« Graph of the Day for September 2, 2010 |
Blog Home Page
| The Mask Slips »
September 2, 2010
An Inconvenient Extremist
Can the "violent extremists are only found on the right" stereotype finally be put to rest?
James Jay Lee, an environmental activist and self-described "world guardian", was shot and killed in a hostage standoff. Mr. Lee entered the headquarters of The Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland with a handgun and canisters resembling explosives strapped to his body. Thankfully, Lee's three hostages were not harmed.
James Jay Lee was a tortured soul. What tortured him was the belief that the Earth was doomed by the proliferation of "human parasites" and the environmental damage caused by "civilization's filth".
We can feel sorry for a man who lost his way, and perhaps his sanity as well. We should be thankful that his violent act hurt no one besides himself.
Liberals love to conduct post-mortem psychoanalyses in these situations, if they think a conservative ideology is involved. Therefore, in fairness, we should seek an answer to what caused James Jay Lee to so hate his fellow humans.
We do not have to dig deep to learn the truth. Mr. Lee was quite candid about his inspiration.
Lee had been a periodic protestor outside of the Discovery Channel headquarters. His aggressive protests and bizarre actions led to an arrest in 2008. At his trial, Mr. Lee explained that his activism was spurred by the environmentalist doomsday novels of Daniel Quinn and by former Vice President Al Gore‘s film "An Inconvenient Truth".
Lee detailed his beliefs in a manifesto on his website and distributed it to Discovery Channel executives. He demanded that the cable outlet use his manifesto as a source for future programming. Lee also castigated the executives for not producing videos based on Quinn's and Gore's warnings.
Among Lee's writings:
It would be easy to simply write off Mr. Lee as mentally ill, but according to his family, this behavior started within the last few years. Perhaps he was unstable. However, is it also likely that the environmental extremism Lee professed was learned?
My children received a steady diet of environmentalism in school and daycare. I remember when my daughter tearfully told me "all the polar bears will be dead because of global warming". She was in kindergarten and her favorite part of zoo visits was watching the polar bears. Yes, she was a child and they are prone to literalism. Sadly, so are many sane adults.
President Barack Obama described the recent Gulf Oil spill as "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced". Yet, a few months later, there is little physical evidence of such dire consequences. The media breathlessly waited for the opportunity to film oil-covered animals and fouled beaches. It turns out that more real damage may be caused by the president's knee-jerk offshore oil drilling ban than the actual oil spill.
Common threads of environmental extremism are the gross exaggeration of potential impacts and a "doomsday is nigh upon us" call to immediate action. I suppose this helps their never-ending fundraising appeals rake in the really big bucks.
James Jay Lee bought into the doomsday environmental ideology. His concerns were certainly radical, but they are not unique to him. There is evidence Lee was led to his warped conclusions. It is a relatively short trip from"humans are killing the planet" to "humans must die to save the planet".
In fact, A&E Network's The History Channel aired a series entitled "Life After Humans". One of the show's premises was that the planet would quickly return to a better state if people were not present. Perhaps, Mr. Lee felt that Discovery had dropped the ball vis-a-vis the History Channel.
Indeed, the purveyors of environmental extremism reap riches through the sale of their delusional books and videos. Have you seen the pictures of Al Gore's new multi-million dollar oceanside mansion?
But, that story will go unreported by liberal media outlets. There will be no investigative reports. There will be no exposes on dangerous and violent radical environmentalism. There will be no recriminations by "mainstream" liberal groups.
That would not push the liberal/progressive/environmentalist agenda forward.
Kenneth Spitz is a freelance political writer and blogger. The kens*ten blog can be read at http://kensten.wordpress.com.