If there are more attacks on energy infrastructure, Greenpeace should be held accountable by authorities in United States, Canada
Annette Klapstein is a 64-year old mother, and presumably a grandmother, so no surprise she writes about family and love with such passion. Klapstein is also a criminal climate activist who endangered lives when she helped shut down five pipelines carrying oil sands crude between Canada and the United States on Tuesday.
Fortunately, the pipeline safety systems worked as designed and a catastrophe – or catastrophes – was avoided. But a huge crude oil release or an explosion could just as easily have happened.
If you want a glimmer of what a pipeline explosion might do in an urban centre, consider the devastation wrought in the summer of 2013 in tiny Lac Megantic, Quebec when a runaway oil train exploded just opposite the town centre, incinerating 47 people in the wink of an eye.
Now, I know Annette Klapstein and her four co-conspirators didn’t intend to hurt anyone. They say so on their website.
And they say it very eloquently. Klapstein, Ken Ward (59), Emily Johnston (50), Michael Foster (52), and Leonard Higgins (64) are all mature, educated, thoughtful, well read, accomplished people. One is a poet, another managed national environment organizations for years, Klapstein is a lawyer, and so on.
They are no doubt influential people in their communities. And probably in the broader environmental movement.
And that’s what makes them so dangerous.
Their pleas for action, including a letter to President Barack Obama sent before their pipeline tampering, are riven with despair at the prospect of a planet poisoned to death. Here’s an excerpt:
It is not that we lack the traditions and values from which a practical and moral course of action might spring. We need only to act with thought for generations to come, respect the earth which nourishes us, cherish wild things and wild places, and value people over things, happiness over wealth, and other people over one’s self.
Yes, Klapstein et. al. are the extreme fringe of the climate alarmists.
But they are charming, erudite, and utterly convincing to activists perhaps already mulling direction action of their own against energy infrastructure.
Which is why Greenpeace’s endorsement of Climate Direct Action is so irresponsible.
Calling Klapstein and her cabal “brave activists” and declaring “If our leaders won’t take action to protect people and the planet, the climate movement is willing and able“ is a call to arms to the more extreme elements of the environmental movement.
The Canadian government was warned several years ago by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that “aboriginal extremists” posed a significant threat to energy projects.
And it is no coincidence that Climate Direct Action said it acted “in solidarity” with the Standing Rock Sioux’s blockade of the Dakota Access pipeline construction in North Dakota.
I’m not pointing the finger at aboriginal opponents of pipelines. I’ve supported the right of Canadian – particularly British Columbian – First Nations to peacefully oppose pipeline projects.
But I am arguing that when influential community members like Klapstein are prepared to go to jail for endangering lives and their rash actions are praised and held as an example by an organization as powerful as Greenpeace, disaffected fellow travelers won’t be far behind. Whether those fellow travelers are indigenous or disillusioned youth or hardcore anarchists, Climate Direct Action has just blown the dog whistle to eco-activist extremists in both Canada and the United States.
Greenpeace and Climate Direct Action have basically declared open season on any sort of energy infrastructure – pipelines, oil wells, neighbourhood service stations, coal or natural gas power generating plants, etc.
When Klapstein writes, “Like mothers everywhere, I act from a deep love for my own children that extends out to all children and young people,” her emotional prose masks the harsh consequences of closing a pipeline pumping station valve.
When Higgins says, “Because of the climate change emergency…I am committed to the moral necessity of participating in nonviolent direct action to protect life,” he glosses over how quickly and easily non-violence direct action can become violent consequences for innocent people.
Best case, Climate Direct Action is a one-day wonder and by next week their cause has dropped off the front pages.
Worst case, Climate Direct Action’s stunts inspire new extremists to pick up the torch.
Given Greenpeace’s endorsement, the latter case appears most likely.
If Greenpeace continues to support and abet Climate Direct Action, and there are further dangerous attacks on energy infrastructure, then Greenpeace should be held accountable by authorities in the US and Canada.
Just like Annette Klapstein, however well-intentioned she may be.