Another Earth Day has come and gone, with my family and me observing it in the same fashion as always. We committed to spending the entire day on this planet, enjoying its bountiful supplies of air, food, and free political theater. And speaking of the bizarre entertainment options offered in the media, perhaps none were quite as interesting as a proposal headed for the United Nations to give “Mother Earth” all the same rights and entitlements as any human being:
Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country.
The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit” — to the point that the “well-being and existence of many beings” is now threatened.
The “bid” in question purports to provide the third rock from the sun with a variety of specific rights, including “life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.” Unfortunately, Gaea rarely seems inclined to actually speak to anyone aside from a few indigenous shamans who’ve eaten a fist full of psilocybin mushrooms. Therefore, the planet would be represented by an ombudsman, “whose job is to hear nature’s complaints as voiced by activist and other groups.”
A tremendous proposal, as I’m sure we can all agree, but it hardly goes far enough. After all, representation in the United Nations or any other collaborative body doesn’t mean very much without a vote. Clearly, if this proposal is to have any teeth, we need to ensure that a new seat specifically for Mother Earth is added to the hallowed hall of the UN. Perhaps the chair could be occupied by a large chunk of highly resonant quartz accompanied by an aide from the aforementioned shaman sect who interprets the planet’s wishes on each matter.
It should also be a no-brainer to point out that the Earth is far bigger than any single nation and, as such, should immediately be given a permanent seat on the Security Council. If we’re worried about the seating limit they can just drop the United Kingdom since they seem pretty busy with a wedding or something anyway.
Then there is the extremely troubling Lilly Ledbetter question which is left unaddressed here. The Earth puts in all sorts of work on the behalf of humanity, ranging from what amounts to stoop labor in the form of watering crops on six continents to high end environmental engineering where it filters vast amounts of our waste. How is it that the planet has yet to receive a single paycheck for all this? Clearly reparations are due, even if it bankrupts every industrial nation in the world.
The Bolivian proposal also puts mining and similar activities under greater scrutiny. After all, you can’t just have a bunch of sweaty men in hard hats poking and prodding into the Earth’s various orifices without so much as a by your leave, can you? When this activity is viewed alongside the many dubious chemical cocktails we’ve dumped into the ground over the years it becomes obvious that some sort of date rape scenario has been taking place. A simple allocation of money and voting rights may not be enough here. All of humanity is probably in line to spend a few years in jail.
As usual, though, the denizens of Turtle Bay are on track to place all the blame on mankind while ignoring the bigger picture. It’s not just homo sapiens who are pillaging the planet, but life forms of all kinds. Every plant that grows has, for billions of years, been robbing Mother Earth of valuable minerals as well as water. The time for payback is at hand and, as such, I propose that the United Nations include an extensive program of defoliation to put an end to the plundering. Bolivia can lead the way on this important measure by setting fire to the rain forests.
But that doesn’t mean we can let the rest of the animals off the hook. It is a well known fact that cows are steadily destroying the planet’s atmosphere with their incessant production of gases. This is one of the most easily addressed problems, but don’t expect the United Nations to demonstrate the required spine to tackle it. That is why Americans need to take the lead in this critical area and put these cows in their place once and for all.
Eat them. Eat every last one of them as quickly as you can. The rights of the planet hang in the balance.