I reported here a few weeks ago about a new radical thrust in environmentalism that seeks to hyper criminalize resource development as an international crime akin to genocide or crimes against humanity. At the time, I promised a more thorough analysis.  It is now out in the current Weekly Standard.

First, I set up the problem. From “Ecocide: A Crime Against Peace?”:

Environmentalism is growing increasingly antihuman. Having left Teddy Roosevelt-style conservation and Earth Day consciousness-raising behind, the cutting edge of the movement is pursuing utopian “save the planet” agendas while angrily castigating mankind for supposedly sucking the life out of Gaia. Such environmental misanthropy used to be confined to the fringe...Alas, in recent years such advocacy moved from the flanks toward the center of environmentalism—to the point that some of the world’s leading global warming warriors now echo the radical depopulation agenda as an urgent imperative to protect polar bears and keep glaciers from melting.

I discuss the anti-prosperity meme that drives global warming hysteria, and point out that this view generally has led to personalizing nature, with details provided. But, I note, if you really want to destroy prosperity, development itself needs to be criminalized:

Allowing radical environmentalists to enforce the putative rights of nature could certainly stifle development. But it might not eliminate it. To do that, punitive action is required. Indeed, how better to push us back toward a hunter/gatherer (or just plain gatherer) ideal than to criminalize large-scale economic development? That’s precisely the goal of This Is Ecocide, a new environmental campaign that seeks to outlaw serious pollution as an international “crime against peace,” akin to war crimes or genocide. Anyone indicted for ecocide would find himself in the dock at the International Criminal Court alongside such alleged mass murderers as Serbia’s Radovan Karadzic and Liberia’s Charles Taylor.

But what is ecocide, precisely? Practically any business activity that environmentalists loathe, from large scale resource development to nonrenewable energy generation, along with any accidental ecological disaster would potentially qualify as a crime against peace.

I discuss details, with quotes from the This is Ecocide Website—definitely worth reading in the piece. In conclusion, I write:

The concept of Ecocide is subversive on several levels. First, equating resource extraction and/or pollution with genocide trivializes true evils such as the slaughter in Rwanda, the killing fields of Cambodia, the gulags, and the death camps, while elevating undefined environmental systems to the moral status of human populations. Even more elementary is the fact that ecocide’s promoters want to destroy prosperity by criminalizing necessary economic activities.

The cliché that green is the new red is proving all too true. Increasingly, environmental activism promotes utopian hysteria, undermines human exceptionalism by personalizing nature, and exhibits disturbing totalitarian symptoms. Ecocide fits squarely within this emerging zeitgeist. Tempted as we may be to laugh it off, we should instead recognize it as a potential threat to our collective future.

Ecocide will not become an international crime anytime soon. But it is potent evidence of the growing radicalism of the neo earth religion into which environmentalism is mutating.  And that is why this story is important.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith


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