How Is Damaging Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Different From Bombing the Railroad Tracks To Auschwitz?

Ray Katz
2 min readAug 29, 2022

The fossil fuel industry triggered climate collapse will generate a much bigger body count

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Andreas Malm, a veteran of Extinction Rebellion, has decided that the climate fight needs to toughen up. Being a nuisance to fossil fuel barons isn’t enough. After all, we are talking about preserving the habitability of our planet. Climate collapse is happening NOW.

We cannot afford halfway efforts and measured steps. Time’s nearly up.

Malm is promoting “climate terrorism.” Against inanimate objects, not people. He wants a cadre of activist to blow up pipelines. He wants to sabotage the infrastructure of the fossil fuel industry. He wants to make oil and gas and coal very risky investments, so rich people stop abusing the climate for profit.

I think this is a wise approach. Unfortunately, it isn’t happening. His approach is too extreme even for Extinction Rebellion. That group is intent on disruption, but draws the line at sabotage.

Now, personally I’m a proponent of massive nonviolent change — with huge unstoppable crowds removing failed governments worldwide. That’s what I’m working on and will continue to work on until the climate is secured. But I favor EVERY tactic that can be tried. Because I don’t know for sure which one will work. If my temperament were different, I’d be out there with Malm.

I don’t think anyone should be intimidated by words — in this case, being called terrorists. Sabotage has been used heroically throughout history for a variety of causes. Lexington and Concord. The French Resistance. And the theoretical, but sadly never carried out, bombing of the train tracks to Auschwitz. Who would have had a moral problem with bombing the train tracks carrying prisoners to death camps? What thinking person would care more about pipelines than their own children?

What I’m promoting is entirely different but perhaps even more radical — at least from the standpoint of current leaders, the very people who are trashing our children’s planet. I’m calling for their nonviolent removal by giant crowd of caring determined people — a stubborn withdrawal of consent and visible, active noncooperation. In this view, old leaders with an unbroken record of failure have no right to make any decisions. The Earth belongs to the young, and in the current emergency, young climate activists must be put in charge quickly, to put emergency measures into place. Climate scientists must be empowered and supported to carry out a worldwide program to restore our planet’s health.

This will begin with small climate vigils and culminate with a billion people demanding — and getting — the necessary change. It begins with A Climate Declaration.

Thanks for reading.

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Ray Katz

Internet pioneer. But I’m most interested in stabilizing the Earth’s climate and promoting our common humanity.