As cloying environmentalists celebrated Earth Day, one long-time journalist bashed the holiday, saying “F*** Earth Day.”
In an F-bomb ridden blog for The Nation called “Let This Earth Day Be The Last,” Wen Stephenson called for the end of Earth Day. Stephenson was a producer for NPR and an editor for The Boston Globe and The Atlantic.
“No, really. Fuck Earth Day. Not the first one, forty-four years ago, the one of sepia-hued nostalgia, but everything the day has since come to be: the darkest, cruelest, most brutally self-satirizing spectacle of the year,” Stephenson wrote.
Instead of celebrating Earth Day, Stephenson called for radical action and obstructionism over environmental issues, and compared the struggle against climate change to the struggle over slavery.
He smeared climate change skeptics. He also attacked the fossil fuel industry saying, “the American petro state is spraying fuel, not water, on the flames. That’s more than extreme. It’s homicidal. It’s psychopathic. It’s fucking insane.”
Stephenson called Earth Day “the darkest, cruelest, most brutally self-satirizing spectacle of the year,” because he thinks it promotes environmental moderation that doesn’t come “anywhere near the radical response our situation requires.” In his view it represents a “culture of progressive green denial.”
For Stephenson, “we’ll never have a movement radical enough.” He wants activists, specifically young people to begin “disrupting the fossil-fuel industry and the institutions that support or abet it.” After all, he said, “These are crimes. They are crimes against the Earth, and they are crimes against humanity.”
When extremist environmentalism is unleashed and “Earth Day is buried,” Stephenson predicted a “day of reckoning.”
He justified his calls for radicalism by drawing an extreme comparison to slavery. He said this vision of a radical movement is “like the radical human rights, social justice and liberation struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”
He even began by quoting abolitionist Frederick Douglass describing the moral “struggle” against slavery before justifying the inclusion of this quote by calling the fight against climate change “a struggle for human dignity and human rights.”
Stephenson went further with this slavery parallel. While advocating his radical form of environmentalism he asked “Does that sound hopelessly naive to you?” but answered himself saying “I also know that abolishing slavery sounded hopeless and naive in 1857.”
Interestingly, liberals like Stephenson tend to freak out when people make comparisons to slavery, just as Martin Bashir famously did in November 2013 after Sarah Palin said the U.S. debt would enslave future generations.
These extremist views help explain Stephenson’s apparent hatred of climate skeptics. He claimed that obstructing alarmist responses to global warming “allow entire countries and cultures to disappear.” This language is reminiscent of climate alarmist James Hansen’s 2008 call for fossil fuel executives to be “put on trial” in something like the Nuremburg trials of the 1940s.
Inappropriate metaphors and calls for climate skeptics to be punished are not new. A musicologist in Austria once called for the death penalty for climate deniers, retracting it after people were upset, according to American Thinker. That article about the violent rhetoric used against climate skeptics also mentioned statements made by Climate Progress’ Joe Romm and Hansen. A writer for Grist.org had to apologize in 2006 after calling for a “climate Nuremberg” and “war crimes trials for these bastards.”