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The arrogance of the environmental movement was on full display in Salt Lake City this week, as radical environmentalist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $10,000 for sabotaging an oil and gas lease auction. In 2007, DeChristopher was awarded leases that would have allowed him to explore for gas and oil on 22,500 acres of public land in Utah after paying up on successful bids totaling $1.8 million for drilling rights.
At the time DeChristopher, a former wilderness guide, was 27-years-old and didn’t have anything close to $1.8 million in actual assets. His goal, as he cheerfully admits, was to disrupt the auction in the name of saving the planet from climate catastrophe.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he said in an interview with Yes! magazine. “In a general way I’d actually been preparing for this for a long time, building up the general commitment to take this level of risk, to be ready when the time came. I knew I would probably go to jail for it, but my mindset was: It’s worth it to keep this oil in the ground.”
Radical environmentalists have rallied to DeChristopher’s side, declaring that he is a hero who has merely been engaged in the time-honored practice of civil disobedience in order to do harm to the corporate beast that – in their fevered imaginations – threatens existence itself. But, even if one subscribes to the dubious notion that the earth’s climate is so incredibly sensitive that a few parts per million of carbon dioxide can throw it dangerously out of whack, DeChristopher’s actions are hardly heroic or noble; they are rather pointless and childish.
Reducing domestic production of oil and natural gas – DeChristopher’s utlimate goal – doesn’t do anything to change demand, here or anywhere else on planet earth. By sabotaging one action, he didn’t reduce fossil fuel use in the United States an iota. Instead, he just ensured that we use a bit less of our own fuel and pay a bit more to buy it from some other nation. But this young man is clearly part of the petulant, neo-revolutionary crowd that is increasingly exerting itself through green tyranny.
“We’re missing out on the fact that even if 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population really get the issue of climate change, that’s 30 or 40 million people,” he said. “That’s more than enough to bring the fossil fuel industry to its knees. We think we have no power when in fact we have more than enough power. Right now, we have a big enough movement to win this battle; we just need to start acting like it.”
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