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Friday, November 5, 2010

NATURE'S INALIENABLE RIGHTS

ROAD TO MY PLACE IN THE FALL

Where I live -- is on a ridge surrounded by woods and fields that provides some of nature at its best. That is best using today's standards. During Audubon's time -- who knows how we compare. I imagine the time that he spent in Kentucky was one of a prolific constant maze of nature. I can only imagine this by his writings and work as photography was not developed then.


Today we have surveys and tagging and modern technology to record nature -- all kept in articles and journals for us to peruse. We are aware of nature's decline because of these documented records. We can't compare Audubon's time to today's time but we now can compare the changes of nature over the last few decades. And what do we see? Degradation, that is what we see -- to our oceans, mountains, land and air and more. And, what is being done about it? Not much government wise. Small organizations, located within various countries around the world, are working diligently, attempting to stop this march toward a natural Armageddon.


OVERCAST WINTER DAY AT MY PLACE
Now we can maintain hopelessness in our psyche and tell ourselves it is inevitable that we are a world scheduled for natural disaster down the road or... we can look at a wonderful concept that has taken hold in Ecuador. It is  brilliant and is wedged into a legal document. That being Ecuador's constitution -- where the citizens of Ecuador overwhelming voted to include inalienable rights to nature.

Ecuador is the first nation in the world to make such a monumental move toward saving Mother Earth. 

The group that helped Ecuador formulate the language to insert into their constitution was the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund located in Pennsylvania. 


REBIRTH OF SPRING ON BEAR MOUNTAIN
Now some of you might wonder why I am just writing about this now when the Ecuadorian constitution was passed by its voters about a year ago. Well, we just had a national election and to me that election fortifies my belief that we as a country are becoming the "vessel" of give-aways. 

We are giving away  our natural resources to corporations. How? By buying off our elected officials with corporate money. Buying them off so the newly elected, corporate funded, congressional members will support scraping off every bit of mother nature to place money in the corporate funders pockets. All short term thinking. 

As an example the gas and oil industry put 19.5  million dollars into the coffers of some candidates (of this past election) who will probably repay them back by voting for such projects as drilling in the Artic National Refuge in Alaska.


SWIRL OF SUMMER LIFE IN MY GARDEN
The Ecuadorian constitution would not permit such a corporate holocaust to happen. But, we are up for grabs as we do not have a tight legal defense. Our laws have so many loop holes. We need an all encompassing statement in our constitution that will stop this wholesale robbery of our resources.

That statement could read like the Ecuadorian constitution: 

The new constitution gives nature the "right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution" and mandates that the government take "precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles." 

I live on a ridge with clean air and water and almost non-existent  introduced chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. I consider myself fortunate. However, every form of life should have this opportunity to live safely, thoroughly and lively.  No ifs, ands, or buts, about it as my father would say.

14 comments:

  1. Hear, hear!
    Too many govts believe they can change laws to suit themselves, even retrospectively altering the record to clear their name IE -several historically registered buildings were 'accidentally' demolished on a city hosp site in Melb in the govt's effort to make as much money from the site as possible, then they removed the registration of the demolished buildings from the official heritage record.
    This happens in environment factors far too often as well.
    They only look to the next week they are in power, not to the next generation or the fact that we don't own the planet but are caretakers for our descendants.

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  2. I couldn't agree with you more! And I didn't know this about Ecuador's constitution, that's really interesting.

    Here is a quote from "The Food Revolution" by John Robbins that I've saved for a long time. I think it goes well with your astute post...

    There is still strong in our society the belief that animals and the natural world have value only insofar as they can be converted into revenue. That nature is a commodity. And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.

    There are many of us, on the other hand, who believe that animals and the natural world have value by virtue of being alive. That Nature is a community to which we belong and to which we owe our lives. And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.


    Have a wonderful weekend in that beautiful place you call home!

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  3. Jayne -- My, I don't see how they got away with demolishing registered buildings -- but I guess money talks. I believe politicians are the same in most countries - only thinking of their own personal power -- not all politicians but a goodly amount. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  4. Laloofah -- that is a very beautiful quote and so very true. It fits like I glove to what I was attempting to say. For me, the unsolvable question is -- will we ever be able to have a world of compassion for the natural world? What will it take to make this happen. Perhaps we need to learn more about the mindset of the Ecuadorian people. Thanks for the John Robbins quote -- barbara

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  5. A good post, Barbara. I think that many of us are fearful of what this election might bring.

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  6. I saw your comment on Jayne's blog and thought I'd wander over for a look. This is a fabulous post and exactly as I think. It's great to know that there is a growing rumbling out there that nature should be given this type of protection. I am forever frustrated when our politicians talk about the environment as if it were somehow separate from us. Power to Ecuador and to those of us fighting to preserve what we have left.

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  7. Vicki, Hopefully, we will will be watchful of political wrongs and stand tall if and when it should happen. -- barbara

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  8. Cheryl -- thanks for stopping by my blog. I did wander over to your blog about the Australian Bush and kangaroos. I plan to check back and discover more about your kangaroos. They are certainly interesting -- I personally don't know much about their life style. They appear to be quite tame in your header photo. I am going to post the nature's rights words contained within the Ecuadorian constitution on my sidebar. I believe that such words can power others to take up the call for the freedom from harm of all forms of Mother Nature. Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  9. Thanks for this blog, and the wonderful news about Equador asserting the natural right of Nature to exist freely and profusely. Who could have imagined that we could come to such a day? This is a way to re-awaken a more healthy path for us all. Nature is our sustainer in every way.

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  10. Yes, yes! Your place is enviable and incredibly rare in the world today. Yesterday I saw a documentary about Monsanto's corporate reach into the genes of food most people in America eat every day, corn, potatoes meat, soy products, more. As far as Monsanto is concerned nature is a patentable product to make their execs and stock holders rich [they actually patent the genes of heirloom plants - just as nature made them!] Monsanto isn't the only big corporation that believes nature is their piggy bank. Hurray for Ecuador and also for the EU which is unanimously rejecting gene altered foods. And so the greedy guys turn to third world countries ... sad, sad.

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  11. June -- You might have noticed that I have a widget on my sidebar that declares Millions Against Mansanto. They are the agricultural bullies of the world. If you want the widget just copy mine and put it in your own photo widget on your sidebar. The Organic Consumers Association is behind the campaign of "Millions against Mansanto,They have a web site. Everything you mention about Mansanto is so true. -- barbara

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  12. Gaea -- My hope is that folks here in the US will take notice of what the Ecuadorians have done with their constitution. I would like to know how they managed to politically make this happen? Perhaps corporations are not as powerful in Ecuador? -- barbara

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  13. You post sent me to the following poem. Hope this is not too long of a comment.

    PRIVATE TRANSACTION - William Mundell

    When Truman sold his farm to younger folks
    he sought to make the deed out by himself,
    he didn't hold to trite legal descriptions.
    “It took me fifty years," he said, "to learn
    what I had bought because it wa'n't on paper."
    A certain piece of land, described To Wit:
    – he smiled to think how much the law left out.
    It mentioned nowhere that his hillside rose
    highest above the valley for its view,
    or that one half his field stood up on edge,
    pinned to the mountain's steepness, so it seemed,
    by two outcropping points of rusty ledge.
    It never mentioned that the morning sun
    most often chose to climb his pasture's line,
    or that the moon, friendly and dallying,
    at times played hide and seek among his pine.
    He wanted to write in what he was selling:
    those gnarled and twisted beech along the ridge
    that never would be lumber worth the cutting.
    Yet by their steadfast leaning to the weather,
    for him, they held a worth beyond the telling;
    that knoll of brush he had been quick to call
    a waste, that ripened to wild blueberries in fall.
    He'd name the alder swamp, lush and wild growing:
    it took him years to learn that he had bought
    a wealth in mountain springs, pure and full flowing.
    Nowhere was it mentioned, when he bought
    the land, of rights of animals to passage,
    food and shelter; or that one rocky mound
    long had been claimed by foxes as a den;
    or that a falling acorn might belong
    to him whose ears first heard it hit the ground.
    Somewhere he’d write in the observation
    that trees didn’t care who they were growing for,
    they’d go on meeting season after season.
    He’d add one final sentence and admit
    really the land could not be owned, by reason
    that one life is too short quite to possess it.

    – Plowman’s Earth, 1973

    Mundell was a “hill-country” native Vermonter who plied various trades and occupations. In 1989 he was named Vermont Poet Laureate. He died in 1997 in the hamlet of Brookside in the home where he was born in 1912.

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  14. Chris -- Oh what an engaging poem. And it truly is right about land -- to really describe it cannot be forced into a legal description. It is a wonderful read! I do thank you so much for sending it along in your comment. I am going to seek out more of Mundell's work. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you. -- barbara

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