It looks like a headline from The Onion, but it is entirely true:
Hundreds of Millions Remain Peaceful In Face of Annihilation
As the story of the Discovery Channel hostage-taker makes it’s way through the media, those opposed to the sane management of the earth’s remaining resources will undoubtedly take the opportunity to disparage all of the millions of environmentalists around the world and their ideas. [Update: they already are] However, I will argue that the opposite interpretation is more appropriate.
There have always been poor, misguided souls whose mental afflictions have led them to take as their own the cause of some group or another and turn it into something violent. No great effort of people, no movement for justice has ever become large without trapping in it’s gravity the occasional lunatic.
It is not surprising, then, that on Wednesday, one such man did something crazy in the name of environmental stewardship. James J. Lee, strapped with explosives, stormed into the Discovery Channel’s headquarters, took 3 people hostage, and was eventually killed by police. Injuries were limited to the hostage-taker and the types of ideas he claimed to stand for.
What is surprising, is how starkly Lee’s actions stand out against the backdrop of the efforts of the worldwide environmental movement. The environmental community is enormous; it is decades old and includes members from every nation on the planet. The sheer numeric improbability that there aren’t more lost souls committing acts like Lee’s speaks volumes about the values and character of the individuals of that global society. The “environmentalist wacko” is an endangered species in its own right. When is the last time you checked the news and shook your head at all the eco-terrorist activities that filled the pages?
More astonishing still–consider that the consequence of a failed environmental movement is no less than the ruination of the only place that we can survive. There is everything to lose, yet with so much suffering at stake, millions of environmentalists carry this weight in their conscience without succumbing to desperation and destruction.
The big story here is that the habitability of our planet is hanging in the balance. The hook is that
(unlike governments that often jump to war when threatened) simple civil society worldwide remains mostly dignified, united and nonviolent, day after day, as our only planet is savaged for short-term profit.
“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” Mohandas Gandhi