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The Life and Death of Words, People and Even Nature

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Posted on May 1, 2013
Kim Alaniz (CC BY 2.0)

By Eduardo Galeano, TomDispatch

(Page 2)

Nature Is Not Mute
(June 5)

Reality paints still-lifes.

Disasters are called natural, as if nature were the executioner and not the victim.

Meanwhile the climate goes haywire and we do, too.

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Today is World Environment Day. A good day to celebrate the new constitution of Ecuador, which in the year 2008, for the first time in the history of the world, recognized nature as a subject with rights. 

It seems strange, this notion that nature has rights as if it were a person. But in the United States it seems perfectly normal that big companies have human rights. They do, ever since a Supreme Court decision in 1886.

If nature were a bank, they would have already rescued it.

Eduardo Galeano is one of Latin America’s most distinguished writers.  He is the author of Open Veins of Latin America, the Memory of Fire Trilogy, Mirrors, and many other works. His newest book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History (Nation Books) has just been published in English.  He is the recipient of many international prizes, including the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, the American Book Award, and the Casa de las Américas Prize.

Mark Fried is the translator of seven books by Eduardo Galeano including Children of the Days.  He is also the translator of the recently released Firefly by Severo Sarduy. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook or Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Nick Turse’s The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare.

Copyright 2013 Eduardo Galeano

This post is excerpted from Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History Copyright © 2013 by Eduardo Galeano; translation copyright © 2013 by Mark Fried. Published by Nation Books, A member of the Perseus Group, New York, NY. Originally published in Spanish in 2012 by Siglo XXI Editores, Argentina, and Ediciones Chanchito, Uruguay. By permission of Susan Bergholz Literary Services, New York City, and Lamy, N.M. All rights reserved.


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