Ecoterrorism

The term “eco-terrorism” invites and courts confusion, misinterpretation, and misuse. It is a fine example of doublespeak, and is probably best thought of broadly as a terrain of power or, in a narrower vein, as one scholar writes, “nothing less than one vast attempt at control” (Gibbs 1989, 339). The term is believed to have been coined by anti-environmental activist Ron Arnold (Arnold 1983, 1997 [2010]), whose writings caught the attention of conservative media and political leaders who injected it into national and international discourses to exert greater control over a critical public policy issue, leading to hearings in the U.S. Congress and the passage of laws targeting eco-terrorism in most U.S. states and increasingly in other nations. Arnold famously defined “eco-terrorism” as a “crime committed to save nature” and is just one of many public voices that generally characterize “eco-terrorism” as any violent act against property or persons in …

This essay may be found on page 82 of the printed volume.

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