Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace

Polly Higgins is a barrister who one day realized that there is such a thing as crime against the Earth – Ecocide. She’s an interesting person and gives a really great speech.

You can see the video just below my notes here;

  • not just people, “the Earth has also been badly injured and harmed”
  • “my next thought changed my life – the Earth is in need of a good lawyer”
  • “what if the Earth had rights?”
  • a vast number of mostly indigenous people already think this way
  • “Ecocide” was one of those light-bulb moments
  • expand area of concern from “human life” to “all life”
  • she has submitted a legal proposal to the United Nations
  • the legal words include “inhabitants” – not just people
  • recognition of the interconnectedness of life itself (reminiscent of The Miracle of Mindfulness)
  • greenhouse gases is one outcome of causing mass damage and destruction
  • naturally occurring ecocide? floods, storms, etc. – legal duty of care to be imposed on all nations – governments won’t be able to turn a blind eye
  • “create a system of making decisions based on prioritizing people and planet first”
  • “closing the door to dangerous industrial activity”
  • view the Earth as a living being rather than as property
  • see ourselves as trustees, as guardians
  • she draws an interesting parallel with the eradication of slavery – same comments being made today related to the environment
  • “not about closing down big industry – it’s about making the problem part of the solution”
  • sacred trust of civilization
  • Ecocide is a crime against future generations
  • Profits are good if they affirm life as well
  • currently it is the law for companies to put profits first and maximize profitsĀ for the shareholders
  • a law of Ecocide would supersede this and impose acceptable boundaries that must be maintained

Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace

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