I am the river and the river is me.

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

I am the river and the river is me.

Postby Wildhorse » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:23 am

Today the NYT ran this story about a wonderful development in the laws of New Zealand.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/world ... .html?_r=0

For the first time, the land itself will have rights to protection under the law, the same rights as a person. If the land is harmed, legal action can be undertaken on behalf of the land itself, and not just on behalf of people who may be harmed when the land is harmed.

From an ecological perspective, this is a major advance. It builds into the laws of New Zealand a deep ecological perspective. I hope it spreads around the world.

New Zealand’s attorney general said that the new legal status reflects a Maori worldview, “I am the river and the river is me.” It also reflects a Darwinian worldview. What Darwin advanced was not the idea of survival of the fittest, but rather an understanding based in science of the relatedness of all of life and the earth and the stars.

I am the river and the river is me. I am the mountain and the mountain is me. I am the earth and the earth is me. Understanding who we are makes a big difference to how we live, and how we hike. It is why we will go gently on the land, if we understand who we are. It is why we will go often to the mountains or the rivers or the deserts, if we understand who we are. It is vital to life to identify ourselves with the biological region where we live. That is Maori way, and the deep ecology way. It is amazing that now this way is built into the laws of an important nation.
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