Advocate for the environment Tom DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison for an act of civil disobedience aimed at drawing attention to the unethical practices of the oil and natural gas industries.


"Most of us know that we’ve probably passed the point where we can avoid the collapse of our industrial civilization, and when we look at prior examples of collapse, the greatest atrocities weren’t because of direct impacts, it was because of what those in power did to try to maintain that power as it started to fall away, and what they did in the name of restoring order and security. In Darfur, the greatest atrocity wasn’t the water and food shortage, it was what was done in response to that. In Germany in the 1930s, the biggest deal wasn’t the inflation -- it was really a trigger of a lot of those problems -- it was the laws that were passed in the name of restoring order and security.

I think as a climate movement, most of us should be aware that we can pretty well count on the fact that there will be some scapegoat chosen over the course of this century. Some laws that are passed that sacrifice one or several groups of people in the name of restoring order and security. The big question for us at this point is how we as citizens are going to respond to that, what we as citizens are going to be willing to do to our fellow human beings in the name of just following the law. When the government tells us that it’s not our job to question whether that law is right or wrong, as the judge did in this case to the jury, I think we need to be prepared for that moment, and make a more conscious decision of what we want our role to really be."

-Tom DeChristopher


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