Is Information About Eco-Terrorist Strategies and Tactics Readily Available?
I received NBN Online and read the article titled “Eco-Terrorists Intensifying No-Growth Battles in California” (July 19). As I read the advice from the PCBC panel, I thought the information was good and then realized this article will probably end up in the hands of the eco-terrorists who will develop counter-measures in order to succeed.
Can builders do the same thing — that is get copies of the eco-terrorists' playbook, their strategies, tactics, etc. — and use that information to fight this battle? Their information should be readily available and could be passed along to builders in the online news and other resources. If builders knew where to get the information (online or other print sources), they might be able to take more effective measures against these radical actions.
Editor's Note: The Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.), an international underground movement bent on the destruction of private property, maintains a Web site at www.earthliberationfront.com that chronicles its actions and tactics.
Disagree With the Tone of Your Article on Eco-Terrorists
Nation's Building News is an important trade journal, and when you recently invited me to subscribe, I was tempted. One of your recent headlines caught my eye — "Eco-Terrorists Intensifying No-Growth Battles in California" (July 19).
I agree that vandalism and destruction of private property is wrong, even if the perpetrators are acting in what they perceive as the interests of the public good. I am not sure that I would refer to their actions as "terrorist tactics," however. At least as far as the article stated, they have not harmed anyone. They are not trying to instill fear, but to stop something they see as being unjust.
I don't support their tactics, but using an emotionally charged term like "terrorist" in this context is, I believe, a form of yellow journalism. I realize that you may simply be using a moniker framed by others, but I believe it is the responsibility of the press, even professional trade journals, to be more circumspect.
I was particularly disturbed by the tone used in the article when discussing more moderate eco-activists. "Your opponents (the eco-activists) don't have much integrity..." Although this statement is attributed to Pearce, a builder's representative, it seems clear that your publication shares his point of view. There is no real attempt to present the environmentalists' perspective or grievances.
I was glad to see that at least one of the recommendations cited in the article was to consider the community and green building methods when designing new projects. I believe that properly implemented, these practices produce a better return for developers and users. Everybody can win. I have shared in the frustration many people feel when developers act solely in their own interests with little regard for the community and the environment they are impacting.
In short, I believe that developers and builders need a wake-up call when it comes to responsible design and construction practices. I don't support the actions of extremists who use vandalism and arson to make their point, but I think it is just as wrong to vilify those who use legal means to protect the public welfare.
Green design is good design and everyone can benefit from it. I think that it is important for NBN and similar journals to get that message out, and not to blindly side with the builder in every dispute.
Graduate Student of Architecture
University of Maryland
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