The Corner

Now It’s ‘Resourcism!’

The movement to grant “nature” human type rights continues with insufficient pushback. In fact, law schools are getting into the act. The first annual “Rights of Nature Symposium” will be held at Tulane University Law School in October.

And now, nature has apparently received its (her?) official victimhood designation.

If you are a bigot against nature, you are a nasty resourcist who is guilty of “resourcism.” From the San Diego Free Press story:

The most fearless environmental philosophers – thinkers like Susan Griffin, Neil Evernden, Derrick Jensen, and John Livingston – have insisted that we will never be safe so long as the natural world we depend on is objectified and valued only for the way humans use it.

Livingston calls the objectification of nature “resourcism” and explains: “A ‘resource’ is anything that can be put to human use … It is the concept of ‘resource’ that allows us to perceive nature as our subsidiary.” Livingston notes that once the nonhuman “is perceived as having some utility – any utility – and is thus perceived as a ‘resource,’ its depletion is only a matter of time.”

Because our legal system currently defines nature as property, “resourcism” is institutionalized in American law. While climate change worsens, water continues to be polluted, and the collapse of every major ecosystem on the continent intensifies, we must conclude that our system of law fails to protect the natural world and fails to protect the human and nonhuman communities who depend on it.

I think it would be more encompassing to call it “earthism,” and those who discriminate against any aspect of nature could be called “earthist.” But why give them ideas?

It’s easy to laugh. But in the last few years, three rivers and two glaciers have been declared to be “persons” entitled to rights. The “river rights” movement has also been launched in the US.

Two countries–Bolivia and Ecuador–have instituted the rights of nature as have more than 30 U.S. cities. Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon also supports the concept.

I say, people need to pay more attention to this movement and push back hard. Otherwise, one fine day, you may find yourself sued by your back-40–represented by a radical environmentalist–seeking to enforce its “right to exist, persist maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions in evolution.” 

I need a drink.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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