ijnz5yyg      U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (served on the Court 1939-1975) had the audacity to suggest that wild nature could have legal rights. A lifelong outdoorsman, this made sense to him; in the age of corporate-friendly U.S. Presidents (Republican and Democrat), he seems an anomaly, a lonely voice of reason against the nature-destroying policies of large corporations and the governments they control.

And now: along comes Juan Evo Morales Ayma, President of Bolivia since 2006, anathema to both the Bush and Obama administrations. While there are minor differences between the past two U.S. administrations, two areas of agreement include dislike of wolves and dislike of anti-corporate socialists.

Adding to Evo’s list of crimes (from the standpoint of the Washington, D.C. politicians owned by the corporations) is one most remarkable. Ignored by reporting in mainstream American media, Evo and his government have gone a step further than Justice Douglas, and made recognition of the biosphere a matter of law.

According to an article in Earth, We Are One, “Bolivia has become the first country in the world to give nature comprehensive legal rights in an effort to halt climate change and the exploitation of the natural world, and to improve the quality of life for the Bolivian people.” Whether or not this is the first step in saving the earth is unclear, but it could give the American corporate politicians a nervous breakdown. At least, I hope so.

Believing in the sacredness of earth and the collective good of all beings (including us) is a radical notion that would have been readily understood by the worst of the early communists such as St. Paul and St. Francis of Assisi.

Evo’s “Law of Mother Earth” should be the law of the land. All land.

{Portrait of President Morales, stock photo from the web}

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