Shockingly and unfortunately, Tim DeChristopher, the environmental activist who saved more than 100,000 acres of public land from oil and gas drilling by "disrupting" an auction later deemed unlawful, was convicted of two felony accounts last week. He could now face up to 10 years in jail.
Journalist and author Naomi Klein poignantly revealed the double standard of this terribly disheartening outcome in her recent appearance on Democracy Now! As she explained, Tim's crime was, explicitly, participating in an auction without intent to pay. However, oil and gas companies privatize their profits with no intent to pay for their externalized costs: pollution and climate change.
Watch Noami's explanation here.
I hope more people can recognize this unjust double standard and be motivated to take action against it.
And by "taking action," I don't just mean scorning the oil and gas companies for their refusal to accept and address the harmful externalities of their business. First, I think we need to also examine and change (if needed) our own habits, which fuel their business. Second, we need to demand better of the system that is holding us back from progressing beyond the need for oil and gas.