That's the way it was on the first Earth Day in 1970.
In 2011, we still haven't seen a huge shift in our national conscience. Giving nature its own rights still seems a bit far-fetched, but I personally like the idea:
Environmental philosophers and other people say that biological communities — ecosystems, habitats, species and populations — have a right to exist. They’re not just valuable because they’re someone’s property. Environmental lawyers say courts should recognize this right, and could allow people to represent nature as legal guardians or trustees.Hey, if the U.S. courts insist that corporations are people, then why shouldn't an ocean or a river have rights too?