John Muir once said, “The clearest way to the universe is through a forest wilderness.” It is quite fitting really, for the woods have, since the beginning of time, provided us with everything from food and clothing to clean air. Day in and day out, sometimes without our knowing it, we use something which has roots that can be traced back to a forest somewhere. Claims by indigenous tribes of the forests’ magic and connection to all life in the world don’t seem so far off when you think about it.
For all its influence in mankind’s existence, you could say that the forests are nature’s form of public service. One contribution, in particular, has shaped man’s way of life.
She has no legal training, and doesn’t speak the Spanish that dominates government in Quito but indigenous villager Maria Aguinda helped bring a landmark judgment against US oil giant Chevron for polluting the rain forest she calls home.
The diminutive grandmother whose modest home sits near marshes clogged for decades in sticky oil has been at the heart of the David-and-Goliath case, and spoke out after Chevron was slapped last week with a $9.5-billion fine, among the heaviest ever handed down for environmental damage.
A community triumphs over greedy polluting corporations. To read the rest of the article, click here or the link above.