EARTH MEANDERS: The Rights of Earth
The Rights of Earth
… and All Gaia’s Creatures to Ecological Self-Defense
July 29, 2010
By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Gaia – the Earth System – is alive and like any living entity has rights. Earth has a right to not be stripped of its vegetative skin, its flesh mined, body punctured by wells, ecosystems liquidated; and precious water, air and oceans tainted. Gaia has the right to peacefully exist and to be free of harm, violence or ecocide (to be murdered). Air, water, land and ocean ecosystems are Gaia’s self-regulating internal ecosystem organs. All Gaia’s creatures possess an equal claim upon a fair share of her bounty for continued existence. Yet Gaia has a right to prohibit at any time, using any means, any one species from over-running the biosphere and habitats shared by all.
Sadly the industrial, speculative and unsustainable capitalistic economy benefiting some humans is killing Earth. This growth machine in population, economy and inequitable consumption has established as the norm an immoral, short-sighted way of life based upon eating ecosystems and children (or at least their future) to wantonly consume and grow a bit more. If cumulative impacts of human ecosystem destruction upon Gaia continue; the Earth System dies, taking humanity, all life and creation with her. The current paradigm’s emphasis upon growth at all costs is so pernicious that almost certainly only revolution, fundamental social change and personal transformation can eradicate it.
Earth’s life – from seeds to plants, bees to trees, plant communities to ecosystems, and all life in between – is remarkable. We are witnessing the end product of 3.5 billion years of glorious evolution, now being cleared for toilet paper and fish sticks. Three hundred years ago humans began dismantling these priceless biological and ecological systems that provide their habitat for growth in population, economies and consumption. Somewhere around the time Europeans spilled forth to enslave and conquer the world, this idea was lost. These ideals of ecological colonialism – equating ecosystem destruction, biological diminishment, hierarchical subjugation and growth in virtually everything; with progress – have spread globally, creating a world of over six billion human super-predators. These beasts exist upon the flesh of Earth, and are raping her supine bounty for selfish self-aggrandizement.
Ecological Internet is not the first or only one to note limits to growth and collapsing ecosystems, however we are amongst the first to diagnose people’s power Earth Revolution on Gaia’s behalf as the only workable means to achieve ecologically sufficient solutions for global sustainability. Humanity has a long history of expanding rights necessary for a broader sense of well-being to humans, and has fought just revolutions and wars to broaden this sphere of rights. The very same Europeans whose worldview led them to slaughter natives and natural ecosystems developed the Rights of Man, later amended to include most women and races. In just the past few hundred years humans have made great strides in personal liberty, freedom and equality that rank amongst the greatest human achievements ever. Monarchy and systematic slavery have largely been banished from Earth, and this is true human progress in understanding the nature and rights of being.
Sadly human liberties remain incomplete, fragile and are not universalized. Billions continue to live under authoritarian regimes, women are not given equal rights in most places, billions more are unable to exercise personal liberties as gross economic depredation leads to a scramble to survive, and the dominant economic system of hierarchical capitalism continues to bind most to a life of slave wages. Shockingly, two billion live on under $2/day, just under a billion each lack fresh water and food. And a system of elite rule remains firmly entrenched. Yet the idea that all humans are created equal and enjoy liberties and freedom has become established and continues to be perfected. Now what of the rights of Earth that makes human rights possible?
The Rights of Earth and all creatures will surely be the next great expansion of revealed truth and natural law. The non-human world – the air, water, land, oceans and their plants and wildlife – provide the living context for all biological existence including, for now, humans. Together these ecosystems, organisms and their ecological processes and patterns combine to create Gaia – a living, self-regulating organism – who’s right to exist is independent of human notions of value. That is birds, plants, trees, wildlife, wetlands and other ecosystems have intrinsic value; and a right to exist independent of human needs and wants. The disease that permeates the human condition is to continue viewing Gaia as mere resources for consumption, rather than being acknowledged as the ecosystems that make all life and the Rights of Man possible.
This state of enraged human ecocide must end immediately at all costs. Humans are entirely dependent upon Earth for every aspect of our existence. Continued ignorance, greed, fear, or just giving up because we are overwhelmed are not options. Each of us is now called to be the greatest of the great generations and save Earth from ourselves, by granting and enforcing her rights. Earth has the right to continue evolving. It has the right to be free from human geoengineering technology that further destroys creation. Earth has the right to not have its skin – natural terrestrial ecosystems – peeled from its body. Water – the Earth’s blood – has the right to flow freely creating the conditions for life. Earth has a right to bounteous oceans, to be toxic free, to not drown in carbon and nitrogen.
Earth has a right to exist independent of any other human concern – including growing the economy and population, providing outrageous consumption for some and little for others, or any obligation to lift the over-populated poor from material poverty by destroying the future. The biosphere has a right, indeed an obligation, to continue functioning regardless of whether this inconveniences the wants of any one species or some of its members. Without Gaia there is no being; no singing, politics, love or making love, dance, sport, economics, living, or anything. Earth’s rights are paramount over every other consideration. As the foundation of known being, Earth is the ultimate truth. Gaia is God.
Earth and her humanity and all creatures are poised upon a precipice of total and complete ecological and social collapse. Earth has the right to mercilessly slaughter any creatures that threaten the integrity of the whole and other parts. Insofar as knowledgeable humans can positively help, Earth’s ecocide must be resisted at all costs using all means, or being ends and there is nothing. Should the human animal – the current rulers of Earth (for now anyway) fail to expand the notion of the Rights of Earth, and stop its pervasive dismembering of Gaia, it will be to their own detriment and eventual demise. As one species amongst many, continued human being and shared survival depends upon taking a hard turn back to Earth, natural ecosystems and Gaia’s defense.
Gaia and all creatures including humans have a right to ecological self-defense. Gaia – and those with global ecological vision acting on her behave – have the right to eradicate the disease consuming being. Earth has the right to inspire revolution on its behalf. The past movements and revolutions to end monarchy and slavery are examples but not blueprints. Earth and those human defenders whom have evolved to fully appreciate their connection with Gaia have a right to take any and all reasoned, thoughtful actions deemed strategic to protect and restore Gaia – ranging from protest, boycotts, civil disobedience, swarming, sabotage, non-cooperation, insurgency , guerrilla warfare to global peoples’ power Earth Revolution.
The meaning of the rest of enlightened human being is protecting and restoring ecosystems making up our habitat – air, water, land, soils, fish, oceans, toxics – and to make a just, equitable and sustainable world for all Gaia’s creatures. You are encouraged to hurry back to land and dedicate your being, your very life, to Gaia. Provision of Earth’s right to exist means getting back to the land to protect terrestrial, water, ocean and atmospheric ecosystems. Organic gardening, permaculture, population limits, ending coal and old forest logging and much more are keys to Earth and humanity’s survival.
All our shared futures, all life’s survival, are being determined now. If Gaia undergoes much more ecosystem loss and diminishment, and her human inhabitants fail to turn the corner to embrace ecological protection and restoration, it almost certainly will be too late. Earth and her defenders have all rights to use escalating revolutionary tactics, to do whatever is necessary to avert an end to being. Indeed all global citizens that understand what is at stake for the planet and all of Gaia’s shared survival have a sacred obligation to slay the growth machine, banish speculative and industrial capitalism, and return to a rewilded, relocalized and a just, free, equitable and ecologically sustainable Earth.
Simply, the environmental movement lifts its game and embraces radical tactics or it’s over. What is continued being worth to you? What sacrifices are you willing to make? Are you willing to organize, sacrifice, protest, prepare, sabotage and revolt? Would you die fighting for Earth’s continued being? A people’s power Earth Revolution must be built. Long-standing campaigns, protests and petitions will continue and expand. Some may engage in leaderless resistance Earth revolution, forming autonomous cells with friends, to clandestinely sabotage the growth machine. Continued intransigence by the elite, and a full-scale Earth insurgency may be necessary, and there should be preparations now.
We are at a point in history where any future revolutions would rightly find indiscriminate killing intolerable. There is no need for terrorism, and this is not what is being discussed. Yet there are so very many soft property targets for sabotage within the growth machine. To say “violence is never the answer” as Earth is dying by known perpetrators relegates biosphere and society to apocalyptic ecological collapse which will assuredly not be non-violent. It is well past time for the global ecological sustainability movement to carefully consider all options and begin escalating its tactics. Or we can just roll over with Gaia and die.