In America (and throughout other parts of the world) there is a strong discussion of “human rights.” Humans have a right to this, and humans have a right to that. But we’re only one small species in the vast web of creation. What about the laws of the planet? The laws of Mother Earth?
In Bolivia, they have such a thing. “Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra” (The Rights of Mother Earth). This law holds that the land is sacred. It is a living system that has the right to be protected from exploitation, and creates a set of distinguished rights for the environment.
The Law of Mother Earth includes the following rights for the planet:
1. To life: The right to maintain the integrity of living systems and natural processes that sustain them, and capacities and conditions for regeneration.
2. To the diversity of life: It is the right to preservation of differentiation and variety of beings that make up Mother Earth, without being genetically altered or structurally modified in an artificial way, so that their existence, functioning or future potential would be threatened.
3. To water: The right to preserve the functionality of the water cycle, its existence in the quantity and quality needed to sustain living systems, and its protection from pollution for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.
4. To clean air: The right to preserve the quality and composition of air for sustaining living systems and its protection from pollution, for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.
5. To equilibrium: The right to maintenance or restoration of the interrelationship, interdependence, complementarity and functionality of the components of Mother Earth in a balanced way for the continuation of their cycles and reproduction of their vital processes.
6. To restoration: The right to timely and effective restoration of living systems affected by human activities directly or indirectly.
7. To pollution-free living: The right to the preservation of any of Mother Earth’s components from contamination, as well as toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities.
The document also has a set of obligations that are the duties of the people to the environment. You can see more of that in the information below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING LINKS
Law of Mother Earth Complete Text (World Future Fund)
Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Wikipedia)
In response to an Administration and Congress that seems hostile to science — particularly in regards to climate change — there is going to be a March for Science in Washington DC, this year, on Earth Day.
There are also a growing constellation of marches around the nation set for that day.
What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.
The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.
The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December.
I usually don’t post politically oriented stuff on here, but I think this goes beyond politics. It is dangerous to me when politicians have so little regard for facts and scientific reality. Somewhere around 99% of scientists around the world state that climate change is a reality, whereas only 50% of U.S. politicians agree with this. Without support for the greatest minds our society has to offer, we’re not going to go anywhere as a country or as a people. It was hostility to intellectualism that thrust Europe into the Dark Ages. There is so much potential in our day and age. Potential to explore the stars. Potential to power our cities with sunshine and wind. Potential to unlock the secrets of the human mind and genome. We can’t give that all up now out of fear and hate.
So if you’re interested in standing up for science, definitely check out this link.
Update: I just joined a chat room with the organizers. So I’ll post more updates if I get any relevant information that needs to be posted here.
Not to be confused with the Polish Metal band Behemoth, this is a Chinese movie. Zhao Liang’s film Behemoth provides a striking view of the environmental and health costs of coal mining and consumption in China. The film borrows its plot structure from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, as a coal miner suffering from lung disease. This coal miner guides the audience through a modern-day hell, purgatory and heaven – the coal mines and cities of Inner Mongolia.
Our little green friends play a vital role in the eco-system. Yet now they’re vanishing off the Earth at an alarming rate.
“It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.”
“Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken?”
Hopefully this problem can be solved before it’s too late.
Currently the 2015 Climate Change Conference is being held in Paris, France. It will go from November 30th – December 11th.
Yet how effective have these climate ‘talks’ been? And is that all it is? Just talk?
Since the first climate summit 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared (not decreased) and the pace of destruction is accelerating. Climate scientists say that sea levels, for example, are rising three times faster than predicted and that the Arctic ice is vanishing at rates unforeseen.
If we allow carbon dioxide concentrations to reach 550 ppm, that means the global temperature will continue to rise for at least another century. We have already passed the 400 mark – a figure unseen on earth for 3-5 million years, and in the last ten years, we’ve seen the nine hottest years on record.
But of course greenhouse gasses aren’t the only issue at hand.
The reality is that humans are presiding over an era of mass destruction on planet earth. Scientists are calling the human era (the Anthropocene Age) an era of mass extinction. In 40 short years, our economic systems have destroyed half of the wild life on the planet according to the world wild life fund.
This is not to mention that little is being said by global elites about the most environmentally destructive industry in our time – the agriculture industry. While it was barely mentioned in the climate talks, these big agriculture businesses account for nearly 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
So what we have is an era in which the leaders and elites deliver feel good sound bites and lofty rhetoric. There are always ‘talks’ about change and endless ‘conversations.’ Sure, around twenty countries have taken a pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions, but what rules have been put into place to force these promises into action?
And even if these countries do reduce CO2 emissions, that’s not the complete problem.
The real problem is that today’s societies and governments are based on a system of endless growth that cannot possibly be sustained. The same leaders who deliver happy talk about saving the rain forests and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, are the leaders who profit from the machinery of environmental destruction and corporate greed.
The truth is that we cannot live by systems of endless growth on a planet with finite resources.
So the truth is that a corporate cabal has hijacked our democracies and governments. Our so called liberal leaders have done little to nothing to stop the break neck speed of climate change and environmental destruction. Many of the so called liberal reformers who deliver rhetoric about saving the planet and climate change, are also the people who voted yes for the TPP and cheer on fracking. It’s okay, it’s called ‘natural’ gas – so that means it’s natural right? Never mind the fact that this process releases methane into the air, which is 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
So in our time we have the growth of environmental fads, such as buying $50 dollar light bulbs and fair trade coffee. Things like this make people feel like they’re doing something without changing the actual infrastructure of the problem.
This would be like if a dragon were flying around, raining hell fire and destruction from above, and people cheered one another on for painting the dragon’s toe nails green (instead of…you know…slaying the dragon).
So a lot of this feel good talk and fake reform is dangerous – more dangerous than doing nothing in some ways. It’s dangerous because it creates the illusion that we’re doing something about our problems, when we’re actually not. This way, people don’t rise up and demand change, because they’re fooled by the lies of the fake reformers.
But the reality is that if people don’t push for REAL change, Mother Nature will push these changes herself. It’ll just be a change that human beings won’t like very much.
The reality is that the coming destruction as a result of humanity’s excesses won’t happen in a linear fashion, as part of some carefully calculated trend. The destruction will happen all at once because our ecosystem is interconnected. It’ll be a widespread domino effect. We’ll see the crash of our food systems, destroyed due to a lack of genetic diversity, and the death of natural pollinators – like the bees. We’ll see the rise of droughts, disease, coastal flooding and mega-storms.
So the reality is that change is coming one way or another.
We can either be a part of the change or be on the receiving end of it.
It would be great if our leaders could peacefully put through needed reforms. And it’s great that people are talking about environmental reform. But if real environmental change doesn’t come, there will be a need in our time for people to put forth new political ideologies – for people to be willing to take down the current infrastructure of runaway corporate greed. This may involve violence. This may involve civil disobedience. But it’s near certain that the people benefiting from the planet’s destruction are not going to stop unless someone makes them stop.
The people presiding over this system are not good people. The problems of today aren’t a temporary hiccup in a gleaming machine of progress. What kind of people would preside over the destruction of half the planet’s wildlife? What kind of people would abide the greatest income inequality of our time? The answer, is sick, disturbed people. These people are spiritually and mentally sick, and they are a byproduct of the fact that the world has been run off of sick religious ideas for a while now.
In our time there is a need to become spiritually attuned to Nature – as our ancestors were in the days of old. Soon Nature will call for warriors to take a stand against evil and greed. Will you heed the call of the Earth?
To interrupt my long stasis from blog updates (been a busy month with visiting my new born nephew, and all sorts of other stuff), I would like to bring you this exciting news. New Zealand has just set a new precedent for how a nation should think about nature and its animal brethren.
For a long time many people have believed in foolish things about animals, such as the idea that animals “don’t feel pain.”
There’s this idea of “sentience” that certain animals have a more valuable existence than others, because their thought process is more complex.
However, New Zealand just said ‘to hell with that,’ and has now announced that ALL animals have feelings. This has set the precedent for the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, last month, to prosecute people involved in animal abuse/cruelty, as well as to ban animal testing and research. Much of the testing of products on animals can be done via other means. For example, many cosmetic companies will put their products in an animal’s eye to see if it causes them pain.I’m sure there’s a better way to conduct that kind of research.
Hopefully other countries will begin to follow New Zealand’s example in the protection of animals from abuse and cruelty.
Our lives are no more valuable than theirs. The first step towards living on this planet in a sane manner is to start seeing our furry friends as relatives, not as lifeless tools.