Something we are all guilty of, whether intentionally or unintentionally...crimes against the Environment.
It could be said that Environmental crime began at the time of modern man and the felling of forests, creation of machinery and industrialisation. It seems everything we humans (most humans) do to develop (in our concept of development), requires Environmental rape and pillage.
Unlike the native South Americans and Papua New Guineans, we are unable to live 'within' the Environment, and find it necessary to manipulate and control it as though it is a finite resource. Well, now we are realising far too late, this is not the case, and the fight is on to make meagre attempts to salvage what is left of it to save our species.
A useful analogy to understand the full picture is (unintentionally I think) in a song of the seventies called MacArthur Park. The lines are as such:
MacArthur Park is melting in the dark (The Earth is melting in the cloud of C02)
All the sweet green icing falling down (The trees that we need like icing on the cake, falling down relentlessly)
Someone left the cake out in the rain (The world now covered in Acid Rain)
I don't think that I can take it
Because it took so long to bake it (The Earth and our Environment took billions of years to develop)
And I'll never have that recipe again. (Once it is gone...there is no recreating what we have now...any change is permanent).
Any action that removes the lungs of the Earth, being the trees and forests, or pollutes the waterways and air, or destroys habitats and reduces biodiversity is committing a crime against the Environment. The Environment is the very habitat we live in and in order for us to survive, along with any living thing, it is essential to maintain clean air, healthy soils, clean water and a very healthy dose of biodiversity.
Far too often the Earth's tenants forget they have an obligation to other living creatures on the planet, and that we are all part of a very intricate ecosystem that requires all species to actually perform at optimum levels of existence. Even the ugliest spider or fiercest shark has their place and use within the ecosystem. Regardless of what is taught in the Bible that man is superior to all other creatures on Earth, it would appear that man is now in a position where his superior attitude is now becoming the demise of his species.
We have an obligation to life in all forms, to protect our home and become good tenants. Industry that flouts the Environmental laws by polluting rivers, soils or the atmosphere, are heavily fined as they have committed an Environmental crime. The same applies to governments and all other tenants who ignore the laws created to protect the future home of generations to come.
It is very unfortunate however, that all too often these crimes against the Environment go unnoticed by authorities if those committing the crime pay the right amount of hush money to the right politician or law enforcer. This is very unfortunate, as in the long run, even those paying the hush money have to breathe fresh air, eat fresh fruit and vegetables and drink clean water. No-one escapes the punishment of a crime against the Environment...we are all in the same ecosystem...all sharing the same house. There is no bigger crime in reality, as a crime against the Environment affects ALL living things on Earth.
Bearing this in mind, it will pay to think twice about flushing toxins down the toilet, pouring acids into the soils, burning plastics and rubber in the back yard, saying yes to a plastic bag when you could just use a carton or recyclable bag. Think twice about supporting non-renewable energy sources, or genetically modified crops that may stray into non-genetically modified crops. Think twice about supporting anything that uses toxic pesticides, cleaners, paints, excessive packaging, artificial fabrics, and anything that is not biodegradable. Do you see now why it was earlier said we have all committed this crime? To prevent the ultimate penalty, be extra diligent and correct our ways and show some remorse for our misgivings or suffer a life-sentence or the death penalty.