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The Monkey Wrench Gang (the amended version)

posted by CarlIngwell at
on Thursday, March 3, 2011 

I'd just like to personally thank Mr. Tim DeCristopher. Mr. DeCristopher put civil disobedience back in the national spotlight, and called much needed attention to the subject of global climate change. Thank you, Tim.

On the eve of Tim's verdict, the state of Utah is locked in a fierce debate about the designation of wild lands. One side is arguing for the development of such lands, which will surely see more natural gas, oil shale, and oil development. One side is arguing for the wilderness that my heart constantly yearns for. It shouldn't be too hard to figure out which I'd prefer.

I grew up in the Uintah Basin, where natural gas development should be a major issue right now (I doubt it is). Scientists have found unsafe levels of ozone in the air; Greater Sage-Grouse habitat is being fragmented, which will ultimately put the species in more danger than it already is; and natural gas companies are pumping carcinogens into the groundwater in a process known as "fracking" (Hydraulic fracturing).

Our own legislature is arguing against the wild lands designation. Governor Gary Herbert says that the designation of wild lands in Utah will be an economic disaster. I disagree. I think that the true economic disaster will be the destruction of the wild lands he doesn't want to protect. The true economic disaster will be extinction of native species, human cancers, erosion, global warming, etc.

I'm truly surprised that more Utahns don't support the wild lands bills, and I wish that the ones that do would be more vocal about it. Tim DeCristopher did something that I wish I had the balls to do.

Please write in support of wild lands designation in the state of Utah. Actually, please write your legislators about anything you feel passionate about. Please rally. Please practice civil disobedience. Please do something to save the planet.

Thanks again, Tim.

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9 Comments:
Anonymous Lu Giddings said...

Good post Carl. Apathy and fear have most people by the ya-ya 's. There are various ways of making the world a better place. But all of them involve that first step of getting up off your keister....

March 4, 2011 at 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim DeChristopher hasn't done anything more illegal than the BLM has, or many "fine" establishments or corporations for that matter...and none of them have even had to pay a fine.

March 4, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Jeff Bilsky said...

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul" - Edward Abbey. I list this as one of my favorite quotes because when I read it it begs the question: "What do you feel and what are you doing about it?" Great post, Ingwell.

March 4, 2011 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

Okay, I guess I will be the monkey wrench in this... I do agree that the people of Utah are blind to what is going on in the legislature, and going on with the wildlands. Why people wouldn't want to protect what we have is beyond me. It's startling how ignorant so many people are to what is going on around them, or how little they care. I for one think that is the biggest shame.

As to the other side of this, speaking about Tim DeChristopher, he broke the law by signing federal forms while posing as a legitimate energy buyer, and then by bidding successfully for upward of $1.8 million in leases from the federal Bureau of Land Management. He broke the law, and that's plain and simple. Is it the worst offense? No. Is it worse that what the oil and gas companies get away with on a daily basis? Hell no. But it was illegal, and that is why he went to trial, and why he was convicted. This point seems to be missed by most people, as they look at him as some sort of "hero" for only holding up an inevitable happening.

Why not take the time and energy that went into this and put it into doing something legal and that may have a longer lasting effect that a short term hold up on actually leading the land?

In the end it sucks that this guy will probably go to jail, and probably have to pay a fine for doing something that was at it's base sort of childish. For that I don't applaud him, I say, "nice job knucklehead, you sure showed the big bad machine how it's done."

When it comes to conservation, and helping a cause, or creating a movement there are many was to help and make a change. Unfortunately, I don't think or agree that this was the way to do it. That doesn't make me a monster or against what his thoughts were behind it, it just make me wonder if he fully thought about the consequences before he did it.

March 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger CarlIngwell said...

Tim, there is no doubt that Tim DeCristopher broke the law. He even admitted to that on numerous occasions. He said that he is willing to suffer the consequences of his law breaking ways. Check out some of his interviews where he admits to being a lawbreraker and takes full responsibility & agrees to take on the consequences. Yes, he probably will serve time and/or pay a hefty fine; he agrees with that! Do I?

What he did do, and what I applaud him for is this: He put global warming, the Red Rocks Wilderness initiative, and oil/gas concerns into the national spotlight.

My post wasn't about whether or not he was a law breaker. He is. My blog was about me thanking him for drawing national attention to the protection that our Utah lands need.

March 4, 2011 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

@Carl: I know, as you said, "called much needed attention to the subject of global climate change". What I was getting at is why not do it in a way that doesn't involve breaking the law? Why not put that energy towards something that does more than getting yourself thrown in jail or fined? I share the same view of the situation as him, but I think it was stupid the way he went about doing it.

In the end it will do little to help advocate and shape climate change legislation, or even the minds and eyes of the masses. And as I also stated, it didn't do anything to stop or halt what was going to happen, it just delayed the sad and inevitable.

The spotlight hasn't been on the issue at hand here, it has been on him. when you turn on the news, or read the paper their aren't articles saying, look what this guy did for putting it in the spotlight, it says, look what this guy is doing in court, and what's going to happen to him.

What good our the actions, if as soon as the trail is over and he goes to jail the majority of people have forgotten about it? I would applaud a sustained and larger movement by a large number of people trying to bring that same focus and day--hell I would be part of it.

March 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger CarlIngwell said...

Welp, who knows what will come out of it. Only time will tell. You're right, I could be dead wrong.

March 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Tim Avery said...

@Carl: I don't think you're wrong. There definitely is a spotlight on the issue right now. Like I said, it would be nice to see a larger organized and prolonged movement keeping the issues in the spotlight. I think I see your calling man.

March 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger CarlIngwell said...

Nah. My calling is to get the Gray Wolf reintroduced in Cache Valley.

March 4, 2011 at 12:09 PM  

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