Ecocide on the Docket

So the idea here is to make the burning of fossil fuels equivalent to genocide, which means the  CEO’s of oil & gas companies would be the equivalent to war criminals.

Some UK group I never heard of is behind this. They will succeed in generating headlines. And bringing scorn to their cause.

14 Responses to “Ecocide on the Docket”

  1. jeffn says:

    This is a hoot- a post saying the lefties want to jail (or execute?) oil and coal CEOs (but only the private sector ones- right, not the GAZPROM or Venezuelan oil field operators of course). This following a post claiming that it’s “shrill” to claim that the eco-left is socialist (even tho “socialist” is hardly a negative in the UK- talk about your American-centric focus).
    Stop digging the hole. If you want to get into a pissing contest about who’s more “shrill,” you’re a fool. You’ve already lost, there isn’t even a contest. Hell, all Green would have to do is link to the 350 org video about killing children who are insufficiently “green.”

  2. SEP : Stoat says:

    […] provokes again with Ecocide on the Docket, referencing Trial tests whether 'ecocide' could join genocide as global crime. If this is just PR […]

  3. Nullius in Verba says:

    “Some UK group I never heard of is behind this.”
    They appear to be a project of some sort of media/PR company specialising in organising sustainable organic hippy festivals and consciousness-raising seminars – Deepak Chopra stuff. It’s just a PR stunt.
    But you’re right about the scorn.

  4. Stu says:

    Their politics is to the right of Genghis Khan! 


  5. Barry Woods says:

    A friend of mine is their today… says a bit tedious, will be doing a write up for spiked online.

  6. Jimmy Carter called the energy crisis the ‘moral equivalent of war’, and got crucified for it.  But he was right.  And it seems we’ll never learn.

  7. Jarmo says:

    This reminds me of a law in Sweden about prostitution: it is illegal to buy sex but legal to sell it.

    In the UK, 90 % of primary energy is produced with fossil fuels. Are they going to keep buying fossil energy (petrol, gas, electricity) legal but make selling it a crime?


  8. harrywr2 says:

    It was just a mock trial in the UK, but a real trial is about to get started in the US.
    <i>A few months ago the Obama Justice Department brought charges against Continental and six other oil companies in North Dakota for causing the death of 28 migratory birds, in violation of the Migratory Bird Act.</i>

  9. Eric Adler says:

    I don’t see anything in the article about making burning fossil fuels a crime of ecocide.   The destruction of the landscape as a result of extraction of oil from Alberta tar sands is tangible and awful, and so are the effects of mountain top removal in West Virginia. Private companies who make money from the extraction of minerals in this way should compensate the people for the destruction that they cause, or should not be allowed to do business in such a destructive fashion. The question is should this be an international crime similar to genocide.
    Every advanced civilized country has some laws protecting the environment and some of them involve criminal penalties. As I see it, the only new thing here is a movement to make this an international law. The international laws against genocide were instituted as a means of punishing criminal dictators like Taylor and  Bashir, who were not punishable in their own countries, for genocide. 
    It is easy to see that corporations have exploited the poverty and lack of governance in underdeveloped countries such as those in West Africa, to extract oil and other minerals in a way that is destructive to the health of the population and the environment. It is reasonable to think that there should be international safeguards against that sort of thing.
     However, the US and Canada are powerful, advanced and prosperous countries that have democratic political systems. The fact that they permit this kind of environmental degradation in my opinion is horrible. Wealthy corporations are powerful enough to prevent legislation that would stop it from being passed; and the people of these countries seem largely apathetic. This makes it hard to see how an international crime of ecocide would be developed and enforced  fairly.
    Clearly this mock court is an attempt to bring this problem to the attention of the public, as well as figure out what a proper statute should contain. Whether it will succeed in doing this I don’t know.


  10. harrywr2 says:

    Eric Adler Says:
    October 2nd, 2011 at 11:12 am 
    It is easy to see that corporations have exploited the poverty and lack of governance in underdeveloped countries such as those in West Africa, to extract oil and other minerals in a way that is destructive to the health of the population and the environment.
    The mock trail in the UK  oil executives were tried for killing  2,303 birds.
    The real case in the US involves the killing of 28 birds
    So if killing 2,303 birds constitutes the crime of ‘eco-cide’ which is on the same plane as genocide what should killing 28 birds be considered? What should killing one bird be considered?
    Some statistics on North American bird deaths –
    Communications towers kill a minimum of 5 million per year.
    Building window collisions kill a minimum of 97 million per year.
    Automobile collisions kill 60 million birds per year.
    Domestic cats kill 39 million per year.
    Do the eco-cide  prosecutions stop with evil oil company executives or do we end up prosecuting everyone whose political views we differ with who lives in a house with a window or owns a car or has a cat?

    First they came for the communists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.
    Martin Niemöller


  11. Stu says:

    Is it ecocide if birds are being chopped up in wind farms?

    Is it toxic to use cadmium in thin film solar technology?

    Is it cruel to burn food for fuel?


  12. Eric Adler says:

    Harrywr2  @11,
    You can’t really believe that the most important damage done by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 was limited to the death of a few thousand birds.  
    Tell that to the residents of the Gulf Coast, and see what they say.

  13. MarkB says:

    Jim Hansen referred to German coal trains as death trains. Have you heard of him?

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