York Times columnist Ezra Klein published a dissection of Andreas Malm’s book, “How to Blow Up a Pipeline,” which featured Klein seemingly condoning environmental terrorism.
“Andreas Malm’s ‘How to Blow Up a Pipeline’ is only slightly inaptly named. You won’t find, anywhere inside, instructions on sabotaging energy infrastructure. A truer title would be ‘Why to Blow Up a Pipeline.’ On this, Malm’s case is straightforward: Because nothing else has worked,” Klein wrote.
As Fox News pointed out, Malm’s book suggested people “Damage and destroy new CO2-emitting devices. Put them out of commission, pick them apart, demolish them, burn them, blow them up. Let the capitalists who keep on investing in the fire know that their properties will be trashed.”
Klein didn’t exactly condemn these passages.
“Still, violence is often deployed, even if counterproductively, on behalf of causes far less consequential than the climate crisis. So skepticism of the practical benefits of violence does not fully explain its absence in a movement this vast and with consequences this grave,” he wrote.
The most recent defense of eco-terrorism came from The New Yorker Radio Hour, in which Malm himself defends the practice. “Should the Climate Movement Embrace Sabotage?” asked the headline for the podcast. “Andreas Malm insists that the environmental movement rethink its roots in nonviolence and instead embrace “intelligent sabotage,” read the blurb for Malm’s section of the podcast.