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 the defense of a pro-environmental or animal-rights ideology. Many activists and scholars who are critical of this use of the term counter that rather than affixing this label to nonviolent activist movements seeking ecological sustainability and animal liberation, states and corporations that routinely harm ecosystems and nonhuman animals should be...

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

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