I keep my eye on the “Rights of Nature”/Ecocide Movement, which seeks to inhibit human flourishing by stifling most major wealth creating activities derived from development and exploiting resources. The more I observe, the more I am convinced that this approach arises out of deep ecology-style thinking, and amounts to a neo earth religion. It is also a threat to human prosperity and freedom.
More evidence: I stopped by the Web site today of the Earth Mother of the movement, radical lawyer Polly Higgens–and sure enough, she depicts the earth as a “living being,” as indicated in the chart on her site reproduced below. From her Web Site:
No, the earth is not a living being. It is a planet. Yes living things dwell here, but the earth is not alive, and should not be treated as if it were.
Life here is brutal for those beings and entities that dwell in the Darwinian world of natural selection and survival struggle. But humans have, to a certain extent, escaped that. We fashion our environment as well as being fashioned by it. As a consequence, we are to some degree liberated from the tooth and claw of the natural world.
We could not have done that without exploiting the “bounties of nature,” as it used to be called. But because we learned to use natural resources–oil, natural gas, timber, mineral mining, etc.–we enjoy an unprecidented standard of living in the West, with longer life spans, greater health, more comfort, better lives, etc.. None of these advances would have happened if Mother Earth was deemed to be a person entitled to rights and if exploiting resources and engaging in other forms of large scale human development were international crimes. We need more of such activities, engaged in responsibly, to raise the rest of humanity to a better life, not less.
Ecocide/Rights of Nature represent an anti humanism with the potential to do real harm to the human family.