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Crimcast is a virtual resource devoted to critical conversations about criminology and criminal justice issues. Our blogposts, twitter feeds, podcasts and other content provide an overview of trends, research, commentary and events of interest to criminal justice practitioners, academics and the general public. CrimCast is sponsored by The Center for Crime and Popular Culture, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Filtering by Tag: green criminology

Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam: Interpersonal Violence, War, Guns, and Green Criminology

Nickie Phillips

By El Mariachi 94 [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest Post by Gennifer Furst, Associate Professor, William Paterson UniversityAs Pearl Jam releases its tenth studio album and celebrates the 23rd anniversary of its first performance, the band’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder and the four other band members (along with musician Boom Gaspar) are making headlines speaking out about criminological themes. From their beginning, Eddie and the guys have never shied away from issues of social justice. In fact, through the band’s Vitalogy Foundation, named after their third album released in 1994, they support the work of non-profit organizations in fields such as community health, the environment, and social change. Two dollars of every ticket they sell goes to the Vitalogy Foundation.

The Early Years

Much has been written about Eddie Vedder’s political commentary delivered during his performances from progressive issues on abortion to anti-war sentiments. Back in March 1992 during the band’s appearance on MTV’s Unplugged Vedder stood up during the performance of “Alive” and wrote “pro-choice” on his arm with a bold black Sharpie marker. The following month, during an appearance on Saturday Night Live, he wore a homemade t-shirt with an image of a hanger  on the front and “No Bush ‘92” written on the back. During the same performance, he changed the lyrics of “Porch”--a song some believe apolitical--to include a message about women’s right to choose. The band also address abusive relationships on one of their band's best known anthems, "Better Man" from 1994's Vitalogy.

The band was an early voice in today’s anti-bullying movement. The lyrics and video for “Jeremy,” one of the band’s most well-known songs from their breakthrough album Ten, brought attention to the issue years before Columbine, often regarded as the school shooting event that started the conversation. More than two decades later the issue of guns and mass killings in schools would again become an issue Vedder prioritized.

Touring During War Time

In addition to their activism on domestic social justice issues, Pearl Jam’s attention to the wars in the Middle East has been on-going. The song “Bu$hleaguer” on 2002’s Riot Act was a clear criticism of George W. Bush’s blatant deception and manipulation of the American public into supporting an unjust war:

A confidence man, but why so beleaguered?

He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer

Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike

The lyrics are explicit in their denunciation of the Bush administration and their actions. The bush, or minor leagues, is a reference to Bush as inept and unqualified to lead, and as someone who lucked into a position in the major leagues – that of President. Released during the buildup to the Iraq war, and touring during the initial stages of the Iraq invasion, the band experienced the wrath of those unwilling to question authority. For example, Vedder was accused of “impaling” the President

By conguita [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

when during their summer tour in 2003 he appeared on stage wearing a Bush mask. In order to be able to sing, he removed the mask and hung it on the microphone stand. Contingents of concert-goers booed at the gesture. However, the backlash never proved to be as damaging as the reaction to the Dixie Chicks who disbanded shortly after Natalie Maines expressed her dismay at being from the same state as Bush.

Then, as now, Vedder argues his disdain for the wars is rooted in support for the troops. He expresses concern for the victims – the soldiers and the families who have lost loved ones to an unjust war. In addition to meeting veterans and welcoming their stories, during performances he often acknowledges the veterans present. At a concert in Colorado that kicked off their summer 2003 tour (and where the Bush mask made its U.S. debut, having been used in Australia and Japan) Vedder declared,

Just to clarify... we support the troops.…We're just confused on how wanting to bring them back safely all of a sudden becomes non-support….We love them. They're not the ones who make the foreign policy. Let's hope for the best and speak our opinions.

The anti-war message reappeared in 2006 in “World Wide Suicide,” another cut from their self-titled album Pearl Jam (also known as the Avocado Album) that criticized the war and the country’s foreign policy. Quoted in Newsweek Vedder speaks out against the military industrial complex,

It's just not the time to be cryptic. I mean, our tax dollars for this (Iraq) war are being funneled through huge corporations – one of which Dick Cheney used to be head of (Halliburton).

Viewing the United States' involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as criminal, Vedder remains angry about the last presidency, and continues to bring attention to what he views as unjust killing in the name of war,

Those fucking bastards, they put us in this situation and screw up the whole fucking planet and goodwill with every other nation, and they are not going to be held criminally responsible.

Vedder became more personally involved with the criminal justice system when he became a vocal advocate for the West Memphis

CBS News/AP http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20094814-10391698.html

3 and the case of Damien Echols. In 1994 three young men from Arkansas were falsely convicted of the grisly murders of three young boys. Echols was sentenced to death. With no physical evidence, the convictions were based on the satanic panic that occurred in a small southern town (see Jenkins & Maier-Katkin, 1992). Echols shares a writing credit for the song "Army Reserve" from the album Pearl Jam (2006), a collaboration that occurred during one of Vedder’s visits to Echols on death row. Vedder remained a staunch supporter of the boys and was present when the three men were released in August 2011 after having served 18 years.

Guns

Vedder would later insert himself into public debate regarding another politically divisive issue: the right to bear arms. During a publicity interview in September 2013 promoting their new album Lightning Bolt, Vedder stated to surfer Mark Richards,

The fact that we're living in a country where 90 percent of the people want further gun laws -- to maybe somehow put a dent in some of this insanity that's happening -- and yet there's no further legislation taking place, it's very frustrating and upsetting.

A snippet of the clip where he went on to say that "I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people," was aired as a stand-alone sound bite and exposed Vedder to criticism. What he went on to say, but was generally absent from most press pieces, was

But I don't have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I'm reading about a 4-year-old either shooting their sister, their dad, their dog, their brother or themselves, because there's fucking guns laying around. But I guess it's 'fun.'

Vedder responded to the criticism regarding his statements about guns at the October 25th Hartford Connecticut show, which took place a mere 50 miles from the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, CT where 26 people were murdered. To members of the audience, it was obvious something was going to occur. The other band members left the stage and Vedder knelt on the stage, collecting his thoughts. He stood up and spoke into the microphone, addressing the crowd of over 16,000 fans who eagerly awaited what he had to say.

Tonight I got to meet three great men, incredible fathers of children who were lost, and it was such a powerful… a very powerful moment to have this chance to communicate to somebody that we had been thinking about so deeply.

And to know that it’s okay, in fact, not just okay, but it’s necessary that we continue a discussion to figure out how to unravel the situation where something like that can happen and make sure the odds of it happening again are very slim.

Vedder made reference to the criticism he received in the press in response to his previous comments about the need to protect people from gun violence. He framed the need for a discussion about firearms as a First Amendment issue. He defended his, and everyone else’s, right to voice an opinion about our personal security and well-being. Vedder encouraged the members of the audience to have the courage to demand a public discourse on the issue.

And you know, as well as I, you have to be very careful when talking about something like this. Because they want to defame your character or take away your right to speak, I mean while they’re protecting the second amendment they also don’t think you have the right to speak as an American as a taxpayer as a father, as a parent.

We’ve got a right to speak on this issue when the safety of our children is directly affected. And you will take some hits if you put it out there, but that’s the thing.

PearlJam_MindYourManners

Lest anyone think Eddie and the band were putting their opinions out there for the public in an uninformed or ignorant way, Vedder let the crowd know they consulted with experts and scholars. He used a critical approach to explain why the public may be swayed by those in favor of relaxing gun regulation.

I just want to clarify and we’ve done some research and I’ve talked to some very, much smarter people than myself – there’s a lot of them – that the myth that the gun lobby is the most powerful lobby in our is a myth. That’s a myth. The money is not the most money. The amount of people – it’s just in the millions.

It’s a myth, but it’s just because they’re louder. They’re louder and they’re very tenacious and if you speak up against them they will jump on you, they will tear you apart, and make it so that nobody else wants to say anything, or they want them to be fearful that…I mean we’re talking about, I’m gonna stop. You know what they’re talking about.

Vedder galvanized the crowd by telling people what they can do about the issue. He reminded everyone to exercise their right to vote (an issue the band has long-supported; for example, they performed in Rock the Vote concerts in swing states in October 2004). As with his message about the wars, he told the crowd that pressure from voters, using the power each person has to voice an opinion, is what brings about social change.

So, if all the research is saying, and all the polls conducted, you know, and not just people reacting to what happened, but you have to not just react you have to prefect. You have to go into prevention mode. So what we have to do, if the majority of people agree that there should be more legislation just to make it a little harder. We’re not taking away the right, just a safety issue – a safety precautionary, the same things you have to do to get a driver’s license or a car. It can’t be as easy as buying a pair of shoes. All I implore you, and I don’t mean to be preaching to the converted, but sometimes the choir has to sing louder, and that’s one of these issues.

He summarized by saying,

If we were louder, it can happen, we just have to be louder  and we have to let the politicians know that they will be reelected if they do what we ask, and we are asking for them to do it now. Cause what we don’t want is for any of those children’s lives to be wasted.

The band followed with a powerful performance of “Life Wasted” from their 2006 self-titled album. In the five-plus minutes that Vedder spoke during the band’s break in the show, he used the word “gun” only once, when he was referring to power of political lobby groups. Perhaps he meant to protect himself from the inevitable criticism he knew would result. Without using the term “gun” it becomes more difficult for his words to be taken out of context by those who would try to manipulate his message.

Green Criminology

Environmentalist of the Year

Green Criminology is the study of harms to, crimes against, and laws that regulate the environment. Green criminology examines how human behavior threatens the environment. Green criminologists study not only environmental pollution but also mining, poaching, and timber crimes and the ensuing effects on humans and non-human species.

Vedder is advancing these issues that are important to green criminologists. Since 2003 the band has worked with scientists to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide output on their tours. They then invest in various carbon-offsetting environmental projects. In fact, Pearl Jam was named 2011 Planet Defenders by Rock The Earth for their environmental activism. Vedder, a known surfer, has been a long-time participant in a variety of environmental groups that work to protect oceans and other waterways.

During his October 26, 2013 appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Vedder used the opportunity to bring the issue of environmental contamination into the fore of people’s minds once again. Fallon played a clip from his July 2012 appearance featuring the two singing a duet called “Balls in Your Mouth” which Vedder joked should now be seen as “an environmental anthem.”

The oil spill, BP

Has left tar balls, all over the sea.

So don’t go swimming, down in the south

Unless you want, tar balls in your mouth

Balls in your mouth, balls in your mouth

Don’t swim in the ocean you’ll get balls in your mouth.

Vedder interspersed information about the Department of Justice trial against BP and the large amount of tar uncovered by the Coast Guard after Tropical Storm Karen hit the Gulf Coast, while Fallon riffed on the idea of “large balls” being found after the recent storm. Vedder remained on point and urged viewers to recognize the long-term effects of the BP oil spill.

But there’s this thing called the Gulf Restoration Network that you can look into and we were one of a group of people that tried to raise money for this organization so they could keep putting out information that was truthful and maybe was a different account than the kind of shiny happy commercials that the oil companies were putting out saying that ‘it’s all fine’ and ‘it’s all taken care of’ which if you did the research it would be interesting to see what you’d come up with.

As with his comments about guns, Vedder again referred to research as a source of truth, or at least as a source of information that stands in contrast to commonly held beliefs.

As the spokesman for Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder has used his ability to reach tens of thousands of people during a concert to promote issues of social justice. Over the band’s two-plus decades history, Vedder has educated his fans about a range of topics. He not only speaks about these important subjects but, of course, he also sings about them. By incorporating them into music culture he is marking the sociopolitical landscape of the time.

Vedder and Pearl Jam donate their time, names, and profits from their concerts to support these causes. They were early advocates in the fight against interpersonal violence, in the form of both bullying and domestic abuse. Vedder challenged the decisions of leaders and spoke out against the war during a time when many chose not to question authority. As the stories about gun violence stack up each day, Vedder and Pearl Jam are expressing their concern and urging their fans to as well. While green criminology is a relatively nascent area in the discipline, these criminologists may find allies in popular culture ready to advance their causes. With Pearl Jam, Eddie Vedder continues to not only make music but also make a progressive mark on society as well.

Further Reading

Jenkins, P., & Maier-Katkin, D. (1992). Satanism: Myth and reality in a contemporary moral

panic. Crime, Law and Social Change, 17, 53-75.

Pearl Jam (2011). Pearl Jam Twenty. NY, NY: Simon & Schuster.

http://journal.transformativeworks.org/index.php/twc/article/view/254/233

http://www.wm3.org/

Crimes Against Flounder and the "End of Fish"

Nickie Phillips

Staci Strobl, Crimcast co-founder

photo: Brian Switek

Last night I enjoyed a delicious meal of local flounder at B. Smith's in midtown Manhattan.  Unfortunately, due to illegal over-fishing, this flounder may have been in-bred in its small sub-population off the southern coast of Long Island and more of an endangered species than I had thought.

Overfishing happens when fish are caught faster than they can reproduce, often the result of the market demand for seafood, poor management of fisheries and destructive fishing techniques. If unaddressed, it can threaten marine ecosystems and imperil the availability of fish for people whose diet depends on it.  Once populations of fish get too small, they in-breed and are susceptible to diseases which can wipe out the population for good.  According to the Save Our Seas Foundation, one in five people in the world depend on fish as their main source of protein.

Under federal regulations, New York fishers can only bring in 7.6% of the total haul of flounder in a given season and each fisher has a particular individual quota per season based on the most recent data of the strength of the fish population.

As a result of the limitations, the number of licensed fishing operations in the state are down approximately 20% over the last decade.  And, many New York fishers are landing their catch in other nearby states where the quotas are higher-- even as the fish almost all end up consumed in the same place-- New York City.  Recently, Senator Chuck Schumer has called for reform of the fishing quotas which he believes are hurting New York fishermen and women.  Indeed, the declining economic viability of fishing in Long Island appears to motivate over-fishers, suggesting that important economic incentives are needed to control this harmful activity.

flounder (talkfish.org)

A recent federal prosecution shows that Long Island commercial fishers are falsifying records in order to over-fish for greater profit.  At least one of them has been held accountable.  Charles Wertz, head of C&C Ocean Fisheries, under-reported approxim

ately 80,000 pounds of fluke (summer flounder) that he over-fished between 2009 and 2011, earning an extra $200,000.  In an agreement with prosecutors, the

fisherman will lose his fishing licenses and pay over $500,000 in fines.

This enforcement activity is good news for scientists who warn we may be facing the apocalyptic "end of fish."  A 2006 study projected that fish and seafood populations will collapse by 2048.  Lead scientist on the study Boris Worm explained:

At this point, 29 percent of fish and seafood species [worldwide] have collapsed -- that is their catch has declined by 90 percent. It is a very clear trend, and it is accelerating... The good news is that it is not too late to turn things around.. [With areas of marine protection we] see that diversity of species recovered dramatically, and with it the ecosystem's productivity and stability.

Protecting fish populations through specifically regulated ocean spaces is a key part of the equation of preventing the fish apocalypse, also known as the aquacalypse, as well as working with the fishing industry to make under-fishing profitable.   For criminal justice policy makers, however, the most helpful role to play is to demand the enforcement of federal and state over-fishing laws and to make sure national laws support the United Nations' Fisheries & Aquaculture Department Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.

Crimes against fish are crimes against a humanity who needs fish protein.  But for those who don't require anthropocentric rationales, it is a matter of co-existing with other life forms on an increasingly environmentally-threatened planet.  Humans wiping out an entire form of life, consisting of multiple species who have done nothing but swim gracefully in our vast ocean waters, seems morally indefensible to me as well.

Environmental Justice at Stake in Canadian Provincial Election

Nickie Phillips

Sierra Club of Canada

Crimcast caught up with environmental activist John Wimberly who alerted us to an upcoming critical vote for the anti-fracking movement in Nova Scotia, Canada. As the documentaries Gasland and Gasland II have shown, regular people's access to fresh, clean water and unspoiled natural spaces have been threatened in U.S. states like Pennsylvania and North Dakota where corporate interests have been making big money off a risky form of extracting natural gas from deep underground in a process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Recent protests in England flared up at the prospect of fracking companies operating there for the first time. Canadians are wrestling with the same problem-- is short-term profit worth risking a natural habitat in the long-term? As John Wimberly explains:

Preventing fracking is tremendously important, especially in a small province like Nova Scotia. We have varied geology and nowhere to retreat if we experience a worst-case scenario event, like a spill of waste-water or a polluted water table. As such, many citizens have been pushing for a ban or moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Unfortunately, a legislated moratorium or ban does not have any guarantee of stopping it from happening. These laws are made by the provincial government and can be removed by the provincial government if it so suits its interests. The only way to prevent fracking is by having a provincial government that is committed to the same goal.

NS fracking

With a provincial election nearing its final week, this is where I point out who the best option will be. It’s the New Democratic Party (NDP), the current provincial government and Canada’s foremost left-leaning political party. By a long-shot. No fracking is going on in Nova Scotia because they created a moratorium. They’ve also initiated two studies into fracking on the environmental and human health impacts. Beyond treating fracking as a public relations issue, it fits in line with their environmental policy: banning uranium mining, hugely increasing the amount of protected lands in Nova Scotia, and moving us toward renewable energy. This is all in stark contrast to the alternative, the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, who – if the polls are any indication – are likely to form the next government.

The Liberals are directly misinforming Nova Scotians in their platform by claiming they were the ones who initiated a moratorium that the NDP opposed. On fracking, they’re even lying in their platform. Their leader, Stephen McNeil, opposed the NDP’s expansion of protected land, suggesting that what we needed was a “moratorium on protecting land.” McNeil and the mining industry were the only ones opposed to this protection – and now he might be the next premier.

Of the greatest concern is the Liberal plan for U.S.-style deregulation of Nova Scotia Power. While there is certainly support for his broadly-stated call to “break the monopoly” of Nova Scotia Power, there are obvious consequences that directly undermine the interests of Nova Scotians – especially those concerned about environmental issues, fossil fuel use, and our contributions toward climate change. The Liberal plan to deregulate would remove our ability to continue to mandate a switch to renewable energy – which is both an environmental and fiscal issue for our province, as the cost of the coal we’re currently using is quickly increasing.

Infographic by Lucy Kim

And who makes up each party? The NDP, while not delivering a perfect environmental record, have environmentalists as a core-constituency and they occupy the highest levels of the party. They have also spent the vast majority of their political capital on switching to renewable energy – popular for being clean, green, and providing stable rates, but very unpopular for being more expensive than the coal we burn now.

The Liberals candidates and record is deeply troubling. One of their Halifax candidates declared that Nova Scotia should become a world innovation capital for fracking, and that he would pursue “green fracking”, a process that even the most unapologetic oil baron hasn’t suggested as ‘something that exists.’ In rural Nova Scotia, they have a candidate who has promised to bring liquid natural gas ports to the coastal community for trans-Atlantic shipping. Poorly thought-out plans like “the free-market will solve the problem” U.S.-style deregulation, combined with candidates that seem squarely opposed to moving away from fossil fuels, leads me to believe that the right decision for voters is clear-- go with the NDP.

The NDP have been far from perfect, and they have, especially recently, been very open about that. They didn’t live up to the expectations many of us had for them. But they remain the best choice for Nova Scotians, especially those concerned about environmental issues.

20130311-133059.jpg

John Wimberly is a social, political, and environmental activist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He works for the NDP and also as a freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to Crimcast.

On This Day in Environmental Crime History

Nickie Phillips

20130426-232931.jpg

On April 27, 2009, a New Jersey jury convicted Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company, a division of McWane Industries, and four managers, of a plethora of environmental and worker's safety violations, including illegally disposing of contaminated fluids into storm drains, illegally burning paint waste, and covering up those offenses. The sentence included an $8 million fine for the company and a 48 month monitored probation period, and federal prison terms for the managers ranging from 30 to 70 months. The plant, which produces iron pipes used for municipal infrastructure, had several large storm drains that ultimately flowed into the Delaware River. The storm drains carried the petroleum-based hydraulic fluid used in the production process. The fluid is considered a pollutant under the Clean Water Act and any discharges of such must be controlled by a strict permitting process. An individual wishing to discharge this substance must first obtain a national discharge permit from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). However, the company did not obtain one for the purposes of discharging the production fluid.

The pipe finishing process, during which the pipes were painted, created large volumes of waste paint. The primary disposal method was to burn it--in violation of the regulatory operating permit and the Clean Air Act. The company subsequently made efforts to hide this practice when NJDEP personnel would visit for inspections. In addition, workers' safety violations were numerous resulting in the loss of one worker's eye and the death of another.

20130426-235115.jpg

The prosecution of Atlantic Pipe remains one of the most significant cases--and longest federal trials with testimony lasting seven months--of environmental crime in recent history. Interestingly, the case was originally brought to light by articles in the New York Timesand a documentary on PBS Frontline. As the New York Times described it, the company had a "...Dickensian corporate culture that put production and profits ahead of all other considerations."

green criminology

Environmental and work-place related crimes committed by companies such as Atlantic Pipe, create far more economic damage, personal injuries, and deaths than all other street crimes combined. However, these types of crimes are rarely prosecuted. Unfortunately, due to lack of enforcement, we are unaware of how many companies are operating in the same manner. We also do not know the extent of the damage in this case because the Delaware River watershed is a major water source for various metropolitan areas in the northeastern United States, toxins that could potentially affect millions of people (although, this probably pales in comparison to the number of oil spills that have taken place in the Delaware river in the last several decades). Green criminology aims to focus on the dark figure of environmental crime, probably the darkest of crime figures.

This is the last in a three-part series on green criminology in honor of Earth Day (April 22).

Green Criminology and the Illegal Mahogany Trade in Peru

Nickie Phillips

A recent article in National Geographic about illegal logging in Peru raised interesting questions about the ability of government to effectively protect the environment-- and the communities that rely upon it-- from criminal exploitation. Agents from Peru's park service are outmatched by loggers intent on cutting down endangered, but highly valued mahogany for furniture markets abroad. And, the service does not have the boots on the ground to effectively patrol tens of thousands of miles of protected forest. Meanwhile, indigenous communities who attempt to protect their forests are met with a timber mafia with guns and reputations-- and such criminal monikers as "El Gato." Complicating matters, some indigenous communities accept pay-offs from illegal loggers.

Interestingly, Peru came reluctantly to environmental criminal enforcement in the first place, spurned on by a caveat to a 2007 U.S. free-trade agreement which required the country to comply with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

Although Peru has development a logging regulation and permit system, many permits are traded on the black market and inspection and enforcement stations are few and far between. Legitimate permit holders are expected to plant 10 times the amount of new mahogany plants that they cut down. With few operating legitimately, the hope for a million new mahogany trees by 2013 is unmet.

s_america-map

Criminologists are increasingly becoming interested in crimes against the environment under the banner of green criminology. Although criminology is still largely obsessed with street crimes, the field has opened up considerably in the last twenty years to previously under-researched criminal behavior. Among the questions surfacing is whether new theoretical models are needed to explain such avenues of study as environmental crime.

In the case of Peruvian mahogany, one could make a rational choice argument about demand for mahogany creating a powerful monetary incentive for loggers to go rogue and provide the supply. Green criminology, however, is more interested in the social, economic and political conditions that lead to environmental crimes and exactly what harmful human behavior against the environment should be criminalized. Lynch and Stretsky (2003) describe the perspective as an environmental justice one in which race, class, and gender all factor into the analysis. In its critique of capitalism and its focus on power relations, the discourse appears to be a subsection of critical criminology with the environment as its focus.

Critical criminology would look at the kind of first-world conspicuous consumption represented by mahogany and link it back to the kinds of unequal social relations and environmental harms at the source point. According to Jennifer L. Anderson's Mahogany: The Price of Luxury in America, the demand for mahogany in American homes is a product of the tastes of the mid-eighteenth century elite. Furniture made from the wood is frequently sold today as a luxury item.

Image

Whereas the free trade agreement may have bolstered the Peruvian economy, it also seems to have had the unintended consequence of accelerating the pace of Amazonian deforestation (despite CITES)-- an irreplaceable resource the whole world needs whether for clean air or medicinal plants. The same networks of legal trade that gives avenue to the illegal trade. And, the regulatory system is manipulated by loggers cutting both legally and illegally, drifting in and out of crime (perhaps reminiscent of neutralization theory).

green criminology

Overall, green criminology's importance is less in creating a brand-new theoretical concept than in rightly highlighting a critically important but under-recognized criminal harm. The field should not be left behind other disciplines that have taken on the problems of environmental justice.

This is the first in a three-part series on green criminology this month in recognition of Earth Day (April 22).