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Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice [Anglais] [Broché]

Cormac Cullinan

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Wild Law "First edition published in August 2002 by Siber Ink." Full description

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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  15 commentaires
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Well written but lacks depth 30 mai 2011
Par not a natural - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Cormac Cullinan's book Wild Law is inspirational. Cullinan writes fluently and rhythmically, effortlesslly carrying the reader along page after page. Even Cullinan's fairly frequent use of neologisms is not disruptive; their meaning is almost always immediately clear from the context in which they appear, and they seem fitting, new words where new words are useful.

It is true, however, that in the first few chapters Cullinan relies too heavily on acronyms representing international organizations and conferences, and it's easy to forget what each one means after it's been explained with its first appearance. This difficulty is only a minor inconvenience, however, and it pretty well disappears as we get a bit more deeply into the book.

In addition to being an accomplished prose stylist, Cullinan presents original ideas about how to deal with an increasingly fragile planet. Some of the new ideas are fairly well developed, but most are merely mentioned repeatedly, so often in some instances that I found myself mistaking familiarity for understanding when, in truth, I had only been presented with brain-storming repeitions of the same gloss.

Cullinan works as an environmental lawyer with an international clientele. It seems certain, therefore, that he is, as a matter of routine, deeply immersed in the sort of legal-rational conflictual parsing of environmentally sensitive, ideologically charged concepts and rules that provide the intellectual substance of geo-political engagement over ways to minimize environmental damage while avoiding barriers to economic growth.

Nevertheless, Cullinan is also a mystic and a romantic. When indigenous people living in the Amazon River basin tell him that their shaman, after taking traditional narcotics, is able to communicate with the tribe's natural habitat and find out what is best for both their community and their ecosystem, Cullinan believes them. Literally. Callinan's openness to mysticism is emphasized as he makes the claim that the rest of us, in our hyper-rational world, could learn important lessons from the shaman's relationship with nature.

Similarly, Callinan views the earth -- perhaps the entire universe! -- as an organism with a rhythmic heartbeat -- maybe even a consciousness! -- that is discernible if only we are committed to listening carefully enough.

In contrast with what passes for commonsense in our commoditized world, Callinan holds the animistic view that not only humans and perhaps other animals, but trees, tumbleweed-strewn deserts, mountain ranges, all sorts of natural phenomena, should be viewed as subjects rather than objects. Subjects are purposeful, as a river flowing within its banks, rising and falling with rainfall, snow-melt, and drought, sometimes filling a flood plain, and, if healthy, carrying along a rich variety of aquatic life.

Much of Wild Law will seem absurd precisely because of its hopeful, mystical, and romantic character. The rest will seem wildly impractical simply because entrenched international interests that seek to control our world would not stand for the tree-hugging, we're-all-in-this-together constraints that Callinan's proposals and rudimentary ideas would impose on their unfettered ability to make as much short-term profit as possible.

None of this bothers me. I recognize Wild Law's mystical, romantic, and communitarian limitations and, as far as I can tell, Callinan does as well. There remains, however, something else -- maybe more serious, maybe less -- that bothers me about Wild Law. Pick at random any ten-page sequence, read the pages, and then pick another ten-page sequence in the same way. The chances are very good that you'll find little or no difference in the substance of the two sequences. In short, the book is very redundant. Yes, functional redundancy, redundancy with a purpose, as in repeating a difficult idea, has a legitimate place. But Wild Law seems pointlessly redundant, as if it should have been a brief journal article rather than a book.

I readily admit that from chapter to chapter there are occasional, sometimes striking differences in detail, and Callinan's fluid prose style just keeps us reading along, not particularly troubled by the fact that we've read all this before. Still, if Callinan wants to make a really strong case for what he terms "wild law," as I wish he would, he needs a lot more substance. Nevertheless, I have to admit that I liked the book and I learned from it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Read for Inspiration, Not for Practicle Application 21 mars 2012
Par Wildness - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
"Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice" is a call for the next evolution of modern civilization. Some criticism of this book has centered on the practical application of what this book calls for - I didn't read it as a manifesto of practical change, but instead as a manifesto of philosophical change. Humans, whether we want to admit to it or not, are an integral part of the world's ecosystem; we cannot disconnect ourselves from it through scripture or cybernetics... no matter what we do to ourselves - our bodies, our brains, our religions, our civilizations - we will still be a part of the whole. Some would call this the Gaia theory, but to me it is just obvious, common sense. If you kill the predators in an ecosystem, the ecosystem will change; if you alter how we do something, it will change the ecosystem. Everything is connected to some degree or another.

What "Wild Law" proposes is that we alter our laws - our very civil structure - to take into account that we are a part of the greater system, and what we do affects that system. Unless we blow the atmosphere off this planet, whether humans are here or not and whether this planet can support human life or not, history has shown that some form of life will likely continue on planet Earth. If we can evolve our civilization to live more in sync with our planet, its ecosystem, and every other living thing, we can enhance our chances of continuing to be a part of that system.

A Guide to my Book Rating System:

1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 How to the law can help us live sustainably with the earth 15 juillet 2011
Par Malvin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
"Wild Law" by Cormac Cullinan is the 2nd edition of the groundbreaking book that was first published in 2002. In the 2011 update, Mr. Cullinan articulates a philosophy of law intended to help humanity achieve a sustainable relationship with the earth by expanding democractic rights to include non-human life. Mr. Cullinan, who has spent a lifetime in law and environmental activism, delivers an intelligent, passionate and insightful book that should appeal to educated readers who have a keen interest in environmental law, justice and democracy.

The Foreword is written by the late Thomas Berry, a theologian who has had a profound influence on Mr. Cullinan's thinking. Following Berry, Mr. Cullinan believes that humanity's rift with the natural world must be healed both spiritually and constitutionally. As the dimensions of the environmental crisis become more and more evident, the law must circumscribe human action with respect to the earth's carrying capacity or else risk a vastly diminished future for ourselves.

Mr. Cullinan shares his experiences coming to age in apartheid South Africa when discussing issues of justice. If the world as we know it is being exploited to extinction because our legal system allows it, Mr. Cullinan reasons, then those laws must be unjust. Therefore, just as South Africa's people rose up to oppose its system of racial separation, the author believes that people today must demand that nations begin to recognize the rights of nature.

Mr. Cullinan's central concept is the "great jurisprudence" of the universe which transcends human law. Put simply, Mr. Cullinan believes that the earth has rights that are independent of human rights. Not unlike The Lorax (Classic Seuss), the practical application of these kinds of laws might be to accord legal representation to trees for the right to grow, fish for the right to swim, rivers for the right to flow, and so on. Human activity would be circumscribed by the requirement to bequeath a better earth for the enjoyment of future generations.

Mr. Cullinan believes that humanity must organize into "bio-regional" communities that are commited to honoring and celebrating the life giving power of the earth. These communities might follow the example set by Ecuador to accord legal recognition to non-human life forms. Acting in concert, a "communion of communities" could help the planet begin the healing process while restoring people's sense of wonder and purpose on earth.

While some might view Mr. Cullinan's work as utopian, his views seem to be in the mainstream of progressive thought and action. For example, Noam Chomsky's description of interlocking democracies in a post-capitalist world (see Chomsky on Anarchism) appears strikingly close to Mr. Cullinan's concept of a "communion of communities." In India, it appears that "bio-regional" communities have formed around river rights. And of course, Bolivia successfully introduced the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth at the United Nations (which is reprinted here in the appendix). The evidence suggests to me that Mr. Cullinan's work deserves our attention and support.

I highly recommend this visionary book, along with Robyn Eckersley's classic The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty, to everyone interested in achieving a sustainable, democratic future.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Book the Earth Has Been Waiting For 1 juillet 2011
Par Zoeeagleeye - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
It is time to leave the centuries old left brain thinking. We've lived as if it were the only truth, the only way. The Earth has not prospered under its rule. Wild Law is a book whose time has come, and although many will claim it is "too mystical," it is time they learned to deal with the fact that there are more invisible things in life than visible.

Cormac Cullinam gives us many pithy quotes. His take on relationships is not new but the truth of it needs to be made clearer. Even Darwin said his "survival of the fittest" was misunderstood and we now know that species survive (especially the human species) not through competition, but through cooperation. Cullinam writes,
"the 'new physics' based on quantum theory revealed that the universe is a single integrated whole composed of a dynamic network of relationships."

He says, "I think that once we recognise that the universe, like a dance, exists by virtue of the cooperative relationships between all involved . . . governance should focus on fostering intimate relationships between members of the Earth Community."

Scientists the world over are rapidly coming to the conclusion that consciousness is all there is, albeit, with different levels of awareness. This is to say that a rock may not have the same level of consciousness as a deer, but it is nonetheless maintained with and in consciousness. Even Lewis Thomas (Lives of a Cell) opined that the Earth was alive and conscious. So when Cullinan tells us that shamans have communicated with their environs and have received word back from their mountains, streams and forests that all is not well, we must listen.

The book's layout is attractive, with insets for quotes every few pages. The writing is utterly clear and easy to read if occasionally repetitive. However, for me, the price alone is worth the "Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth." This Declaration includes, of course, all of Earth's "children." Here are a few of the "Declarations": "Mother Earth is a living being. She has "the right to life and to exist." She has "the right to be respected." She has "the right to continue their vital cycles and processes free from human disruptions." She has "the right to clean air." She has "the right to integral health." Two countries have already adopted this Declaration as part of their constitutions, including Bolivia and it has been debated at the U.N.

What is contained in Wild Law must be the basis for a new age of peace and plenty as has been predicted. But nothing is writ in stone. If we humans continue our profligate, destructive ways, killing our oceans until there are no more fish, destroying the lungs of the Earth, the rainforests, to feed cattle, dumping our nuclear toxic wastes into our precious mountains and consuming more than the Earth can provide, we will be opting for unimaginable suffering, possibly the end of humanity. Do we really want to bequeath this to our children, perhaps even to ourselves, for plant and animal species are disappearing at alarming rates previously unsuspected?

But we can do more than buy, buy, buy or stress ourselves with work, or sit around watching television. We can read this book and enlighten ourselves. We can let it give us new, refreshing ideas that will empower us in a good way. Cullinam concludes, "We must include practices that respect, honour and celebrate Earth and rededicate ourselves to deepening our connection with the whole." Your choice.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Good overview of a more holistic environmental legal philosophy 17 avril 2013
Par Brad B - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
Should natural communities and ecosystems have standing in and of themselves? This is the central question of the Wild Law.
The idea of expanding legal rights to non-human entities is not a new idea but this book attempts to frame a system that would give all members of the Earth Community standing within human laws. It should be taken into consideration with the works of Dave Foreman and Christopher Manes. The book is, at its core, a thought experiment on creating a system of law based on the good of the whole Earth, rather than the wants of any part there in.

I have studied anthropocentrism a number of years now and can say that this book is a good overview of an environmental philosophy that is more humble than the anthropocentric legal system we currently employ.

I would recommend this to anyone who would like broaden their understanding of human humility towards our shared environment. I wouldn't say this is the best book I have read on the subject but I enjoyed it all the same.
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