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Compare and contrast.

If someone had suggested this idea back in the  late 1960s or the  very early 1970s there would be much winking, nodding and  chortling at the mad addled hippies and their high-falutin’ ideas , but listen to this one …..Bolivia is about to pilot  a  “Law of Mother Earth”. It’s  a  new social and economic model based on the   protection of and respect for nature.Bolivia is to “become the first country in the world to give nature comprehensive legal rights in an effort to halt climate change and the exploitation of the natural world, and to improve the  quality of life for the Bolivian people”.

Once fully approved, the legislation will provide the Earth with rights to: life and regeneration; biodiversity and freedom from genetic modification; pure water; clean air; naturally balanced systems; restoration from the effects of human activity; and freedom from contamination.

Now , some of you know that I’m just a bit of an old hippie , so you’ll not be surprised that some of us have been thinking along these  train lines for many years already .We’ve just been waiting for another few people out there  to catch up and join us in the carriage.. This “out of the box” plan  has been developed by grassroots social groups and agreed by the  politicians.The Law of Mother Earth recognises the rights of all living things, giving the natural world equal status to human beings. They’ve now just to tidy up the details.

Listen to that…”giving the natural world equal staus to human beings”. That’s  basically saying that old  Planet Mother Gaiia, that  huge “eco -being”  that we live on, like so many little germs,is to be treated in the same way as human beings. Well …that may or may not be a good idea depending on your perspective and how the human beings you might know are actually being treated at the moment . That’s only semantics though. Let’s take ourselves  out of that tight wee mental  box and board that space rocket and get up there and have a really good look at our home -planet.  That’ll be taking us all back to that amazing photograph of the earth from outer space that featured on the cover of “the Whole Earth Catalog”{sic}..  some forty years ago …Remember the W.E. Catalog? ….That’s the huge partwork of  alternative ways of living from 1972 or thereabouts …. that inspired Apple Computers…right? Keep up!

Now the Bolivians are on the right track, I think ….– Their  culture defines  Mother Earth as a dynamic and “indivisible community of all living systems and living organisms, interrelated, interdependent and complementary, which share a common destiny.”A community , in other words….or a body.

I couldn’t put it better myself.So there you go ..they’re on their way to try and save the world by legislation from anything from global warming to  de-forestation …anything that is  altering our climate and gradually destroying the planet for our children and grandchildren.

But wait…the news is just coming through from Stormont in Belfast . Apparently the DUP will not agree to appoint a Sinn Fein member as Speaker in the house even though he is next in line and in a shared Assembly  it was already agreed  that Sinn Fein was  to share the job. Now I know that many in the DUP believe that Mother Earth is a much younger lady than she really is. They’re being more than charming  not mentioning the lady’s age….but….. Some of them actually believe  that she is a mere 6,000 years old and that mankind co-existed with dinosaurs .I suppose if your understanding of the earth’s history is based on that movie “10,000 Years BC” { did they not look at the title , even?}… where Raquel Welch cavorted about in  the ever -decreasing   rabbit skin bikini , you may believe stuff like that…. but for the rest of mankind who can read ,reality is clearly different .Many of them think that Global Warming does not exist either, even though the icecaps are visibly melting in front of David Attenborough’s eyes.

i do believe it will be a very long time before our politicians ever catch up on Bolivia’s vision of our future and board that train with them. My fear is that the entire train will be washed off the tracks while they argue at Stormont about the colour of their shoelaces.

Shoe-gazing is being taken to new levels …..


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