Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who has become the world’s most famous anti–global-warming campaigner, was just awarded a one million pound environmental prize. She has announced that 100,000 pounds of that money will be donated to the radical environmentalist organization Stop Ecocide. From the Ecologist story:
Thunberg said that her foundation will “as quickly as possible donate all the prize money . . . to support organizations and projects that are fighting for a sustainable world, defending nature and supporting people already facing the worst impacts of the climate- and ecological crisis — particularly those living in the Global South.
“The first two donations of €100,000 will go to the SOS Amazonia campaign led by Fridays For Future Brazil to tackle Covid-19 in the Amazon, and to the Stop Ecocide Foundation to support their work to make ecocide an international crime.”
Stop Ecocide seeks to make “ecocide” the “fifth international crime against peace” –equivalent to profound evils of genocide, crimes of aggression, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, now punishable at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
Ecocide would not be a crime of intent, but based on the impact of human enterprise on the environment — even if it did not hurt a single human being. Here is the definition:
Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.
Note that “peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants” is a decidedly elastic term that isn’t limited to human beings but could also include everything from insects, mice, bears and other beasts of the field, and potentially, plant life. Moreover, the diminishment of “peaceful enjoyment” wouldn’t require actual pollution, but could include displacement, loss of forage, etc.
The very concept has the explicit intention of criminalizing large-scale free-market enterprise, as the Stop Ecocide website explains:
THE BEAUTY OF THIS: Corporate success depends on public and investor confidence. No CEO or financier wants to be seen in the same way as a war criminal. A law of ECOCIDE on the horizon will therefore signal the end of corporate immunity -– and begin to redirect business and finance away from harmful practices.
Just as the “nature rights” movement intends to chill crucial activities such as mining, oil extraction, forestry, and large-scale farming, by allowing anyone to sue to prevent nature’s “rights” from being infringed, ecocide would punish these enterprises as a crime. In this sense, it is even more profoundly subversive.
Perhaps even more perniciously, threatening large corporations with the loss of “corporate immunity” would bring industrialization to a screeching halt as it also trapped the world’s destitute populations in their misery by chilling efforts to upgrade economies by extracting natural resources.