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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Another US Grant of “Rights” to “Nature”



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Anti-humanism is spreading like a stain, with the environmental movement becoming particularly misanthropic. Case in point: The rise of the “nature rights movement” that elevates the natural world to moral equality with human beings. 

In this view, if we want to develop the land or exploit resources, flora and fauna must be given “equal consideration.”  Ecuador and Bolivia have put nature rights into their constitutions, and more than twenty US cities have likewise–including Santa Monica (where very little of “nature” remains, meaning the ordinance is purely ideological) and Pittsburgh. 

And now, Yellow Springs, Ohio has signed up to the anti-human cause. From the Akron Beacon Journal story:

On Oct. 1, the Yellow Springs Village Council voted 3-2 to adopt a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning corporations from conducting shale gas drilling and related activities in the village. The ordinance was drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) at the invitation of the community group Gas and Oil Drilling Awareness and Education (GODAE), a group of citizens concerned about the potential effects of gas and oil drilling on the environment.

Yellow Springs is the first municipality in the state of Ohio to enact a local Bill of Rights and protect those rights by prohibiting shale gas drilling and fracking and the ensuing injection wells. The first of its kind in Ohio local law asserts the fundamental rights of residents to clean air and water, and to protect the rights of nature.

Fracking is just the pretext. The law–as others like it–could be used to legally attack any human activity that impacts nature, which essentially means most economic endeavors:

In addition, the ordinance recognizes the legally enforceable Rights of Nature to exist and flourish. Residents of the village shall possess legal standing to enforce those rights on behalf of natural communities and ecosystems.

You want to know how to stop human thriving in its tracks? Allow this movement to grow.



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