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July 29, 2010

EARTH MEANDERS: The Rights of Earth

By Dr. Glen Barry, Ecological Internet
Earth Meanders come from Earth's Newsdesk

...and All Gaia’s Creatures to Ecological Self-Defense

The Rights of Earth

Gaia – the Earth System [search] – 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 the right to have it's human load lightened, so that it may heal, and to be ecologically restored to its original condition.

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 behalf – 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 protests, boycotts, civil disobedience, sit-ins, swarming, sabotage, non-cooperation, insurgency, guerrilla warfare – all stages in an escalating global peoples’ power Earth Revolution until global ecological sustainability is achieved.

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 the 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.

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Comments

Dr.Barry,

I feel the very same way.
I believe oil is Gaia's blood and should never be taken away frm.
Also,
did You know that when her Ocean creates soil.etc. erosion she does this specifically to obtain minerals from.
Man has stripped her and raped her.
I believe She will fight back with a vengeance.
And the only ones to survive will be the evolved.
That leaves humans out.
Nature that evolves always finds a way.

This article provides insight into the many bad decisions that humans have made in fostering the development of industrial civilization at the expense of what was available from the evolving organism that is Gaia. However, it does not note that the construction, operation and maintenance of the vast industrial organism, Tityas, entails irreversibly using some of Gaia's limited natural wealth. People power can lead to wiser decisions but natural forces will, as ever, determine what can be done to ease the demise of Tityas.

Shelley Anderson describes non violence as “a continuous and radical struggle to stay human by always recognising the humanity of others”.

Unless we take a non-violent approach we are lost.

Thanks Glen. Beautiful and powerful.
However, I don't agree that it makes sense to say that the Earth has rights. Frankly, it just sounds silly. It is one thing to talk about animals having rights. That just about works. But to talk about trees having rights, or rocks - it just turns people off. It makes you sound like a New Age nut.
The line of thinking that I am pursuing in my current work is three-fold. It is: (1) That we have an absolute responsibility to other beings (I mean sentient beings), PRESENT AND FUTURE, that we owe them our all; (2) That our relation to these beings needs to be primarily one of love and care, not of 'rights' or 'justice', which are concepts that only really fully apply among potential equals who can make claims against each other; and (3) That just genuinely loving future people (and future animals) would be enough to save the whole ecosystem - because we creatures are utterly dependent on that ecosystem being functional and relatively intact.
Check out my stuff on this at http://eastanglia.academia.edu/RupertRead/Papers#130847
I'd love to hear your views!

No growth of living communities can grow forever. Economics and subjective whims does not justify our population growth. Our planet is not made especially to increase our GDP or provide for endless human growth. Already our oceans are suffering from overfishing, wildlife are being eradicated, peak oil impacts are looming, and the carbon age is coming to an end. It was cheap oil, scientific knowledge and the industrial revolution that allowed colonial expansion and population growth. Our numbers will eventually be at a sustainable level, and either stabilise or reduce our numbers, or Nature will do it in a way that will not be in our best interests. It used to be populate or perish, and now it is populate and perish!

Thanks for the interesting and timely paper.

While i agree with much of it I am not a worshipper of earth/ Gaia as deity. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ - the Trinity/ Yahweh is God - the earth and its systems are His awesomely beautiful and complex creation upon which our natural life depends.

I agree that some form of revolutionary action maybe necessary - but am concerned that the targets be very legitimate, and will cause the maximum pain/loss to the destructive agencies of the planet- with out destroying human life.

God will destroy those who destroy the earth- as the book of Revelation records- Gods covenant with humanity.

But for those who become believers/trusters/followers of Christ there is a new heaven and a new earth coming down from the heavens. Why? - I believe it maybe because He knows we will have trashed the first one He made beyond restoration.

Be assured He will not let any humanity into the new earth if they are untransformed, unsanctified and unchanged in regard to planet stewardship, care and sustainability.

May the Lord uphold the justice of your cause and lead you into the knowledge of the truth that will save you to the uttermost, make you to experience His full shalom, sanctification, blessing, and fruitful effectiveness (in ever increasing measure) both on this earth and the next.

In the name of Jesus of Nazareth Messiah.

Thanks again - the earth and its systems is a huge, essential concern and i appreciate and highly value the good work you do in bringing the truth out re. its state at humanity's hands.

sincerely

Valerie Philp

"I don't agree that it makes sense to say that the Earth has rights. Frankly, it just sounds silly. It is one thing to talk about animals having rights."

Why would it be "silly", Peter, to give the Earth/Nature rights? All living things depend upon a healthy thriving natural environment, and this depends upon natural cycles and processes such as water and air purification, oxygen production and soil formation. If we do not give nature rights, neither humans nor other life forms have any rights because we utterly depend upon nature for our survival. We are one and the same as nature. Nature can exist without us: we cannot exist without nature.

It's time for a reality check, it's time to take sides. It's people vs planet, whose side are you on? http://bit.ly/ddTm1u

Capitalism is entirely and inexorably dependent upon continual material growth. So when you drum all the other possible systems out of town, you are left with this. If only we could help the millions of decent conservative people, whose lives depend upon this sort of rape of the earth, there might be more hope. Let's start with ourselves, unless we're lucky enough not to have voted in a capitalist government.

This is so well-written. Could I have permission to put it ( with all of your contact information of course) in my blog here on the Gulf Coast ? It's called Notes from the Gulf. Also a link on my webpage www.spiritgatemedicine.com? Warm wishes, Bonnie McLean

Your thoughts and ability to express them is awe inspiring. Beautifully written.

Hi Dr Glen Barry

I read this and realised , yes we are doing so many things to help the beings on the Earth, but what about the Earth itself, what is she going through in all this, and I feel desperate to help

I think the only way we can combat this situation is to come together as world citizens as our world leaders, the big corporations and the big businesses are not working on our behalf, also the media is controlled and so the public are not getting the correct information.

I live in Melbourne Australia, and I advocate a peaceful diet which gives me a low carbon, and low methane and nitrous oxide footprint, I work as a volunteer freelance reporter for a TV channel located in LA which focuses on ways to help the planet and the species living here

I have put this information up on my facebook, as I know we now have to pull together as citizens to help our planet, our Home through this ordeal, I would Love to do more to assist

I feel very sad that the world has been taken advantage of like this, and I would like to do what I can in my capacity to assist

Yours sincerely
Penny

set a good example...

Hi Dr Barry,thankyou for this.Everything you say is true and must be done....love and peace to you and love ones.

Earth will heal from our excessive abuse without the human species;...yet, since we are directly responsible for the degradation and disrespect of her gifts, we need to first realize we are inseparable from our true sustenance. The human arrogance of self-importance has become grossly apparent. The corporate elite herd the masses into a deadening slumber of exploiting our life-sustaining earth for a delusional sense of power and geocidal consumption. One may not feel Earth has rights, yet I can guarantee that she has exquisite intelligence to detoxify and rejuvenate the diversity of life humans have treated with immense prejudice.

I think there are some interesting points made in the article. My comment however is directed at the the message of Valerie Philp who like most "Christians" believe that whatever we do is OK as long as we repent and we ask forgiveness "God" will fix it and make it alright. That kind of thinking is in great part how we got to this place to begin with. We can rape and pillage nature and we'll be given a new nature to rape and pillage when we've done this one in. It is long past time for humans to take personal responsibility for what we have done and continue to do and not count on being bailed out. For over 2000 years since the "take over" of primal religions we have taken ourselves further and further away from the source and from our planet which sustains us, depending instead on a bunch of male-dominated dogma that had allowed continuing expansion of greed and plunder. Only a return to the feminine and a respect for all things, (yes that include rocks and trees) and a return to our prime connection with nature will save all of us.

Thank you Dr. Barry, The abuse to the planet is beyond understanding at times. But I believe the planet will take care of itself. I believe like Valerie Philp that when the Body of Christ is full, we will see much tribulation as predicted. Way beyond anything we can imagine. God predicts he will destroy this planet and bring a new world. Like he did at the beginning of Earth. The Planet will go on forever it is eternity, but it will be changed and He says there will be no oceans like it was in the beginning of Earth. Lets hope He comes soon because He will be filled with wrath and pay back time is not going to be good. I've loved the planet and being part of nature. We have to throw out the World Idol=Money.

All fine sentimented comments, but how many of the above contributers still drive or take oil-fuelled transport to work, shop, take the kids to school, etc?
How many have decided to really make the changes required and work from home, install a wind turbine and solar panels, harvest rainwater, grow their own organic vegatables, let the kids cycle to school...?
Words are easy, but to really make change happen, we have to do it ourselves, individually.
I made the decision back in 1995 to change things. I now work from home, enjoy 'free' electricity, my vegatables and eggs taste wonderful and my children are both healthy, fit adults with a love of excersise, thanks to cycling 5 miles to school and back every day from the age of 7 years.
It is no good leaving poor God to clean up the mess and sort it all out - that's simply a 'cop-out'. We must do something about it ourselves.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

In the developed world, we have our idols. They are fast/cheap travel, cheap unsustainable buying habits, among others. Despite the rather new age tone of the article, I agree with it's premise; that we must be good stewards of what we have been given. Just because we life thousands of miles away from the rainforests, doesn't mean we're not affected by the deforestation occurring there. Just because we live in a large city, doesn't mean the oil spills in China and the Gulf don't affect us.

We all should do our part to be good stewards of land, water and air. Just like the ABC's of healthcare (airway, breathing, circulation), we need a similar protocol of health for our planet.

Thank you for the interesting article and challenging topics,
Tim

Nothing will change and the hideous swollen human population will continue to increase and devour the Living World unless ALL the world's women are given reproductive rights.

Patriarchy is based on the hatred of both women and nature. Both supposedly exist to be exploited.

For the last 6,000 years of patriarchy, the uterus has been appropriated for the forced breeding of an endless supply of consumer/worker/soldier/breeder units to keep the global economy endlessly growing—like cancer— to enrich those at the top of the global economy.

When women have reproductive rights, they choose to have fewer children.
The Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010 (HR 5121)

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-5121

would save the natural world by gradually and humanely reducing the number of humans destroying the environment. Elaine

Hi, Dr. Barry...thanks you.
This article shows that people was created to encourage industrial development, with the lead killing the surrounding ecosystem. In fact many are dying ecosystem caused by man himself.

There will be enough violence as Earth goes through her healing process. What we as human inhabitants need to be focusing on is how in biological terms we can create a mutually beneficial and symbiotic relationship with the ecological systems which make up Gaia.

Hi Dr. Barry - with respect to healing the Earth, there is an important initiative taking place here in Canada. Parvati, Canadian musical artist and energy healer/yogi, is trekking to the Magnetic North Pole in 6 days! Charged with purity of heart, clear intention and willingness to serve, Parvati is making this courageous journey to a small, desolate island in the Arctic Ocean known as Ward Hunt Island, where less than one month ago, a chunk of ice the size of Bermuda spontaneously calved off the glacier. She will become the first ever to perform at the magnetic North Pole, and will offer her songs to help raise awareness of the global ecological impact of the melting polar ice caps. Learn more at parvati.ca

Good Day Readers.

I m from Malaysia, call it a developing country. I notice awareness saving the earth and the intergrity is known and practise by the develope country. Unfortunately in my country.... they only talk about it but never put their word in action. They are breaking all the rules available/exist in preserving the environment. But if you ask them in theory.. they can tell you wonders. So pls help me.. tell to my country man.. to practise what ever they say. Only talk no action, that is Malaysian.

I agree with Elaine above. Many of our problems are simply caused by overpopulation and the ever growing need for more food, oil, water, etc. resulting in the unsustainable 'rape' of our planet - which is only going to get worse.
'Reduce, Recyle and Reuse' is the sustainability motto in the UK, but what happened to 'Reduce'? We should start with World population.