By Chris W on May 24, 2012
In our second edition of Conversation Starter, Colin Hall from Luton Local Meeting, shares his hope for a law against ‘ecocide’. As world leaders gather in June gather at the Rio +20 Summit, they have the opportunity to create international legislation against large-scale environmental destruction.
The earth is in the greatest danger from exploitation for profit. We need an international law against ecocide. Eradicating Ecocide is a campaign to make mass damage of the environment a further Crime against Peace – alongside Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, and War Crimes. Those who might be found guilty include CEOs of big corporations and heads of state. Such crimes could include tar sands extraction in Canada (see p.1), or oil pollution in the Niger Delta.
We are called to save the planet from environmental and economic catastrophe: the two are fundamentally enmeshed. Our actions must flow “from nowhere but love”. That love for the world must extend to stopping the terrible wrongs on the largest of scales perpetrated by organisations and forces that operate within the current economic system but are seemingly beyond control. A proposal for a law of Ecocide has been put to the UN by lawyer Polly Higgins. It is only by action on the international scene that control can be regained, and justice brought to the earth.
The Ecocide campaign needs involvement from Friends, their creativity and vision, hope and faith, because it challenges the entrenched system and will be hugely resisted. You could:
- ask your local and area meetings to support the campaign;
- inform your MP and MEP about ecocide, and ask them to support the campaign;
- find out more about opportunities for action online.
Questions for Friends
- Quakers made profound contributions to ending slavery and the development of human rights. Do you agree that ecocide is a comparable issue? and that rights should be extended to future generations, other living creatures and the earth as a whole?
- Could those found guilty of the crime of ecocide themselves be victims of the system that they support? Accordingly, should they be offered Restorative Justice in order to understand and acknowledge the terrible harm that they have caused, end their wrongdoing and undertake acts of reparation so that they can be re-integrated into the world we all share?
Why discuss Colin’s questions with your meeting, and give us your collective response, or simply repsond individually? Use the comment box below to leave your response.