Category: Ecocide

Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe


Here comes the sun and the moon and the stars,

The earth’s a blue marble next to bloody red mars,

And what’s in the midst of them, what’s in the night?

The mystery of gravity, spacetime and light?

And we who look up to them, we who are small,

try to explain.


Here comes the rain, the hail, sleet and snow,

The frost and the sea mist, the wind that will blow,

Where do they come from, where will they go?

The tides that are rising their ebb and their flow?

And we who will feel them, we who are small,

try to predict.


Here comes the swallow, the martin, the swift,

Migration to England over African Rift,

Monarch, Red Admiral, Humming bird moth,

Wings that worth more than any gold cloth,

And we wish to count them, we wait their return,

to summer’s long lease.


There goes the pilchard shoals, the Huer’s last cry,

Followed by tuna, tracked down till they die,

Cod, marlin and swordfish, monkfish and hake,

Trawler net dredging with blood in its wake,

And we who consume them, we who are blind,

add Salt.


Here comes acidity, salinity and methane,

oil, gas, petroleum, carbon and butane,

earth’s kept them hidden, silent for years,

why did we find them? why did we we drill?

We think we are masters, we seekers of thrill,

try to control.


Who is the cancer, who is the sore

on the face of our planet? Who is it wants more?

We’ve been here 5 minutes, its a blink of the eye,

Enough time to spoil, desecrate, poison and die.

We think we have knowledge, we think we have right,

we think the blue planet will turn out all right.

Just keep on consuming, just keep the cash flow

just keep on assuming, colluding but know

finite resources,

will end.


(cadence nicked from WH Auden’s Night Mail)


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End Ecocide in Europe

Ecocide is the extensive damage to, destruction of or loss of ecosystems of a given territory. Let’s end Ecocide in Europe together!

What’s our aim?

We  want Ecocide to become a crime for which companies and individuals can be held responsible according to criminal law and the principle of superior responsibility. With the European Citizens’ Initiative we want to achieve that Ecocide becomes a crime in three cases:

  • when the Ecocide happens on EU territory (including maritime territories)
  • when EU companies are involved or
  • when EU citizens are involved

In addition, market access to the EU market for products based on Ecocide as well as investment in activities causing Ecocide will be prohibited. A transition period of five years is suggested to give the relevant stakeholders the time to adapt to doing business in a world without Ecocide.

Ecocide – a necessary but insufficient step to sustainability?

Ecocide – a necessary but insufficient step?

Polly Higgins proposes a new law against peace: Ecocide. The hope is that international law will make capitalism adopt greener practices and turn it away from such rapacious and dirty economics such as that of the Athabasca tar sands extraction. Will ecocide take us beyond capitalism or merely make a dirty economics clean? Can ecocide help the transition to a no growth economy or merely make the growth economy cleaner in environmental terms. Growth is the key point. Current capitalist growth is the father of its bastard child ‘ecocide’, if we eradicate this bastard we still have the father to contend with. Without growth we don’t have capitalism. With dirty capitalism we have dirty growth, and we have ecocide, without ecocide we have green growth. But in both cases we have growth, which means capitalism and its spawn: inequality and resource depletion. Ecocide will channel capitalist dynamics into greener activities but will not necessarily help make those green activities sustainable or diminish the dynamic for growth.

David Harvey spells out the internal dynamic of capitalism: the surplus capital accumulation problem which predicates capitalism upon growth. Growth brings more and more resources into play and growth on a finite planet transgresses the safe operating spaces for humanity. So unless the legal framework goes beyond making growth green, making growth itself illegal, we will not have solved earth’s sustainability issues. All we have done is channelled energy into a cleaner, greener demise. The law might want to address making capitalism itself illegal and focus instead on problems of distribution and exchange as well as on production. Not to do so will allow inequality and resource depletion to run in the space that ecological degradation leaves behind.

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