Pope Francis: Catechism Should Include ‘Ecological Sin’
Militant Technocrats inside the Vatican have convinced Pope Francis to push nations to criminalize the vague act of “ecocide” in order to punish individuals and corporations for harming the environment. ⁃ TN Editor
Pope Francis told a group of lawyers that he could like to introduce the category of “ecological sin” into official Catholic teaching.
“We must introduce – we are thinking about it – in the Catechism of the Catholic Church the sin against ecology, the ecological sin against the common home, because it is a duty,” the pope said Friday in addressing participants in an international conference on penal law.
More specifically, Francis said, are all those actions that can be considered as “ecocide,” for instance, “the massive contamination of air, land and water resources, the large-scale destruction of flora and fauna, and any action capable of producing an ecological disaster or destroying an ecosystem.”
Ecocide “is to be understood as the loss, damage or destruction of the ecosystems of a given territory, so that its utilization by inhabitants has been or can be seen as severely compromised,” he said, adding that such a sin is “a fifth category of crimes against peace, which should be recognised as such by the international community.”
The pontiff said that such actions are “usually” caused by corporations, and “an elementary sense of justice would require” that they be punished for them.
An ecological sin is “an action or omission against God, against one’s neighbour, the community and the environment,” Francis said, quoting the Fathers of the recently concluded Pan-Amazon Regional Synod. “It is a sin against future generations and is manifested in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the harmony of the environment, in transgressions against the principles of interdependence and in the breaking of networks of solidarity between creatures.”
Above and beyond its sinfulness, failure to care for the environment is an injustice and a crime, Francis suggested and should be legally enforced. “I would like to appeal to all the leaders and actors in this area to contribute their efforts to ensuring adequate legal protection for our common home,” he said.
The pope’s words coincided with the release of a new survey by the Pew Research Center, which found that church-going Americans accept their clergy’s on spiritual matters, but generally distrust their advice on issues such as climate change.
Anti-Natalist Movement: ‘I Wish I’d Never Been Born’
As Technocracy/Sustainable Development is drilled into everyone’s skull, anti-human groupthink increases exponentially as a direct result. This self-destructive behavior could be likened to the proverbial lemmings-over-the-cliff who voluntarily plunge to their death for no particular reason. ⁃ TN Editor
Adherents view life not as a gift and a miracle, but a harm and an imposition. And their notion that having children may be a bad idea seems to be gaining mainstream popularity
n February, a 27-year-old Indian man named Raphael Samuel announced plans for an unusual lawsuit. He was going to sue his parents for begetting him. “It was not our decision to be born,” he told the BBC. “Human existence is totally pointless.”
Samuel recently told me over Skype from Mumbai that his is a good life, and he is actually close to his parents. His complaint is more fundamental: he believes it is wrong to bring new people into the world without their consent. He wanted to sue his parents for a symbolic amount of money, such as a single rupee, “to instill that fear among parents in general. Because now parents don’t think before having a child,” he told me.
Samuel subscribes to a philosophy called anti-natalism. The basic tenet of anti-natalism is simple but, for most of us, profoundly counterintuitive: that life, even under the best of circumstances, is not a gift or a miracle, but rather a harm and an imposition. According to this logic, the question of whether to have a child is not just a personal choice but an ethical one – and the correct answer is always no.
Since his announcement, the lawsuit has not gotten off the ground. “I have been clearly told by a sitting judge that I will be fined by the court for wasting its time,” Samuel said. Still, his lawsuit gave the anti-natalist movement a boost, even earning a bemused mention by Stephen Colbert. In May, Dana Wells, a 37-year-old Dallas-based woman who goes by “The Friendly Antinatalist” on YouTube, posted a video featuring the Colbert clip and congratulating Samuel. “We all owe you a round of applause,” she said. “It feels like we’ve arrived. It feels like the big time!”
The notion that having children may be a bad idea seems to be gaining mainstream popularity. But when we hear about it, it’s most often in the context of the climate crisis: activists are worried about bringing children into a world threatened by rising seas, mass displacement and other calamities. Anti-natalists, however, believe that procreation has always been and always will be wrong because of life’s inevitable suffering. What is similar about both anti-natalists and climate activists is they are seeing an increase in attention due to general pessimism about the state of the world, giving both more opportunities to gain support.
In 2006, the South African philosopher David Benatar published a book which is widely credited with introducing the term anti-natalism. In Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, Benatar quotes the Greek tragedian Sophocles (“Never to have been born is best / But if we must see the light, the next best / Is quickly returning whence we came”) and the text of Ecclesiastes (“So I have praised the dead that are already dead more than the living that are yet alive; but better than both of them is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil work that is done under the sun”). These quotes suggest that the sentiments at the heart of anti-natalism have been around for a very long time.
In modern history, another strain of thought emerged, warning against the dangers of population growth. In the late 18th century, Thomas Malthus sounded the alarm that the population would outstrip the food supply. In 1968, a Stanford biologist named Paul Ehrlich published the bestselling book The Population Bomb and co-founded the organization Zero Population Growth (later renamed Population Connection), arguing that the growth in global population would lead to famines and ecological crisis. He also suggested that people have no more than two children.
One member of Zero Population Growth struck out on his own with a much more radical agenda. A man named Les Knight launched the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT) with the goal of “Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed”, as stated on the website that he launched in 1996.
While Benatar also sought to discourage reproduction, his ideas grew out of different premises. The objective of anti-natalism, as Benatar sees it, is to reduce human suffering. Since life inevitably involves some amount of suffering, bringing another person into the world introduces the guarantee of some harm. He argued that “the quality of even the best lives is very bad – and considerably worse than most people recognize it to be. Although it is obviously too late to prevent our own existence, it is not too late to prevent the existence of future possible people.”
Benatar told me recently that he has heard from many readers of his book who “have often felt that they were alone in the world. It was a great comfort to them to read a philosophical defense of a view they found intuitively correct.”
Public-Private Partnerships Proposed For 5G Rollout
The concept of Public-Private Partnerships was originally invented by the United Nations to implement Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy. Since 5G is key to total surveillance, it is no surprise that P3s are playing a central role. ⁃ TN Editor
Cities should be deliberate about partnering with businesses and forming infrastructure strategies if they are to have success with 5G rollout, speakers from early 5G testbeds said Monday at the DC5G conference in Arlington, VA.
The Smart Docklands project from Dublin, Ireland, has brought 5G to a 1.5-square-mile area in the east of the city, and with it, officials have been rolling out small cell infrastructure to help close coverage gaps. Those small cells have been installed on all manner of city infrastructure, including lampposts, trash cans and stoplights. Edward Emmanuel, Smart Docklands’ project management and governance lead, said given the historic nature of the city, they have to be “really strategic” with the infrastructure they use. “We can’t just drill holes into them and stick things up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Salford in Greater Manchester, UK has looked to leverage its mixed-use MediaCityUK development at a 5G innovation hub, where businesses are shown how the technology can help make their operations more efficient through various accelerator programs. Jon Corner, chief digital officer at the City of Salford, said it has been effective as a “mechanism to bring companies in so they can start to discover that their innovations can be enhanced by 5G networks.”
In just a few years, both Dublin and Salford have become leading 5G testbeds, but they needed to show their desire to be innovative to find private partners. Emmanuel said Dublin has a reputation for not being an innovative city, perhaps due in part to its long history and aging infrastructure, but after reaching out to business partners and showing their plans, private sector companies were “surprised.”
It was a similar story in Salford, which undertook fast development of its Media City project while conversations were ongoing with UK telecoms about partnering on fiber rollout. Those conversations sparked more discussions about how to partner on 5G, Corner said, and private companies were immediately positive once they learned of potential use cases.
“I felt a really strong desire among those private companies to say, ‘We’re very interested,'” he said.
For U.S. cities, it shows the importance of a coherent strategy around the approval and siting of small cells, something the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) looked to streamline in a ruling last year, which is now the subject of court challenges.
Meanwhile, U.S.-based telecom companies have continued to make big promises about the rollout of mobile 5G and are beginning to bring the technology into several cities.
On a recent earnings call, Verizon chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said the company is still committed to reaching 30 markets by year’s end, while T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on his company’s earnings call that with accelerated infrastructure build-out, there are plans to “launch our foundational layer of 5G nationwide this year.” AT&T CFO John Stephens also said on an earnings call the company is on track to launch its “nationwide 5G network” next year.
Warning: Most ‘Eco-Friendly’ Products Do More Harm Than Good
Branding products as ‘eco-friendly’ is the hottest rage, pandering to virtue-signaled consumers but the reality is very different: Most eco-friendly products are more harmful than their normal counterparts. ⁃ TN Editor
Make no doubt about it: it’s now trendy to be the most planet-loving, alternative energy supporting, climate changing fighting Captain Planet that you can be. And what would being a friend to environment be without sanctimoniously ridiculing those who disagree with you or aren’t on your level of sustainability? Just ask Greta Thunberg.
But, as often happens with virtue signaling, the reality of the matter is far askew from how pretentious environmentalists present it. In fact, RT reports that avoiding all of the “green” eco-friendly products available on the market could be the best way to help the environment.
Often lost in the fray is the fact that the fight against climate change is going to make some people very wealthy. The world will invest $90 trillion in new infrastructure in order to fight climate change over the next 10 to 15 years, as reports show that consumers will pay more to buy “sustainable” earth-friendly products. Unilever says that a third of consumers buy based on a brand’s environmental impact. A fifth of consumers favor “green messaging”, the same data shows.
But not all products billed to be friendly to the environment actually are. For instance, organic farming “isn’t the planet-saver it’s promoted as, according to a study published last month in Nature Communications.”
The study shows that farming crops like beans, potatoes and oats organically creates more emissions over the entire course of the farm-to-table cycle than farming conventionally. “Trying to get all of Britain eating organic would create an environmental catastrophe,” said researchers at Cranfield University.
Organic farming actually requires more land than conventional farming because it yields a smaller harvest per crop. The Cranfield University report show that if England and Wales switched to organic farming, they would need five times as much land for agriculture. Shipping would drive carbon costs sky high, despite the benefits of soil and water health improving dramatically without the conventional runoff from regular farming. Lowering emissions, however, would be “impossible without a major shift in diet”.
This puts farmers into a precarious position, RT notes:
This places farmers in the uncomfortable position of having to choose between protecting biodiversity – popular neonicotinoid pesticides have been implicated in the mass death of bees, which are critical to maintaining adequate food supply via pollination – and lowering emissions. A one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. While organic farming represents just 1.4 percent of total world farmland, the industry has mushroomed over the past decade, worth $97 billion annually as of 2017.
Other renewable energy, like solar, is also not as “green” as it sounds. Solar panel manufacturing is a “toxic mess”, as panels are produced using “carcinogenic, mutagenic heavy metal cadmium and requiring billions of liters of water to manufacture and cool”.
Electric vehicles also have a dark side: more energy is consumed in the production of electric cars than of gas cars. Meanwhile, a 2011 study showed that the carbon footprints of both vehicles are “about thee same”. EVs may not produce emissions while driving, but the piece notes what we all know: they are only as green as the electricity that’s used to charge them.
Additionally, batteries in EVs are loaded with toxic chemicals, like lithium, copper and cobalt. The mining of these substances is devastating to the environment and batteries need to be disposed of in a way that does not allow them back into the environment.
Meanwhile, biomass and biofuels also generate more carbon emissions than fossil fuels to create the same amount of energy. Substances that burn under the guise of “biomass” often can include anything from timber waste to garbage, and can often times litter the atmosphere with pollutants. Even burning clean wood often means cutting down trees.
Even the old adage of paper over plastic has its downside.Paper bags generate more air and water pollution than plastic and actually require more energy to recycle. They take up more space in landfills and require more fuel to ship. “Consumers who believe they’re saving the earth by requesting paper bags at the supermarket (and municipalities who think banning plastic is the answer) are sadly misguided,” the piece notes.
The Arab world wants to be the global leader in green living and technology. This new city is called “Sustainable City” and was built from the ground up to be 100% sustainable. It only houses 3,000 people, in luxury, of course. ⁃ TN Editor
Fenced off by a wall of trees, about 20 km from the high rises towering over Dubai’s city centre, there lies a small solar-powered settlement aiming to become a green oasis in the desert.
Renowned for its glitzy skyscrapers, air-conditioning-blasting shopping malls and indoor skiing facilities, the emirate of Dubai has long been the antithesis of sustainability to environmentalists.
But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to change that reputation, with a range of projects aimed at having more than 40% of the country’s energy come from renewable sources and cutting consumption by the same margin by 2050.
Opened to the first residents in 2016 and to be fully completed next year, the initiative dubbed Sustainable City is a private settlement on the outskirts of Dubai designed to use as little energy and water as possible.
Comprising 500 low-lying villas that are home to nearly 3,000 people, as well as commercial spaces and a mosque, the city aims to be a “net-zero” settlement, producing all the energy it needs from renewable sources on site.
“The Sustainable City is a living laboratory for testing future technologies and solutions,” said Karim El-Jisr, head of SEE Institute, the research arm of the city’s developer, Diamond Developers.
When the project started six years ago, building a zero-energy development “seemed a bit like a dream”, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Today it is not difficult anymore, tomorrow everybody will have to do it,” he added.
From neighbouring Masdar City to the Qatari capital Doha, it is one of several developments launched across the region in recent years that aim to serve as a model for environmentally- friendly living in the Middle East.
Houses, offices and other buildings are responsible for about 40% of planet-warming emissions globally, according to the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI).
The issue is particularly relevant in the UAE, said Emma Stewart, who leads WRI’s urban efficiency and climate programme, with World Bank data showing that the country has one of the highest per capita carbon footprints in the world.
About 75% of all electricity produced in the UAE is sucked up by buildings, mainly to fuel air-conditioners that keep locals fresh during the scorching summer months, Stewart said.
“They have an immense need for cooling to keep the population within their comfort range,” she said in a phone interview.
In the Sustainable City, residents zig zag through the streets on bicycles or aboard small electric carts, under the shade of the palm trees flanking the strips of square, white houses. Cars are banned from most of the area.
All buildings and parking spaces are topped by solar panels which feed the energy they produce into the grid, allowing residents to pay only the difference between what they produce and consume, according to the developer.
Residential units designed to avoid direct exposure to the sun and covered in paint that reflects sunlight to keep the heat out, while wastewater is recycled to irrigate green areas, El-Jisr said during a visit to the site.
Resident Belinda Boisson said she paid more rent than the Dubai average but, besides sustainability, the development offered a family-friendly environment and sense of community that was rare to find among Dubai’s high rises.
“(Children) can play outside without me worrying about my daughter being hit by a car,” said Boisson, a 46-year-old expat from South Africa.
Global warming is widely and correctly blamed for wildfires around the world. But the Amazon fires in Brazil represent a specific government policy failure over many years, especially recently, as Brazilian public agencies that are supposed to curb man-made fires have been deliberately weakened. Fires are set by farmers, cattle owners, and others every year to clear land, but they have risen in number and severity in 2019—since President Jair Bolsonaro took office on January 1 and set about fulfilling his campaign pledge to ease environmental, land use, and health regulations.
PIIE was founded by the late Peter G. Peterson (1926-2018), also a founding member of the elitist Trilateral Commission in 1973, along with David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Today, PIIE’s board of directors includes a swarm of current and former members of the Commission, including C. Fred Bergsten, Lawrence Summers, Richard Cooper, Stanley Fischer, Robert Zoellick, Alan Greenspan, Carla A. Hills, George Schultz, Paul Volcker, among others. In short, PIIE is run by the cream of the global elite.
The Trilateral Commission set out in 1973 to create a New International Economic Order. After reforming the systems of global trade and finance by capturing the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government, Trilateral Gro Harlem Brundtland provided the intellectual fodder for the creation of Sustainable Development and Agenda 21 that was adopted by the United Nations in 1992 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Although it is easy to look at the United Nations as the source of demonization of populist leaders like Brazil’s Bolsonaro and America’s Donald Trump, few people see the real puppet masters behind the UN.
PIIE has played its Trilateral hand, however, pushing the exact same policies that it pushed onto the UN in the first place: “The fires in Brazil are a classic case of what sociologists call the ‘tragedy of the commons,’ what happens when shared resources are exploited by users pursuing their own livelihoods at the expense of the common good.”
The concept of ‘global commons’ means that the Amazon rainforest does not really belong to Brazil, but rather to the whole world. Thus, Brazil is not free to manage its own resources like other nations, but rather must submit to management by the global elite. No matter that the rainforest represents 60 percent of Brazil’s total land mass.
Laying out the problem in true hysterical form, PIIE states, “Scientists, NGOs, and environmental activists oppose Bolsonaro’s policies, warning that they could set the stage for disaster.” The immediate answer provides that “Societies know how to deal with this problem: through collective action and government regulation.”
After thoroughly bashing Bolsonaro, PIIE’s paper patronizingly concludes,
Although the Amazon fires should be condemned, it is time for the international community to leave aside its justified grievances with the Bolsonaro administration and cooperate on a strategy to provide the resources to conserve and develop the planet’s largest continuous rainforest.
In other words, the international community should ignore Bolsonaro and pile on Brazil to deprive it of 60 percent of its sovereign landmass.
If the intent of PIIE and the Trilateral Commission is not yet apparent to the reader, let me be clear. The object of the New International Economic Order is and always was to sequester all significant resources of the world into a ‘global commons’ managed by them under the banner of the ‘common good.’
As Trilateral Brundtland defined Sustainable Development in Our Common Future, it “is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
They have convinced the citizens of the world that they are the only benevolent and qualified people to protect us from our supposed selfishness and irresponsibility. Oh, and by the way, they will be sure to save some resources for your children and grandchildren as well.
In any other age of history, this would be called what it is: a scam.
Global Business Leaders Join The United Nations To Destroy Capitalism And Free Enterprise
The elite drivers of globalization are bonding with the United Nations to promote Sustainable Development, aka Technocracy, and hasten the destruction of Capitalism and Free Enterprise.
Members of the new alliance include Allianz, Bank of America, Citi, Calpers, UBS, Standard Chartered, Infosys and numerous global equity funds.
The UN is openly pledged to destroy Capitalism and Free Enterprise in order to implement its global economic system called Sustainable Development. ⁃ TN Editor
In a bid to scale up investment efforts to reach sustainable development targets, the Secretary-General on Wednesday convened the first meeting of a new UN-backed corporate alliance to discuss plans for spending on sustainability, likely to be in the trillions of dollars.
The Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance (GISD), a UN-supported coalition of 30 business leaders, works to provide decisive leadership in mobilizing resources for sustainable development, with the core objective being to identify incentives for long-term sustainable investments.
“We face widening inequality, increased devastation from conflicts and disasters and a rapidly warming Earth. These leaders have seized our sense of urgency, recognizing that our pace must be at a run, not a crawl”, António Guterres told business leaders. “They are committing to cooperate across borders, across financial sectors and even with their competitors, because it is both ethical and good business sense to invest in sustainable development for all people on a healthy planet.”
The Alliance will operate on a two-year timeline, from October 2019 through October 2021, focusing on solutions related to long-term SDG investment, identifying such investment opportunities for developing countries, and enhancing the impact of private funding in development efforts.
Development needs are estimated at trillions of dollars per year, and even if funding from all public sources is maximized, there will still be significant shortfalls. The mobilization of the private sector “will be critical to the implementation of the SDGs”, the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has said.
Formation of the alliance comes amidst growing recognition in the corporate community that the success of companies is “inextricably linked” to a sustainable future for the world.
“The Alliance has come together to help drive financing for the 2030 Agenda as we enter a crucial decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said “and, in particular, to help forge concrete solutions for securing the long-term finance and investment necessary to achieve the SDGs.”
“This is a very important day. But it is only the beginning. Over the next two years the GISD will help drive the Decade of Action toward success and report back to the Secretary-General on a regular basis”, she added.
A few of the actionable solutions the alliance is expected to advance, include encouraging innovation in financial instruments, revisiting existing and new business models aligned with the 2030 Agenda, and addressing industry obstacles to long-term investment in sustainable development.
As for UN support, GISD members are backed by a number of actors within the organization’s system, and other partners who will assist the alliance in implementing the coalition’s plan of action. View the full list of supporters here.
A prolonged global recession could signal a death knell for UN plans to conquer the world’s economic system as contributions dry up. President Trump may be less than generous in making up the difference. ⁃ TN Editor
The United Nations is running a deficit of $230 million, Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned on Monday, and may run out of money by the end of October unless world governments immediately meet their financial obligations.
U.S. taxpayers would most likely be hardest hit by any immediate cash injection into the global organization.
The United States is by far the U.N.’s biggest financial contributor, providing 22 percent of its operating budget and funding 28 percent of peacekeeping missions, which currently cost $8 billion annually.
The next two major contributors are Germany and the U.K.
In a letter intended for the 37,000 employees at the U.N. secretariat and obtained by AFP, Guterres said unspecified, “additional stop-gap measures” would have to be taken to ensure salaries and entitilements are met.
These might include holding less meetings and cutting back on travel and associated entitlements.
“Member States have paid only 70 per cent of the total amount needed for our regular budget operations in 2019. This translates into a cash shortage of $230 million at the end of September. We run the risk of depleting our backup liquidity reserves by the end of the month,” he wrote.
Donald Trump has long pushed for reform of the U.N. and just last week warned the “future does not belong to globalists” in a warning to the organization’s leaders:
In December 2017 Nikki Haley, the then United States Ambassador to the organization, announced the federal government had reduced its contribution to the U.N.’s annual budget by $285 million, as Breitbart News reported.
Green Fascists Charge Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro With Ecocide Over Amazon Fires
Green Fascist radicals have the ears and pages of mainstream media like the New York Times to openly demonize a duly elected President of a sovereign nation in order to bully, intimidate, slander and generally promote their insane causes. This is the epitome of the worst sort of hate speech and fake news but is of no concern to major media outlets.
Ecocide is defined as:
“the extensive destruction, damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory, whether by human agency or other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
Americans (and Brazilians) need to understand that these forces of Green Fascism, aka Technocracy, will not be silenced until they are completely rejected by citizens everywhere. If these control-freaks were ever to rise to power, their jackboot would stamp out freedom and liberty everywhere.
⁃ TN Editor
Since August, as vast stretches of the Amazon rainforest were being reduced to ashes and outrage and calls for action intensified, a group of lawyers and activists who have been advancing a radicalidea have seen a silver lining in the unfolding tragedy: One day, a few years from now, they imagined Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, being hauled to The Hague to stand trial for ecocide, a term broadly understood to mean the willful and widespread destruction of the environment, and one that, they hope, will eventually be on par with other crimes against humanity.
There is no international crime today that can be used to neatly hold world leaders or corporate chief executives criminally responsible in peacetime for ecological catastrophes that result in the type of mass displacements and population wipeouts more commonly associated with war crimes. But environmentalists say the world should treat ecocide as a crime against humanity — like genocide — now that the imminent and long-term threats posed by a warming planet are coming into sharper focus.
In Mr. Bolsonaro they have come to see something of an ideal villain tailor-made for a legal test case.
“He has become a poster boy for the need for a crime of ecocide,” said Jojo Mehta, the co-founder of Stop Ecocide, a group that is seeking to give the International Criminal Court in The Hague the jurisdiction to prosecute leaders and businesses that knowingly cause widespread environmental damage. “It’s awful, but at the same time it’s timely.”
In his keynote address at the conference, Mr. Palme argued that the world urgently needed a unified approach to safeguard the environment. “The air we breathe is not the property of any one nation, we share it,” he said. “The big oceans are not divided by national frontiers; they are our common property.” That idea got little traction at the time and Mr. Palme died in 1986 having made little headway in the quest to establish binding principles to protect the environment.
During the 1980s and 1990s, diplomats considered including ecocide as a grave crime as they debated the authorities of the International Criminal Court, which was primarily established to prosecute war crimes. But when the court’s founding document, known as the Rome Statute, went into force in 2002, language that would have criminalized large-scale environmental destruction had been stripped out at the insistence of major oil producing nations.
In 2016, the court’s top prosecutor signaled an interest in prioritizing cases within its jurisdiction that featured the “destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land.”
That move came as activists seeking to criminalize ecocide had been laying the groundwork for a landmark change to the court’s remit. Their plan is to get a state that is party to the Rome Statute — or a coalition of them — to propose an amendment to its charter establishing ecocide as a crime against peace. At least two-thirds of the countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute would have to back the initiative to outlaw ecocide for the court to get an expanded mandate, and even then it would only apply to countries that accept the amendment. Still, it could change the way the world thinks about environmental destruction.
Richard Rogers, a lawyer who specializes in international criminal law and human rights, said that if ecocide campaigners and countries suffering the effects of climate change put forward a narrow definition of the crime, it could quickly garner widespread support. “We’ve seen in the past few years a huge shift in public opinion, and we’re entering a phase where there is going to be huge pressure on governments to do more,” said Mr. Rogers, a partner at Global Diligence, a firm that advises companies and governments on risk mitigation.
Given the number of countries and businesses that would recoil at the prospect of being held criminally responsible for environmental damage, he said, it is vital to come up with criteria that reserve prosecution for cases in which “massive and systematic” environmental destruction is done “knowingly or intentionally.”
Environmental activists say there is no shortage of culprits who could be put on trial if the world were to decide to outlaw ecocide. But few are as compelling as Mr. Bolsonaro, a far-right former Army captain who campaigned on a promise to roll back the land rights of indigenous people and open protected areas of the Amazon to mining, farming and logging.
From an evidentiary standpoint, Mr. Bolsonaro is an attractive potential defendant because he has been so starkly disdainful of his own country’s environmental laws and regulations. He vowed to put an end to fines issued by the agency that enforces environmental laws. He has asserted that protecting the environment matters only to vegans. He complains that Brazil’s 1988 Constitution set aside too much land to indigenous communities who “don’t speak our language.”
Mr. Bolsonaro is by no means the only world leader reviled by environmentalists. President Trump has been assailed for rolling back environmental regulations and pulling out of the Paris climate accord.
Facing a cascade of international pressure and a boycott of some Brazilian exports, Mr. Bolsonaro last month ordered a military operation to put out fires in the Amazon. But the government’s overriding message has been that the world’s angst about the Amazon is an unwelcome and unwarranted intrusion on Brazil’s sovereignty.
Brazilian President Bolsonaro Schools UN On Amazon, Freedom
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro blistered the United Nations to correct outright falsehoods by rejecting environmentalist hysteria over the Amazon and defending its sovereign right to self-determination.
Needless to say, environmental extremists immediately cried ‘Foul!’ and claimed that Bolsonaro does not speak for Brazil and that he is purposely destroying the Amazon rain forest. Bolsonaro further aggravated atheists and worshipers of ‘Mother Earth’ by quoting John 8:32: ‘And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’
⁃ TN Editor
74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly General Debate Statement by Mr. Jair Messias Bolsonaro, President of the Federative Republic of Brazil 24 September 2019
Mr. President of the General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, Heads of State, Government, and Delegations, Ladies and gentlemen,
I present to you a new Brazil, one that reemerges from the brink of socialism. A Brazil that is being rebuilt on the basis of the yearnings and ideals of its people.
In my government, Brazil is on a path to rebuilding trust with the world, lowering unemployment, violence and the risk for business activities. We are doing so by cutting red tape, regulations and, above all, by example.
My country has been on the verge of socialism, which has put us in a state of widespread corruption, serious economic recession, high criminality rates and unending attacks on the family and religious values that underpin our traditions.
In 2013, an agreement between the Workers Party government and the Cuban dictatorship brought to Brazil 10 thousand physicians with no professional registration. They were prevented from bringing their spouses and children, had 7 5% of their wages confiscated by the regime and were denied basic freedoms, such as that of coming and going.
True slave work, believe it …
With the support of human rights agencies from both Brazil and the UN!
Even before I took over, almost 90% of these physicians left Brazil due to unilateral action by the Cuban regime. Those that stayed on will undergo medical qualification in order to able to practice their profession.
This is how our country stopped supporting the Cuban dictatorship, no longer sending Havana 300 million dollars every year.
History shows that as early as the 1960s, Cuban agents were sent to several countries to help establish dictatorships.
A few decades ago they tried to change the Brazilian regime and that of other Latin American countries.
They have been defeated!
Brazilian civilians and military were killed and many others had their reputation destroyed, but we won that war and safeguarded our liberty.
These agents from the Cuban regime were also taken to Venezuela by Hugo Chavez. Today around 60 thousand of them control and interfere with every area of local society, especially in intelligence and defense.
Venezuela, once a thriving and democratic country, undergoes today the cruelty of socialism.
Socialism is working in Venezuela!
Everyone is poor and has no freedom!
Brazil also feels the impact from the Venezuelan dictatorship. A part of the 4 million people that escaped the country, fleeing hunger and violence, migrated to Brazil. We have done our part to help them through Operation Welcome, an operation conducted by the Brazilian Army that has gained world-wide acclaim.
We have been working with other countries, including the United States, with a view to reestablishing democracy in Venezuela. We are also making a serious effort to ensure that no other South American country has to experience this nefarious regime.
The Forum of Sao Paulo, a criminal organization established in 1990 by Fidel Castro, Lula and Hugo Chavez in order to spread and implement socialism in Latin America, remains alive and must be fought.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The search of prosperity requires us to adopt policies that bring us closer to nations that have developed economically and consolidated their democracies.
There can be no political freedom in the absence of economic freedom. And viceversa. Free market, concessions and privatizations are all present today in Brazil.
The economy is recovering and breaking with the vices and chains of almost two decades of fiscal recklessness, factionalism in the state apparatus and widespread corruption. Economic opening, professional management and productivity gains are primary goals of our government.
We are opening the economy and integrating ourselves to global value chains. In only eight months, we have concluded the two biggest trade agreements in our history, those between Mercosur and the European Union and between Mercosur and the European Free Trade Area. In the upcoming months a number of other agreements will follow.
We are also ready to start the accession process to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We are already at an advanced state, adopting best practices at every level, from financial regulation to environmental protection.
Ms. Ysany Kalapalo, now let’s talk about the Amazon.
First of all, my government is solemnly committed to environmental preservation and sustainable development, to the benefit of Brazil and the world.
Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity and mineral resources.
Our Amazon rainforest is larger than Western Europe and it remains virtually untouched. This shows that we are one of the countries that protects the most its environment.
This time of the year, dry weather and winds favor both spontaneous and criminal fires. It is also important to mention that indigenous and local populations also use fire as part of their culture and means of survival.
All countries have their issues. However, the sensationalist attacks we have suffered from much of the international media due to the Amazon fires have aroused our patriotic sentiment.
It is a misconception to state that the Amazon is a world heritage; and it is a misconception, as scientists attest, to say that our forest is the lung of the world. Resorting to these fallacies, some countries, instead of helping, have followed the lies of the media and behaved disrespectfully, with a colonialist spirit.
They have questioned what is most sacred to us: our sovereignty!
One of them, at the last G7 meeting, dared to suggest imposing sanctions against Brazil without even listening to us. I am grateful to those who have not accepted to carry out this absurd proposal.
I am especially grateful to President Donald Trump, who well epitomized the spirit that must prevail among UN Member States: respect for the freedom and sovereignty of each of us.
Today, 14% of the Brazilian territory is demarcated as indigenous land, but we must understand that our natives are human beings, just like any of us. They want and deserve to enjoy the same rights as all of us.
I want to make it clear: Brazil will not increase its already demarcated indigenous lands to 20%, as some Heads of State would like it to happen.
There are 225 indigenous peoples in Brazil, as well as references from 70 tribes living in isolated places. Each people or tribe has their chief, their culture, their traditions, their customs and especially their way of seeing the world.
The views of an indigenous leader does not represent that of all the Brazilian indigenous population. Often some of these leaders, such as Cacique Raoni, are used as a ploy by foreign governments in their information warfare to advance their interests in the Amazon.
Unfortunately, some people, both inside and outside Brazil, with the support of NGOs, insist on treating and keeping our natives as cavemen.
Brazil now has a President who cares about those who were there before the Portuguese arrived. Indigenous people do not want to be poor landowners on rich lands – especially on the richest lands in the world. This is the case of the Ianomami and Raposa Serra do Sol reserves. In these reserves, there is plenty of gold, diamond, uranium, niobium and rare earths, among others.
And these territories are huge! The Ianomami Reserve alone has approximately 95,000 km2, the size of Portugal or Hungary, although only 15,000 indigenous live in the area.
This shows that those who attack us are not concerned with the indigenous human being, but with the mineral wealth and biodiversity in these areas.
OPEN LETTER TO THE INDIGENOUS POPULATIONS OF BRAZIL
The Indigenous Farmers Group of Brazil, composed by various ethnic groups and with representatives in all units of the Brazilian Federation, which inhabit an area of over 30 million hectares of the Brazilian territory, comes, respectfully, before the Brazilian society, to fully endorse the indigenous YSANI KALAP ALO, of the Xingu-Mato Grosso Indigenous Park, so that she can explain to the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, the reality lived by the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil, as well as uncover the lies disseminated by the national and international media, which insist in keeping the indigenous peoples of Brazil as an endless market reserve, serving the purposes of countries that still see Brazil as a colony without rules and without sovereignty.
Brazil has 14% per cent of its national territory demarcated as indigenous land, and many communities are thirsting for the development of this part of the country to finally take place, without ideological or bureaucratic constraints, which will improve quality of life in the areas of entrepreneurship, health and education.
A new indigenous policy in Brazil is needed. Time is running out!
Bold measures can and should be encouraged in the pursuit of indigenous economic autonomy. Certainly, if a set of decisions comes along these lines, we can envision a new model for the Brazilian indigenous issue.
A new time for indigenous communities is of utmost importance. The situation of extreme poverty we are living in, surviving only from welfare and basic food supply, has never represented dignity and development.
Radical environmentalism and outdated indigenous studies are out of tune with what indigenous peoples want. They represent backwardness, marginalization and utter absence of decisiveness.
The reality now requires that the world, in the United Nations General Assembly arena, know our wishes and aspirations in the voice of the indigenous YSANI KALAP ALO, who will share the real picture of the environment and the Brazilian indigenous communities.
Therefore, YSANI KALAP ALO enjoys the trust and prestige of the indigenous leaders who want development, empowerment and protagonism, and is able to represent a list of ethnic groups that endorsed this letter.
The United Nations has played a key role in overcoming colonialism and cannot accept this mentality to return to these halls and corridors under any pretext.
We must not forget that the world needs to be fed. France and Germany, for example, use more than 50% of their territories for agriculture, while Brazil only uses 8% of its land for food production.
61 % of our territory is preserved!
Our policy is zero tolerance for crime, including environmental crimes.
I reiterate that any initiative to help or support the preservation of the Amazon rainforest, or other biomes, must be treated in full respect of Brazilian sovereignty.
We also reject attempts to instrumentalize environmental issues or indigenous policy in favor of foreign political and economic interests, especially those disguised as good intentions.
We are ready to harness our full potential sustainably through partnerships and added value.
Brazil reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the highest human rights standards, with the promotion of democracy and freedom – of expression, of religion and of press. This is a commitment that goes hand in hand with the fight against corruption and criminality, which are urgent demands from the Brazilian society.
We will continue to contribute, within and outside the United Nations, to build a world free of impunity, with no safe havens for criminals and corrupts.
In my government, the Italian terrorist Cesare Battisti escaped from Brazil, was arrested in Bolivia and extradited to Italy. Another three Paraguayan and one Chilean terrorists who lived in Brazil as political refugees were also repatriated.
Terrorists under the disguise of a politically persecuted person will not find asylum in Brazil anymore.
Recently, socialist presidents that came before me embezzled hundreds of billions of dollars, corrupting part of our media and our Parliament, all for a project to attain absolute power.
They were judged and punished thanks to the patriotism, perseverance and bravery of a judge who is an icon in my country: Dr. Sergio Moro, our current Minister of Justice and Public Security.
These presidents also transferred a considerable amount of resources to other countries, aiming at promoting and implementing similar projects throughout our region. This funding source has dried up.
The same authorities came here every year and made uncommitted statements about issues that never addressed the real interests of Brazil nor contributed to world stability. Despite that, they were praised.
In my country, we had to do something about the nearly 70 thousand killings and countless violent crimes that annually tore apart the Brazilian population. Life is the most basic human right. Our policemen were the preferred target of crime. Only in 2017, around 400 policemen were brutally murdered. This is changing.
Measures were implemented and we managed to cut murder rates in more than 20% in the first six months of my government.
The seizure of cocaine and othr drugs has reached a record high.
Brazil is safer and more welcoming today. We have just extended visa exemptions to countries such as the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada, and we are currently considering the adoption of similar measures for China and India, among others.
With more safety and convenience, we want everyone to be able to visit Brazil, and particularly our Amazon rainforest, with all its vastness and natural beauty.
The Amazon is not being destroyed nor consumed by fire, as the media is falsely portraying. Each one of you may check what I am saying.
Do not hesitate to visit Brazil. It is way different than the country portrayed in many newspapers and television shows.
Religious persecution is a scourge that we have to tirelessly fight against.
In recent years, we have witnessed, in different regions, cowardly attacks that victimized the faithful gathered in churches, synagogues and mosques.
Brazil strongly condemns all these acts. It is ready to cooperate with other countries to protect those who are oppressed because of their faith.
Brazil is particularly concerned with the growing persecution, discrimination and violence against missionaries and religious minorities, in different regions of the world.
That is why we supported the creation of the “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief’.
On this date, we will annually remember those who have suffered the nefarious consequences of religious persecution.
It is unacceptable that, in the 21 st century, with so many instruments, treaties and organizations whose aim it is to safeguard all sorts of rights, there are still millions of Christians and people of other religions that lose their lives or their freedom because of their faith.
The devotion of Brazil to the cause of peace is evidenced by its solid history of contribution to United Nations missions.
For seventy years, Brazil has effectively contributed to United Nations peacekeeping operations.
We support all efforts to make peacekeeping missions more effective, bringing real and tangible contributions to host countries.
In different scenarios – whether in Haiti, Lebanon, or the Democratic Republic of Congo – Brazilian troops are recognized for their outstanding work and their respect for local communities, for human rights and for the principles that guide peacekeeping operations.
I reaffirm our willingness to uphold our tangible contributions to United Nations peacekeeping missions, including through training and capacity building, areas where we have well-known experience.
Throughout this year, we have established a broad international agenda, aimed at restoring Brazil’s role in the world stage, as well as at reestablishing Brazil’s relationships with key partners.
Last January, we were in Davos, where we presented our ambitious reform program for investors from all around the world.
Last March, we went to Washington, DC, where we launched a bold and comprehensive partnership with the government of the United States covering all areas, most notably political coordination and economic and military cooperation.
Also in March, in a visit to Chile, the Forum for the Progress and Development of South America (PROSUR) was established. This is an important initiative to ensure that South America consolidates itself as an area of democracy and freedom.
We then visited Israel, where we identified numerous opportunities for cooperation, especially in the area of technology and security. I thank Israel for their support in the fight against recent disasters in my country.
We also visited one of our great partners in the Southern Cone: Argentina. With President Mauricio Macri and our partners from Uruguay and Paraguay, we pushed ideology away from Mercosur. We also have been able to achieve important victories in terms of international trade, by successfully finalizing negotiations that had been going on for decades without a conclusion.
Later this year, we intend to visit key partners both in the Middle East and in East Asia. These visits will allow us to strengthen friendship ties and deepen relations with Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. We are committed to continue improving our relations with the entire Arab world and Asia.
We are also looking forward to visiting our partners, and friends, m Africa, Oceania and Europe.
As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, Brazil is open to the world and eager to establish partnerships with all those interested in working for prosperity, peace and freedom.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Brazil I represent is a country that is recovering and rising again, reinforcing its partnerships and restoring trust in itself, in political and economic terms.
We are prepared to take on our responsibilities in the international system.
Over the past few decades, we let ourselves be seduced by ideologies that sought not the truth, but absolute power.
Ideology has settled in the domains of culture, education and communications, dominating the media, universities and schools.
Ideology has invaded our homes and tried to dismantle what is the celula mater of any healthy society: the family.
It has also tried to destroy the innocence of our children in an attempt to corrupt even their most basic and elementary identity: the biological one.
“Political correctness” came to dominate the public debate, expelling rationality and replacing it with manipulation, recurring cliches and slogans.
Ideology has invaded the human soul itself to reap it apart from God and from the dignity He has bestowed upon us.
And with these methods, ideology has always left a trail of death, ignorance, and misery wherever it went.
I am a living proof of this. I was cowardly knife-stabbed by a leftist militant and only survived by a miracle. Once again I thank God for my life.
The United Nations can help us fight the materialistic and ideological environment that undermines some basic principles of human dignity. This Organization was created to promote peace between sovereign nations, as well as social progress with freedom, in accordance with the preamble of the UN Charter.
When it comes to matters related to climate, democracy, human rights, to the equality of rights and duties between men and women, and many others, all we need to do is contemplate the truth, following John 8:32:
– ‘An ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’
All our means, both national and international, should ultimately be directed towards this goal.
We are not here to erase nationalities and overrule sovereignty in the name of an abstract “global interest”.
This is not the Global Interest Organization!
This is the United Nations Organization. And so it must remain!
With humility and confidence in the liberating power of truth, let me reassure you that you will be able to count on this new Brazil that I represent.