Slow Motion Crimes Against Humanity

When I was a kid, I wrote a story about global warming.

It was utter crap. It featured a flooded New York with the police, mounted on hovercrafts, speeding under buildings on stilts chasing a criminal who dared – dared – use a combustion lawnmower.

I may have disliked mowing lawns as a kid.

Regardless, I flat-out lost. Partially because the story was, as I said, crap. After all, how were those hovercraft powered? Weren’t they using more fuel to chase the guy than he’d originally used?

But what stuck with me was the marginal note one judge had written on the cover page.

“Unrealistic and alarmist.”

It’s all too realistic, though. Not the hovercraft, but the climate change.

And the way we ignore big offenses in order to go after the little guy.

Yeah, yeah, all of us can make little changes that have a big cumulative impact. I get that.

But that says nothing of those who will ultimately be responsible for the greatest crimes against humanity ever known.

That honor goes to the executives of the coal, oil, and plastics industries.

Because they fucking knew.

They knew their actions were causing climate change in 1968 – and then proceeded to lie and mislead the rest of the world about it. They knew their claims of recycling and reuse were bullshit, but kept lying through their teeth.

There is a conversation to be had about the way our system rewards short-term growth and ignoring externalities. There is a conversation about whether or not corporations will ever voluntarily “do better” [1]

That is not this conversation.

Because these people – all of themfucking knew.

They knew they were dooming you. Dooming your children. Actively creating a world where their actions will be responsible for more death and misery than anything in human history.

And they got rich from it.

Those executives – past and present – have committed crimes against humanity.

And they should be made to answer for that.

Featured Photo by Zbynek Burival on Unsplash

[1] I think Dan Price’s tweets answer that….

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