provide an actual example (or case) of an environmental crime that you believe is one of the most harmful to life and our planet.
Environmental crime can take various different forms and sizes. Please provide an actual example (or case) of an environmental crime that you believe is one of the most harmful to life and our planet.
Classmate Summary Patrick response: Decide if you agree or disagree with his response. Explain why or why not.
An environmental crime is defined as an illegal act that has harmful ramifications on biodiversity, wildlife, and natural resources such as timber (United Nations, n.d.). These crimes are not necessarily victimless as some might believe because damage to the environment can cause health problems and other ramifications. As any white-collar crime, these crimes are not causing immediate problems, but rather have long-term negative effects on individuals, wildlife, and the world as a whole.
I believe one of the most harmful forms of environmental crime we are actively seeing today is illegal logging in the Amazon Rainforest. Between August of 2019 and July of 2020, 1.5 million acres of the Amazon Rainforest were cut down (Ennes, 2021). A large portion of these activities is predicted to be illegal. There are short and long-term ramifications for such actions. The Amazon is a carbon sink meaning it is a source of taking in a large portion of the world’s carbon dioxide and changing it to oxygen. Removing such a large carbon sink will cause emissions to rise up substantially due to fewer trees being available to take in carbon dioxide. Additionally, the encroaching logging disrupts thousands of animal habitats (many endangered) causing damage to the species.
The criminal nature of the logging also promotes other crimes within the area such as poaching and illegal drug trade as criminals take advantage of the land as a staging ground for an activity that further harms the environment. Pollution of the jungle is another concern as the soil becomes destroyed and the ensuing waste created causing greater issues all around.
The long-term problems associated with the loss of the Amazon are immense as it is a source of oxygen production for the entire world and lowers greenhouse gases within the atmosphere. A loss of this magnitude would likely contribute to global heating and the problems associated with more emissions in the atmosphere. It is a domino effect that starts from the ground and leads to a worldwide issue down the road. One that needs to mitigate soon to prevent further damage across the board.