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Earth Day countdown: Remember our Mother!

“What we call man’s power over nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with nature as its instrument.”  –C.S. Lewis “The Abolition of Man”

Bolivia is all set to pass a law that grants Mother Nature equal rights, the same rights afforded to all human beings.

“They include:  the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.”

Now, I ask you, if here in the United States corporations can have the same rights as an individual, why can’t we be as enlightened as Bolivia and grant Mother nature, our true sustenance, full rights.

I have always found sustenance and rejuvenation, spiritual and physical, in the natural world. Even before I moved to Wyoming, I was deeply attracted to its physical beauty and the richness of its wildlife.   There are so few places left where large animals still roam free, where a complete ecosystem exists, and where the natural world and its beauty awe one.

These places need special protection to continue to exist in a world that is becoming more crowded everyday, and so desperate for resources that we are willing to tear our home apart. Large animals need large spaces to forage and find food.  In our very deepest places, what some might call our sub-conscious, we share a connection with the animal world.  Whether we see it or not in our everyday lives, our lives intertwine with them.  Without them, the natural world is reduced to a nice view, humorless and cold.

I have been moved to write this blog because I am so in love with the natural world and all the wildlife it contains.  It is my small way of reminding people, in our hurried existence, of the feeling we have when we sit by a stream, or take a vacation to a lonely beach, or sit and watch bison, or get a thrilling glimpse of a wolf and her pups.   I am hopeful that people can take time from all the complex problems of todays’ society, and remember how much we need these wild places and the wildlife in them.

The legislation that is in the budget deal, and the legislation being proposed for next years’ budget, contains cuts and provisions that affect many areas.  In terms of the environment, the Republicans have an agenda to eliminate protections for these animals, and wild places, as well as the health of the natural world.   Democrats are willing to meet them more than halfway.  And our environment and its inhabitants (hey, that includes us people) are going to suffer, while oil and gas and corporate interests will be the ones to prosper.

One instance of this politicizing in this ‘compromise’ is the delisting of wolves.  This is not to say that at some point wolves should not be delisted.  But all delisting according to the Endangered Species Act, must come from scientific review, not through the politics of Congress.  This ‘rider’ to the budget would delist wolves and make that non-negotiable through the inability of the courts to challenge the legislation.  The beginning of the end for the Endangered Species Act.  When politics in Congress can decide what to delist, in what states, and where, without the courts being able to challenge it–this is a dark time.

Folks, this is only the beginning unless we wake up.  I do not usually post political statements.  My intention is to turn people on to what is good about places like the Greater Yellowstone Area where I live.  We only protect what we love, and I attempt to encourage everyone to remember our love for places like this.  But these threats are very real and will be affecting us and our children, as well as the health of the wildlife and the environment for years to come.

Earth day is coming up, April 22nd.  Let’s remember her and give her an equal vote.  Please, call your congressional leaders and tell them to give Mother Earth the same rights they have given corporations.  Tell them, Earth Day is coming and let’s legislate for Our Mother.