Friday, August 15, 2008

Environmental Terrorism

I read in my Google News today an article on The Australian news website with the headline:

in which the Premier of South Australia said:

"'s my view that anyone who is illegally involved in diverting water in the Murray-Darling system during this crisis is engaging in an act of terrorism against the people of Australia..."

While I understand that water is a precious resource that must be protected, I don't see how anyone taking water out of a river can be classed as a terrorist. Mr Rann is quoted using the 'T' word three times in this short artical - about once every three paragraphs!

Last time I checked we speak English here in Australia - it's similar to the English that they speak in England, not that crazy US English that seems to pollute every corner of the Internet - so I refer to the Oxford English Dictionary.


noun a person who uses violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

— DERIVATIVES terrorism noun.

That sounds right. Mr Rann doesn't seem to have used the word in it's correct context though. I wonder if it's a good idea for someone to lead when they don't really have a good grasp of the English language. It didn't go well for America.

Lets have a look at the headline which uses another very common term - 'Act of Terror'


noun 1 extreme fear. 2 a cause of terror. 3 the use of terror to intimidate people. 4 (also holy terror) informal a person causing trouble or annoyance.

— ORIGIN Latin, from terrere ‘frighten’.

I gotta say, the thought of someone throwing a pipe in a river and starting a pump doesn't make me fill my pants. I might be a bit upset, maybe a little angry if it was my pond or water tanks that are getting drained, but I wouldn't suffer from the extreme fear that you might get when a guy walks into your coffee shop with some kind of improvised explosive device strapped to their chest.

Just for the record Mr Rann, someone illegally involved in diverting water from any river is a criminal - not a terrorist.

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