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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ecocide




A barrister, Polly Higgins, is proposing to the UN that Ecocide, the environmental equivalent of Genocide, becomes the 5th International Crime Against Peace, alongside Genocide, Crimes Against Humanity, Crimes of Aggression and War Crimes. Polly, with a group of UK barristers and lawyers are also drafting an Ecocide Bill for the Houses of Parliament. What does this mean and why is it relevant to us? The proposed new law of Ecocide is seen as fundamental to addressing humanitarian and environmental issues on a global scale. Currently, the Earth has no rights in law and Ecocide would protect the Earth's Right to Life. It would outlaw corporate Earthslaugter and close the door on commercial activities that destroy ecosystems. Currently, the world invests billions in technologies based on fossil fuels. Ecocide would sway the balance and stimulate investment in a new generation of clean technologies. It is not about prosecuting CEOs and corporate bodies but about requiring 'superior responsibility' from companies, changing how we do business on this planet, and influencing intergovernmental policy and action on climate change. Ecocide is a mechanism that shifts civilizations' understanding of what is acceptable.
Ecocide happens everywhere in our world: Arctic drilling, fracking in the UK, the deforestation of the Amazon, major oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, Bauxite mining of the Niyamgiri mountain in India, tar sand extraction in Canada, deep sea mining of the Central and Eastern Manus Basin... Alone and in small groups, we are powerless to stop it but together and at national and international levels we can begin to change the odds using the power of law.
 Source:  Permaculture.co.uk


“In the 24 hours since this time yesterday, over 200,000 acres of rainforest have been destroyed in our world. Fully 13 million tons of toxic chemicals have been released into our environment. Over 45,000 people have died from starvation, 38,000 of them children. And more than 130 plant and animal species have been driven to extinction by the actions of humans. And all this just since yesterday.” - Thom Hartmann