If you wanted to undermine human exceptionalism and interfere with human thriving, a splendid way would be to elevate nature to the moral value of human beings, almost a person, or at least, a rights bearing entity. And indeed, the drive toward what could be described as nature rights has already begun, for example, when Ecuadors new constitution explicitly created the rights of nature to be equal to those of humans .
Now, an environmental campaigner is promoting the same ends from a punitive direction. She is pushing hard to transform serious pollution into a crime against nature (peace) that would be deemed as odious as crimes against humanity are currently . From the story :
A campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international crime against peace alongside genocide and crimes against humanity is being launched in the UK. The proposal for the United Nations to accept ecocide as a fifth crime against peace, which could be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC), is the brainchild of British lawyer-turned-campaigner Polly Higgins. The radical idea would have a profound effect on industries blamed for widespread damage to the environment like fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry. Supporters of a new ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute climate deniers who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change. Ecocide is in essence the very antithesis of life, says Higgins. It leads to resource depletion, and where there is escalation of resource depletion, war comes chasing behind. Where such destruction arises out of the actions of mankind, ecocide can be regarded as a crime against peace.
Under this view, the Exxon Valdez accident could be elevated to a crime equivalent to the Holocaust! But that shouldn’t surprise us. When you attack human exceptionalism—which is what this proposal does quite subversively, you not only undermine intrinsic human value, but also mount an assault against human freedom. The totalitarian impulses of the current anti humanism are exposed clearly in this noxious proposal.
Alas, this proposal is gaining traction at the UN. More details and analysis over at Secondhand Smoke .