Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagNature Rights

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Beautiful autumn tree with mushrooms and moss in forest

The Anti-Human “Rights of Nature” Movement

Environmentalism is growing increasingly antii-human. Just look at what Milwaukee County did.

Environmentalism is growing increasingly anti-human. The “nature rights” movement epitomizes the misanthropy. If the suppose rights of Nature (with a capital N) were ever enforced legally–human thriving would be throttled by elevating the entire natural world to quasi-personhood status deserving — at minimum — equal consideration with humans. Moreover, nature rights laws generally allow anyone to sue to enforce nature’s supposed rights, which would mean that human enterprise would be subject to lawfare by the most extreme environmentalists. Milwaukee County has jumped on the bandwagon. From a formal “Resolution Supporting the Nature Rights Movement:” WHEREAS, major bodies of water within Milwaukee County, including the Menominee River, Milwaukee River, and Fox River as well as Lake Michigan, provide essential biodiversity and wildlife habitats; andWHEREAS, these Read More ›

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Top view on blue ocean waves. Nature background.

The United Nations is Considering Granting “Ocean Rights”

Why is granting “rights” to oceans becoming a thing?

The “international world order” is increasingly radical in its environmental engagement and anti-human in the policies it promotes. In the great cause of “saving the planet,” scientific precepts and empirical analyses are being cast aside in favor of a neo-earth religious mysticism. Latest case in point. Environmentalist ideologues were invited to promote a plan to grant “rights” to “the Ocean” (singular, with a capital O) at the recently concluded 2023 United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) meeting in New York. “Ocean rights,” Wesley? Are they kidding? I wish. “Ocean rights” is a subset of the “nature rights” movement that elevates “Nature” (with a capital N) above human thriving and pursues a quasi-earth religion approach to managing the natural world. The “rights of nature” Read More ›

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Reflection of mountain range in lake, Grand Teton National Park

Should We Give Nature “Rights”?

The nature rights movement is more ideological than rational

The major science journals are growing increasingly hard left politically. The prestigious journal Science, in particular, has swallowed progressive ideology–including supporting the “nature rights” movement. The rights of nature–which include geological features–are generally defined as the right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.” Nature is, of course, not sentient. So, this campaign is really about granting environmental extremists legal standing to enforce their policy desires through litigation as legal guardians serving nature’s best interests. But the movement has a problem. It is clearly ideological rather than rational. So now, three law professors and a biologist writing in Science urge scientists to promote the agenda by giving courts a scientific pretext to enforce nature rights laws, or even, impose the Read More ›

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View of the Great Salt Lake at sunset, at Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Should Great Salt Lake Have Rights?

The nature rights movement keeps making inroads into establishment thinking — and people keep ignoring the threat

The nature rights movement keeps making inroads into establishment thinking — and people keep ignoring the threat. The concept has now been advocated in a major opinion piece in the New York Times. Utah’s Great Salt Lake is shrinking — a legitimate problem worthy of focused concern and remediation. Utah native and Harvard Divinity School’s writer-in-residence Terry Tempest Williams — who focuses on “the spiritual implications of climate change” — makes a strong case that the lake is in trouble. A Conservationist Approach Her proposed remedies reflect a proper conservationist approach worthy of being debated: Scientists tell us the lake needs an additional one million acre-feet per year to reverse its decline, increasing average stream flow to about 2.5 million acre-feet per year. A Read More ›