Editor’s note: On the Post Growth blog we regularly feature local, often small-scale ways of making change. Change on the larger scale – to our political, economic, and legal structures, is of course important too. In this article the author shares with us a European initiative that aims to do just that. If you happen to be near Stockholm, Sweden this weekend, check out the Ending Ecocide conference on 26 April, 2014, and learn about other related talks and events here.
How do we stop the destruction of the Earths’ living systems, the glaring result of the industrial growth society? From rainforests turned to palm oil plantations, to seas deprived of many fish species, to mines opened in ancient lands of indigenous peoples – like the Sami in Sweden: the story repeats itself all over the world.
I recently met lawyer Pablo Fajardo, a former oil field worker who completed his law degree by correspondence course and is now the lead attorney for 30 000 inhabitants of Amazonian Ecuador in a lawsuit against the oil giant Chevron, who have refused to take responsibility for their oil operations over the course of three decades. While drilling in the Ecuadorian Amazon from 1964 to 1990, Texaco (now Chevron) deliberately dumped more than 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, spilled roughly 17 million gallons of crude oil, and left hazardous waste in hundreds of open pits dug out of the forest floor.