Lawrence, KS - Events Local News Groups Contact
Big Idea: Rights for Nature
By Indy Media / filmsforaction.org
Last September Ecuador approved a constitutional amendment that protects the rights of Pachamama, Mother Earth. By affirming the rights of nature, “where life is reproduced and exists,” Ecuador is offering the world a way out of one of the blindest of the many blind alleys Western thinking has created.

As the first nation to officially recognize rights for anything other than humans, Ecuador is setting a monumental precedent in the struggle to protect the world’s ecosystems. The constitution compels the state to protect and restore Pachamama and endows every citizen with the right to demand that she be honored.

In passing this amendment, Ecuador is calling on the developed world to abandon its misguided assumption that it deserves a free pass from Pachamama (Gaia, Mother Nature or the biosphere if you prefer). Ecuador has also reminded us of this fundamental truth: the earth came before us and will very likely outlast us.

This tiny nation has achieved something that no Western nation has. It has shown us, in cogent terms fully compatible with Western legal platforms, how to reorganize our political institutions in a way that just may give civilization a fighting chance.

We’ve yet to see whether words are able to secure the Amazon from oil drills or the Galapagos from sightseers. The average lifespan of an Ecuadorian constitution is about a decade. But any setbacks will be temporary. If this particular legal maneuver doesn’t take root, another will be attempted. In the end, nature’s rights will be legally and permanently affirmed. The idea will take hold because it is true and it is necessary.

With time it will begin to sink in to our collective Western superego that our inherent superiority is a myth. This legal breath of fresh air has blown in from a place with few cities – a place that is home to both indigenous and mestizo peoples. A place that is bold enough to step outside the Western-made order and define its own priorities. Now that we’ve almost run out of world to wreck, it’s time to follow Ecuador’s lead.

In the 19th century, a Westerner visiting the Galapagos Islands unlocked the secrets of evolution and shattered humanity’s homocentric worldview (although many still cling to it). Charles Darwin revealed that the iron rule of natural selection is “adapt or die.” Now, nearly two centuries later, Ecuador has introduced a way for us to evolve: a viable, practical means by which to honor the rights of the earth. Let’s follow the people of Ecuador into this new evolution. Let’s learn from Pachamama.

Chris Wood is the author of Dry Spring: The Coming Water Crisis of North America.
Read more here
0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
Welcome to Marinaleda: The Spanish Anti-Capitalist Town With Equal Wage Full Employment and $19 Housing
Jade Small · 9,083 views today · With virtually no police, crime or unemployment, meet the Spanish town described as a democratic, socialist utopia. Unemployment is non-existent in Marinaleda, an Andalusian...
11 Traits of People With High Emotional Intelligence
Raven Fon · 7,775 views today · Lately, new ways to describe human interactions, social behaviours, and many facets of psychology have emerged on the social network scene. One of those descriptions is “high...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 7,769 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 7,427 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
10 Provocative Quotes from Ivan Illich's "Deschooling Society"
Daniel Lattier · 6,444 views today · Ivan Illich’s groundbreaking book Deschooling Society (1971) offers a radical critique of the institutionalization of education within modern societies. Illich believed that we...
How a Trump Presidency Would Unleash a Torrent of Racist Violence-And Devastate the Left
Arun Gupta · 6,299 views today · The Left should take the Trump threat very seriously.
Maya Angelou's 3-Word Secret to Living Your Best Life
3 min · 4,579 views today · Dr. Maya Angelou says that in order to be the best human being you can be, you must follow one simple directive: "Just do right." Watch as Dr. Angelou reveals how you can never...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 4,562 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Doctors Response to Daily Mail Bigotry is Beautiful
Neil Tiwari · 4,259 views today · A poetic open letter to the Daily Mail newspaper from Dr. Neil Tiwari, in response to a bigoted attack on his colleagues, is going viral and it's beautiful.
Forest Man
16 min · 4,204 views today · Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC...
Superblocks: How Barcelona Is Taking City Streets Back From Cars
5 min · 4,091 views today · Modern cities are designed for cars. But the city of Barcelona is testing out an urban design trick that can give cities back to pedestrians.
Real Change in Democracy Comes Not in the Voting Booth but Activism at the Grass-Roots
Ilze Peterson · 3,841 views today · Many years ago, the late Judy Guay, a low-income woman from Bangor, founded the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods in order to advocate for the neediest in our...
Fighting Trump - Residents Opposing Donald Trump's Scottish Golf Resort
14 min · 3,736 views today · Documentary on the residents protesting against Donald Trump's golf development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Directed and Presented by James Trosh.
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,000 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
How to Criticize with Kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the Four Steps to Arguing Intelligently
Maria Popova · 2,644 views today · “Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?”
Alan Watts: What If Money Was No Object?
3 min · 2,466 views today · How do you like to spend your life? What do you desire? What if money didn't matter? What if money was no object? What would you like to do if money were no object? Spoken...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 1,989 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Throw (2016)
10 min · 1,768 views today · The first installment of Invisible Thread, an ongoing ELM passion project series, Throw tells the story of an outsider from East Baltimore, an area challenged by gang violence...
10 Shocking Facts About Society That We Absurdly Accept As Normal
Joe Martino · 1,720 views today · When you take a moment and look around at the world, things can appear pretty messed up. Take 5 or 10 minutes and watch the 6 o’clock news. Chances are, the entire time, all...
A City Open to Migration and Diversity?
2 min · 1,604 views today · We speak to Thomas Jézéquel of Eurocities about what the city of Gdańsk can teach us.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Big Idea: Rights for Nature