Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

I wrote previously about how President Correa of Ecuador, who gave rights to nature in his new constitution, was pushing a new mining law. The indigenous people objected, and relied on the constitutioanl rights of nature to protect their region from exploitation. Well, now riots have broken out and been forcibly dealt with. From the blog Upside Down World:

A number of leaders have been arrested and other protesters were beaten and shot at by police. Campesino and indigenous protesters, who depend on clean water to farm and for drinking water, are demanding that the government shelve President Rafael Correa’s proposed Mining Law, saying that it would be a social and environmental disaster. The rural blockades follow months of regular protests in Quito and other parts of the country.

Protesters also argue that the law contradicts important provisions of the new constitution protecting water, the environment and indigenous peoples’ rights. The document drew international attention for awarding legal rights to nature. The new constitution, approved by popular referendum in September, is the centerpiece of Correa’s first term.
Idealistic Leftists—ya gotta love them. This is the lesson: Nature rights, if literally applied, would put a complete end to human flourishing. That may be what the loony environmentalists want, but that isn’t the way of the world. Nature will have rights when the powerful and the elites say it will have rights because it meets their ends, whether political, financial, or ideological. There will be times when it will be used as a powerful club to prevent human activity. But that will be because it serves a purpose for those on high. It was never meant to be a ready tool to protect the poor and indigenous people.

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles