To understand and explore the
impact of environmental crime within
To explore different theoretical
considerations of environmental
Green issues are vital for the survival of the planet and
Starter Task: On your post it note write your name, then then place your
post on the line indicating whether you think green issues are vital .
What gives crime a global dimension? Give yourself a rank when it
comes to being ‘green’. 1=not green at all to 10 super green.
Video Overview of
Green crime is defined by Nigel South
as „Crime against the environment’.
It is linked to Globalisation and the
idea of transnational boundaries
Regardless of the division of nation –
states, the planet is one unified ecosystem which is global rather than
Therefore, Green Crime goes beyond
Green crime and Global
Ulrich Beck (1992) argues that society today is
a Global Risk Society. This means that risks in
the modern era are „man-made‟ or „manufactured risks‟, and
so we cannot predict the consequences to these, e.g., global
warming, flooding etc.
This links in with the idea that
individuals have adopted
Green crime is therefore on
the socio-political agenda.
some examples of the ‘man
made’ or manufactured risks that
are risking the planet. .
Dumping of hazardous waste
The two Green Criminologies
Traditional green criminology focuses on Green
Crime which has by definition broken environmental
law. They are interested with regulations concerning the
For example, sociologists such as Situ
and Emmons (2000) define
environmental crime as “an unauthorised
act or omission that violates the law”. It
investigates the patterns and causes of
These sociologists are
holistic/structuralist sociologists and
positivists in methodology.
The two Green Criminologies Contemporary
Contemporary green criminology (CGC) is more
concerned with the idea of harm rather than criminal law.
They are interested in zemiology. (The study of social
Rob White (2008) argues that
„proper‟ criminology is about action
which is deviant or harmful and which
does not necessarily break the law.
For this reason, Contemporary Green
criminology is known as
Transgressive Criminology. It
crosses the boundaries between lawbreaking and new issues of harm.
The Two Green Criminologies Contemporary
For these theorists, because criminal law is relative to each
country, the same harmful environmental action may not be a
crime in one country to the next.
Legal definitions cannot provide a
consistent standardisation of the harm.
Definitions of green crime are tangled in
Contemporary Green Criminologists
have developed a global perspective on
environmental harm. These sociologists
are cultural sociologists.
Types of Green Crimes
Types of green
Hazardous waste and
Are „Those crimes where the environment itself is damaged‟.
South defines them as…
Crimes of Air Pollution: Burning fossil fuels from
industry and transport adds 3 billion tons of Carbon to the atmosphere
Crimes of deforestation:
Crimes of Species Decline and Animal
Rights:50 species a day are becoming extinct, and 46% of
Between 1960 and 1990,
one fifth of the world‟s tropical rainforests was destroyed, for example
through illegal logging
mammals and 11% of bird species are at risk.
Crimes of Water Pollution:
Half a billion people lack
access to drinking water and 25 million die annually from drinking
Transnational corporations adopt an anthropocentric
view of environmental harm. This means that humans
have the right to dominate nature for their own ends.
Economic growth comes before the environment.
Transnational organisations sell toxic waste to
developing nations to dispose of, contributing to ecopoverty. Eco-Mafia also deal with toxic waste.
Are „Are crimes that come out of conflicts between humans and
the environment but are not defined as the harm to the
South suggests two example of them as…
1. State Violence against oppositional
Groups: States condemn terrorism, but they have been prepared
to resort to similar illegal methods themselves. For example in 1985 the
French secret police blew up a Greenpeace
in Auckland Harbour, New Zealand, killing
one member of the crew.
Hazardous Waste and Organised Crime:.
Disposal of toxic waste from the chemical, nuclear and other industries
is highly profitable. Because of the high costs of safe and legal
disposal, businesses may seek to dispose of such waste illegally.
The Development of
A major part of criminology is concerned with the study of lawmaking – criminalisation.
Most industrialised countries, health statutes and criminal laws
usually date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Prior to the 1970s there was little legislation – it only occurred when
death rates increased because of such an issue.
The issue was brought into the limelight by The United Nations
Conference on the Human Environment in 1972.
Since then there has been an enhanced awareness of green issues
and with this conferences such as The Earth Summit held at Rio in
1992 and Earth Summit 2 in New York in 1997 and Rio Earth
Green Crime and Social Exclusion
An important aspect of green crimes – as with so many
crimes – is their link to inequalities. Indeed, we can speak of
environmental racism as the pattern by which environmental
hazards are perceived to be greatest in proximity to poor
people, and especially those belonging to minorities.
For example, while many homes in rich countries can
consume more than 2,000 litres of good-quality water every
day, some 500 million people around the globe suffer from an
almost total lack of drinking water. The World Health
Organisation suggests a basic requirement of 150 litres per
day per household.
Marxism and Green Crime
Marxism focuses on green crime as an
act of power. The ruling class shape and
define the law to benefit their own
exploitative interests on the environment.
Such laws benefit transnational
corporations. White-collar crime is
uneasily detected, esp. if in developing
nations. Green crime is focused on a
smaller scale to detract from large
Eco-feminists believe in an eco-centric
view that humans, and particularly women
are interdependent with the environment.
Environmental harm hurts humans too.
Both the environment and humans are
liable to exploitation, particularly by
Eco-feminists believe that the earth is oppressed and
exploited in the way women face patriarchy. Men are to
blame for environmental harm. Women do not harm the earth
due to their „natural‟ and maternal instincts.
An Evaluation of Green
It recognises the growing importance of
environmental issues and the need to
address the harms and risks of
environmental damage, both to humans
and non human animals. .
An Evaluation of Green
However, by focusing on the much broader concern of harms
rather than simply on legally defined crimes, it is hard to
define the boundaries of its field of study clearly.
Defining these boundaries involves making moral judgements
about which actions should be regarded as wrong.
Critics argue that this is a matter of values and cannot be
Draw a diagram or a picture to explain what you have
learnt on Green Crime.
Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess
different Marxist views of the relationship between crime
and social class. (21 marks)
You will find this essay in The Marxist Perspective on
Crime with an exemplar to help you on your way!
This will be due in on Monday 10th February.