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kitesandtrainsandcats
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09 Mar 2022, 2:17 am

Does Nature Have Rights?
A Burgeoning Legal Movement Says Rivers, Forests and Wildlife Have Standing, Too

Climate change and environmental destruction have inspired court cases around the country—and the globe—aimed at protecting the natural world.
By Katie Surma
September 19, 2021

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/1909 ... -movement/

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... The legal movement for the rights of nature began with a seminal 1972 law review article, Should Trees Have Standing, by Christopher D. Stone, a law professor at the University of Southern California, who wrote that he was “quite seriously proposing” giving legal rights to nature.

The idea was famously taken up by Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in a dissent in the case ​​Sierra Club v. Morton, but couldn’t muster support from a majority of the court.

In the years since then, the concept has surfaced globally in legislation, judicial rulings and constitutional amendments in countries that include Canada, Mexico, France, Colombia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, New Zealand, Ecuador and Uganda. At the United Nations, a Harmony With Nature program has helped coordinate and advance the movement, with nongovernmental organizations playing a leading role.
...


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09 Mar 2022, 12:25 pm

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We have to find a balance between nature and commerce, and right now we’re so far out of balance that the world is spinning out of control...

This is precisely the kind of mentality that requires "rights of nature" to begin with; I'm of the opinion that it seems like an odd concept from a technical standpoint but it's necessary for environmental protection to be taken seriously to any extent. Every single component of "commerce" necessitates some usage of natural resources. Humans, as well as all of our creations, arose through natural processes, and are thus not beyond or separate from nature in any meaningful respect. Artificiality is something that should be treated as spectral rather than binary; the less common it is in nature, the more effort a species has to put in to create something "artificial."

Are termite mounds artificial structures? They don't arise through biological processes alone; instead, termites take resources from their environment and create their mounds and tunnel systems from these found components. The only argument I can see for a human's home to be artificial while a termite mound is natural is the complexity and quantity of resources required in modern homes, and that breaks down when you consider structures like igloos or adobe buildings that are composed of more limited components. Humans may have had a greater impact on our environment than any previous species, but really that's due to the scope of how much we manipulate our environment rather than any fundamentally unique aspect of our species.

This isn't a semantic distinction. To my understanding, the reason people won't take this kind of protection seriously is because many of us feel that humanity is somehow a "conqueror" of nature and that the planet is entirely our own possession. Other species have no problem manipulating and constructing parts of their environment. We are still dependent on other organisms to survive in the first place, and the destruction of ecosystems around the world is absolutely a problem for human beings. If the only way people will pay enough attention to understand that we are part of nature rather than something distinct from it is to grant nature some nebulous legal identity that can contend with us in court, then so be it. It's less destructive and confusing than corporations being granted personhood.



The_Znof
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09 Mar 2022, 1:29 pm

just incorporate nature, problem solved.

to dehumanise corporations would make far more sense, but they aint letting that happen..

I wonder how much pollution currently cant be stopped because of some corporations legal rights?



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09 Mar 2022, 2:19 pm

I believe nature has the right to smite us in self defense.


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Last edited by Misslizard on 09 Mar 2022, 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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09 Mar 2022, 2:33 pm

Nature is indifferent to the concerns of humans, we see the evidence all around us. The wildfires in the West, the wildfire in the Great Smokies in 2016 are prime examples. If you go against nature, it will bite us in the ass.

They call it the Smoky Bear effect. Once the U.S. adopted a zero tolerance policy on fires, it was bound to go wrong. For years before the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wildfires occurred every decade, which was usually contained below the tree canopy, burning off dead wood. It was beneficial to certain species of trees, and other plant life.

After decades of no wildfires, you have a such a buildup of dead wood, that when fires do occur, it devastates forests.


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Mockingbard
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09 Mar 2022, 5:09 pm

VegetableMan wrote:
Nature is indifferent to the concerns of humans, we see the evidence all around us. The wildfires in the West, the wildfire in the Great Smokies in 2016 are prime examples. If you go against nature, it will bite us in the ass.

They call it the Smoky Bear effect. Once the U.S. adopted a zero tolerance policy on fires, it was bound to go wrong. For years before the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wildfires occurred every decade, which was usually contained below the tree canopy, burning off dead wood. It was beneficial to certain species of trees, and other plant life.

After decades of no wildfires, you have a such a buildup of dead wood, that when fires do occur, it devastates forests.

I'd actually say this is an argument for the opposite case: humans have a profound impact on their environment. These catastrophic wildfires may have been part of humans trying to protect the environment rather than neglecting it, but the problem was the misunderstanding of the ecosystems we were trying to manage rather than any efforts or resistance on the part of nature. Nature doesn't heed our interests, but that implies it has any of its own; meanwhile, presenting nature as something "indifferent" that will cause cycles to automatically reset towards a certain equilibrium causes the opposite problem and makes the system seem invincible and unchanging. While the holistic concept of nature will persist, the vital ecosystems we want to conserve might not.



The_Znof
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09 Mar 2022, 8:22 pm

Misslizard wrote:
I believe nature has the right to smite us in self defense.


yes of course, but she can do better! :heart:



r00tb33r
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09 Mar 2022, 8:27 pm

Sounds like something lawyers would invent to get some clients lol

Do we get to sue the nature for damages? :lol:


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VegetableMan
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09 Mar 2022, 8:49 pm

Mockingbard wrote:
VegetableMan wrote:
Nature is indifferent to the concerns of humans, we see the evidence all around us. The wildfires in the West, the wildfire in the Great Smokies in 2016 are prime examples. If you go against nature, it will bite us in the ass.

They call it the Smoky Bear effect. Once the U.S. adopted a zero tolerance policy on fires, it was bound to go wrong. For years before the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, wildfires occurred every decade, which was usually contained below the tree canopy, burning off dead wood. It was beneficial to certain species of trees, and other plant life.

After decades of no wildfires, you have a such a buildup of dead wood, that when fires do occur, it devastates forests.

I'd actually say this is an argument for the opposite case: humans have a profound impact on their environment. These catastrophic wildfires may have been part of humans trying to protect the environment rather than neglecting it, but the problem was the misunderstanding of the ecosystems we were trying to manage rather than any efforts or resistance on the part of nature. Nature doesn't heed our interests, but that implies it has any of its own; meanwhile, presenting nature as something "indifferent" that will cause cycles to automatically reset towards a certain equilibrium causes the opposite problem and makes the system seem invincible and unchanging. While the holistic concept of nature will persist, the vital ecosystems we want to conserve might not.


No, it's more of a case of humans trying to shape the environment to our needs. Nature doesn't care if we have communities built around forest and mountain communities, it will burn them to the ground. It will will burn their wood cabins. It will destroy their lives, simply because its indifferent to our concerns and does not care about our pains.


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Misslizard
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09 Mar 2022, 9:29 pm

Mother Nature has a cold lap.


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txfz1
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09 Mar 2022, 10:02 pm

^That's saying it nicely.

Nature has something better than rights, it has laws that are obeyed.



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10 Mar 2022, 11:12 pm

Mockingbard wrote:
. Humans may have had a greater impact on our environment than any previous species, [...]




HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN WHAT THE PLANTS HAVE DONE???


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10 Mar 2022, 11:26 pm

joke aside, French philosopher Bruno Latour, whosecmethods have been highly influential in the humanities for decades has been doing a "Parliament of things"-exercise with students occasionally: it's a mock parliament in which somemithng mundane like fishing quotas would be negotiated - only that individual species of fish as well as then ocean would have representatives negotiating with the representatives of fishing corporations and national ministries.
He says it's quite a productive experiment when there's not just one environmentalist, argueing on behalf of the environment as a whole, but actual representatives for individual entities, which argue only on behalf of their "constituency".


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10 Mar 2022, 11:27 pm

shlaifu wrote:
Mockingbard wrote:
. Humans may have had a greater impact on our environment than any previous species, [...]




HAVE YOU EVEN SEEN WHAT THE PLANTS HAVE DONE???

I’ve seen what Kudzu can do.It’s more invasive than Putin.


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kitesandtrainsandcats
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10 Mar 2022, 11:40 pm

Misslizard wrote:
I’ve seen what Kudzu can do. It’s more invasive than Putin.


I grew up in South Carolina and Georgia ...

Not my photo but it is from Georgia in the 1980s, https://www.railpictures.net/photo/719170/
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Kudzu isn't just a ground cover, it can really climb. The home-bound leg of the Richland-Columbus turn passes through a wonderland - or nightmare - of kudzu-covered ground and trees between Cusseta and Richland.


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Misslizard
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10 Mar 2022, 11:45 pm

^The vine that ate the South.


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