Environmental crimes and harms & Why we do not pay attention
In your own words, describe why environmental crimes and harms do not receive as much attention as everyday crimes.
Environmental crimes and harms are crimes committed by large corporations, often unintentionally or by individuals, and the impact on the ecosystem can be extreme.
Despite the harms caused by environmental crimes, people do not view them in the same way as everyday crimes.
I will start by telling you why people do not view these crimes as seriously as everyday crimes. what I believe needs to be done to change attitudes.
There are a variety of reasons why people don’t take green crimes seriously.
When identifying what defines environmental crime, it can be challenging to achieve a balance between the demands of individuals for work and financial security and the needs of ecosystem management, biodiversity, and long-term sustainability. (Skinnier, 2011, cited in hall, 2013, Chapter 3; Law and order, harm and disorder paragraph 3)
Opponents of the controversial process of fracking have long argued that it is very dangerous and risky.
Since exploratory drilling began in the UK in 2011, campaigners have highlighted the risk of seismic instability, harm to the environment and human health.
The implications of opening up new fossil fuel reserves in the face of a global climate catastrophe need to be stopped. (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies)
Their campaigns have been interrupted by police forces many times, with arrests and fines for protestors. Public anger has now resulted in a ban on fracking.
It is critical that authorities such as the police are monitored. There are questions that need answers, and the law needs to be clarified. First, we need to ask, are the campaigners
in violation of the law by campaigning against such an influential matter as fracking? Second, is it necessary for the police to use force and arrest campaigners?
Third, has the government broken the social contract? (blogs.ise.ac.uk, breaching the social contact)
Fourth, if they have, should the public break the contract they have with the government?
Due to those questions and actions, public opinion is divided, so it is understandable that some people see environmental crimes and harms as not significant.
As a fact, environmental crimes are crimes and people should take them seriously. They must also give them the attention they deserve. Some of the effects of these crimes may not be visible yet
Generally, this is because the nature of such crimes is complex, and crime isn’t a constant concept it varies from country to country and over time.
Thus, most environmental crimes are not illegal, and if they are, the punishment is a fixed penalty (Pay or challenge a fixed penalty notice for an environmental offence)
This will not change until the law changes to make more green crimes illegal.
As government warnings are not issued very often, people do not feel directly affected by them, so it is natural for people to disregard the issue.
A major role of the media has always been to inform and sometimes even influence people. I would argue that they should report environmental crimes in the same way as everyday crimes.
They should warn people by publicising the negative effects of environmental crimes around the world. Only then would they take these crimes seriously. (Global initiative analysis of media matters)
There is a lot of work to do, from every one of us. The government should follow the social contract, and as part of the state, create laws punishing green crime offenders. People need to take more personal responsibility
According to the UK Government, every year 28000-32000 people die from air pollution due to industrial and vehicle emissions such as carbon monoxide. (gov.uk, Health Matters Air Pollution)
We do not realize that changing the balance of the eco system will require us to change the way we live as well.
Scientists note that climate impacts have worsened a vast range of human diseases and so environmental harms are directly affecting people. (O. Milman, Guardian Aug. 2022 )
In conclusion, environmental crimes and the harm they are causing are crimes not only against humanity but the eco system of the planet. Environmental criminal activity seems to be very complex to deal with.
Governments should step in and create new laws or change existing laws to protect citizens and save the environment.
Action should be taken, seriously and fast, if we want ourselves and our children to have a future. If we do not, then we need to apologise to them because we have failed them.