David Foreman, a former Washington lobbyist for the Wilderness Society,
is co-founder and board member of The Cenozoic Society and the founder of
Earth First! He is author of A Field Guide to Monkey Wrenching and Ecodefense,
books that provide detailed instruction on how to sabotage equipment, industrial
projects, roads and vehicles in the name of environmental protection.
Among the sabotage techniques outlined in Ecodefense is "tree spiking" -- the act of inserting long nails into trees to deter loggers from cutting them down. This sabotage technique can prove lethal to timber industry workers who encounter it: In 1984, for example, logger George Alexander was almost killed when his chainsaw hit a spike and a fragment from his saw blade severed one of his carotid arteries. These arteries supply blood for both external and internal parts of the head, including the brain.
According to Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb, authors of Trashing the Economy, defectors from the environmental movement allege that Foreman founded Earth First! in 1980 at the urging and with the financial backing of the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society. According to these sources, Earth First's purpose was to offer a new, more extreme environmental agenda, thereby making "mainstream" environmental groups such as the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club appear more reasonable by contrast.
Earth First! certainly does make other groups appear moderate: In the name of environmental protection, Earth First! members have spiked trees (a policy Earth First! renounced several years ago), filled bulldozer gas tanks with sand, chained themselves to heavy industrial equipment to prevent its use and, according to some corporate executives, threatened to kill executives' children and spouses. In 1989, David Foreman and three other members of Earth First! were arrested by the FBI on charges of conspiracy to sabotage nuclear facilities. He left Earth First! in 1990 and the group has floundered ever since.
Selected Foreman Quotes
"It's time for a warrior society to rise up out of the earth and throw itself in front of the juggernaut of destruction, to be antibodies against the human pox that's ravaging this precious, beautiful planet." - Quoted by Albert Gore in his book Earth in the Balance (1992)
"We must... reclaim the roads and the plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers, and return to wilderness millions and tens of millions of [acres of] presently settled land." - Quoted by Dixy Lee Ray in her book Trashing the Planet (1990)
"I'm not advocating illegal activity unless you're accompanied by your parents, or at night." - Quoted by Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb in their book Trashing the Economy (1993)
"We advocate bio-diversity for bio-diversity's sake. That says man is no more important than any other species... It may well take our extinction to set things straight." - Quoted Ron Arnold and Alan Gottlieb in their book Trashing the Economy (1993)
"An Ice Age is coming and I welcome it as much-needed changing. I see no solution to our ruination of earth except for a drastic reduction of the human population." - Quoted in From the Trenches, a publication of Putting People First, March 1, 1993
Dossier Credibility Ranking
On a scale ranging from 0 to 10 measuring political science versus real science, David Foreman scores a 10.0 for political science.
Version Date: September 1, 1993
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