A bill of rights for the ecosystem

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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I would like to share the following quote from a friend of mine in Toronto, who has given reprint permission. He was writing in reference to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and the lengths citizens are having to go to get him to listen to their concerns. How appropriate for Plan B!

“It's like saying ‘Well, this flu was really good - it got my immune system working’. Or ‘That hurricane had the positive effect of giving the disaster relief system a good workout’. A well-run city should not require huge amounts of grassroots involvement. Citizens are having to take on, and think about, things that they elected other people to take on and thinkabout so they could go one doing their own parts in making the economy and cultural life of the city run smoothly. So, it's nice to know that we have this civic immune system and it works. Now it would be great if it didn't have to work so hard."

I keep meeting people from all over the Island who are outraged about Plan B. This is not just a small group of environmental activists but a broad spectrum of the population, including well-informed citizens. It is not just about the destruction of a particularly sensitive ecosystem, but about democratic process, fiscal and social priorities – the list goes on.

We need a bill of rights for the ecosystem. Trees deserve to be protected that have graced and served this earth for 250 years, stabilizing the soil and the tributaries, providing shelter for wildlife toensure an unbroken food chain, and reminding humans of our humble place in the scheme of things.

To learn what a governing body and its citizens can do together, watch the video on YouTube about the 100-year-old Ghirardi Compton Oak in League City, Texas. The municipality moved the tree 1,500 feet to a new park, rather than have it cut down to make way for road construction. If you want to see five big yellow machines being used not to destroy but to protect one single tree, this is not to be missed. Biologists say the tree is doing fine.

It began as Stop Plan B. Now it is Watch Plan B. At the next election it will be Remember Plan B.

Daphne Davey,


Geographic location: Toronto, Iceland, League City, Texas

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