Earth Day 2011 – Maude Barlow and Vandana Shiva on the rights of Mother Earth


On April 22, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviewed two leading public intellectuals: Maude Barlow, Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and Vandana Shiva, well-known author and environmental justice activist. Maude Barlow and Vandana Shiva explored the concept of the rights of Mother Earth, just as a proposal to recognize the rights of Mother Earth was introduced at the United Nations by the government of Bolivia.

With all the incredible environmental degradation we have witnessed recently–everything from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, to the ongoing destruction being wrought by the tar sands and hydraulic fracturing in North America, to the increase of extreme weather incidents brought on by climate change, to the very recent nuclear disaster in Japan–this Earth Day program is a timely reminder of the urgency of re-examining the relationship between our species and the world we inhabit.

We are nothing without Mother Earth–she gives us everything–and we must accept that we cannot continue to dominate her for our own selfish and greedy ends. If we are to survive, we must change our mindset, we must learn humility, and we must live as a part of nature, not divorced from it.

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