A Lake as a Person

The morning news in Toronto’s Globe and Mail and in the US has articles that resonate. In Canada a chief of staff has resigned over a spat involving the Prime Minister’s office, a federal minister and a multinational corporation whose employees have been accused of bribery in a foreign country. In the Guardian’s US edition there is a report that the city of Toledo will vote on a legal bill declaring that Lake Erie have the same rights as a corporation or a person. The citizens of the city wish to become legal guardians with the ability to sue those who poison its water and make it unsuitable for bathing or drinking.

Both stories - and another in the Globe which criticizes the government for failing to consult with first nations people on environmental remediation - show dawning realization that how we treat the natural world has consequences. Indigenous people had a better relationship with their land. When populism, distrust of government and endless tweeting by people who should know better predominate in front page news, there are moments of hope as citizens try to take responsibility for what we do to the planet.