Environmentalists must be held liable for their destructive behavior

Recently, here in North Carolina we have witnessed the secession of plans to build a modern cement plant near Wilmington after eight years of slanders, lies and phony lawsuits against Titan America by radical regional environmental groups.

A representative of the lead organization, North Carolina Coastal Federation, has publically admitted their responsibility in preventing the company from building the manufacturing facility. Subversive activities by these people has contributed to millions of dollars in preplanning expenses; construction and job losses; forgone wealth generation in the area, and loss of customers for the company.

In my opinion, previously expressed at this site, these destructive troublemakers should be held legally liable for the damages they have caused. Unfortunately, most American companies simply avoid additional problems and walk away. But that allows the environmental “Bullies” get away with their trickery and damaging behavior. Occasionally we hear of a CEO that is not intimidated.

An Opinion article in The Wall Street Journal (March 19-20, 2016) reports about a Canadian company, Resolute Forest Products, fighting back against the infamous international environmental gang Greenpeace for their false claims that the company was “violating forestry practices.” Company CEO Richard Garneau believes he is on “firm (legal) ground” and intends to “stand firm.” Good for him. It’s about time someone stood up to these green thugs.

The WSJ piece is appropriately titled, “Pushing Back Against Progressive Bullies.” According to editors:

In 2013 Resolute sued Greenpeace for “defamation, malicious falsehood and intentional interference with economic relations” and sought $7 million Canadian in damages. The company has clearly been harmed by Greenpeace’s fact-challenged denunciations of logging in Canada’s vast boreal forest.

Resolute (let’s hope it is) representatives say that they have lost customers as a result of the false claims by Greenpeace. It deceptively showed video of trees actually damaged by insects hundreds of miles from where the company operates and claimed that the damage was caused by company logging practices.

This is common practice with environmental activists. Because their targets never plan or deliberately conduct illegal practices, the eco-phonies unethically try malicious tricks. The Stop Titan Action Network has carried out some of these ploys here in North Carolina to make people believe that Titan America and its subsidiary Carolinas Cement Company might cause harmful pollution—no evidence of that has been presented. Yet Stop Titan has persisted to defame the company people and lie about cement production operations.

In an Ontario, Canada court filling Greenpeace continues to claim their behavior is “based on true facts.” In 2015 the court refused to consider a motion to dismiss the Resolute lawsuit. Greenpeace doesn’t want this case to apply to their world-wide intimidations, but a Superior Court justice ruled to keep Resolute’s complaint “that details the environmental group’s activities around the world.”

WSJ editors finish with this statement:

Even Resolute competitors are privately cheering on the company and we’re happy to do so publicly. For the sake of workers and shareholders everywhere, let’s hope that American executives will follow Mr. Garneau’s example.

Maybe that’s too much for us to hope for here, but I agree. American executives must have the courage to challenge these destructive people; otherwise they will continue their damaging behavior that costs all of us customers, workers and shareholders.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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