Industry / Apocalypse Soon / Human Rights / Indigenous Rights / Nature / Climate Change / Life in a Warming World / Trees

Should a Tree Be Able to Sue the State?

Posted On: Dec 3, 2021   |   Posted By: The New Republic

An otherwise quiet corner in British Columbia, Canada, has become one of the most spectacular struggles for forest preservation in North America in recent decades. For more than a year, the Rainforest Flying Squad has fought root and leaf to protect the old-growth forests on Fairy Creek. There, on southern Vancouver Island, 75 percent of trees are estimated to be more than 250 years old, and some are older than 1,000. Yet companies are allowed to log this “white rhino” of forests, as one biodiversity report termed the rare, ancient ecosystem. So 24 hours a day, volunteers guard blockades against the logging industry and the police attempting to enforce their timber rights. “What gives you the right to cut down trees older than Western society?” one of the Fairy Creek protest signs asks. It's a prescient question. The matter of the tree's rights-to clean air and water, to profits, and maybe to existence itself-is looking like the next frontier of global climate action. Across the United States, humans are...

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