Latest Tactic in the Environmental Left’s Drive to Obstruct Human Progress Is to Declare That Plants Have Rights

Activists line up during a rally in the Twin Cites area last summer to protest pipeline initiatives in Minnesota -- both a threat to the environment, critics say, as well as a false hope for economic growth. Sierra Club photo

If plants had rights, would you even be able to mow your lawn?

Laugh if you want, but that’s the direction far-left activists like Winona LaDuke want to take us. “Manoomin (wild rice) now has legal rights,” she wrote in a recent column. “At the close of 2018, the White Earth band of Ojibwe recognized the ‘Rights of Manoomin’ as a part of tribal regulatory authority. The resolution states, ‘it has become necessary to provide a legal basis to protect wild rice and fresh water resources as part of our primary treaty foods for future generations.'”

Per LaDuke, among the rights the tribe gave wild rice were the “right to a healthy, stable climate free from human-caused climate change impacts” and the “right to be free from patenting” and the “right to be free from contamination by genetically engineered organisms.”

So it’s not just energy development which is put at risk by this initiative. It’s everything from pharmaceutical advancements to the food industry. And once this foot is in the door, why stop at wild rice? If that type of plant has rights, don’t all plants? From the wheat we harvest for our bread to the trees we harvest to build our homes?

I can sense your eyes rolling, but I should point out that the activist lawyers who plug up our regulatory agencies and court system with endless objection and litigation over any sort of energy project anywhere are anxious to get started making filings on behalf of “wild rice” and other plants.

This from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund:

White Earth’s Rights of Manoomin is groundbreaking. “This is a very important step forward in the Rights of Nature movement. This would be the first law to recognize legal rights of plant species,” Mari Margil, associate director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund explained. White Earth and the 1855 Treaty Authority worked with CELDF and its International Center for the Rights of Nature to develop the draft law. […]

“Remember, at one time, neither an Indian nor a Black person was considered a human under the law,” [Tribal Treaty executive Frank] Bibeau reminds us. “Legal systems can and will change.” And in the meantime, the Ojibwe move forward.

Read that again. These people are comparing giving plants rights to civil rights movements for human beings.

Before we overreact, remember that this is the Ojibwe making policy for their own land. It has no bearing on policy outside of tribal lands. Still, we should take heed, because the activists behind this policy are also active on non-tribal lands.

“Environmentalism is growing increasingly radical and anti-human,” warns Wesley Smith at National Review. He is calling on the various state and federal governments to pass legislation declaring that plants have no legal standing in any court.

He’s probably right. You wouldn’t think we’d have to, but it’s best to get ahead of this sort of thing.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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