Green Crime

Green and state crimes are examples of transgressive sociology/criminology. Green crime should be a global concerned which was argued by Halsey. He said we should move the focus away from law breaking to a broader discussion regarding activities which harm humans shared environment.

Global risk society and the environment

Beck argues that the most threats to human wellbeing and the eco-system are now human made rather than natural disasters. In late modern society, the massive increase in productivity and technology has created new manufactured risks. Many of these include harm to the environment and have serious consequences for humanity like climate change. These risks are increasingly on a global scale, so beck describes late modern society as a global risk society.

Green Criminology

When pollution, that causes global warming is actually legal, is this a matter for criminologists? There are two opposed answers.

Traditional criminology only studies the patterns and causes of law breaking. If the pollution is legal, then traditional criminology is not concerned with it.

Green criminology is more radical, it starts from the notion of harm rather than the criminal law.

Legal definitions cannot provide a consistent global standard of environmental harm, since laws differ from state to state. Many of the worst environmental harms are not illegal, so the subject matter of green criminology is much wider than of the traditional sociology. Green criminology is a form of transgressive criminology- it transgresses (oversteps) the boundaries of traditional criminology to include new issues.

Two views of harm

Nation-sates and TNCs apply a human centred view of environmental harm. Human have a right to dominate nature, putting economic growth before the environment.

Green criminology takes an ecocentric vie that sees human and their environment as interdependent, so that environmental harm hurts humans also.

Two types of Green crime – South (2008)

  • Primary green crimes result directly from the destruction and degradation of the earth resources, south identifies 4 main primary crimes; air pollution, deforestation, species decline and water pollution.
  • Secondary green crimes involve the flouting of riles aimed at preventing or regulating environmental disasters.

Toxic waste dumping

Legal disposal of toxic industrial waste is expensive, so businesses may dispose of it by using eco-mafias who profit from illegal dumping. Illegal waste dumping is often globalised; western businesses ship their waste for processing in third world countries where costs are lower and safety standards and non-existent. In some cases, dumping is not even illegal, since less developed countries may lack to necessary legislation outlawing it.