ecoterrorism

ecoterrorism
e·co·ter·ror·ism (ē'kō-tĕrʹə-rĭz'əm, ĕk'ō-) n.
Terrorism or sabotage committed in the name of environmental causes.
  e'co·terʹror·ist adj. & n.

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or ecological terrorism or environmental terrorism

The destruction, or the threat of destruction, of the environment in order to intimidate or coerce governments.

The term has also been applied to crimes committed against companies or government agencies in order to prevent or interfere with activities allegedly harmful to the environment. Ecoterrorism includes threats to contaminate water supplies or to destroy or disable energy utilities, for example, and practices such as the deployment of anthrax. Another form of ecoterrorism, often referred to as environmental warfare, consists of the deliberate and illegal destruction, exploitation, or modification of the environment as a strategy of war or in times of armed conflict. Examples include the U.S. military's use of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and the destruction of Kuwaiti oil wells by retreating Iraqi military forces during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. The activities of some environmental activists also have been described as ecoterrorism. These activities include criminal trespass on the property of logging companies and other firms and obstruction of their operations through sabotage as well as the environmentally harmless modification of natural resources in order to make them unsuitable for commercial use (a practice known as "monkeywrenching").

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also called  ecological terrorism  or  environmental terrorism 
 destruction, or the threat of destruction, of the environment by states, groups, or individuals in order to intimidate or to coerce governments or civilians. The term also has been applied to a variety of crimes committed against companies or government agencies and intended to prevent or to interfere with activities allegedly harmful to the environment.

      Ecoterrorism has been practiced by groups engaged in “anti-system” violence (i.e., violence against existing political structures). This kind of terrorism, also known as bioterrorism, includes, for example, threats to contaminate water supplies or to destroy or disable energy utilities, as well as practices such as the deployment of anthrax or other biological agents.

      Another form of ecoterrorism, often described as environmental warfare, consists of the deliberate and illegal destruction, exploitation, or modification of the environment as a strategy of war or in times of armed conflict (including civil conflict within states). Modification of the environment that occurs during armed conflict and is likely to have widespread, long-lasting, or severe effects is proscribed by the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1976. Nevertheless, such destruction has occurred with some regularity. In the 1960s and '70s, the U.S. military used the defoliant Agent Orange to destroy forest cover in Vietnam, and in 1991 Iraqi military forces retreating during the Persian Gulf War set fire to Kuwaiti oil wells, causing significant environmental damage. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted in 1998, defines such modification or destruction as a war crime.

      Finally, the sometimes violent activities of some groups of environmental activists have been described as ecoterrorism. They include criminal trespass on the property of logging companies and other firms and obstruction of their operations, sometimes through the sabotage of company equipment or the environmentally harmless modification of natural resources in order to make them inaccessible or unsuitable for commercial use. Examples of this practice, known as “monkey-wrenching,” are the plugging of factory-waste outlets and driving spikes into trees so that they cannot be logged and milled. Other activities described as ecoterrorist include protest actions by animal-liberation groups, which have included the destruction of property in stores that sell products made of fur and the bombing of laboratories that perform experiments on animals.

Lorraine Elliott
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • ecoterrorism — eco·terrorism …   English syllables

  • ecoterrorism — See: ecoterrorist …   English dictionary

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  • ecoterrorism — noun violence carried out to further the political or social objectives of the environmentalists • Syn: ↑ecological terrorism, ↑eco warfare, ↑ecological warfare • Topics: ↑terrorism, ↑act of terrorism, ↑terrorist act …   Useful english dictionary

  • ecoterrorist — ecoterrorism, n. /ek oh ter euhr ist, ee koh /, n. one who commits ecotage; monkey wrencher. [1980 85] * * * …   Universalium

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