It is time to stop thinking we must
nature and recognize that as much as every other life form on
Or so reads the opening line of a report called Rights of Nature & Mother Earth: Rights-based law for Systemic Change, by editors Shannon Biggs, Osprey Orielle Lake, and Tom B.K. Goldtooth.
If we are to believe what they write (and I really really do), we humans aren’t just what we eat but also where we live, what we wear, and how we get by. Humans are part of the biosphere, buddy. This might seem like common sense, or maybe not. Maybe you’re not a raging hippie like me. We (all of us, not just some of us) not only have to get used to the idea, however, we need to revamp our laws to reflect this paradigm shift.
“This report explores not just the idea of a radical shift toward recognizing rights of ecosystems (and our responsibilities to the Earth) but includes global examples from around the world where these new laws are taking root. In the last year alone, New Zealand and India have recognized rivers as rights-bearing entities that now “own” themselves. They join the fast-growing list of 7 countries and dozens of local communities that are finding the only way forward to protect human communities is to shift our hearts, minds and legal frameworks to align with natural law. We can choose to shift now, while there is still time to escape the worst devastation of climate chaos. Failing that, we must remember Mother Earth does not negotiate.”
So, who is Earth? Say it with me: “We are.”
That’s why even if you aren’t (a raging hippie) like me you’re going need to help us rethink how we protect and manage our resources. This amazing movement will do more than protect trees, rivers, and little fluffy bunnies. This movement also protects indigenous people, who for all intents and purposes remain invisible to the law, much less corporate developers. This movement protects you and everyone you love. No one gets left behind. This movement gives us all a voice.
The first step is easy. Stop thinking of Earth as a commodity.
And in so doing, for the first time in all of history Earth will have a voice. Let Earth speak.