Thursday, December 25, 2008

The 7th Generation

I had the idea that it would be a good thing for Greens to make an issue over the 7th Generation Amendment. I first learned about it when reading more about Winona LaDuke. You can read her comments on the amendment here. I like the way that she starts.
The preamble to the US Constitution declares that one of its purposes is to secure "the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity." Shouldn't those blessings include air fit to breathe, water decent enough to drink and land as beautiful for our descendants as it was for our ancestors?
From that basis, she argues for the adoption of a 7th Generation Amendment to the Constitution. Please click Read more! to see what I can glean from that.

From what I can see, the major backers of the 7th Generation amendment were Native Americans. LaDuke was one. The late Walt Bresette also wrote well on this issue. He gave the background but also got the crux of modern legislative practice.
Iroquois Chief Oren Lyons, in an interview with Bill Moyers, said that Benjamin Franklin turned to the Iroquois among others in trying to shape a better form of government. Apparently he listened and included elements of Iroquois governance including the concept of posterity.

Franklin's posterity, found in the Preamble, was the Iroquois concept of providing for the 7th generation. Chief Lyons said that as the Iroquois leaders contemplate policy they must always factor in how today's decision will affect the 7th generation into the future.
It is clear to see that the questions of what would secure the blessings for our posterity do not come into the discussions about cleaning up the air from diesel smoke, or preserving the water in the California Delta. The future generations barely become a concern when talking about global warming even though that is the ultimate challenge for all future generations and most likely the one on which we will all be judged.

This will end up being a series of posts. There is too much to consider: politics, work load, group focus and on and on. Getting to into one single post is difficult. However, like they have written at Treehugger, the current burst bubble economic catastrophe may just be the impetus we need as well as providing the time to get something done.

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