Corporate Rights and Environmental Rights

There’s something fundamentally wrong with the value system of a culture that gives rights to corporations while denying them to the environment on which our very existence depends.

I don’t mean “the environment” in general, but I do believe particular ecosystems and species should be guaranteed some reasonable measure of rights in a way that entails environmental protections.

The legal doctrine of corporate personhood accords corporations all of the rights attributed to an individual human being.I do not  go so far as to support attributing all of these rights to particular ecosystems and species, but they should be entitled to some measure of rights to an extent determined by a committee of legal theory specialists, environmental ethicists, and environmental scientists.

Our entire conception of the natural environment as merely means to human ends and “property” is wholly misconstrued and needs to be rethought and reconceptualized. We need a new notion of nature and environment, a notion that has implications not only for our philosophical worldviews, but for what corporations and counties are legally permitted to do to the environment (China’s continuous production of coal factories is an example of the sort of practice that should be outlawed).

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