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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

“Ecocide:” Kill Field Mice, Land in the Hague



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“Ecocide” equates the slaughter at Auschwitz/Berkenau with the development of the Alberta tar sands. I’m serious. ” Ecocide–killing the earth–is a proposed new “international crime against peace” that activists consider an equivalent horror to such true evils as genocide and ethnic cleansing. 

Ecocide would literally criminalize large-scale resource development and treat wealth creators from the earth as we now do war criminals. As I wrote elsewhere:

The This Is Ecocide website states:

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.

Note that “peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants” is a very broad term, intended to include everything from grass, fish, and insects to mice, snakes, and people. And diminishment of “peaceful enjoyment” would not require actual pollution, but could mean a declining supply of forage or a loss of foliage caused by almost any use of the land, perhaps even simple urban growth. 

Not only that, but the crime of ecocide would be so encompassing that any company involved in large scale resource development would almost certainly commit it. Indeed, fictional CEOs of Alberta Tar Sand extraction companies have already been found guilty in a mock trial held at the English Supreme Court.

Ecocide treats the lives of humans and flora and fauna as morally equalFrom the proposed statute: 

3. Crime against humanityA person, company, organisation, partnership, or any other legal entity who causes ecocide under section 1 of this Act and has breached a human right to life is also guilty of a crime against humanity.

4. Crime against natureA person, company, organisation, partnership, or any other legal entity who causes ecocide under section 1 of this Act and has breached a non-human right to life is guilty of a crime against nature

6. Crime of EcocideThe right to life is a universal right and where a person, company, organisation, partnership, or any other legal entity causes extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of human and or non-human life of the inhabitants of a territory under sections 1 – 5 of this Act is guilty of the crime of Ecocide.

Kill field mice, go to prison in the Hague.

Ecocide is anti human because (among other reasons) it rejects human exceptionalism, and if it were ever enacted, it would plunge the world into economic collapse. 

Now, a petition drive is about to commence seeking to have the European Parliament pass an anti-ecocide law. From the press release:

The launch of the European Citizens’ Initiative “End Ecocide in Europe” will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels on 22 January 2013.  This initiative, led by a committee of 11 citizens from nine European countries, aims at ending ecocide, which is the extensive damage to, destruction of, or loss of ecosystems.  The event marks the beginning of a significant process; in 1 year the initiative must collect 1 million signatures after which Ecocide may be made a crime in the European Union.

Don’t think that in a world in which a river has been made a “person” in New Zealand and “nature” has been given the equivalent of human rights in two countries and some 30 American cities, that activists won’t find one million clueless and/or nihilistic Europeans to sign their petition. Some people really do want us to return to the caves.

Ecocide won’t become law in the near term, but unless we combat it now in its embryonic stage, the ecocide movement has the potential to cause real human harm. 



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