As convoys of heavy trucks carry fracking equipment into new oil fields in neighborhoods and wildlands around the world, an alliance of human rights organizations is making plans to put the entire practice of hydraulic fracturing on trial. The court is the Permanent People’s Tribunal, a descendant of the Vietnam War-era International War Crimes Tribunal. The Peoples’ Tribunal is a branch of no government on Earth. It has no power of enforcement. It has no army, no prison, no sheriff.
So what’s the point?
The point is that it matters to tell the truth in a public place. It matters to affirm universal standards of right and wrong, to clearly say, “There are things that ethical people do not do to one another and to the Earth.”