Polluter should pay the bill

Tuesday 10th May 2022 9:00 am
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Martin Heath Column
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ENVIRONMENTAL crime should be the same as a war-crime.

If we are ever going to get to anything looking like world peace and harmony with all nations, then an international environmental crime law needs to be in place.

Just look all around the world and you will see many countries don’t have full recycling or rubbish collections in place.

In many of the poorest countries the city dwellers have their refuge cleared away but turn a blind-eye to the poor areas which have to dump their rubbish in the rivers and oceans. The polluter should pay to bill!

When you view the pictures coming out of Ukraine, you can clearly see the need not just for war crimes against humanity, but against the environment.

War is the most destructive act you can do on the planet. It’s not just the inhuman side of war, but when you look at the damage to the trees in the war areas, striped of their branches and the one’s left on the trees shredded like cheese through a grater, you just know we need to do much more to call this out.

The other observation is the eery and sinister silence that fills the air of these bombed destroyed areas. No birds flying or singing in the air, no rabbits running on the ground, nothing, just death all round.

One of the hidden sides to war is the wanton and shameless evil destruction of the wildlife and plants, personally I have not heard any comment on TV on this, although I do expect to hear this when the war is over.

At this time of war, it is understandable to concentrate on humans being killed, but if we had a crime against the environment maybe it would help to show and say to the aggressor, ‘you will also be held responsible for the destruction you have made on the environment,’ and under any new international laws, you will have to pay the full damages you have caused.

It will not bring back the dead animals or anything like that, but it would show that the environment is just as important as life itself.

The aftermath of war normally means years of clean-ups and rebuilding. A whole generation needing medical treatment due to the toxic pollution left behind by chemicals and radioactive war-heads, used to penetrate armour.

I sometimes hear people say things like, ‘we humans are really smart, we have changed, we don’t live in the dark ages anymore.’

I think that opinion is misguided. What I see along with many others, is that our technology and discoveries has changed, but that just acts as a thin vale to hide the heart of mankind which has changed little since ancient-times. We need to follow the way of light, or we will all fall over in the darkness.

As the orthodox Easter has just gone, I noted that Russia was bombing on their orthodox Easter Day and agreed by their head of their church. The light I referred to is not religion; which Jesus continually battled with, but Jesus himself who said, ‘He was the light of the world.’

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