chapter  3
The ordinary acts that contribute to ecocide: A criminological analysis
ByRobert Agnew
Pages 15

Mainstream criminologists focus on the explanation of “street crimes,” such as assault, robbery, and larceny. But as green and other criminologists point out, there are a range of additional behaviors that also cause much harm, often far more serious than that caused by street crimes (e.g., Beirne and South 2007; Gibbs et al. 2010). This chapter focuses on the explanation of one such set of behaviors, the ordinary acts that contribute to ecocide – or the contamination and destruction of the natural environment in ways that reduce its ability to support life (South 2009: 41). These ordinary acts have several characteristics: they are widely and regularly performed by individuals as part of their routine activities; they are generally viewed as acceptable, even desirable; and they collectively have a substantial impact on environmental problems.