No matter what you believe in — Christianity, Hinduism, Atheism, Sean Hannity — there's little debate that humans on this planet exist with a certain degree of impact. Environmental. Political. Social. It's the nature of cohabitation. Force a bunch of people, of anythings, to live in a confined space for several centuries and shit is going to hit the proverbial fan. There's no argument there. Where the argument intensifies is what the hell to do about it.
Do we stop reproducing to soothe our conscience and end the evil before it escalates? Do we stand united and direct the collective energy into a new dawn through consciousness conductivity, recreational drugs and dubstep? Or do we drill baby drill and embrace the rapture?
One thing that needs to be made clear is that with or without us, the earth is going to be just fine. Whenever we talk about saving the environment what we really mean is saving our environment. Most animals don't shit where they eat, except sheep. And Humans.
Which is what the Bolivian has decided needs to change. In Bolivia there is a government that has a creative vision of life on this planet that puts our quality of life on a realistic plane. Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, is a controversial person. However his vision that the value of life — all life—has merit and it is the first time a government has made this kind of leap. Bolivians believe that we cannot survive on this planet if we fail to see that human life cannot exist without nature. Read that sentence again.
Think about it.
The Law of Mother Earth is the first legal measure giving the Earth its day in court. It's the first law that states Mother Earth has the right to maintain the integrity of living systems and natural processes that sustain them, and capacities and conditions for regeneration, the right to preserve the functionality of the water cycle, and the right to preserve the quality and composition of air for sustaining living systems and its protection from pollution among other things.
Developed by grassroots social groups and agreed by politicians, the Law of Mother Earth recognises the rights of all living things, giving the natural world equal status to human beings. In America we give this legal priority to corporations.
A major obstacle is the fact that Bolivia is structurally dependent on extractive industries. In 2010, 70 percent of Bolivia's exports were still in the form of minerals, gas, and oil. This structural dependence will be very difficult to unravel. But it isn't a hurdle with diminishing stature, nor is it one EVERY country will face in the future.
According to TheRightsofNature.org, the law requires the government to transition from non-renewable to renewable energy; to develop new economic indicators that will assess the ecological impact of all economic activity; to carry out ecological audits of all private and state companies; to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; to develop policies of food and renewable energy sovereignty; to research and invest resources in energy efficiency, ecological practices, and organic agriculture; and to require all companies and individuals to be accountable for environmental contamination with a duty to restore damaged environments.
Time will tell if Bolivia will crumble from within before or after the rest of the world because of this incredible law.