The neologism Ecocide can be used to refer to any large-scale destruction of the environment. [Random House (2006) "Unabridged Dictionary" ] An early reference in 1969 described it as "Ecocide - the murder of the environment - is everybody's business." [ Encyclopedia Science Supplement 1969 ] The term was also used in relation to environmental damage due to war such as the the use of
defoliants in the Vietnam War. [Modern warfare equals environmental damage. USA Today Magazine, January 2008, Vol. 136 Issue 2752, p6-6,] Ecocide is also a term for a substance that kills enough species in an ecosystemto disrupt its structure and function. [cite book
last = Cunningham
first = W
coauthors = et al
title = Environmental encyclopedia
publisher = Gale
date = 1998
location = Detroit
isbn = 0-8013-9314-X ] An example would be a high concentration of pesticide due to a spillage.
Many, for example the U.S. environmental theorist and activist Patrick Hossayin Unsustainable A Primer for Global Environmental and Social Justice, Zed Books: London, 2006,see 'Ecocide' and 'Toxic Planet', pp. 22-34.] believe that the human species is committing ecocide, via industrial civilization's effects on the global environment. Much of the modern environmental movement stems from this belief as a precept. CriticsWho|date=May 2008 of the belief in ecocide usually assert that human impacts are not sufficiently serious as to threaten the Earth's ability to support complex life.
A weaker definition of ecocide is that in which an
organismdestroys ecosystems other than its own. (e.g. cancer). For example, it could be said that during the Precambrianera, blue-green algae committed ecocide upon the prevailing reducing-chemistry-based ecology, by releasing oxygen into the environment. Organisms to which oxygen was a poison, died off, while the algae and other organisms adapted to and created a new oxidation-chemistry-based ecology.
According to this interpretation, humankind may be committing ecocide upon various ecological systems around the world, but the 'deaths' of these minor ecosystems do not materially impact our own survival. In this view, ecocide (of
rainforests, coral reefs, the polar pack ice, island habitatzones, etc.) may be regrettable aesthetically or morally but not materially and economically.
At the heart of the ecocide issue are practical and moral questions: is human activity destroying the ecological support system for our own survival (is global ecocide actually happening)?
List of environmental issues
last = Franz
first = Broswimmer
title = Ecocide: A Short History of Mass Extinction of Species
publisher = Pluto Press
date = 2002
isbn = 0745319343
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écocide — [ ekosid ] n. m. • 1972; de éco(logie) et cide ♦ Didact. Destruction méthodique de la flore et de la faune. écocide n. m. ECOL Destruction systématique du milieu naturel. écocide [ekɔsid] n. m. ÉTYM. 1972; de éco o … Encyclopédie Universelle
Ecocide — Écocide Un écocide est un acte de destruction d un écosystème, notamment par l exploitation excessive de celui ci dans le but de subvenir à d autres processus ou systèmes (écophagie). Par exemple, l assèchement de la mer d Aral est due aux… … Wikipédia en Français
ecocide — ☆ ecocide [ē′kō sīd΄, ek′ōsīd΄ ] n. [ ECO + CIDE] the destruction of the environment or of ecosystems, as by the use of defoliants or the emission of pollutants ecocidal adj … English World dictionary
Écocide — Un écocide est un acte de destruction d un écosystème, notamment par l exploitation excessive de celui ci dans le but de subvenir à d autres processus ou systèmes (écophagie). Par exemple, l assèchement de la mer d Aral est due aux prélèvements… … Wikipédia en Français
ecocide — noun Etymology: eco + cide Date: 1969 the destruction of large areas of the natural environment especially as a result of deliberate human action • ecocidal adjective … New Collegiate Dictionary
ecocide — ecocidal, adj. /ek euh suyd , ee keuh /, n. the destruction of large areas of the natural environment by such activity as nuclear warfare, overexploitation of resources, or dumping of harmful chemicals. [1965 70, Amer.; ECO + CIDE] * * * … Universalium
ecocide — noun The complete destruction of an ecosystem due to human activities. It may result from exploitation of resources, nuclear warfare or the dumping of harmful chemicals. See Also: ecophagy … Wiktionary
ecocide — destruction of the environment Killing and Killers … Phrontistery dictionary
ecocide — eÂ·coÂ·cide || iËkÉ™ÊŠsaÉªd n. destruction of the environment … English contemporary dictionary
ecocide — noun destruction of the natural environment, especially when wilfully done … English new terms dictionary