Mic is recommending that America tear up the Bill of Rights, kill off constitutional protections and adopt Chinese methods of the rule of law – or its absence, all in the name of pollution and the environment.
A possible defense for them is that they simply don’t know what they’re proposing but that’s not a good look for a media outlet either.
Their suggestion is here:
“When BP poured 134 million gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast of Mexico, it caused $17.2 billion in environmental damage and irreparably wrecked the ecosystem. No one went to jail. That is not an exception to the rule. Corporations have repeatedly failed to disclose environmental hazards that have destroyed wildlife and communities alike, and no one has face any significant criminal punishment for it.
“Here’s a novel idea that we can borrow from China: Arrest executives for their crimes against the planet. Earlier this year, China tossed 47 corporate suits from steel companies behind bars for ignoring environmental regulations and faking emissions data. They’ll serve between six and 18 months for their attempts to flout the rules and forge their records — and the companies got hit with fines, to boot.”
Ignore environmental regulations, and fake data, in the United States and you’ll go to jail as well, of course. Because doing those things is against the law.
The reason no one went to jail over BP and Macondo is that no one did in fact break criminal law. It was an accident.
But there’s a deeper point here too. China is an authoritarian dictatorship. The United States is a constitutional republic and more, it’s one that enjoys the rule of law. That’s what all that constitutional rights idea is about, That Bill of Rights even. The government can put you in jail, of course it can. But only after a fair trial in which you get to present evidence in your favor. A jury convicts you, the judge tries at least to make the government prove its case. And we also insist that you can only be convicted of something that was a crime at the time that you did it.
Mic gains some 2 million visits a month and is also part of the much larger Bustle group. As such there’s a certain responsibility that goes with the platform.
It’s actually right there in the Declaration of Independence that the very reason for the country is so that people can’t just be thrown in jail – no, not even for pollution or to protect the environment. Could be worth an American magazine upholding that idea.