Use the Before and after Slider to see how Lemare Logging drove in as deep possible to make sure it was unusable for saving. [Google Earth Image]
I went to the recent Sierra Club meeting in Courtenay, and found myself depressed and frustrated at the state of affairs. The Club had an excellent presentation showing how important old growth forest is for locking up carbon. They also presented before and after pictures of the Tsitika River, at which the audience gasped in amazement at the devastation. There were petitions to sign, and fundraising T-shirts for sale, all for a really great cause. But honestly, our side has been playing softball, while the destroyers of habitats and biodiversity have been playing hardball.
A recent Guardian article by George Monbiot told the story of the late Polly Higgins, an English barrister who was fighting to create the international crime of Ecocide. Ecocide “means serious damage to, or destruction of, the natural world and the Earth’s systems.” Higgins wanted to make “the people who commission it – such as chief executives and government ministers – criminally liable for the harm they do to others, while creating a legal duty of care for life on Earth.”
When we look back at the 40 year battle against old-growth logging on Vancouver Island, I think we can say the war was lost when a bridge was built across East Creek. Lemare Logging drove in deep, and as fast as possible — 80’s style — before anybody could study or save it. The awful results at East Creek can be seen on Google Earth, and it is an open and shut case of Ecocide.
Minister Donaldson and the executives of Lemare Lake Logging have been, and are, knowingly committing Ecocide. These people are all personally liable, and should fear prosecution. The Sierra Club could pool resources, and concentrate on one or two legal cases like this.
Whether it is fishing, mining, or logging, it’s always the same, the executives walk away from the mess they made, they buy mega homes and super yachts, the government ministers move on, and the citizens at large are left with the bill. Polly Higgins, who has now died from her cancer, showed us the path forward. Let’s play Hardball.