In the Telegraph yesterday was the story of how a "lone-wolf" animal rights protestor managed to terrify several shipping companies into caving in to his demands on the transportation of animals used for laboratory experimentation. Never mind your opinions on the rights and wrongs of lab testing on animals: what's most shocking, surely, is how effectively the techniques of asymmetric warriors like the Viet Cong and the Taliban are now being deployed by minority protest movements.
This is especially true of environmental campaigners. Have you noticed how almost no sane person you meet these days actually believes in the man-made global warming myth, any more. What they normally say is stuff like "Climate always changes. Everyone knows that" - or "They talk about hot summers, but I remember as a kid in the 1930s...." - or "It's just another excuse for more big government, more tax, more regulation...." So why, having lost the argument about 1998 - when the global warming ceased even as carbon dioxide emissions continued to rise - do all these climate alarmists remain apparently so voluble, abundant and culturally dominant?
Simple. They use the same old trick guerilla fighters use when they're heavily outnumbered: they keep moving round the perimeter, firing their weapons from different positions, so as to give the impression of being more powerful than they really are.
You notice it with the handful of trolls (often paid activists) who lurk beneath my Telegraph blog. There can't be more than ten of them but they're so foully vituperative, so viciously personal in their ad homs, so relentless in their determination to disrupt, hurt and annoy, that it sometimes feels like I'm the one defending the Alamo - not them.
Anthony Watts has a classic example of this sock-puppetry in action: a lone activist assuming multiple identities - one of them a fancy-sounding institution - in order to make himself seem more Legion.
He got caught because one of our moderators noticed three different names all coming from the same IP address in Washington DC. All were Gmail accounts, and they were used to make attack comments like those above. I’m publishing them since “radner” already gave his email address above willingly in comments with his challenge
steve radner steveradner at gmail.com
karl williams kariwilliams19 at gmail.com
john christie johnchristie12 at gmail.com