A common trope used by greenies promoting the benefits of the EU was to talk about the “environmental protections” that they claimed the EU had introduced. They spread fear about how terrible it would be to leave – assuming that these usually much watered down protections would be lost.
But these are laws imposed by a centralised authority. Laws that are proposed with good intent, but inevitably without knowledge of the unintended consequences and usually diluted to minimise the impact on those best able to lobby the law-makers.
And who can best lobby these law-makers? Naturally in a centralist organisation it is those with corresponding centralist organisation – for example trans-national businesses.
And how do these laws appear to those back in the field and factory and home on whose behaviour they impact? As a burden of course. As something that is imposed without rhyme or reason, just something that has to be put up with.
And what are the reasons these environmental laws become necessary? Because individuals are doing things, usually for perfectly rational reasons, which have a negative impact of some aspect of some ecological system.
For example the farmer doesn’t choose to spread bee-destroying glycophosphate around because he is a bad person. He does it because he is trained as an agricultural businessman to do whatever is necessary to maximise the return and minimise the cost of production. This farmer is producing maize not honey, so using Roundup to clear the ground makes sense.
The way to make people “obey” environmental laws is not to impose them from some central authority. It is to make the law be merely an expression of the individual’s morality. If a farmer is trained to see his role as maximising production and profits then his natural law will be aligned with that.
If on the other hand a farmer is trained to see himself as a steward of the earth facilitating an eco-system that produces an abundance of food that can be harvested, and if he does this from a holistic systems level understanding of the processes, then perhaps his natural law will make him tell the Roundup salesman not to be so stupid as to come and try to sell him poisons.
All of the much vaunted European environmental legislation is worthless if it does not accord with the morality and mores of the citizens. Law does not create morality, it is the other way round.
“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous its laws.” Tacitus