Of biodiversity, climate change and law
Commentary by Bertrand Bhikarry
Rough times are ahead for we who inhabit Earth, a time which requires great understanding of
everyone’s needs. Yet if the voices which only represent human interests remain the loudest, it
may well be that the other species will not benefit in any outcome. It’s not that the animal and
plant kingdoms aren’t saying things, its only that most of us just do not understand the language.
Its obvious that people giving lip service to the the topic will end up far short of a fix for urgent
environmental issues. So let’s talk a bit more, one more time.
Claiming love and empathy for the others who live here is a sure way to be sidelined in today’s
world. True, no one is actually deemed unsound in mind for saving a tree anymore, even fish
population observers can claim they do a meaningful job, right alongside those who make a
living doing avian migration studies. However the real contributors to society’s progress are
those who feed the mills of our economy, or add more comfort to our daily lives. You can see
why we venerate the scientist who modifies living organisms to produce more food, over an
environmental advocate who insists we already have enough food, but we just need to distribute
Its a lifestyle and developmental paradigm that needs urgent readjustment, and in quick time,
because humans are not the center of this world, even if we do make the most impact on it. The
threat of Climate Change, whether it was brought about by a natural cycle of events, or was
inadvertently created by our need to reinvent our surroundings is a fact of life that we must face.
That it’s a threat which will deliver its blow to the next generation - our heirs actually, is the
main reason not enough of us are concerned in diminishing or readjusting our usage of natures
assets. The truth of the matter remains; If the expected events foretold for Climate Change were
upon us now, the political will, the social conscience of entire nations would have been in
alignment to face the clear and present danger.
So Draconian measures will have to be taken at some point to enable our masses to deal with
CC, there’s no doubt about it, but until that time where we will be told what we must do, we can
enjoy the civil mediums of education, consultation, and democracy. As an eye opener, here are
two topics which make for good bedtime reading for the next five years at least. These are
investigative peeks at what biodiversity loss will mean to Earth, and by extension, what it will
mean to us humans. Another interesting theoretical journey that dovetails is the increasing use of
environmental law to protect Earths other inhabitants.
Granted these are broad topics to lump into a single pre-slumber article, but there is huge overlap
in the topics. Let’s look at some background. We will start by ooking at those who came before
us, and at those who will come after us. But it’s not too early to pity the latter group. They will in
essence be suffering the pains caused by the inaction upon which we persist.
It’s been stated that Ancient Man was quite good at understanding ecology, but there was a key
factor for that. His nomadic lifestyle meant that he needed to be in a place of plenty in order to
eat. He needed to be in a stream in order to fish. It can be argued therefore that our ancestors
were better at living at one with nature, but it can be refuted that they did not have the benefit of
insulated clothing and rubberized footwear as we do, so they had no choice.
So that’s how the practice of agriculture developed. Man eventually learned to provide food
without moving . It seems all the problems we face today has derived in some sense from this
ability of man to stay in one place, and to control the ‘environment’ in which he chose to live.
After agriculture, came the need for law and order, because boundaries had to be made, where
before there was simply no need to demarcate one’s Place beyond temporary campsite etiquettte.
Thus did the “law’ evolve to protect the owner, or those who owned the static assets, against
those who had no ‘landed’ wealth. If today we wish to use a practice of Law to protect the
environment, it becomes fairly obvious that the fundamentals of ownership must be reviewed.
Indeed, it must be remembered the very rules of this country are based on Westminster Law,
with tenets designed to protect a landholders holdings from the grasping hands of the proletariat.
Obviously to seek to dispossess the owners of land in these times, to take away ‘rights’ which
were always held inviolable is just not a consideration that will gain traction. It takes no stretch
of imagination therefore to project that in the future, only when the well-being of all humans are
threatened, will such laws be rethought, or simply pushed aside. It’s happens all the time.
Remember Martial Law? Two more things to bear in mind; humans will not make decisions to
benefit the animal kingdom above themselves, nor does man give up property, even if he is truly
at death’s door.
So let’s welcome Climate Change, let’s say goodbye to mankind as we knew it. The next set of
humans may survive, but there will not be anything left to them that they may thank us for.
Certainly it will not be an archaic ruling that one can own and use everything left by ancestral
proclamation - Especially not if it means the wider community stands to suffer. If history is an
indicator, the future may belong to nomads once more, as the environment creates its own law.