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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

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green crime what you need to know according to lindisfarne press 2009
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
  • Sociological explanations of green crime *
  • How it is investigated

We will focus today on examples and sociological explanations of green crime

ulrich beck s theory of risk society
Ulrich Beck’s theory of Risk Society

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.

  • Risks and hazards are systematically produced as part of modernization.
  • Beck, Ulrich (1992): "Risk society: towards a new modernity", Sage.
ulrich beck s theory of risk society5
Ulrich Beck’s theory of Risk Society..

.....is a sociological theory about modernity

First Modernity:

  • Concerns wealth distribution
  • Linked to the effects of the Industrial Revolution

Second Modernity:

  • Concerns risk distribution
  • Linked to such events as the emergence of the computer, post-Fordist production methods, biotechnology, world-wide communication and transport networks
  • In Second Modernity, which we are now experiencing, risks and hazards are systematically produced as part of modernization.
2 invisible risks
2. Invisible Risks

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

3 overproduction leads to risks
3. Overproduction leads to risks

Crisis in past due to undersupply of production. Now, risks due to industrial overproduction.

4 risks not tied to the location of one particular industrial plant
4. Risks not tied to the location of one particular industrial plant

BUT:

- 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

  • Radioactivity
  • Acid rain

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)

risks play into wider trends in modern societies
Risks play into wider trends in modern societies:
  • Science defines the risks
  • We are dependent on experts
  • Ethical judgements are part of handling risk
  • Only science is seen as rational
  • Gap between scientific and everyday thinking about risk

Links between risks and green crime?

what are links between the risks beck talks about and green crime
What are links between the risks Beck talks about and ‘green crime’?
  • Spend 3 minutes writing down your thoughts about this question and share them with the person next to you.
links between risks and green crime
Links between risks and green crime?

Environmental risks are a completely normal, everyday part of our lives

slide13

Risks/green crimes come from, and are seen as a legitimate part of, our highly technicised modern society

slide14

So did you think that the ecological risks that Beck talks about are ‘green crimes’, or NOT?

  • Do they have some crime-like aspects to them?
a map of the overall vulnerability of countries to climate change
A map of the overall vulnerability of countries to climate change

Climate Change Information Centre supported by CARE International.

slide16

CC , part of risk society but also like a crime – winners and losers

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!

inequalities those who stand to win and those who stand to lose can seen in cc budgets
Inequalities (those who stand to win and those who stand to lose) can seen in CC budgets

“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]

slide18

Conclusion

  • If Green Crime is not only to do with breaking laws, it becomes interesting sociologically as well as criminologically
  • Green Crime can be understood as linked to the wider context – in which modernity (legally) produces environmental risks
  • These risks have winners and losers (i.e. there are ‘victims’)
  • More science and technological advances may not help in solving risk society’s problems – these are the things that produced risks in the first place…
group exercise
GROUP EXERCISE
  • Break into groups of 3-4
  • Read through the article you are given and try to answer the following questions
group exercise20
GROUP EXERCISE
  • What is the risk being discussed?
  • How is it detectable?
  • Who is at risk?
  • Who or what is to blame?
  • Who are the 'experts'?
  • Is this a green crime, in your view?
lancaster workshop july 2010
Lancaster Workshop July 2010

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?

air soil water

Lancaster Workshop July 2010 – Chernobyl 1986 : a secondary green crime with effects on:

air, soil, water...

2nd May 1986

slide23

H2Oil

Link to film clip