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Lesson #4: Rethinking everything

Listen to Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas:

“The corporation—a creature of ecclesiastical law — is an acceptable adversary, and large fortunes ride on its cases. The ordinary corporation is a “person” for purposes of the adjudicatory processes,

So it should be as respects valleys, alpine meadows, rivers, lakes, estuaries, beaches, ridges, groves of trees, swampland, or even air that feels the destructive pressures of modern technology and modern life. The river, for example, is the living symbol of all the life it sustains or nourishes — fish, aquatic insects, water ouzels, otter, fisher, deer, elk, bear, and all other animals, including man, who are dependent on it or who enjoy it for its sight, its sound, or its life. The river as plaintiff speaks for the ecological unit of life that is part of it. Those people who have a meaningful relation to that body of water.must be able to speak for the values which the river represents, and which are threatened with destruction.”

An extraordinary legal revolution that would put in practice Justice Douglas’s words is unfolding around the world This summer, Colombia’s Supreme Court declared that the Amazon is a legal person with rights—to be protected, conserved and restored.

Today, the Amazon River is in flames. It was not able to protect itself from the depredations of development, Yet there are those leaders who do speak on behalf of the Amazon, who are stewards of the forest. They need our help in this emergency. If you are rethinking everything, then go to amazonwatch.org and find out what you can do while we’re waiting to recognize that the River has a voice that must be heard in justice.

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