Earth Day 2003

Happy Earth Day!

I’ve been reading Rod Nash’s Rights of Nature, which discusses the greening of politics, religion, philosophy and such. Today’s reading included a discussion on the extension of rights to non-humans. We currently extend rights to our citizens, but how about non-citizens, or animals, or plants, or the soil? What rights do these beings have? A right to a clean and safe environment? A right to exist?

The father of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson tried to ammend the Constitution to guarantee every American “an inalienable right to a decent environment.” Seems like a good start to me. Besides, Nature has a will to exist that supercedes our delegation of rights. We probably won’t be around to see it though.