A Project of Texans for Natural Gas

New Claim: Vandalizing Infrastructure Is Okay Because Climate Change?

FrackFeed | November 20, 2018

Remember that goofy study claiming fracking could make you fat? We’re sorry to report that things have gotten dumber.

A recent article from a publication called “Wired” about anti-pipeline activists so romanticizes the act of vandalizing energy infrastructure that readers could almost be forgiven for thinking these extremists are doing the right thing – almost. The author profiles activists who worked to shut down oil pipelines across the United States in 2016, and the extreme anti-fossil fuel groups they’re associated with, such as 350.org.

Confusingly, the article paints them not as criminals (which they are), but moral crusaders who have volunteered to put innocent human lives at risk out of “necessity.” That doesn’t make any sense, nor does the author’s suggestion that “death by climate catastrophe” is the greater threat. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of cuckoo reasoning that allows vandals to think they’re immune to things like “laws” or “respect for private property.” Climate change means we all get to just make it up as we go, or something.

Understanding right from wrong can be tricky (we’re kidding – it’s not) and most sane people don’t resort to committing crimes to make their argument. But allow us to clear this issue up for you, Wired: vandalizing a pipeline is a felony, and committing a felony is wrong. That’s why it’s a felony.

Here’s how the article describes the activists:

“Johnston, now 52, is a poet and cofounder of the Seattle chapter of climate action group 350.org. For years, she’d done all the things law-abiding climate change activists do: filed petitions, lobbied legislators, hosted speakers, wrote letters, blockaded refineries, and tried to block Shell from moving their drilling rigs into the Arctic. Klapstein, 66, is a retired attorney from Bainbridge Island, Washington, whose job was to protect fishing rights for the Puyallup tribe. With her group, the Raging Grannies, her actions included blocking oil trains while chained to a rocking chair. They’re both white, middle-aged. Law-abiding folks. Except when they’re mad.”

FYI, blockading refineries is illegal. Chaining yourself to a train track to stop crude oil trains is not “law-abiding.” That’s illegal and dangerous and crazy and shouldn’t be done – even if you’re “mad.”

But wait, there’s more!

The author glorifies other anti-oil and gas activists using this necessity defense, including the yahoos who were “locking themselves to the doors of banks to get them to divest from fossil fuel projects.” There were also a handful of activists who blocked construction of a new pipeline in October. The author’s conclusion is that the “case for necessity is only growing stronger.” Is it though? Really?

In 2015, approximately one out of every ten human beings on Earth was living in extreme poverty. That means hundreds of millions of people are actually struggling to survive each day, not “struggling” in the sense that they might not make it from Starbucks to the pipeline vandalizing event by 11am. The only way those individuals will exit poverty is by gaining access to affordable and reliable supplies of energy.

Anti-energy activists tweeting photos of themselves breaking stuff doesn’t make it easier for people in Sub-Saharan Africa to put food on the table. With America now a major oil and natural gas exporter (‘Murica), pipeline vandals aren’t doing anything that could be considered “necessary.”