514: Jojo Mehta: Ecocide: why you want this law more than you’ve imagined
First, I’m so used to talking to people who don’t act and try to convince themselves and others that individual actions don’t matter, I loved talking to someone inspiring a movement to change international law, making progress, and enjoying the process. If you like meeting people improving the world, you’ll love this episode.
If lowering Earth’s ability to sustain life is such a problem, why not just make it illegal? Problem solved, right?
It sounds too easy, or simplistic, too naive. Or does it? Genocide wasn’t once a crime and now is. Slavery wasn’t a crime and now is. Land mines were made illegal and the group to make it happen won a Nobel prize.
Making something illegal doesn’t end it. People still commit genocide. Slavery exists today, as do land mines. But so do theft and murder and I don’t hear anyone proposing making them legal. We want institutions of law enforcement and justice to help reduce them as much as possible.
I went from thinking the concept was a crazy distraction to supporting it quickly, which led me to find Jojo Mehta, co-founded Stop Ecocide in 2017, alongside barrister and legal pioneer the late Polly Higgins, to support the establishment of ecocide as a crime at the International Criminal Court. Today she’s the Executive Director and speaks on it internationally. I hope you also heard about it recently as the media have picked up on it.
In this episode, Jojo goes far beyond the history and goals of making ecocide globally illegal. She laughs within seconds of the episode starting and doesn’t let up. She shares her ebullient energy to act, to share her motivation and goals. You’ll feel motivated to act, beyond for yourself.
I love her leadership tip to start: find what outrages you most and act with what you love to do. Listen for her full explanation and examples.
Incidentally, the root eco- comes from the Greek, meaning home. Ecocide means destroying our home. Destroying our home is crazy. Or ignorant.