Yesterday at the Discovery Channel
offices in Maryland, environmental activist James Jay Lee took company
employees hostage, threatening to kill them unless the media outlet
agreed to turn itself into a propaganda channel for population control.
The standoff ended when the gun-toting and bomb-laden eco-terrorist was
shot dead by a SWAT team.
Lee had earlier outlined his demands on
his website, savetheplanetprotest.com, where he posted a 1,100 word
manifesto aimed at the Discovery Channel. In it, he demanded that
Discovery change its programming and focus on getting rid of people who
are "polluting" the planet. "All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must
stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants..." Lee
wrote, "...programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must
be pushed. ... That means stopping the human race from breeding any more
disgusting human babies!" It is because there are too many people, he
exclaims elsewhere on the site, that "Global Warming is a reality. The
massive extinction of animals is happening all over the world."
Where did he get such wacko ideas?
From the mainstream environmental
movement, that's where, which early embraced the idea that the best kind
of environmental protection was population control.
Earth Day Founder Hugh Moore first popularized the idea, picked up by
Lee, that people are a form of pollution. Moore invented the term
"popullution," short for population pollution, and chose as the theme of
the first Earth Day in 1970 the slogan "People Pollute."
Population Bombster Paul Ehrlich went on to narrow the focus to human
babies, frequently exhorting people to "Join the environmental movement,
stop having children, and save the planet."
1971 most of the leading environmental groups had signed on to the
anti-natal agenda, having been convinced that reducing the human
birthrate would greatly benefit the environment. Lee obviously made
their agenda his own.
Coercion in matters of birth control, suggested by Lee above, has been
widely and openly endorsed by radical environmentalists. "Voluntarism
is a farce," wrote Richard Bowers of Zero Population Growth in 1969.
"The private sector effort has failed... [even the expenditure] of
billions of dollars will not limit growth." Sterner measures were
required, said Bowers, who proposed enacting "criminal laws to limit
population, if the earth is to survive."
- And then there is
Al Gore who, however cartoonish he now seems, continues his overheated
rhetoric about the dangers of global warming. According to Lee's own
account, it was a viewing of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" several
years ago that first spurred him to environmental activism. I note also
that Gore, in a post on his personal blog two weeks ago, called for major protests against the failure of the U.S. government to act against global warming.
- Lee was particularly affected by reading Ishmael and My Ishmael,
environmental cult books by Daniel Quinn that tell the story of a
sentient gorilla with a Jewish name (Ishmael), who castigates humans for
having too many babies. Reducing human numbers and returning humans to
a tribal existence (Quinn is also no fan of industry) are recurrent
themes of the books, and are cited by Lee as a major inspiration.
Now, if a book by Glenn Beck had in any
way, however remotely, inspired a gunman to take hostages at MSNBC and
demand that they reorient their programming to promote the pro-life,
pro-family cause, you can bet that the lamestream media would be howling
hate crime, not just at the criminal, but also at Beck himself.
Instead, we see the media in
full-throated denial of any connection between the anti-people words of
their environmental icons and the anti-people acts of James Lee. The Huffington Post
has already reached the conclusion that Lee was mentally ill, the
implication of which is that neither he, nor his intellectual
progenitors, can be held accountable for his actions. I am not a
psychologist, but it seems to me that you have to be functioning pretty
well to write long essays, maintain a website, and plan an assault
(complete with bombs) on a major media center.
Those who inspired Lee's ravings are
taking a different approach. While Al Gore is maintaining a discrete
silence, Daniel Quinn is babbling to all and sundry that his books had
absolutely nothing whatsoever--zip, zilch, nada--to do with James Lee's
actions. "This James Lee has been inspired," Quinn concedes, "but in a
destructive way. He's doing what he can do -- which is a crazy stunt. I
wish I could understand what he's trying to do, and what he's trying to
say. It's hard to connect it with my book."
Really? It seems rather easy to
connect the dots to me. Perhaps Quinn has not yet read Lee's manifesto,
the ideas of which, although put more crudely, bear more than a passing
resemblance to his own. Both of them want industrial civilization to
self-destruct, taking with it most of the people on the planet, but
Quinn wants to do it ... democratically.
As he explains, "The solution has to
come from a consensus of the majority of the humans in our planet, and
say 'Yes, this is what we must do, painful as it will be, to ensure the
survival of the race.' ... And it will be painful. There's not going to
be any painless solution."
Lee's solution was to speed up the
achievement of consensus by inflicting pain and terror on innocent
people to force the Discovery Channel to broadcast an endless series of
anti-baby, anti-people documentaries.
"It's hard to imagine how he got from reading this book to his current behavior," Quinn now says. "It certainly puzzles me."
What puzzles me is how obtuse otherwise
intelligent Leftists can be when they are in denial. They endlessly
advocate "radical action," and "radical social change," and then when
someone takes them seriously they throw up their hands in pretended
It is also clear that Daniel Quinn and
others feel a certain twinge of sympathy for James Lee. After all, the
taking of hostages in the environmentalist cause is not a mere "crazy
stunt," as Quinn put it, it is a brazen act of eco-terrorism, and should
be described as such.
Do not hold your breath.
I am reminded of the British labor
leader who balked at comparisons between Communism and Nazism. Nazism
was pure evil, this social democrat said, while Communism was merely
deformed. However much Lee and other radical environmentalists may have
disagreed about means, they shared the view that people are a
pestilence on the planet. And so they are soul mates.