Radical Environmentalists Ignore Genocide, Push “Ecocide”

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 9, 2012   |   11:50AM   |   Washington, DC

Radical environmentalists have proposed a new “crime against peace,” called “ecocide.” It is conceived as prosecutable in the Hague, in the same way as such horrors as genocide and ethnic cleansing are today.

What is ecocide, exactly? Here’s the official 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 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.

If ever implemented, it would mean that any business activity that environmentalists loathe, from large scale resource development to nonrenewable energy generation, along with any accidental ecological disaster–criminal intent is irrelevant–would potentially qualify as an international crime. Some “renewables” might too: Wind farms for electricity are castigated by some environmentalists as ecocide because the windmills kill millions of birds.

The entire agenda is both explicitly and implicitly anti human, both because it elevates the exploitation of resources to an evil equivalent to the Holocaust, but also because if enacted, it would mire the entire human race in abject poverty–particularly the destitute in developing countries that are rich in recourses. Indeed, to show the purpose, a mock trial held in the English Supreme Court chambers found two fictional CEO’s guilty of the crime. Their heinous activity? Development of the Alberta tar sands.

When I sound the warning bell about the threat of ecocide (and its evil twin, “nature rights”), people tend to roll their eyes. But now, the UN–where anything can happen–is apparently becoming serious about the issue to the point that a committee will investigate whether to make ecocide an international crime. From a report published in the Ecocide Website:

Last week I was invited by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in cooperation with United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the Italian Ministry of Environment, to speak about the law of Ecocide on an expert round table on the future of environmental crime at the international conference ‘Environmental Crime: Current and Emerging Threats’ held in Rome at the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation Headquarters…

One of the experts mentioned to me in passing “if it’s an idea whose time has come, it will happen”. Indeed the time to make ecocide a crime, has come. This time is different to the 70s when it was previously considered, problems are far more urgent, we are seeing growing support for making Ecocide the fifth Crime Against Peace from governments, business, and civil society and Earth Law is being developed around the world. It is only a matter of time before extensive damage and destruction to the earth, something which is malum un se, morally wrong in itself, becomes recognised as an international crime.



Ecocide is being energetically promoted all around the world. It’s instigators see the cause as a profoundly important calling. It is time to take the threat seriously by noting the terrible human toll that passing such a law would extract and to push back against the agenda while it remains at the embryonic stage.

LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He writes at his blog, Secondhand Smoke.