One thought on “Should Rivers Have Rights?

  1. Fished two of those mentioned in the linked piece – the mighty Baker in southern Chile and the Ganges of India.

    Notional “River Rights” together with a huge, well-managed, far-reaching populist campaign probably can save a river like the Baker, which is fortunate to flow in a pretty developed, well-educated and comparatively affluent and sparsely populated country, but as for the much loved, indeed held sacred by a BILLION-plus Indians, poor old Ganga Mai – Mother Ganges … well, rights, like freedom in that old Eagles song Desperado, is “just some people talking”. And it’s going to take rather more than talking to save the Ganges and a lot of other rivers around the world now. Heck, we Brits can’t even save many of our best trout and salmon rivers, on some of which today’s fly fishing was pretty well invented. But a tiny, same-sort elite few sure make a pretty good living from talking a lot – talking a good but ineffective game – about them!

    Bad Teacher’s Report: 4/10. A neatly written, well-presented essay but one lacking in real substance and content. More connection to and participation by the vital grassroots, the local people on the ground that you don’t seem to want around and spoiling your view, needed. Only these, people with a stake in their local swirl of water, will save them from predator politicians, dam builders and hit-and-run, big and small Bucks-makers of every size and stripe.

    I am reminded of the current concern about Plastic Pollution. A lot of people are talking about it at the moment, after seeing a female pilot whale carrying her dead calf that had died as a result of possible plastic and chemical pollution, on the BBC – David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, which made a lot of TV viewers shed a lot of tears, then demand that “Something must be done!”

    This had the effect of kicking some vote-hungry politicians briefly into crowd-pleasing gear.

    Then the angry public forgot about the issue, too – especially the vital middle-classes, people who really know how to make a convincing noise about something that they’re concerned and angry about (but all too briefly, sadly).

    Brilliant spoof magazine frontpage by the UK’s venerable, satirical Viz Magazine recently – ‘Middle Class Plastic Eschewer’. I hope that this Twitter link will take you to it. Google ‘MCPE’ if it doesn’t.

    Now think RIVERS….

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