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(1) Sierra Club to promote “peaceful civil disobedience.” That’s beyond oxymoron. If they promote steps to prevent legitimate business to operate, it ain’t peaceful. If you got past the title of the press release, you probably should have stopped once you read this nonsense (i.e. go check out the science on this stuff, dear bastions of science): “Recognizing the imminent danger posed by climate disruption, including record heat waves, drought, wildfires and the devastation of superstorm Sandy,”


(2) This is what counts now for important academic research. We’re doomed.

So, if a Sierra Club member decides to peacefully prevent me from filling up my car with gasoline, what is the appropriate response?

7 Responses to “News from the Climate Frontier”

  1. Alex says:

    I don’t see why it’s an oxymoron. Someone stands in front of the machines building a pipeline, or cutting down a tree, street art…aren’t these all peaceful protests?

    • wintercow20 says:

      It ain’t peaceful when they are using the property of others in ways not agreed to. How do they stop machines? They are standing on property that the pipeline company has legally paid for to develop the pipeline. So trespass is now peaceful? Or what if on public roads? Do these protesters have legitimate rights to the roads that the trucks do not? Was there a negotiation about it? And if there is no amount that either side claims they’d be willing to negotiate with respect to access to the roads, how does one select the “correct” side? The only way they can peacefully protest is to secure the development rights to that property and then choose not to develop it.

      But they are thugs, and it’s more nefarious in my view when they claim it is all peaceful. It’s even worse when yet again, the entire idea is misinformed to begin with. What if I went to the Sierra Club headquarters and did not allow members to enter or leave because I sincerely believe, as I do, that they are threatening the planet? What say folks to that?

      • Dan says:

        Surely there are some admirable forms of civil disobedience. How should we view Rosa Parks? Would you say that she trespassed on private property as she ignored the legal rules of the bus company? After all, the city passed an ordinance to segregate buses, and she was aware of it before she got on the bus. What should have been the best way to deal with the injustice here? Or is this not the right analogy?

        • wintercow20 says:

          Poor analogy. Both the bus company and Ms. Parks had a shared interest in a different outcome. That is not the case when it comes to the energy development discussed above.

        • SY says:

          I think that’s a poor analogy, but for another reason entirely. With the case of Rosa Parks, we’re dealing with disobedience in the public arena, and same can be said with Gandhi’s Salt March, etc. The Sierra Club case deals with a private relationship, which makes the “injustice” more severe ..

  2. Harry says:

    The pipeline company should sue the Sierra club for damages, which would include not just the cost of the crew and the equipment (an hour lost is a lot of money) but also the time value of the lost revenue. It might tie up a lot of Sierra club lawyers. Get a jury trial in Texas. Take a lot of pictures. Subpoena all relevant e-mails. Seize hard drives. Disbar lawyers for encouraging lawless acts.

  3. jb says:

    In response to the hypothetical question posed…. Perhaps this would get their attention: Instead of putting the gasoline in your car, pour it over your head and light a match, but first explain that you are “peacefully disobeying” in order to defend the quaint notion of property rights…

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