Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Should Wilderness Have Rights?

I'm headed out to BC to attend Speak to the Wild. I'm looking forward to both the speakers (including Candace Savage and Trevor Herriot) and to visiting the wilds of Wells Gray Park.

One of the topics is whether wilderness should have "rights". It's a good question.

Traditionally, wilderness has been something to be conquered, subjugated, tamed, extracted from, and profited from. The idea of it having "rights" was not a big issue.

To me the question is somewhat nonsensical. It's a bit like the mice trying to decide whether the other occupants of the house have rights. (Fleas on a dog might be a better analogy.) I'm one of those "traitors" to the human race that think that nature and wilderness are actually more important than people.

Of course, the other side of the question is what the chances are of actual getting wilderness rights into the law. I'd say slim to none in our current political climate of democracy by the money, for the money. We are far too full of greed and lust over extracting and selling our natural resources. If anything we're more likely to continue the trend of weakening ("streamlining") our environmental laws.

In some respects Canada has lots of wilderness left (unlike many countries). But the sad fact is that there is nowhere remote enough to escape destruction if some extractable resource is found there.

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