Assess Sociological Contributions to Our Understanding of the Nature of Environmental Crime Essay

599 WordsApr 21, 20133 Pages
“Crimes against the environment take many different forms. These include illegal dumping of toxic industrial waste, and illegal logging and destruction of the rainforest. However, many actions that harm the environment are not illegal, at least not in every country. Some sociologists argue that this is irrelevant, since we should study all environmental harms, including ones that are legal.” Using material from Item A and elsewhere assess sociological contributions to our understanding of the nature of environmental crime. (21 marks) The massive increase in productivity and the technology of modern society’s resources, in more developed countries, have created new risks. Many of these risks involve harm to the environment and its consequences for humanity, such as global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions from industry. Green crime is seen as a global crime because it is harm done to other species or aspects of the environment such as the air, water supplies, the ocean and the rainforest are increasingly seen as impacting negatively on the quality and future of human life wherever it is in the world. Also, It is carried out by powerful interests particularly TNCs with the corporation of nation states and local wealthy elites which another reason why it is a form of global crime. A more radical approach to green criminology starts from the idea of harm rather than criminal law. For example, Rob White defines green crime as ‘any action that harms the physical environment and any of the creatures that live within it, even if no law has been broken’. White argues that if harm is done to the environment or human/non-human animals that this should be the subject of green criminology regardless of its legal status. Like other traditional approaches in criminology, it investigates the patterns and causes of law breaking. Many of the worst environmental harms
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