"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Monday, July 18, 2016

Today's Antidote

To just about everything, including the weather forecast for the week, which has us hitting 97 on Thursday. This has already been an unusually hot summer. I like this whole idea:

For a change of pace, perhaps this news from New Zealand—lovely home of hobbits and Na’vi, not to mention the Notorious RBG’s chosen anti-Trumpian refuge—will interest and delight:

A former national park has been granted personhood, and a river system is expected to receive the same soon. The unusual designations, something like the legal status that corporations possess, came out of agreements between New Zealand’s government and Maori groups. The two sides have argued for years over guardianship of the country’s natural features….

The park is Te Urewera, and the river, Whanganui (NZ’s third largest). The proximate goal is, “that lawsuits to protect the land can be brought on behalf of the land itself, with no need to show harm to a particular human.” More broadly, the hope is that the legal concepts of nonhuman rights and personhood will be strong tools in the fights against climate change, mass extinction, and other forms of ecocide.

Sidebar: "Ecocide" is a termed coined during the Vietnam War as a reference to the US policy of destroying Vietnam's forests, because that's where the Viet Cong were hiding.

I'd love to see something on that order here, but it will have to wait until we've wrested control of Congress away from the mining and oil companies. Not to mention loggers.

Read the whole thing.

And from the comments, a bit on the judicial history of this idea in the US. Maybe there's hope. After all, if corporations are people, why not forests or wetlands?

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