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writing for godot

We have ransacked the planet in the name of development, sometimes for need, much too often for greed. (Anwar Fazal)

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Saturday, 05 September 2020 17:19

Human rights: Food for a do-no-harm thought  ‘The rights of nature’


Human Rights Reader 543


[**TLDR** (too long didn’t read): This Reader is about the need for a process of eco-and HR-thinking conducive to fulfil the rights of nature. For a quick overview, just read the bolded text].

-A new world has emerged where ‘Banksters’ and ‘Gangsters’ are playing critical roles. …wither the rights of nature.


1. Poor Mother Earth:

  • Her circulation systems, the water and air are being poisoned.
  • Her lungs, the forests, are being wantonly destroyed.
  • Her skin and her soil are being scorched and scraped.
  • The climate change is heading towards a disastrous collapse.

Only when every technology, every process, every product goes through a deep process of ‘eco- and HR-thinking’ in a comprehensive and holistic way will we be on our way to sustainability. (A. Fazal)


Consensus is growing


-All nationalisms are (at best) apathetic when it comes to comprehensive ecological solutions. (Luis Weinstein)


2. Civilization, as we know it, is on a death watch, and just endlessly blaming is a delay tactic when what is needed is action. One can ask: Why this inexorable march to civilizational self-destruction? Let us be honest, capitalism/money/advertising have outspent us in promoting a sick ‘ever more’ attitude. We purport to be helping many people, but we have not changed the system that is violating the rights of nature --not one iota.


3. Resistance has not yet made a dent. Much of what we love will perish --people, ideas, forests, sweet little towns… Can we afford slowing down? Think along the lines of: “If I do this, that will happen…” Activism (eco- and HR-) is my drug of choice in combating the grief that is present when people drop their efforts to change a dire situation. Look at how we have participated in the chain of consequences that have brought us to the hard times we are in. We have accepted without taking up the commitment to be the most courageous humans we can be. Accepting, you are just a comma in the book of humanity. Fate is not sealed though. We must not think how helpless we are. Our task is not to fight them or it, but to fight the many ways we avoid doing the hard thing: Face where you are! Feel the burn --and then do what your heart, not your mind, tells you. (Vicki Robin)


4. Environmental activists ought never to omit painting to claim holders the cost of inaction: Attempts to dramatize to them where we are going to end up are warranted. The purpose is to reinforce the sense of urgency, not to create a dooms scenario and, certainly, not to make people feel guilty. It is about trying to jumpstart a global process of increasing the number of people who understand these trends and give a damn and decide to do something about it. (Welcome Greta Thunberg!) This, because our societies have lost every sense that we are fighting for something at a planetary scale and not to patch-up the same kind of world that is responsible for the current chaos. Many come to this position grudgingly.


5. Always remember: Nature alone is not responsible for the crises the planet is experiencing. Man has a hand in getting the world to where it is today. Decisions and non-decisions have contributed and are contributing to it.


6. One cannot fully fault international organizations either in relation to the current state of our planet. In the case of the UN, they are only the executors of what the respective member states agree to support. The Paris Agreement of 2015 was the first binding agreement on climate approved by all countries and, now, the US withdrew. (Rene Castro and Fernando Ayala)


Climate change, climate breakdown or climate harm?


-Progress on climate change remains elusive. This just may be the world’s greatest collective action problem with rational solutions hostage as self-interested decisions of nations, corporations and certain individuals are making the chances of such collective action impossible. (AXIOM)


7. Climate breakdown is the term I use, because calling it climate change is like calling an invading army 'unexpected visitors’ so climate change is such a ridiculously neutral and passive term for the existential crisis we face. (George Monbiot)


8. Climate harm is the term preferred by others since the damages inflicted on nature are from human interventions. (FIAN Colombia)


9. It is ultimately individualism and competition in the market that have removed us from the imperiled environment and from the consequences of climate breakdown as much as from HR in general --the latter, because environmental justice goes hand in hand with social justice.* (Luis Weinstein, Francine Mestrum)

*: Capitalism, it seems, lacks the attention span required for social and planetary survival. (The Guardian)


People cannot understand the world as a gift unless someone shows them how (Robin Wall K.)


10. So, then, wait a minute! What should we do? The future is now! It is time for new utopias focused on equality in economics**, on government and on justice. For a life worth living, we can and must do better! (DW)

**: Economics here is about cooperating with rather than embarking in a conquest of mother nature.


11. In this endeavor, we ultimately need a humanity that gets used to two basic ideas: a) There is much more life in our planet than human life --since the latter only represents 0,01% of life in this planet, and b) the defense of life-in-the-planet-as-a-whole is the sine-qua-non condition for the continuity of human life. (Boaventura de Sousa Santos)


12. Finally, among many other, ponder:

  • Indebted countries have mortgaged their future. Nature puts up the collateral.
  • When the awesome power of coal and petroleum was unlocked, who could have predicted that by burning up the past, we would imperil everything to come? (Astra Taylor)
  • Record amounts of pesticides are being used. It now amounts to more than a pound of pesticide for every man, woman and child on earth. So much is used that it is destroying the predators and parasites that are the natural enemies of the pests. …and, did you know? The US is the pesticide arsenal of the world.
  • Water seems to be available only in the wrong places, at the wrong time and in the wrong quality. The earth’s pure water reservoir remains constant and cannot be increased. Therefore, the need is to concentrate on the reprocessing of water. …and, did you know? a) Watering lawns accounts for half the daily usage of water in the high income households in the US, and b) The US Defense Department consumes 75+% of the energy consumed by the federal government and more than any single corporate user.


Claudio Schuftan, Ho Chi Minh City

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