Climate change will lead to an increase in violent crime. More rapes and violent felonies occur during the warm summer months than in cooler temperatures. As climate change progresses, there will be longer summers, higher temperatures, and thus, more violent crime. This Note examines whether American sanctions of environmental crimes that contribute to climate change should become more stringent given what we now know about the violent consequences of climate change. Part II of this Note describes the history and scientific evidence which proves that rising temperatures increase the rate of violent crimes. Part III reviews current regulations that deal with environmental crimes. Part IV suggests alternatives for how the government can combat environmental crimes that contribute to climate change and damage the public well-being. There is a causal link between environmental crimes and climate change. Further, climate change increases the rate of violent wrongdoings. Thus, the perpetrators of environmental crimes must be punished for the long-term effects of their actions: the increased rates of violent crimes. Part V analyzes the most realistic regulations and punishment schemes to promote conservation and public health. While there are many causes of climate change and greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, this Note refers to the every-day use of aerosol cans as an example when proposing how to handle the global problem of climate change. Finally, Part VI acknowledges some difficulties and consequences of the author’s analysis, but still presents an alternative framework for further inquiry into these issues.
Recommended CitationNicolette Pellegrino, A Gap in Causation? Punishing Polluters for Contributing to Climate Change & Increasing Violent Crime, 35 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 375 (2018)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/pelr/vol35/iss2/6