A Right Wing Fever Swamp Feeding on the Delusions of a Lefty

Let's keep our eye on the ball, people.

At American Thinker, a site I was previously unaware of, there’s a post alleging that the UN is forming an International Tribunal for Climate Justice for the purpose of prosecuting the United States, and others, for “ecocide”:

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change conference, which opened in Cancun, Mexico on Monday, has yielded another example of how supposedly idealistic notions concocted by Western liberals, no matter how daft, can be transformed into weapons for international power politics. Bolivia has renewed its call for the establishment of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice that would be able to sanction governments that engage in “ecocide,” defined as crimes against biodiversity, nature and Mother Earth.

Bolivia’s UN Ambassador Pablo Salon asserted it was unacceptable for some developed countries to refuse a new commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. “Developed countries were looking for solutions that would put the onus on developing countries to reduce emissions,” Salon said. Making “ecocide” the equivalent of a war crime (or a crime against peace) would apply exclusively to the actions of developed countries.

The tribunal idea did not originate in Bolivia, but in the United Kingdom last April. It is the brainchild of labor lawyer-turned-Green activist Polly Higgins. Her idea was to prosecute industries such as fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry before the existing International Criminal Court at The Hague. Even more alarmingly, some supporters want to prosecute ”climate deniers” who oppose actions to combat global warming as eco-criminals. It’s the stuff from which fears of world government grow.

If you follow the first link in the quoted text, you will find no references to ecocide (be sure to hit the “read more” link at the bottom and search there too), no references to Bolivia, apart from a mention of melting glaciers, and no mention of the formation of an International Tribunal for Climate Justice.

If you check the second link in the quoted text, there’s at least some substance (this is the link for convenience):

A campaign to declare the mass destruction of ecosystems an international crime against peace – alongside genocide and crimes against humanity – is being launched in Britain.

The proposal for the United Nations to accept ”ecocide” as a fifth ”crime against peace”, which could be tried at the International Criminal Court, is the brainchild of a lawyer-turned-campaigner, Polly Higgins.

The idea would have a profound effect on industries blamed for widespread damage to the environment such as fossil fuels, mining, agriculture, chemicals and forestry.

Supporters of an ecocide law also believe it could be used to prosecute ”climate deniers” who distort science and facts to discourage voters and politicians from taking action to tackle global warming and climate change.

Now, admittedly, there’s some scary stuff in there, but let’s talk about what’s not in there: no specific mention of prosecuting the U.S. and we are not even a member of the ICC, which makes it even more ludicrous. They can’t prosecute us. As for the fact that Bolivia has adopted this into their domestic law? Who cares, it’s Bolivia. All of the nations on earth rely on agriculture, mining and need access to fossil fuels until a good alternative is developed. As for it being aimed at developed counties only, these same countries rely on many undeveloped countries to provide natural resources so the undeveloped countries have a stake in this too; I’m quite sure they don’t want to be made even poorer due to this tribunal.

For the reasons stated above, I think Ms. Higgins is delusional about the possibility of this ever being adopted. Likewise, the post on American Thinker can best be described as a self-contained fever swamp.

For the record, I’m far more concerned with the UN’s resolution on religious defamation. Let’s stay focused on the real threats.

FILED UNDER: Climate Change, Environment, United Nations, , , , , , , ,
Robert Prather
About Robert Prather
Robert Prather contributed over 80 posts to OTB between October 2005 and July 2013. He previously blogged at the now defunct Insults Unpunished. Follow him on Twitter @RobPrather.


  1. glasnost says:

    Speaking as a hard-liberal non-moderate, this woman sounds pretty bonkers. There are less melodramatic ways to penalize wanton destruction of resources.

  2. Indeed. If this became a serious risk, I would be concerned about the possibility of it affecting us (international law has a way of insinuating its way into domestic law), but it would be so crushing for the developed economies, I can’t imagine it even getting close to happening.

  3. ponce says:

    “American Thinker, a site I was previously unaware of”

    Don’t waste your time.

    Americans Stinker, as it’s known, is strictly for the craziest of the fringe right’s enjoyment.

  4. anjin-san says:

    > Americans Stinker, as it’s known, is strictly for the craziest of the fringe right’s enjoyment.

    It’s bithead’s primary source of information. ’nuff said.

  5. Kylopod says:

    >American Thinker, a site I was previously unaware of

    I became aware of it in 2008. The following quote should give an idea just how much thinking goes on at this site:

    “As I wrote last December, ‘[t]he pundits can talk until they are blue in the face about Obama’s charisma and eloquence and cross-racial appeal. The fact of the matter is that Obama has no chance of being elected president in 2008.’ I am more convinced of this conclusion than ever.” — Steven M. Warshawsky, Aug. 11, 2008. He stood by this prediction all the way up to Election Day.

    This is also apparently the site that first floated those rumors (later picked up by an NRO columnist) that William Ayers ghostwrote Dreams From My Father.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    If you only read the dail kos, like most of you here with the exception of those who get all their info from the NYT, then it is easy to demean The American Thinker. Which is something most who post here are not. Thinkers.

  7. ZR3,

    If that post on ecocide is indicative of the rest of his site, you’re wrong. His first link was deceptive and didn’t support his assertions. He seems like a conspiracy theorist.