Flaming solar panels. Habeas corpus for chimpanzees. Pets not being “pets.” What other drama can we expect to entertain us from the Green camp?
This week, two near simultaneous tragicomic scenes were played out on both sides of the Atlantic, while a third – closely related to Scene 2 – hovered ominously in the background.
Scene 1 is most definitely a comedy, while Scenes 2 and 3 are decidedly tragic. But then, it’s all just another day in the Green theatre of insanity.
Scene 1: The restful seaside town of Hove, United Kingdom, little brother of its larger and more famous next-door neighbor Brighton.
It was a hot time at the Hove Town Hall on April 21st when the solar panels atop the building burst into flames, pouring thick, acrid, black smoke into the pristine seaside air. An environmental tragedy to be sure, but quite comedic when one learns the Brighton and Hove City Council is run by none other than the Green Party itself.
The ruling Hove Greens are now roasting squarely in the hot seat as irate citizens, while no doubt making jolly fun of the irony, are angrily berating the party’s governing record. Adding insult to injury, the Greens are up for re-election in just a few weeks.
If comments by local residents are any indication, the Greens are in trouble. “Didn’t think the Green Party would take scorched earth policy quite that far! Or did they leave the microwave on again?” and, “Are they burning the files before the fraud squad moves in?”
Solar panels, the alleged eco-friendly alternative to evil fossil fuel-generated energy, are manufactured with a number of hazardous chemicals and materials. When solar panels are combusted, as occurred in Hove, these toxins are released into the air posing a health risk to all within breath shot.
As another resident commented, the solar panel fire, “Probably created the most pollution over their tenure than any other party anywhere.” Meanwhile, a Green Party spokesperson was quoted as blaming it on the “wrong sun today.”
Despite these noted health risks and the extensive property damage caused by this regretful incident, the ironical humor cannot be dismissed. The cynical mere mortals in Hove are joined in raucous laughter with the audience on the cushions.
Scene 2: State of New York
Meanwhile, in New York, the Nonhuman Rights Project won the right to present its argument before the Supreme Court of the State of New York that Hercules and Leo, two chimpanzees at Stony Brook University, deserve to be treated as legal persons and can therefore challenge their “illegal” detention in court. The petition requested a writ of habeas corpus, a court order which calls for the legal justification for a prisoner to be held captive. The Nonhuman Rights Project wants the chimps to be relocated to a sanctuary in Florida.
The Nonhuman Rights Project was elated by the ruling, which marked the first time in US history that a non-Homo sapiens had been covered by a writ of habeas corpus. However, their euphoria was short lived, as the ruling was amended with “writ of habeas corpus” struck out, suggesting that the court had made no decision on whether the chimps deserve to be treated as legal persons. The Order to Show Cause, however, remained and this is what will be considered at a court hearing on May 6th.
This is not the Nonhuman Rights Project’s first attempt to secure a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a chimpanzee. And if their past experience is any indicator then the court proceedings on May 6th will prove to be a gross waste of time and taxpayers’ money. Or maybe not. We shall see if sanity does still have a voice in the Green wilderness of crazy.
In December 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee who lives in Gloversville, New York. The petition demanded that the court both acknowledge his rights as a person and remove him from his current captivity. An appeals court ruled in December 2014 that rights are given only to individuals capable of fulfilling social obligations and responsibilities.
In a separate case involving Kiko, a chimp who lives in Niagara Falls, New York, appeals court judges ruled in January 2015 that habeas corpus didn’t apply because the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida is merely another kind of captivity.
The Nonhuman Rights Project is not alone in its quest to equate primates with human beings. It is in the company of other radical organizations such as the Seattle-based Great Ape Project (GAP), which is campaigning for the United Nations to adopt its Declaration on Great Apes. The Declaration would see chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans included in a “community of equals” with human beings.
Scene 3: Pets No Longer “Pets”
Since 2011, a call by “animal ethicists” has rung out urging a vocabulary change from “pets” to “companion animals” and “wild” to “free living.” The initial call for a new “animal language” was made by the editors of the academic publication, the Journal of Animal Ethics, published for the first time in April 2011 by the University of Illinois Press.
James Serpel, professor of animal welfare at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said it wasn’t surprising that researchers were re-examining their language as animal welfare becomes more of a social issue. However, he did not agree with the recommended terminology and cautioned that it could be taken to “absurd” extremes.
The true agenda was made clear, however, by Susan Cosby, CEO of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who said the most important thing for respecting animals is how they are perceived and treated in the legal system. She said, “Currently animals are considered property regardless of what term we use to describe them”
And there, as Hamlet said, is the rub.
Anarcho-Primitivism and Green Terrorism
The truth is, the end game of the seemingly harmless “tree-hugging,” “animal loving,” and “pacifist” Green agenda is simple: To bring down civilized society as we know it.
If this sounds like just another rant, one need only log on to the Greenpeace Deep Green blogspace or the Deep Green Resistance website to discover the level of militancy within the ranks of the animal rights and eco-warrior league. Deep Green Resistance is even so kind as to provide us with a map of their battle plan, the Taxonomy of Direct Action. Violence against humans is a defined element of this battle plan, whose end game is the collapse of civilized society infrastructure.
The Deep Green Resistance manifesto reads more like a French Résistance tactical manual for battling evil Nazis than it does a mission to save the planet. In fact, Deep Green Resistance’s Decisive Ecological Warfare manual describes in great detail how to conduct acts of guerrilla warfare such as blowing up railways and sabotaging the power grid. Unlike the Maquis, however, Deep Green Resistance does not have just one well-defined enemy in its sites. No, the Deep Green Resistance end game is an all-out return to anarcho-primitivism and living off the grid.
Anarcho-primitivism is a philosophical and political movement predicated under the assumption that the move from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence was a horrendous mistake. This mistake gave rise to evils such as social stratification, coercion, alienation, and unchecked population growth. Anarcho-primitivists believe it is only through the abandonment of technology and a return to “non-civilized” ways of being – a process called “wilding” – that we can cleanse society of the ills that plague the human species.
The poster boy for anarcho-primitivism is “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, who masterminded from his electricity-free cabin in the wilderness a multi-year spree of letter bombs that killed three people and injured more than twenty. A highly educated Harvard graduate, Kaczynski wrote in a letter to a Turkish anarchist that by the time he was 11–years-old he was “attracted to the primitive way of life as a result of reading of the life of Neanderthal man.” Kaczynski was, for a time, a disciple of anarcho-primitivist philosopher John Zerzan, a modern-day Luddite who wants us all to get rid of all our cars, mobile phones, computers, and appliances. The irony that Zerzan spreads his gospel via the Internet, text message, and automobile travel seems to be lost somewhere in translation.
The dirty little secret of the modern-day Green movement is that the ultra-radical Deep Green Resistance, anarcho-primitivist philosophy is espoused by many – if not most – of the radical Green groups scattered across the planet. Civilization as we know it, they tell us, is not redeemable and its demise must be hastened along at all cost. “The longer we wait for civilization to crash – or the longer we wait before we ourselves bring it down – the messier will be the crash, and the worse things will be for those humans and nonhumans who live during it, and for those who come after.”
Runnymede to Guantanomo
With its petition in New York, the Nonhuman Rights Project invoked a legal challenge normally reserved for slaves, convicted criminals, and theoretical debate about terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay or the detention of illegal immigrants.
The petition also cheapens the God given, intrinsic, human right of habeas corpus that has been recognized in legal concept since Anglo Saxon times and codified in written law in 1215, when King John of England signed – under duress – the Magna Carta. Article 39 states,
“No freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or disseized, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way harmed – nor will we go upon or send upon him – save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law.”
Though rarely used in the UK today, habeas corpus is still in wide use in the US, where it is most commonly used by prisoners after conviction in a challenge to continued “unlawful” detention.
Perhaps the most famous case of habeas corpus in the US is the Dred Scott Decision. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived for several years with his owner in a free state, petitioned the US federal court for a writ of habeas corpus. It was granted and later upheld by a court of appeals. Nevertheless, in 1857, in one of the most controversial cases in US history, the US Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that no slave or descendant of a slave could be an American citizen and so Scott was not a “person” within the purview of the Constitution. In other words, he did not possess the right of habeas corpus. The decision also found that granting Scott his freedom would have improperly deprived his owner of his legal property. Though such a ruling is abhorrent to the modern mind, it was legal at the time. And it was eventually overturned by President Lincoln in 1863 and two subsequent Constitutional amendments, which recognized all human beings as having rights.
Insanity with a Purpose
Legal petitions such as that put forward by the Nonhuman Rights Project are but one of the tools in the arsenal of the radical eco-movement to bring down society as we know it – one small bit at a time.
In fact, non-violent actions taken by NGOs such as the Nonhuman Rights Project are an integral part of the Deep Green Resistance Taxonomy of Action. The chimpanzee petition, for example, falls squarely under Acts of Commission/Indirect Action/Lobbying.
It’s not all about blowing up power grids and railways – the legal front is a necessary and integral part of the overall plan.
The societal implications of a successful campaign to equate primates with humans are alarming. Even worse, the very suggestion of such a concept is insulting to the memory of Dred Scott or any other human being who, over the past millennium, has invoked this most sacred of human rights.
Any judicial ruling that would equate primates with humans would play right into the hands of Deep Green Resistance and its cousins, who want nothing more than to destroy human civilization as we know it.
By: Joy Baird