Higher Education

Jonathan Small | April 16, 2024

Putting the ‘boom’ in Boomer

Jonathan Small

Harvard Law School has drawn strong criticism for hosting a movie screening of “How to Blow Up a Pipeline,” based on the book of the same name by Andreas Malm, which advocates terrorism as a tool of environmental policy.

Notably, the movie’s website includes a “Take Action” page that includes a map of U.S. oil and gas pipelines.

Thus it is not surprising that the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability “is investigating the potential for threats against critical infrastructure—especially physical energy infrastructure—as radical ecoterrorist calls to violence are increasingly promoted across the globe, including at American universities.”

Harvard is not the only university where this nonsense has been given a platform. At the University of Oklahoma, a graduate English seminar on “Forms of Protest” includes “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” among the assigned readings.

Associate Professor James Zeigler says most assignments are documents advocating for political change and nearly all class readings “are devoted to non-violence in principle and as a matter of strategy.” Andreas Malm’s book, he said, “is an exception.”

Indeed it is.

Malm writes, “So here is what this movement of millions should do, for a start: announce and enforce the prohibition. Damage and destroy new CO2-emitting devices. Put them out of commission, pick them apart, demolish them, burn them, blow them up. Let the capitalists who keep on investing in the fire know that their properties will be trashed.”

He holds up the Women’s Social and Political Union in Great Britain as an example, noting those suffragette activists engaged in things such as “planting bombs on sites along the routes of royal visits, fighting policemen with staves, charging against hostile politicians with dogwhips,” and engaging in a “systematic campaign of arson.”

Malm has acknowledged pipeline violence could cause deaths.

Many Oklahomans—particularly those who work in the oil field—are upset that their tax dollars are (directly or indirectly) providing a platform for advocacy of violent extremism that could cost their lives.

“How to Blow Up a Pipeline” was first published in 2021. It is not a historical document, only current-day propaganda.

Defenders may argue students should be exposed to extremist literature so they can recognize it. But colleges typically—and rightfully—refuse to promote much extremist literature comparable to “How to Blow Up a Pipeline.”

For example, Tim McVeigh bombed the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City allegedly due in part to the influence of a racist book, “The Turner Diaries.” How many college students are required to read that book? How often are materials produced by the Ku Klux Klan and similar hate groups assigned reading?

Obviously, there is no real value in assigning “The Turner Diaries,” nor is there valid academic worth to “How to Blow Up a Pipeline.” Both are extremist dreck. Neither deserves platforming by colleges.

Clearly, it’s time to cease all philanthropic giving to colleges, and reduce state appropriations to them as well. Only an environment of excess would permit such destructive waste.

[For more stories about higher education in Oklahoma, visit]

Jonathan Small President

Jonathan Small


Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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