2060 Ecoterrorism: A Mass Phenomenon

Despite all efforts to achieve an ecological turnaround, the destruction of the environment continues unabated. After decades of political demonstrations, non-violent boycotts, peaceful protests and spectacular, though harmless actions, no improvement is in sight during the '20s and '30s of the 21st century.

Environmental destruction continues, fellow living creatures are further abused and the emission goals set in the '00 years were missed by a long shot. This is not only because the industrial nations have done too little. In the former emerging markets, many billions of people had risen to the middle class. They now want to enjoy modest, yet unrestricted prosperity. This also means however that four times more people now consume as many resources as only the previous wealthy nations did before. Small successes such as recycling and waste separation, thermal insulation and a higher proportion of renewable energy sources have been marginalized as a result. Former and new emerging nations see it as their right to consume the resources needed for prosperity. The former leading industrial nations now demand moderation. They were not however, such good role models themselves.

Many eco-activists have fought all their lives. Some of them already through three generations. Nothing has changed, however. In the ‘30s, some of them became radicalized. They no longer limit themselves to media-effective activities, for example occupying drilling platforms, but they try to make those who cause environmental destruction accountable or to injure them directly. Now it is no longer a question of influencing politics through public pressure. They are now resorting to violence to change the economic conditions of the contaminators and thereby force them to rethink. In other words: they damage and destroy assets and resources.

Of course, these actions are criminal. No country can allow this. Police, anti-terrorist units and intelligence agencies around the world are searching for the perpetrators. For the first operations, the activists had to go underground. Given very advanced surveillance methods, this sounds difficult. The law enforcement agencies however still cannot get eco-terrorism under control. This is mainly because there are so many assisting them. Almost all people are affected by the consequences of eco-abuse. Many – even ordinary citizens – sympathize with the aims of the movement. Not only do they hide activists, but they also change databases, manipulate live cam-streams, change search parameters and even the coefficients of AI networks. Modern technology offers very subtle possibilities for manipulation.

Several motives come together to form militant eco-actionism. In addition to the main goal of protecting and restoring the environment, there are interfaces with the rejection of the financial system that funds environmental destruction. There are also similarities with the struggle for social justice, because environmental destruction and economic inequality often go hand in hand. Above all it is the poorer sections of the population that suffer the consequences.

Spectacular actions during this period:

- Drilling platforms are sunk by blowing up individual support pillars.

- Many animals are released from factory farming facilities.

- There are activists who are more opposed to abuse of the environment by the meat industry than for the welfare of animals. In this context there are many deeds where animal-feed or drinking water is biologically or chemically contaminated with millions of dead animals.

- Over the years, countless oil and gas production facilities around the world are set on fire.

- Water sources from which food companies fill their water bottles are poisoned.

- Snipers prevent animal transports. In other sectors too, many JIT (Just-In-Time) deliveries are sabotaged to interrupt production chains.

- There are terrorist attacks on the energy supply of steel plants and chemical companies.

- In India, the plants of several manufacturers of generic pharmaceuticals for the world market are contaminated by radioactive material and permanently rendered unusable.

- The destruction of railway tracks and port terminals damages non-recycling waste management companies.

- Manufacturers and distributors of pesticides and fertilizers are repeatedly the target of attacks, often resulting in the release of large quantities of toxic substances.

Some activists take inspiration from past accidents and recreate them:

- Some dams on landfill lakes with red sludge from aluminum production are blown up.

- After CO2 capture and underground storage has proved unsafe and is still being pursued, activists blow up storage sites.

- Around the world, irrigation pipes used by large agricultural producers who often use them to irrigate hundreds of square kilometers of farmland, despite the fact that water is becoming increasingly scarce, are repeatedly cut.

In the '40s, ecoterrorism is changing. Actions become more numerous and violent. What was actually more of a militant fight against material assets in the '30s is now approaching political terrorism. It is no longer just a matter of financial losses and operational disruptions. Violence is now also directed against people, against those responsible for environmental damage in business and politics. A new generation of "activists" (now a synonym for terrorists in everyday language) sees itself cheated of their future by the "old" establishment. The new young activists have learned that simple measures are useless. Neither the actionist public relations work of the early 21st century, nor selective violence against perpetrators in the '30s have changed anything. The new doctrine is that you have to "shift up a gear", that you have to "annihilate the polluters", because they didn't want to move despite great damage, but hide "behind the means of repression of the establishment", and prosecution powers of the authorities.

The activist Lun471c becomes the voice of the new generation. The identity of Lun471c is never revealed. He/she broadcasts on many online and offline channels. Lun471c uses web-posts as well as drone graffiti and hacked IoT devices to spread his/her message. Lun471c broadcasts operational news with revelations and announcements, but also ideological content, chains of argument and manifestos. One suspects that Lun471c is not a person. Probably the messages are produced by supporters worldwide. Statistical analysis suggest that they are curated by a small circle. (The analysis is difficult because all analyzable properties of the messages are randomized by anonymizer bots). After that, the content is delivered worldwide by local cells.

Attention is the dominant currency of the feeds. Publishers fight for the time of the followers. This is true for everyone: media groups, celebrities, persons of influence and for the millions of low-follower post-sharers who want to grow. In this struggle for attention spans, almost every means is right. Eye-catching activities for a popular theme are perfect for attracting attention. Especially if they are brutal, dramatic, creative, shocking or better still all of that together. There is a load limit above which many of those consuming these feeds switch off. Apparently though this limit can be pushed further if the readers are positively touched by the topic. Against this background extremist operations in the context of the eco-topic are ideal.

- Activists kidnap persons responsible for factory farming and keep them in pig-fattening facilities. Everything is streamed. The sources of the live feeds are obscured by anonymization networks. The feeds are then routed via point-to-point connections to several million mobile devices and fed into the controlled web via gateway-hopping.

- Later, the victims of these actions include judges who previously made decisions against animal rights. Lobbyists, officials who issued permits and even some politicians too: ministers of agriculture and their sponsors of laws.

- In a further escalation, individual victims are not only humiliated but also murdered, typically by bolt gun, and then processed. Aiming to come close to the reality experienced by animals this is carried out without using anesthetics in some cases. Although artificially produced meat is available and meat substitutes cannot be distinguished from real meat, actual meat is considered a special luxury. Following the preparation of lobster, prominent personalities of the culinary scene - celebrity chefs, gourmets and presenters - are kidnapped and thrown into hot water with their hands and feet tied together. Some are rescued with burns, some are not.

- Activists also apply industry standard measures in areas other than factory farming. They punish those responsible for environmental degradation with appropriate measures, showing some creativity though equally drastic and brutal.

- Those responsible for ocean dumping are thrown into their company’s diluted acid, and some are not rescued or medically treated in time. Managers of agricultural corporations are forced to drink water contaminated with nitrate. Proponents of oil sands are tarred and feathered. Some of them with their own crude oil, others lethally with liquid hot asphalt.

- Traders who sell powdered rhinoceros and other products from endangered animals to increase potency are castrated on an outpatient basis in improvised veterinary practices. An online marketplace is hacked, the buyers are identified via customer data and treated as such.

- Commercial aircraft are shot down with drones or guided missiles to improve the CO2 balance.

- Cargo ships carrying waste are hijacked. The cargo is then unloaded at villa districts in artificial lagoons. There is toxic sludge, acid, liquid manure, industrial waste water containing all kinds of heavy metals, chrome, lead, mercury, arsenic, but also household waste and many other industrial refuse. In individual cases, terrorists infiltrate the villas and force the residents into close physical contact with the pollutants.

- In the discussion about the accumulation of micro-plastics found in marine animals, it is often claimed that the plastic fragments do not enter the human food chain because humans eat fish but not their stomach contents. Some activists are now ensuring that significant amounts of micro-plastics do enter the metabolism of their abduction victims.

- Hacking the gene-databases of global seed producers is very successful. In a spectacular case, activists add some sequences to the DNA of genetically optimized maize that produce cyanide in mature grains. Millions of tons of harvested corn need to be destroyed as hazardous waste.

In the '50s, ecologically motivated terror becomes a mass movement. The activists are joined by copycats from the amateur sector. An unmanageable number of groups take part, often with drastic contributions. The terrorist offensives are posted, shared and streamed live. Everyone tries to outdo each other. They work at being even more unusual, creative and brutal than each other. A first wave of mimics become themselves role models for the next wave. Some call them "after-work activists". They are however, no less criminal.

Many directions and formats run simultaneously. Some desire personal fame within their peer groups. They use pseudonyms and live-feed filters to become known without being recognized in their everyday life. Nevertheless there are arrests, charges and harsh sentences. There are however too many. The movement cannot be contained.

Another faction anonymizes itself to such an extent that the perpetrators can no longer be distinguished. They appear as a collective, as with the hacker group Anonymous in the early 21st century. The crimes can no longer be attributed to individual activists. Nobody takes responsibility. The collective attains its dubious fame. There are many such activist collectives. Like individual activists before, collectives now compete.

One of the leading collectives is JimPanzee. At the beginning of the 50s suddenly a lot of actions are reported by JimPanzee. It quickly becomes clear that many anonymous activists are hiding behind the pseudonym JimPanzee. JimPanzee always appears with animal masks. The focus of the group is on animal rights. Yet not all activists of JimPanzee adhere to this. While at the beginning only leading representatives and persons responsible for environmentally harmful industries were targeted, JimPanzee now takes action mainly against careless consumers. Even ordinary citizens are being penalized in "industry-related" incidents. The activities of JimPanzee are usually less lethal. They are more humiliating and aimed to deter. But still sometimes they result in permanent damage. On the agenda are all the abominations of previous years: violent waxing of wearers of Angora clothing, involuntary fine dust/smog respiration, forced feeding with micro-plastic diets, outpatient sterilizations, thin acid/heavy metal baths, pesticide/nitrate cocktails and countless others.

The actions are having an impact on consumers. Not only with those affected. The large number of individual actions and the high relevance in the feeds actually lead to changes in consumer behaviour. But the overall effect is too small to stop environmental abuse.

A few years later, the crash puts an end to both massive environmental destruction and ecoterrorism.