Topic #4 – Rivers Are People Too

Topic #4 – Rivers Are People Too
The main ethical issues here are:
1) Do natural entities like rivers have “rights” like those accorded to humans? See especially the chapter on
rights in your textbook (Chapter 5).
2) What are the implications for humans should we grant rights to non-human entities? Are humans’ rights
infringed if we grant rights to a river, for example?
What should be in your paper:
1) A discussion of the background history and present situation.
2) What are the arguments for granting rights to environmental entities like rivers? What are the arguments
3) What might happen if rights were granted to many of our other natural resources (e.g., forests, animals)?
4) What are the potential implications for business, agriculture, development, and “human rights” in general?
5) Some statement of your feelings on the matter, supported by facts and concepts of global ethics.
Some sources to get you started (I expect you to include sources other than these!):
1) Search “Environmental Personhood” using the fUSIon library catalog: . You will find
LOTS of useful information there.