Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eisenhower and the ELF

The other night I rented an excellent documentary called "If A Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front." It's been nominated for an Oscar, which I can understand -- it certainly was thought-provoking. The ELF, you may remember, burned down properties including a resort development, a lumber company, a company that butchered wild horses and part of an SUV dealership, all in the name of ecology. The film explores the government's branding of ELF activists as "terrorists" and what that means for the penalties they face.

It was a very balanced film, including perspectives from law enforcement and the owners of a targeted lumber company, for example, as well as the activists themselves. What's the border between legitimate protest and criminality? What constitutes terrorism? These are the kinds of issues it probes.

I must admit that although I don't condone the ELF or its methods, I often gave a silent cheer when I read about their exploits -- which sometimes were effective. They closed down that horse slaughterhouse entirely. I certainly agree with their sense of desperation about the planet and its resources.

The problem, though, once again, is that there are simply too many people. Burning down an SUV dealership or a ski lodge ultimately isn't going to make that much difference, because more and more people are around to demand SUVs and ski trips. (Not to mention food and water and other basic necessities.) What the human race has to do is curb its own reproduction, and until we're willing to do that, many of our environmental battles will come to naught.

In other news:

-- Our amaryllis blooms (pictured above) are already fading. I'm surprised! I thought they'd last longer. But Internet research tells me they last a week or so, and I guess that's about how long it's been.

-- I read that the family of Dwight Eisenhower is upset with the design for his planned memorial on the Washington Mall. My reaction wasn't to side with or against the design, but to think, "A memorial for Dwight Eisenhower?" I mean, nothing against the guy, but does every president get a monument? How soon before the Washington Mall is cluttered with too much statuary? The open green space is far more valuable than all that concrete.

(Photo: This is what you'd get if this photo and this photo had a baby.)


  1. OMG, I can't believe it, I found another person that agrees with me about over population. I always think, you can drive all the hybrids you want if you have 3, 4 and 5 kids you are not doing your part.

    Personally I have none and I am going to keep it that way. I compensate by being a collective mommy, a teacher. :P

    I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. Nice to find someone else out there that feels the same way.

    Ms. M

  2. I forgot to mention that I love your picture. I think I like all the pictures of your French press. :)

    Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog

  3. Mike & I are doing our part - no kiddos for us (thank you sweet Jesus - really!). But unlike Ms. M I try to avoid the little buggers whenever possible :)

  4. I firmly believe that overpopulation is the source of ALL our ills. But I don't mean to sound like I'm anti-kids. I love kids -- I just love reasonable numbers of them!

  5. Love the photo of the "baby", the memorial is about as uninspiring as Dwight so ...who cares. The artist needs to go back to the drawing board I think.So many butt ugly monuments to suits.
    Love ELF- Love their energy and feistiness, must see the DOC. thanks! ANd I agree so much about overpopulation! it is frightening the power of religion over peoples common sense!