RIGHTS OF NATURE

I have been thinking about the situation we are presently in. For me it is a call for change. If we don’t this will be only the beginning of a future that will radically change the human presence here within the Earth Community. And this change will be anything but pretty.

We have intellectually separated ourselves from the rest of the community, and it has worked. By doing this it has made it easier to manipulate the Earth and make it serve us since we don’t feel any sense of a need to care about the broader community, and we can treat it however we want. There are over 7 billion of our species, moving quickly toward 8 billion. This way of thinking has helped make it happen.

We humans aren’t evil, we are doing what species do, work towards our survival. The number of a species is one sign of a successful species.

The problem is, continuing what we have been doing, now has the potential of irradicating us from the planet. Other species have overgrazed, and when this happens they suffer the consequences. This is where we are heading. We are overgrazing every aspect of the Earth community that we are dependent on, water, soil, air, ozone.

There is some belief that this virus is due to humans expanding into the wilderness area where bats and other wild animals have been for a very long time, where our expansion is bringing us into greater contact with these other species who carry viruses.

On top of all this, we are also developing weapons and chemicals that can have a huge impact on the Earth community and on our species.

We need to begin thinking in a different way.

The exciting thing about our thinking differently – when we begin to relate to our planet in a whole different way, when we come to respect and love the planet that we have the honor of sharing – It is a much better way to live. We are dependent on the broader Earth community, so we will need it to survive, but we will interact with it in a whole different way, in total respect. We will find our meaning in our relationship to our fellow Earthlings, the plants, animals, rivers and mountains. We will only use what we need as a way to preserve and protect them.

I have become very interested in the Rights of Nature movement. This is its focus, to see that every aspect of the Earth community has a right to live and sustain itself. This includes the plants and animals, but also the waters, the mountains, rocks, the air, the soils – they all have a right to be as they have evolved in their bioregion. We need to partake, but we need to do it in a way that doesn’t destroy them because they have the rights to flourish.

We are involving ourselves with an organization called Community Environmental Defense Fund (CELDF) which is working to have rights given to the natural world. While we have given rights to corporations, that actually don’t exist, we have made the nature world, which does exist, purely a resource, and object. In reality they are not and object. As Thomas Berry says, they are subjects not objects.

By respecting nature’s rights we are also respecting our rights since we are part of nature, just one species sharing this planet. In this way we can restore this paradise that we and they evolved into.

Our goal, living along the Ohio River, is to recognize the rights of the Ohio River and to get organizations, institutions and government to recognize these rights.. When we accept the rights of the Ohio River people do not have the right to poison and pollute the river anymore than they should have the rights to do it to us. However, with fracking, air pollution, the causing of global warming we are poisoning and polluting ourselves and fellow citizens. This is done all for the cause of having corporations make more money. It’s crazy but real.

So, CELDF is focused toward human community rights along with the rights of the rest of Nature.

For further information about the movement go to http://www.celdf.org. Also, return to this website where we will have updates on our move to have the Rights of the Ohio River recognized.

If you are interested in joining us in this movement or learning more about it give me me a call at 513-708-9159 or email me at jschenk@imagoearth.org

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