Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries. But it has the potential for great riches. A recent finding discovered that there may be more than $1 trillion in minerals in the ground waiting to be mined. From the story:
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe. An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
The only way to get at that wealth is to mine it. But ecocide, if enacted as an international “crime against peace,” would substantially prevent the people of Afghanistan from exploiting their own riches (although I suspect that ecociders would consider it Gaia’s riches and its mining akin to rape). After all, ecocide would not just punish pollution, as in the BP oil spill. But it would also criminalize large scale mining and other methods of natural resource development and exploitation.
If companies knew that going after these riches would land them in the dock in the Hague, the minerals would stay in the ground forever. That might please environmental radicals who would just as soon humans vastly cut our population and live lightly on the land, and who we might add, don’t live in destitution. But it would keep the Afghans mired in horrible poverty and prevent them from moving forward into a more modern way of life. And thus we see with clarity the vivid harm to humankind that the ecocide drive in particular, and radical environmentalism in general, threaten.