Tag Archives: environment

End ecocide law progressing, help by signing petition

You may have read this article I wrote ages ago on lawyer Polly Higgin’s ecocide law. If you thought it was a good idea then there’s something you can do to help it along.

Please sign this petition to ask the European Parliament to “recognise ecocide as a crime”.
They’re aiming to get a million signatories from people all over the world. They’ll ask for your name, nationality and email address. If you really want to be a star you could also share it on your social networks/in day-to-day life. 

You can learn more about ecocide and why it should be illegal everywhere here. However the basic idea is that ecocide is the extensive destruction of an ecosystem, to the point where the inhabitants (humans and other species) can no longer flourish. Making ecocide illegal wouldn’t make it illegal to do anything harmful to the environment: it’d just cut out the most serious stuff like cutting down the Amazon, burying large amounts of toxic waste, polluting vital rivers and etc.

Polly Higgins is even campaigning for it to be established as the 5th crime against peace, as it almost was in the 90s. Although big corporations will likely object to the movement, there are a lot of supporters including public figures, organizations and 10 nations already have similar laws.

Please sign the above petition, share it and help make ecocide the crime it clearly is.

Wish 20: End Ecocide by 2020, their copyright.

Wish 20: End Ecocide by 2020, their copyright.

What is Sustainable Development?

‘Sustainable’ is used a something of a buzzword these days, employed as a handy prefix for everything from fashion to washing-up liquid to fish to economics. From some of the branding and back-of-packet claims that are commonplace, you’d be forgiven for thinking ‘sustainable’ was synonymous with ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’. It’s not. Very simply, it means ‘can go on and on, maintained at a constant level or rate’. Plenty of natural processes, like childbirth and volcanic eruptions, are not sustainable as they happen and then end reasonably quickly. So it doesn’t mean natural or green, it just means it can continue. I want to say ‘can continue forever’ but obviously nothing can continue forever. ‘Continue for the foreseeable future’ perhaps.

Confusingly though, ‘sustainable development’ is a much more complex concept than simply ‘ development that can carry on for nearly forever’. The most widely accepted definition comes from Our Common Future, better known as the Brundtland Report, in 1987:  Continue reading

wind turbine

EU Announces Climate Targets for 2030

Great news, everyone.

The Guardian’s live stream tells us the EU Commission has agreed on the climate targets for 2030:

  • 40% cut of GHG emissions, from 1990 levels
  • At least 27% of energy coming from renewables – binding
  • At least 25% improved energy efficiency – non binding
  • The EU carbon trading scheme will be reformed  Continue reading
Image from the front cover of Prosperity Without Growth

‘Prosperity Without Growth’ by Tim Jackson

I’ve just finished reading Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson (2009) for the second time. I got it from my university library and I haven’t been able to bring myself to relinquish it – I’ve renewed this little volume three times now. It’s one of the best factual books I’ve ever read, and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone remotely interested in sustainability, the environment, economics or well-being.  Continue reading

Wish 20: End Ecocide by 2020, their copyright.

Ecocide – The 5th Crime Against Peace

Have you heard of ecocide?

Global Initiative Eradicating Ecocide – chaired and founded by international barrister Polly Higgins – defines ecocide as:

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.

Continue reading

image credit: CASSE, steadystate.org

Steady State and Political Frameworks

A steady state is an economy or society where the goal is sustainable and equitable human well-being rather than economic growth. In order to stay within biophysical limits the goal is for the economy to reach an optimal size and then remain steady or mildly fluctuating – thus ensuring economic stability (no boom and bust cycles) ecological sustainability and a high quality of life for all. Continue reading