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Sociology AS Day: ‘Green Crime’ Putting this topic into a wider sociological context. Green Crime: what you need to know (according to Lindisfarne Press 2009). The definition and characteristics of green crime Examples of such crime * Links between green crime and globalisation
We will focus today on examples and sociological explanations of green crime
Dr. Ulrich Beck (b. 1944) is a German sociologist who holds a professorship at Munich University and at the London School of Economics. He studies modernization, ecological problems, individualization and globalization.
.....is a sociological theory about modernity
Beck contrasts the hazards in the past as those that assaulted the senses, with those of today, which are invisible risks
e.g. Toxins in foodstuffs, nuclear radiation, chemical pollution
Crisis in past due to undersupply of production. Now, risks due to industrial overproduction.
- Toxins and pollutants in the air, the water and foodstuffs,
- Short and long terms affects of these on people, plants, animals
- Dioxins in the arctic
- Nitrates in groundwater
Not local isolated events
Rasheeda Bee, a survivor of the Bhopal disaster, and veteran campaigner., stands by some of the waste inside the plant. (Photo: PallavaBagla)
Links between risks and green crime?
Environmental risks are a completely normal, everyday part of our lives
Risks/green crimes come from, and are seen as a legitimate part of, our highly technicised modern society
So did you think that the ecological risks that Beck talks about are ‘green crimes’, or NOT?
Climate Change Information Centre supported by CARE International.
Whilst Beck suggested ecological risks affect everyone equally…. BUT there are winners and losers under climate change, for example. Tuvalu is a vulnerable low-lying Island State.
More than half the world's countries say they are determined not to sign up to any deal that allows temperatures to rise by more than 1.5C - as opposed to 2C, which the major economies would prefer. INEQUALITIES!
“The budget of the United States is $687 billion for defence. And for climate change, to save life, to save humanity, they only put up $10 billion. This is shameful.”
[The President of Bolivia’s speech, second week of the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009]
A.M.: Sociological interpretation of Chernobyl with Professor Brian Wynne
P.M.: What can we learn about green crime from the case of oil extraction in Alberta’s tar sands?
Link to film clip