Michael Mansfield has an idea for us all:
That late-night kebab might be considered a guilty pleasure, but could it one day be seen as a crime against the planet? Will the time come when the only means of procuring a slab of Aberdeen Angus is from a dodgy dealer with a cool box? The barrister Michael Mansfield has suggested that we should have new laws against ecocide – practices that destroy the planet – and that under them, meat could be targeted. “I think when we look at the damage eating meat is doing to the planet, it is not preposterous to think that one day it will become illegal,” he said.
The thought is that people who destroy the environment - that’s the ecocide - should be prosecuted and jailed, along the same lines as those who commit genocide.
We do see the merits to this. The environmental movement, en masse, backed the idea of first generation biofuels a couple of decades back. Even brought the practice to fruition. Leading to higher CO2 emissions, the ploughing up of the land to grow said crops, even to significant food price rises at the same time. So, we get to jail Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace then. Sounds good to us.
We’ve currently any number of people telling us that economic growth must stop in order to beat climate change. Yet our actual science on the subject has more economic growth in the emissions pathway where we beat climate change than there is when we don’t. So we get to jail everyone arguing for the cessation of economic growth then.
We could be a little more controversial and suggest that nuclear power is part of that climate solution therefore people who protest against nukes should be jugged.
The particular delight here is that if ecocide is to be an actual crime then of course any case will have to be judged, on the facts, in a court of law. Rather than through headlines in the court of public opinion. Thus the actual facts of each case will out and we will indeed be able to confine the guilty.
The thing is, given the idiocies that varied environmentalists urge upon us we’re unconvinced that they should be wanting this legal change. For it is those idiot ideas that would be prosecuted, no?
Even so, we do think the idea has merit. For example, the abolition of meat eating would lead to a significant decline in the planetary ability to practice organic farming - the manure is a vital input. Some would say this is good for the environment leading to more of the efficiency of factory farming. Others would say that this would be bad, they object to that efficiency itself more than anything else.
Oh well, the only way to resolve such a matter would be to have a court case about it. Is the abolition of meat eating a case of ecocide? Which would mean, presumably, prosecuting Michael Mansfield for the crime to be able to hear the evidence and find out.
And who doesn’t relish the idea of putting Michael Mansfield in the dock?