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Legal Accountability of People, Politicians, Corporations and Countries for War Crimes and Climate Crimes

by : Dr Gideon Polya
Saturday October 3, 2009 - 01:28

Top climate scientists in the top scientific journal Nature recently stated that we have exceeded 3 of 9 crucial planetary boundaries beyond which we are at high risk of unacceptable environmental change. These and other top climate scientists and biologists are stating clearly that the atmospheric CO2 concentration must be urgently returned to 300-350 ppm for planetary safety.

Unfortunately World governments are ignoring the science and are committed to increasing CO2. However there can be no negotiation with the laws of Physics and Chemistry. It is authoritatively estimated that 10 billion people, including 6 billion infants, will perish due to insufficiently addressed, man-made global warming this century.

Recently in Australia parents were jailed for the manslaughter of their horribly neglected child. Accountability must also apply to all people who are ignoring scientific advice and international law and are complicit in the carnage of US wars (9-11 million excess deaths in US wars, 1990-2009, including 4 million infants) and in the worsening climate genocide (that will kill 10 billion people, including 6 billion infants). This inescapable legal, business and political (electoral) accountability for war crimes and climate crimes is detailed in a Letter being transmitted around the World and reproduced below.

Dear fellow citizen,

Accountability of People, Politicians, Corporations and Countries for War Crimes and Climate Crimes.

Recently some of the World’s top climate scientists in a peer-refereed paper in the top scientific journal Nature stated that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration (CO2) should be reduced from the present circa 390 parts per million (ppm) “and should not exceed 350 parts per million” in order to prevent “unacceptable environmental change”. [1].

Similarly, a Working Party of the prestigious UK Royal Society recently stated that "The Earth’s atmospheric CO2 level must be returned to less than 350ppm to reverse this escalating ecological crisis and to 320ppm to ensure permanent planetary health”, a view consonant with that of other top climate scientists who warn that the atmospheric CO2 must be urgently reduced to circa 300 ppm to save the Arctic ice, the Biosphere and Humanity . [2, 3].

Unfortunately World governments, backed by popular and corporate greed, are approaching the December 2009 Copenhagen Climate Summit negotiations committed to INCREASING atmospheric CO2, in stark contravention of the advice from the World’s top climate scientists. The best First World offer is from EU countries committed to no more than a 2 degree C temperature rise (relative to 1990), a ceiling of 450 ppm CO2-e greenhouse gas (GHG as CO2 equivalent) and a decrease in GHG pollution of 2% per year. [4].

However there can be no negotiation with the Laws of Physics and Chemistry. Thus over 90% of scientists polled at the March 2009 University of Copenhagen Climate Change Conference believed that 2 degrees C above 1990 was inevitable; the GHG concentration is already 475 ppm CO2-e (of which about 390 ppm is CO2); and top climate scientists from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester, have recently estimated that an annual 6-8% decrease in GHG pollution is required to stabilize atmospheric CO2-e at the present level. [4-6].

Both the Biosphere and Humanity are already under acute threat. Australian medical science Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty has said “We are in real danger”. The present species extinction rate is 100-1,000 times the normal rate. 16 million people die avoidably each year from deprivation, this carnage including about 9.5 million under-5 year old infants and increasingly being impacted by man-made climate change. [7, 8]

Top UK climate scientist Dr James Lovelock FRS has estimated that 1 billion people or fewer will survive this century due to insufficiently addressed, man-made climate change. This translates (from UN Population Division projections) to a First World-imposed climate genocide that is predicted to kill 10 billion non-Europeans this century, this carnage including 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims (a Muslim Holocaust 500 times greater than the WW2 Jewish Holocaust or the "forgotten" WW2 Bengali Holocaust), 2 billion Indians, 1.4 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.6 billion Arabs, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. [9].

Recently an Australian mother and her husband with homeopathic beliefs were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for the manslaughter of their child through failure to seek expert medical help in a timely fashion for a treatable condition. [10].

If lengthy imprisonment is the fit punishment for the manslaughter of ONE innocent child by no doubt loving but misguided parents, what then for the deliberate, knowing, and hence intentional mass murder of MILLIONS through war crimes and BILLIONS through climate crimes, the mass murder of the 4 million under-5 year old infants (so far) through war criminal US Alliance-imposed war and deprivation (passive genocide) in the still-occupied Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories and the mass murder of the 6 billion under-5 year old infants who will perish in the 21st century, First world-imposed climate genocide of 10 billion non-Europeans?

Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War unequivocally state that an Occupier must provide life-sustaining food and medical services to its conquered Subjects “to the fullest extent of the means available to it”. [11].

However UN Population Division and UNICEF data inform us that post-invasion excess deaths in the Occupied Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan Territories total 0.2 million, 0.6 million and 2.3 million, respectively, and the annual under-5 infants deaths (90% avoidable) are 4,000, 41,000 and 338,000, respectively. Under-5 year infant deaths in Iraq under Sanctions (1990-2003) totalled 1.2 million. [12, 13].

A fundamental cause of this horrendous mass infant mortality is revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) - what the Catholic Church has described as the Gaza Concentration Camp has been under blockade by war criminal Occupier Israel for 3 years and the annual total per capita medical expenditure permitted by the war criminal Occupiers in Occupied Iraq and Occupied Afghanistan totals $29 and $124, respectively, as compared to $6,714 and $3,122 in Occupier US and Occupier Australia, respectively. [14].

The UN Genocide Convention insists on prosecution of all people – whether governments or individuals - complicit in the crime of genocide, which it defines in Article 2 thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.” [15].

Such prosecution under the UN Genocide Convention for deliberate, intentional, knowing Climate Genocide (or for deliberate, knowing, intentional war crimes in the ongoing Palestinian, Genocide, Iraq Genocide and Afghan Genocide) applies to anyone complicit in genocide “whether they be constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals” i.e. to elected governments, public servants and to the individual voters who elect them or fund them. [15].

Those who knowingly ignore, deny or obfuscate the horrendous harm from war and man-made climate change become accessories after the fact of war crimes and climate genocide, respectively.

While the US does not recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC), US Federal Law makes it a capital offence to commit war crimes causing death in violating International Conventions such as the Geneva Convention and the UN Genocide Convention to which the US is a signatory. [16].

By way of example to illustrate the dimension of the ongoing US Alliance atrocities, the current "annual death rate" is 7% for Occupied Afghan under-5 year old infants under the US Alliance - as compared to that of 4% (for Poles under the Nazis in WW2), 5% (French Jews under the Nazis and the Nazi-collaborator Vichy régime in WW2), 13% (Australian POWs of the Japanese in WW2) and 19% (Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe). [17].

The members of the US Alliance involved in the ongoing Iraqi Genocide and Afghan Genocide and the supporters of the US-backed occupation, colonization and ethnic cleansing of Palestine (the Palestinian Genocide) are known to all – these are variously the US, the UK, the EU, Canada, Israel, NATO and Australia. [8].

But who are the worst offenders in the worsening climate genocide – something that the World’s island nations diplomatically but incorrectly euphemize as “benign genocide”? [18].

“Annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution” in units of “tonnes CO2-equivalent per person per year” is presently 0.9 (Bangladesh), 0.9 (Pakistan), 2.2 (India), 3.1 (Developing World), 5.5 (China), 6.7 (the World), 11 (Europe), 16 (Developed World), 23 (Canada), 27 (the US) and 30 (Australia; or 54 if Australia’s huge Exported CO2 pollution is included). [9, 19, 20].

Australia is evidently a world leader in annual per capita GHG pollution – its present value is 54 tonnes CO2-e per person per year (with its huge coal and LNG exports included), 60 times that of Bangladesh, an impoverished country acutely threatened by man-made global warming.

What can decent people do about the ongoing Muslim Holocaust and the worsening Climate Genocide?

Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Decent folk must (1) inform everyone they can about these atrocities (we cannot walk by on the other side) and (2) make those responsible Accountable for war crimes and climate crimes.

Accountability at a global as well as an intra-national level can be secured via Sanctions, Boycotts, Green Tariffs, Reparations Demands and International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutions applied to People, Public Servants, Politicians, Collectives, Corporations and Countries complicit in war crimes and climate crimes.

However within democracies every voter becomes complicit in the crimes of elected representatives. Thus in climate criminal, war criminal Australia those voting for the pro-war, pro-coal, war criminal and climate criminal Liberal Party-National Party Coalition Opposition or the pro-war, pro-coal, war criminal and climate criminal Labor Party Government (collectively known as the Lib-Labs) become complicit in war crimes and climate crimes. The Australian Lib-Labs currently have about 90% support from an electorate remorselessly propagandized by the Murdoch Empire-dominated media with the pro-environment, pro-peace, anti-coal and anti-war Australian Greens only having about 10% electoral support.

Indeed older people (older voters) have 3 selfish reasons for taking action over man-made global warming. Older people are peculiarly threatened by the worsening climate emergency in three key areas that can be summarized by the "three Ds" of Devaluation (their pensions, superannuation, investments and family support will necessarily devalue in a non-sustainable carbon economy but GDP growth is assured in a renewable and non-carbon economy); Death (older people are frailer and more susceptible to heat stress through a weakened brain signalling system); and Descendants (their descendants will hate them for what they have done to the planet). [21].

Decent people must stand up to be counted for the sake of their children, their grandchildren, Humanity and the Biosphere.

A powerful message for individual and collective action and empowerment is summarized as the ABC of action over war crimes and climate crimes: A, (hold those responsible for war crimes and climate crimes Accountable); B, wear a Badge (e.g. saying “PEACE” or “300 ppm”); and C, have a readily distributable Credo saying, for example: “Stop war, invasion, occupation, war crimes and genocide – stop killing children” and “For a safe and sustainable planet for all peoples and all species we must urgently reduce the atmospheric CO2 concentration to 300 ppm”. [3, 22, 23, 24].

[1]. Johan Rockström, Will Steffen, Kevin Noone, Åsa Persson, F. Stuart Chapin, III, Eric F. Lambin, Timothy M. Lenton, Marten Scheffer, Carl Folke, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Björn Nykvist, Cynthia A. de Wit, Terry Hughes, Sander van der Leeuw, Henning Rodhe, Sverker Sörlin, Peter K. Snyder, Robert Costanza, Uno Svedin, Malin Falkenmark, Louise Karlberg, Robert W. Corell, Victoria J. Fabry, James Hansen, Brian Walker, Diana Liverman, Katherine Richardson, Paul Crutzen & Jonathan A. Foley, “A safe operating space for humanity”, Nature, 461, 472-475, 2009: http://www.nature.com/nature/journa... . [2]. Output of the technical working group meeting, The Royal Society, London, 6th July, 2009, “The Coral Reef Crisis: scientific justification for critical CO2 threshold levels of less than 350ppm” [Working group signatories Professor John Veron (Coral Reef Research), Dr Mary Stafford-Smith (Coral Reef Research), Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (University of Queensland) and 20 other eminent scientists including Sir David Attenborough FRS (working group co-chair)]: http://www.carbonequity.info/PDFs/T... . [3]. 300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm: http://sites.google.com/site/300org... . [4]. Gideon Polya, “Climate lies doom planet. 2C inevitable at 475 ppm CO2-e”: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/332... . [5]. David Adam, “Scientists fear worst on global warming”, Guardian, 14 April 2009: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environme... . [6]. Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows, “Reframing the climate change challenge in light of post-2000 emission trends”, Proc. Trans. Roy. Soc, A, 2008: http://www.tyndall.ac.uk/publicatio... . [7]. Phillip S. Levin, Donald A. Levin, “The real biodiversity crisis”, Macroscope, 2002 : http://www.soc.duke.edu/~pmorgan/le... . [8]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://mwcnews.net/Gideon-Polya and http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ . [9]. Gideon Polya, “Letter to the World re Climate Racism, Climate Terrorism & Climate Genocide by Apartheid Australia”, Bellaciao, September 2009: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?ar... . [10]. Kim Arlington, “Parents failed Gloria, jailed for “cruelty” [manslaughter]”, Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September 2009: http://www.smh.com.au/national/pare... . [11]. Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War : http://www.un.org/preventgenocide/r... . [12]. UN Population Division: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ . [13]. UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry... . [14]. WHO: http://www.who.int/countries/en/ . [15]. UN Genocide Convention: http://www.edwebproject.org/sidesho... . [16]. Cornell University Law School, “War crimes”: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/1... . [17]. Gideon Polya, “ Polish Holocaust (1939-1945) & Afghan Holocaust (2001-)., Newsvine, 3 September 2009: http://gpolya.newsvine.com/_news/20... . [18]. ABC Radio Australia, “World Island Nations fear benign genocide if no action on climate change”, 22 September 2009: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/as... . [19]. Gideon Polya, “Australia’s “5% off 2000 GHG pollution by 2020” endangers Australia, Humanity and the Biosphere”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... . [20]. Gideon Polya, “Climate Justice & Climate Injustice: Australia wants a 2020 per capita GHG pollution 15 times Developing World’s”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... . [21]. Gideon Polya, “3 reasons why older people should care about climate change action”, Open Forum, 10 August 2009: http://www.openforum.com.au/content... . [22]. Gideon Polya, “Accountability, Badge & Credo (ABC) strategy to save the Planet from Climate Genocide & Climate Doom”, Bellaciao, 16 May 2009: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?ar... . [23]. Gideon Polya, “Children of Lesser God. MWC News & Gideon Polya World #1 for “thou shalt not kill children””, MWC News, 15 January 2008: http://mwcnews.net/content/view/194... . [24]. Yarra Valley Climate Action Group, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, “Climate Emergency Facts and Required Actions”: http://sites.google.com/site/yarrav... .

Yours sincerely, Dr Gideon Polya Macleod, Victoria 3085, Australia Convenor, 300.org: http://sites.google.com/site/300org... .

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