UPDATED: See below
It’s the ultimate in pre-cambrian law. Gaia in the courtroom. Shh. The Statutory Spirits are at work. It’s not just the right to life for amoeba, it’s the right not to have your cellular structure modified.
Looks like salad is off the menu.
So is meat, fruit, tea and coffee, and no you can’t eat moths either. Who will prosecute the next cougar which violates the constitution by chomping on a Flamingo?
Looks like 10 million people might get to subsist on organic free range eggs, and milk from consenting cows. Perhaps they can reach a trade agreement for honey with The Andean Bee Collective. But then it’s not clear the honey doesn’t have a right to exist too.
Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation
* John Vidal in La Paz
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 April 2011 18.17 BST
John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day Link to this video
Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.
The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.
“It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all”, said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. “It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration.”
Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m all for people keeping the wisdom of their elders alive and using it to guide their decisions:
Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Bolivia’s traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change. “Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values,” he said.
I just don’t think spiritual beliefs translate that well into a one-rule-fits-all legal cannon. And any law that is only selectively enforced is a tool for tyrants.
UPDATE: WWS points at just how useful this law is for tyrants
I think a few people understand what this is really about, from a legal point of view. It’s actually much more dangerous than most realize.
As Chris said, who can speak for the flora and fauna, since they can’t speak for themselves? Well that’s easy – the Government, of course. And who pays for litigation, since they can’t? Why those who are accused, of course, that’s only fair, right? And how much do they pay? Whatever their representative, the Government, says they should.
So this is, in real world terms, a plan to give the Government the power to compel, restrict and impoverish anyone, anywhere, in the name of beings who have no voice of their own. Violations will be crimes against not just humanity, but against Mother Earth herself.
It would have been much more honest to have simply declared Imperial Rule, with death as the punishment for any dissent. That’s what this is about – Absolute, Unchecked Power.
You see, this actually isn’t “crazy” at all – it’s much more Evil than that. Lenin, Stalin, and Mao are kicking themselves in the grave for not thinking of this.