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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Ecocide: Tar Sand Development = Auschwitz



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Surprise!  The mock "Ecocide Trial" about which I wrote the other day, found the CEO of the companies developing the tar sands of Alberta into usable oil to drive the world's economy, was found guilty of "ecocide"--and in only 50 minutes.  From the Eradicating Ecocide Blog:
On the 30th of September 2011, in the UK Supreme Court it took just 50 minutes for the jury to return with two unanimous guilty convictions of ecocide against the CEO’s of the oil companies operating in the Athabasca Tar Sands.
In other words, a necessary economic activity that would increase wealth, reduce our dependence on Mideast Oil craziness, and employ thousands of people, should land the CEOs in jail for life. And don't think that ecocide would only stifle fossil fuels and timber clearing.  This is the definition of the proposed crime:
Ecocide is the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.
Please pay very close attention: The word, "inhabitants," does not necessarily--or even, primarily--mean human life.  Rather, it mostly refers to flora and fauna--which means that the natural world is being elevated to equal (or greater) importance than human life and thriving. In the following embedded clip, the Gaia Mother of the Ecocide Movement, Polly Higgens, says that existing international crimes--such as genocide and crimes against humanity--are intended to "protect and uphold the well-being of life."  Note, she doesn't say "human" life.  Why? Because she wants to extend the "well-being of  life definition "to not just human life, but all life." In other words, Ecocide is the sword of the "rights of nature" movement, against which I have warned repeatedly. If the Ecocide Movement succeeds, it means that installing a large wind farm could become a "crime against peace" because the turbines kill tens of thousands of birds.  It could become ecocide to clear wilderness for new agriculture because of the impact it would have on the indigenous animals and plants.  It could become akin to Auschwitz to build new highways and develop new suburbs and cities.  Commercial fishing enterprises could be criminalized--indeed, any large scale human activity to which radical no growthers object. And think about the chilling effect on economic enterprise. As Higgens notes, the movement is aimed against corporations.  What corporate CEO would risk his or her own freedom by even trying to develop any resources? You think the economy is bad today? We would grind to such a screeching economic halt we would get whiplash!  Worse, developing nations would be unable to exploit their tremendous resource wealth to get out of the destitution horror in which most of  their people live.  Creating a crime of ecocide would be a moral crime against suffering humanity. It can't happen here, you say?  That's what Anheuser Busch thought before Prohibition. In fact, the UK Supreme Court lent its facilities for this mock trial.  That  not 0nly grants respectability to a "rights of nature" movement, but means that some among the ruling classes are sympathetic to the profoundly misanthropic Ecocide Movement. Update: Commenter Raven, who lives in the UK, says the Supreme Court facility there is available for rent.  That seems very odd to me, given the crucial role of the Supreme Court in society based on the rule of law (and would certainly never happen in the USA).  But much about the UK is odd to me these days.  Thanks to Raven for the info.


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