Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and governance to prevent the destruction of our planet


By: Polly Higgins
Published by: Shepheard-Walwyn
Distributed in Australia by: John Reed Books
RRP: $39


The massive Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is the starting point for this passionate book on saving the planet.

It's a powerful beginning. The BP oil well spewed a total of 5 billion barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico last year, devastating marine and wildlife habitats and the Gulf fishing and tourism industries.

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Now BP faces lawsuits and payouts in the billions for damage and loss of earnings to individuals.

But author Polly Higgins says the environment has nothing like this sort of legal protection.

"Instead BP can kill the ocean without consequence", Higgins says.

The environment lawyer says we need to tackle the problem through legal means, and is fighting for recognition of the crime of "Ecocide" by the United Nations and International Criminal Court, alongside Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.

The book provides a legal overview of the last 200 years, pointing out where we have gone wrong, as well as highlighting laws that have worked.

At times the writing is a little dry but Higgins makes many compelling points and her passion is undeniable.

Janne Seletto

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