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Earth Defenders Say Time Is Now for Democrats to Embrace 'Rights of Nature' as Central to Party's Future Agenda

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/04/earth-defenders-say-time-now-democrats-embrace-rights-nature-central-partys-future

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The leadership of both parties is owned outright by the polluters, extraction industry and profiteers.


Great respect to the Earth Defenders and Standing Rock Sioux fighters! -The rights of Nature, The Natural World and The Wild must be recognized and fought-for!

The time is now to support the Natural World’s rights, and many issues the rank & file Progressive/dem/left and Independent voters support and embrace, but the entrenched Clinton/Obama neoliberal corporate wing, now in control of the party will not - they see and use the party as their own little private political club and path to wealth -they will not embrace 99% of what the public support and Progressives embrace - they are beyond redemption and salvage.


As one who has worked with the Quechua people from southern Bolivia north into southern Peru, I look forward to viewing this video. I saw first hand the advances that Evo Morales helped many in Bolivia achieve. The people with whom my Engineers Without Borders teams have worked have spanned from full sustenance to villagers who sent workers down into the mines when commodity prices reactivated them. It has been and continues to be a privilege to work with people who are in such harmony with the land that feeds them.


Please—Tell us more about Engineers Without Borders! It sounds like a wonderful organization.

Recognizing the rights of other living beings is a hippy dippy concept and rather then denigrating that experiment in sane living on the planet, it’s time to put the natural world above profit.

The question is, can it be done given the flaws in human character that abound.

We try to sponsor a community for a minimum of five years, typically visiting for an assessment and/or implementation trip of about two-weeks duration each year. Our team is on our third community in South America starting in 2008. I serve as the faculty mentor (even though retired) for a student chapter of up to forty members. It has been a lot of fun, work, and challenge. EWB-USA is, as the name would suggest, a national organization inspired by Doctors Without Borders. It has grown tremendously in the fourteen years in which I have participated. It has been a very fulfilling way to channel my energy. Our specific team focuses mainly on water projects, which I like, as I am a hydrologist. For more information: ~https://www.ewb-usa.org


Good point.

May I suggest that the concept of RESPONSIBILITY might prove more effective?

Humans have responsibilities. We owe service to Mother Earth and our co-travelers. We owe love and respect and reverence to our source. Accepting this truth will perhaps accomplish greater good than will the notion of rights in nature.

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No duh! The DNC is the graveyard of progressive movements. That’s why I will not support them or any of their candidates after 2020.


It would still be a speciesist prejudice if the other animals (wild, domestic, captive)–our evolutionary kin and fellow Earthlings–were still valued only as our “property,” “resources,” “game,” etc. They should not be in the same category with rocks, minerals, timber, vegetation, etc–as sources. They are not “things” as propped up by religion.

Scientific studies on the evolutionary continuity of mental, emotional, and social experience shared by ALL animals–even humans–prove beyond a doubt that ALL animals are no mere “thoughtless brutes,” “objects,” “resources,” or “property,” but this Cartesian and Jesuit fable is what most humans of all groups still believe, probably because it is comfortable and convenient to do so. After all, if humans acknowledged the dignity and rights of animals, they would also have to face their cruelty, their violent exploitation, their arrogance, and rapaciousness. Humans would have to face the fact that they are all collectively guilty of genocide against fellow Earthlings, who are humanity’s ONLY sentient and spiritual kin in the vast, cold, and empty universe! This is perhaps a reason why our religions and laws are so against allocating animals their rights and acknowledging their dignity – because our misdeeds can never find justification and our view of ourselves as beautiful, benevolent, kind, thoughtful, generous, and compassionate beings “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26) would be exploded for the lie that it is.

In 2012, a group of neuroscientists attending a conference on “Consciousness in Human and non-Human Animals” at the University of Cambridge in the UK, signed The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness: “The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroanatomical, neurochemical, and neurophysiological substrates of conscious states along with the capacity to exhibit intentional behaviors. Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that HUMANS ARE NOT UNIQUE in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.” The Declaration was signed by Stephen Hawking, among others.


The Earth Defunders are saying the time is now for Democrats and Republicans to cough up more dough for them, or they will create many many more Armageddons/emergencies that give them the power of the checkbook. Just you wait and see.

So, it stands to reason every emergency pads their pocketbook. This is ann asset protection strategy for the very rich, also to make sure that when the country finally figures out getting out of GATS will cost the taxpayers a kings ransom or they can kiss all jobs and all safety nets, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid for All, Prison Retirement and Toll Roads for Cheezus, goodbye, forever.

The check will come back INSUFFICIENT FUNDS.

I love the music from that part of the world.

There used to be a band “Sukay” that performed in the Bay Area playing Andean music (mostly panpipes) from time to time.

The engineering that was used in Inca cities appears to be pretty amazing.

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I say, good luck with that responsibility angle with most of humanity although I am totally on board. Not sure why I got hit on the head with it so early in life but I did.

Example in point, I have done rescue work with pet animals since the 60’s and the numbers of abused and abandoned animals seems to remain about the same and the problem never go away. Responsibility called for but…as with all issues, complicated. Hard to be responsible when you live in a society or on a planet where resources are unevenly distributed and poverty creates huge issues.

There we are back to human character again. Just musing out loud.

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No offense but shouldn’t this attention be given to the deplorable state of water treatment (which causes cancer) to birth defects and other hazards here in the U.S.

I say leave those people alone, it always ends badly for them.


It’s called “co-opting”

And it’s been SOP for the DNCistas for decades


But what about businesses that have developed an expectation of ever increasing pollution entitlement as the value of human life in a community falls due to growing unemployment?

Here is a ideology compliant solution. Cities that have water thats less polluted than others should get a chit in the form of clean water credits that particularly polluter towns have to buy to go on polluting.

Business doesn’t see it as a problem, they externalize there pollution to make it a community issue. Now they want to make it a token economy which does nothing to directly address the issue. Some cities or places will not improve.

There needs to be an environment component to every water district, and people that use it. It is in everyone’s best interest.

If you use that tool from EWG, one of the biggest problems is the water districts themselves and how they provide treatment to water. That means looking up the pollutants in your water, quite telling. It takes just a few minutes. It also recommends what type of filters work with work with what types of problems.

With regard to water quality, we always take samples and have them analyzed in country and back here in US. Often, mining wastes bring heavy metals into play and we have to bring our expertise into play as best we can into very limited supplies of water. I’ve been working in Latin America for over 35 years now (not continuously) and never left a place worse (often the same). Words like “always” don’t do sweat equity justice. Some–many NGOs–do get things wrong and overpromise, fail to get the science/engineering right, EWB has a pretty robust system to prevent making things worse, even if we can’t always make things better–sometimes the communities’ cultures cannot accommodate the required changes. Development work is an art and art does not come with a guarantee. Schools with more and cleaner water is not an “ends badly for them”. And that is just one thing our students have accomplished.


You must be following a different model than the one used here in the U.S. different isn’t always better.