Green crime (part of globalisation) (Examples of Green crime (Primary…
Green crime (part of globalisation)
End of 20th Century growing concern about environmental issues and part of debates. Globalisation explains raised awareness, it became apparent in one place, e.g where climate change occurs. Those most concerned able to campaign around world using the internet.
What is Green Crime?
Wolf (2011) 'green crime' (aka environmental crime/eco-crime), actions breaking law against environment. Involve actions of individuals, private companies, nation states.
Problem with this same harmful environmental action defined as illegal in one country but not another. Laws change over time, seen as breaches of health and safety regulations rather than a criminal offence.
Transgressive approach to green crime: crime as environmental harm.
Radical theorists argued approach outdated and needs to widened to study newer issues.
Rob White argued criminology study any harmful action to individuals/environment regardless of a law being broken. important because harms done to environment by actions don't appear to break a law.
Examples are; hunting and trading in animals becomes illegal once they're threatened with extinction but harm done before law. It also crosses national boundaries but countries have different laws so actions within law in a country can seriously effect the environment in another.
Examples of Green crime
Can be various violations of national and international laws and regulations or may not be against the law. e.g. pollution and contamination of land, water and air through discharge and emission of dangerous/toxic substances from manufacturing processes, farming and transport; pollution- fossil fuels; species decline- destruction of habitat. Some deliberate or neglect.
Nigel South (2008) classifies into primary and secondary
Primary green crime
crimes which result directly from destruction and degradation of earth's resources.
E.g. Air pollution- burning fossil fuels adds 6 billion tons of carbon into atmosphere every year, carbon emissions grow 2% a year- contributes to global warming. Walters (2013) twice as many people die from air pollution-induced breathing problems than 20 years ago.
Deforestation- 1960-1990, 1/5 of world's tropical rainforest destroyed. In Andes, 'war on drugs' means pesticide spray to kill coca and marijuana plants led to destroying food crops, contaminating water and causing illness. Criminals- the state, those who benefit from deforest destruction, e.g. logging companies and cattle ranchers.
Water pollution- half billion people lack access to clean drinking water, 25 mil die annually from drinking contaminated water. Marine pollution threatens 58% of ocean reefs and 34% of fish. BP oil spills caused harm to marine life and coats of Gulf of Mexico. Criminals are businesses dumping toxic waste and governments discharging untreated sewage.
Species decline and animal abuse- 50 species a day becoming extinct, 46% of mammal and 11% of bird species at risk. e.g. dog fights, animal trafficking.
Secondary green crime
crime that grows out of ignoring rules aimed at preventing/regulating environmental disasters. e.g. governments break own regulations and cause harm.
e.g. hazardous waste and organised crime. Disposal of toxic waste from chemical, nuclear and other industries highly profitable. high costs of safe and legal disposal, trade in illegal waste dumping.
Fred Bridgland (2006) after 2004, hundreds of radioactive waste are illegally dumped by European countries, washed up Somalia shores.
Western countries ship waste to be processed in developing countries where costs lower. Roseff et al (1998) legitimately disposing toxic waste in USA $2,500 a ton, developing countries $3 a ton.
Similarities with traditional Marxists
Like marxist as it's 'crimes of the powerful'. i.e. Marists argue that laws are made in interests of the powerful so isn't criminalised.
Global risk society
Beck (1992) suggest droughts, famine, flooding, etc. are natural origin and out of human control. New risks that created by actions of humans through science and technology. Threats to ecosystem come from manufactured risks and result massive demand for consumer goods. e.g. greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global warming and climate change. Societies threatened by global risks.
Environmental harm can't be limited to one locality. e.g. deforestation of Amazon rainforest logging companies, carbon emissions arising fossil fuels contributing to climate change- catastrophic consequences for the planet.
White (2008) companies move operations to the south to avoid pollution laws in more developed countries, illegally dumping waste or sending it to developing countries.
Who commits green crime?
Wolf identified 4 groups
Individuals have powerful impact on environment, e.g. littering, fly-tipping, dealing in endangered animals, collecting eggs of protected birds.
Private businesses- cause most devastating harm. Typical example of corporate crime, responsible for bulk of land, air and water pollution, emissions of toxic materials, dumping of waste, breaching health and safety reg.
States and governments cause environmental harm. Santana (2002) military largest institutional polluter. e.g. unexploded bombs and landmines, toxic chemical effects.
organised crime- long-standing involvement in green crime. Sig proportion of environmental crime done by organised criminal networks, low-risk and high-profit nature. Monzini (2004) mafia type organisations, legal businesses and local authorities illegal hazardous waste dumping in Italy. Governments unethical behaviour combined low public awareness.
Wolf points out wide inequalities in harm and risks to victims and how laws made, applied and enforced. Working class, poor and minority ethnic groups most likely to be victims, in developed and developing countries.
White (2003) people living in developing world face greater risks exposure to environmental air, water and land pollution than in developed.
Enforcement action against green crimes
Governments responsible for creating and enforcing laws, often form policies in collab with businesses who are principal offenders. Snider (1991) Marxist say that only pass laws and regulations when pressured by public.
Sutherland (1983-1949) white collar crime doesn't carry same social stigma as street crime. Where laws exist may not be enforced, or only through warnings and fines.
Explaining green crimes
White (2008) green crime arises because TNC's and nation states hold anthropocentric view. Suggesting well-being is achieved through economic development and growth. States should hold an eco-centric view instead- environment damage damages species and puts humans at risk.
Wolf suggests green crime motivated by same factors as ordinary crime, strain theory. Motivated because of money.
Green criminology recognises importance of environmental issues and global risks.
Recognises interdependence humans, other species and environment.
Focuses on harm rather than crime considered subjective interpretation not objective so biased.