The Corner

Energy & Environment

Florida Democrats Adopt ‘Nature Rights’ Platform

An alligator named Muja eats a quail in its enclosure at the Belgrade Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. Muja is officially the oldest American alligator in the world living in captivity. He was brought to Belgrade from Germany in 1937, a year after the opening of the Zoo. Muja survived three bombings of Belgrade, WWII, and all hardships the zoo went through. (Marko Djurica/Reuters)

The Florida Democratic party has come out against enterprise and human thriving by endorsing “nature rights” into its official platform. From the FlaPol blog story:

Almost overlooked at the Florida Democratic Party’s bi-annual convention in Orlando last weekend was adoption of a platform resolution that includes potentially revolutionary language for efforts to protect Florida’s environment.

One of the “be it resolved” clauses in a “Demand Clean Water” resolution approved by the party’s general meeting includes a handful of key words: “recognizing and protecting the inherent rights of nature, as we have done for corporations.”

The seemingly odd wording is a nod to an emerging national legal strategy in the environmental protection community, one that already is appearing in other statements in Orange County and elsewhere. The effort is to legally declare that rivers, lakes, forests, estuaries, reefs, or other natural features may have inherent rights against degradation, which can be defended in court, much as corporations have been found to possess inherent rights.

The “almost overlooked” part of the story is the problem that could allow this radical approach to personalizing nature — a neo-earth religion, if you will — to be insinuated into our national politics. People hear that mosquitoes, pond scum, frogs, and viruses — all parts of nature — will have “rights” and roll their eyes thinking, “Oh please. Leftists are not that nuts!”

Yes they are! The anti-humanists aren’t fringe in environmentalism any longer, and indeed, are coopting legitimate environmentalist advocacy.

Make no mistake: “Nature rights” isn’t about stopping pollution. Rather, it allows anyone to sue to protect nature’s supposed right to ” exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.” That’s akin to a right to life. (Apparently, human fetuses aren’t considered part of nature.) That means any use of the natural world that disturbs what would otherwise exist in the wild is subject to legal attack.

Imagine the lawfare extortion possibilities. At the very least, major, job-producing enterprises could be brought to a screeching halt. Try getting a liability insurance policy if the carrier knows anyone can sue to protect “nature’s rights.”

I predict nature rights will make it into the Democratic platform next year, or at the very least, will receive a sympathetic hearing. State legislatures and Congress need to thwart this drive by passing laws stating that no non-human animal or aspect of nature has any standing in court or any enforceable rights. (The Ohio Legislature did that after Lake Erie was granted rights. Good thing the governor is Republican. A Democrat might have vetoed!)

Do it now, before it is too late!

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