Ecocide–Mock Trial

Ecocide -- An international crime?

Should “ecocide” be considered an international crime, alongside genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes of aggression and war crimes? Ecocide can be defined, according to British environmental lawyer Polly Higgins, as “the mass damage, destruction to, or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.” The United Nations Law Commission is currently considering a proposal to enact a law against ecocide.

To highlight the importance of this concept, a mock trial has been conducted at the United Kingdom Supreme Court as though the crime of ecocide had already been adopted. The CEO’s of fictitious fossil fuel companies, played by actors, were grilled and defended by real barristers and international lawyers. The two crimes chosen for the ecocide mock trial were the extraction of oil from Canada’s tar sands and a major oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The verdict handed down by the volunteer jury? Both bosses were found guilty as charged. Read more from The Independent:

Photography and Climate Change

The Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis (CGES)



Talk with Ulrike Heine, Giessen University, Germany.

Monday, September 19, 2011
Heller G02

How are photographs used to communicate different aspects of Climate Change? Ulrike Heine from the Research Group Transnational Media Events at the Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Gießen/Germany will discuss a set of projects originating in the fields of photojournalism, art photography and commercial photography. Heine, who completed her studies in art history and cultural studies in Leipzig and St. Petersburg/Russia is currently working on her Ph.D. on the topic of Photography and Climate Change as a visiting fellow at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.

Refreshments will be served.

International Green Talents Competition 2011

How can green growth for all be achieved? What can be done to implement sustainability strategies into society? Young scientists from all over the world who are seeking solutions to these and other pressing questions related to sustainability research are invited to participate in the prestigious “Green Talents” competition of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The award was presented for the second time in 2010 and is now starting its third application round. Talented young researchers (up to 35 years old) from around the world specializing in the area of sustainable development are invited to apply for “Green Talents – The International Forum for High Potentials in Sustainable Development”. The competition will give 20 exceptional scientists the opportunity to meet and exchange views with today’s leading experts in the field of sustainability in Germany. A decisive selection criterion is the crucial contribution of the applicant’s research to mastering global challenges such as climate change, declining energy resources and massive environmental pollution.

The winners of the competition will participate in a ten-day international science forum taking place in autumn 2011. Touring through Germany, the “Green Talents” will visit leading universities, research institutions and companies active in the field of sustainable development. They will gather specific information about research activities on-site and learn about opportunities for cooperation with German partners. The forum will also include individual meetings with experts, as well as cultural events. The award ceremony is expected to take place at the German Parliament in Berlin.

Learn more about the “Green Talents” competition and its first 35 winners on There you will also find the Application Guidelines 2011 as well as a leaflet with all relevant information about the program. Application documents should be submitted to by July 29, 2011.

Brandeis Sophomore waxes poetic against climate change

Germany to close all nuclear power plants by 2022

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is taking credit for a decision that was actually made by her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder: To end the use of nuclear power. Still, Green Party leader Jürgen Trittin (here with Merkel)  is happy about the decision.

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