'The air stinks and you see monster trucks driving everywhere,' says one activist of the Alberta tar sands
Could politicians be charged with 'ecocide' if they approve tar sands pipeline?
29th November, 2011
A law of ecocide could potentially see politicians who approve environmentally-damaging projects, like the tar sands pipeline between the US and Canada, face a court trial
'The first thing you notice is that the forest just stops,' says Malaika Aleba. 'The land is desert-like and sandy - very strange for Alberta - almost like what Afghanistan looks like on the news. Canons are fired every so often to scare off the birds. The sky turns grey, then brownish. The air stinks and you see monster trucks driving everywhere as well as drug testing signs posted for the workers.'
Aleba, a 23-year old environmental activist from Alberta, Canada, is describing what the Athabasca tar sands, located near the small Alberta town of Fort McMurray, looked like the first time she visited. Perhaps unknowingly, she is also describing something that a growing group of environmental activists and legal professionals want to bring global recognition to: ecocide.
Ecocide, according to barrister and environmental lawyer Polly Higgins, is not only a crime against nature, but also one against humanity, peace, and future generations. After spending years in courtrooms representing the earth as her number one client, one day Higgins realised her efforts would remain in vain unless something changed.
'It’s very hard to speak out against something that hasn't been given a name or been...
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