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The Green Rights project is about peoples’ right to Air, Water, Food – the very sources of life. Without them, we die. And in most nations – more than 180 nations, in fact, citizens are legally entitled to these essential elements of life.

But not in Canada or the United States. And that’s what the Green Rights multi-media project is all about: the human right to a healthy environment, and Mother Nature’s right to be respected and protected.

Your Green Rights – the Film

Green Rights is about the dramatic, innovative legal battles going on in nations around the world: The Philippines, Argentina, The Netherlands, Ecuador. It reports on dramas in the courts and on the land, where devoted citizens and courageous lawyers take on national governments and global corporations – and win. And it asks, Why not in Canada? Why not in the US?

The capstone of the Green Rights project is a feature-length documentary, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. You can view the four-minute trailer below.

Published April 2014
Standard YouTube Licence

The film was produced and directed by master videographer Chris Beckett, and written and hosted by noted author Silver Donald Cameron. Cameron and Beckett are also the producers of The Green Interview, a subscription website that now includes extended interviews with nearly 100 green warriors from all over the globe.

Green Rights – Warrior Lawyers

wl-front-cover-4-1Silver Donald Cameron is also the author of the Green Rights book, Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth – fifteen interviews with trailblazing lawyers from nine countries, plus a wide-ranging interpretive essay by the author.

Warrior Lawyers begins with a saucy, entertaining essay of 13,000 words exploring the concept of environmental rights, recounting some spectacular success stories rooted in those rights, and articulating the lessons and strategies that can be drawn from those victories. The essay is followed by lightly-edited Green Interviews with the 17 pioneering lawyers from eleven nations whose stories are at the heart of the essay.

“Moving, terrifying, inspirational – these stories stand as a beacon of hope in our troubled world,” says Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians.

“You get to the end,” says celebrated environmental journalist Alanna Mitchell, “and you realize you have feasted on revolution and hope.”

You can order the book at this link: Warrior Lawyers.

One motor home, 6,000 km, and The Mother of All Book Tours

After the release of the book and the film in September, 2016, Don and his wife Marjorie embarked on a transcontinental promotional tour from their home in Nova Scotia, lecturing and speaking about the book and related topics, and screening the film, in universities right across Canada. Marjorie Simmons, also an author, promoted her own new book, Year of the Horse. They travelled by motorhome along with their Shetland Sheepdogs, MacTavish and Franki. The promotional tour was featured in the National Observer.

I had the privilege of meeting both Don and Marjorie at a Senate Speaker’s reception during their stop in Ottawa. The reception was followed with the official launch of the film in the Pearson Ballroom of the Lord Elgin hotel.

All of the material for this post is sourced from the Green Rights project.


Green Rights - Air, Water, Food, boomer warriorSilver Donald Cameron is a versatile author, executive producer of The Green Interview as well as a distinguished educator. As a writer his subjects include history, politics, public affairs, travel, literature, community development, nature and the environment. Don is married to Marjorie Simmons, also an award-winning author and essayist. You can find out more at About Silver Don Cameron.

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  1. Sorry but nature doesn’t recognize any of those “rights” for us or any other animal.

    If any animal, including the human animal overbreeds it’s resources, or destroys it’s environment, it will suffer dire consequences like unbearable thirst, starvation, disease then DEATH.

    THAT is our “future” mass starvation, wars, disease then mass deaths because we will not, cannot stop producing too many MORE HUMANS!
    Then add resource decline & global warming & we are triple doomed!

    We have NO “RIGHT” to water, food, shelter protection from predators or even breathable air.

    Just look at how “well” prayer “works” for sailors in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean, see how they PRAY, DEMAND, BEG, CRY FOR WATER see how much water they get, NONE!
    Watch them all DIE!
    More proof that we like all other animals have NO RIGHTS TO RESOURCES!

    You can DEMAND from your “representatives” clean water, shelter, air & food but they can choose not to provide you with that, they can & have been IGNORING OUR NEEDS!
    Lot’s of luck getting those corporate puppets to listen to you or any of us, WE ARE NOT PROFIT & that’s all they care about, $$$$$$$$$$!

    There are no “clean, green, renewables” that can produce electricity, their as “clean, green & renewable” as my OLD 1991 Honda CRX car is & I do not consider my old car a “renewable” so why do people keep insisting that solar cells, wind turbines, wave generators, solar salt generators, hydroelectric & nuclear power etc – “renewable”??????

    Dr.Cameron isn’t a very good example of where we need to be, he’s driving all over the country with his MEAT EATING DOG IN A BIG FUEL GUZZLING MOTORHOME that probably gets about 12mpg if that, spewing pollution everywhere he goes!
    With “examples” like that, we are quadruple doomed!

    • Sheila, you are, of course, right about the explosion of the human population as being out of balance with the rest of nature on this planet.

      And, yes, you are correct that we are still reliant on old, gas-guzzling vehicles, contribute much to the poisoning of the Earth, and haven’t as yet found truly efficient renewable solutions to our energy needs.

      However, surely you agree that humanity must try to rectify the problems we have created for ourselves? I can’t imagine that you are advocating that we do nothing and just impassive lying watch our world implode due to apathy about all the hopelessness of it all?

      • Even though I think it’s way too late & our uncontrolled & rising population will undo anything we try to do to mitigate the situation, I still don’t drive more than I must but where I live if you don’t drive, you don’t function, there are no other options than dial a ride & they will come to pick up ONE PERSON in a BUS!
        My small car gets better fuel mileage than that bus.

        I see no way we can avoid collapse of both the economy & our DEADLY overpopulation.

        Even without global warming, we will collapse because we are so far into overshoot & with resources & fossil fuels in decline, food shortages will increase, with climate change, food shortages will happen sooner & impact more people sooner.
        We have been so dam STUPID!!!
        I knew decades ago that we MUST STOP POPULATION GROWTH or there would be a collapse & now with 7.5 BILLION HUMANS & STILL GROWING + resource decline + global warming, we are triple DOOMED!
        I am so GLAD I chose to NOT have children knowing what I knew then & even more so with what I now know.
        I am no “brain” but I guess I must be “smarter” than most because I stopped believing in things that have been PROVEN to be untrue a long time ago but most people still believe in that “Santa Claus” in the sky & life after death, HOW DUMB!

        Sure you can do all you can to reduce YOUR footprint but with the UNSTOPPABLE human population GROWING at 80 MILLION MORE HUMANS EACH YEAR, your efforts will be SWAMPED by the millions of new human mouths each year added to our poor, dying, planet.

        The situation is hopeless now, do what you love & love what you do, that’s all there is left for us now.

        • Sheila, you and I are alike in our approach in as much as we don’t have children (by choice) and we are thrifty in as many ways as we can. I do agree with you on the runaway population too.

          I don’t really know if we can do a lot to mitigate our over indulgent practices, but I do know that the imbalances in overpopulation in all other animal species do eventually rebalance. For instance, Canadian seals (a sore point with competing fishermen) will eat fish stocks until they are too low to support a large population of seals and caused starvation die back. Then, fish stocks recover a d the cycle continues…

          Right now, humans are out of control… Stripping resources down to bare minimums, but if you are watching world wide events unfold, you will have noticed an increase in conflicts and wars. Regardless of the political motivations, humanitarian aid, religious convictions or just downright hand wringing over what is fast becoming a prelude to world war 3, we are going to see vast numbers of people die! It is a rebalance of nature, no matter how cruel it may seem.

          We can avoid a doomsday scenario but it seems we are not yet frightened enough to do so. Peace, security, and cooperation only occur when there is mutual benefit. When there isn’t enough to go around, someone, somewhere, has to die.

          • I had a long elaborate comment here that got erased somehow & I’m sick of composing a long blabber & then getting it erased before I have even finished!

            Usually it’s FACEBOOK & their dam “do you want to leave the page” pop up that will then delete my post & send me to another page even after I have selected “NO” in their little box!
            I must remember to compose my long ramblings on Notepad so I have a chance to compose, delete irrelevant passages etc before posting.

            This rambling screed is different from the one I tried to post but got erased.
            I think it’s also shorter. ;^ )
            Composed on Notepad.

            I think it’s too dam late to stop or prevent our collapse. By the time we get “frightened” enough, we will be collapsing & billion will be dying.

            I see no technology out there or even planned that can stop population growth, replace fossil resources AND it’s raw materials or produce electricity in a clean renewable manner in time to prevent or even mitigate collapse.

            All technologies I’ve seen that can generate electricity are tied to fossil resources & our high energy, complex, advanced civilization & thus not a “life saver” for us or our civilization.

            I think we are doomed to collapse from either just overpopulation & the decline of essential resources or from climate change collapsing our agriculture & making earth too hot for us to survive.
            I think all there is left to do now is to try & save what we can, conserve what your able too, to prepare for the worse & to do what you love & love what you do.
            I cannot predict whether we will go extinct, we might not depending upon just how badly we behave & how bad climate change gets.
            If we get into a nuclear war, then it’s all over.
            I wish I could find some reason for optimism but the evidence I’ve seen so far doesn’t leave me any reason for optimism.
            We are just too overpopulated, the influence of RELIGION is too strong & irrational thinking is infesting the highest offices of governments & the vast majority of the worlds population.
            What rationality is there for “hope”?

          • Sorry about the technical issues you’re having. I thought it might have been a problem with my site but apparently not.

            And I agree that the rational for hope is a tough argument to make. But then one must never give up. Let’s go down swinging if we must go down.

          • It is a historical phenomenon that there are a few survivors in every collapse of population, human or otherwise. Rolly is right, we must go down ‘swinging’ if we are to have any chance in a holocaust of climate change. It will be those of us who have prepared for the unthinkable that will carry forward. In my comment below, I mention the rise of nationalism as an attempt to control, but I also think this is going to happen on an individual basis too. We need to make ourselves self sufficient so that when infrastructure fails (war, weather, lack of resource, migration panick), we will be ready and able to help our friends and neighbours. We must individually start to switch to self generation of power, (solar, Wind, wave), have individual methods to purify contaminated water or sea water and do the best we can for ourselves and the planet. While I truly hope that it won’t come to this, we all have to put an insurance plan in place!

  2. Ah, it seems my comment on Nationalism has disappeared, even though I posted it (and saw it posted). So, perhaps I posted it on another thread. Sorry if my reference to it above is confusing.

  3. Repost of my Nationalism comment from…

    Our current (worldwide) political trends towards nationalism are perhaps the most interesting phenomena that indicate our ineptitude to cope with climate change and extinction of species. We have somehow garnered the attitude of nimbyism (Not in my Back Yard) to tackling deep rooted problems associated with over population and hence resource management (Aka hoarding the few resources we have for our own ethnic group within our own national borders).

    Whether ‘nationalism’ will create pockets of action to mitigate global warming trends, or actually further destroy any meaningful plan to create sustainability, remains to be seen, but I cannot help but see us as no better than our primate friends. When chimpanzees are threatened, they form individual bands and face off with each other. They raise fists and bare teeth and run fake charges at each other. This behaviour is remarkably similar to our human behaviour (especially from political elites) and it really does beg the question about who can rise above this bickering to pull us into some sort of ‘intelligent’ cohesive plan to use new tools to solve the situation. We need a leap of human evolution!

  4. Going back to the ‘Green Rights’ film… Yes, we all need those and one of the reasons for the rise of Nationalism is the feeling that ‘someone else,’ be they governments or corporations (both take our choices away from us) or other nations have decided what we may or may not do, and often don’t inform us when something they provide is harmful to human existence. They have taken on decisions that intimately affect our living space. In an overcrowded population, it is a fine balance to provide good life.

    Exponential profit and expanding economy is taking away our rights to free air, water and healthy food. Now, only those that can afford to buy those things are guaranteed a healthy life if they so choose….. Whether you are left leaning, or right leaning politically, the results are the same. We have handed over the keys to sustainability to irresponsible leaders who are not interested in preserving our basic rights to anything. If they don’t start listening to us soon, slow economic growth, reposition on regulation of corporations, and tackle a public change of gears on sustainability for all of us on this planet, we are going to see a political unravelling of stability. Anarchy is not where we want to be headed…… but it’s now on the horizon and it will take no prisoners.

  5. Composed on Notepad.
    It’s not just profits & the economy expanding to benefit a few, IMHO, I think it’s overpopulation that has led & continues to lead to growing poverty & inequality.
    The more you have of a resource, the lower it’s value & the more easily it can be abused & wasted.

    The size of the resource “pie” is limited but some of us are taking far more than our fair share but even if those resources were fairly distributed, there still would not be enough to provide everyone with enough for a decent standard of living.
    Those “developing” countries will never get to develop, their too overpopulated, there aren’t enough resources & too much is being taken from them by the rich world.

    It seems are “leaders” are blind to the DEAD END road we have taken, their only concern seems to be to enrich themselves as much as possible at the expense of everything else even a livable planet.
    I see no clue that any of our “leaders” are aware of the perilous situation we have gotten ourselves into or perhaps they realize the situation has become hopeless so they will continue on with BAU until they can’t then they probably have “plans” for the rest of us.
    From my reading of history, those “plans” won’t be good for our health.

    In spite off all the doom & gloom out there, I still think we should continue to do all we can to reduce the damage we are doing after all, no animal, no matter how hopelessly it’s been trapped, will still fight for it’s freedom.

    Continue the fight until we can fight no more.

  6. Thank you to both Sheila and Colette for such an interesting dialogue. Although the overall theme is one of pessimism, there is also an underlying current that humanity will somehow survive. It will not look like anything we have in our “modern” world but I do believe there will is a small ray of hope if one looks hard enough.

    There are a lot of good things happening everyday: the renewables revolution, the Paris Agreement, the pricing of carbon, technological innovations, the phasing out of coal, climate awareness, etc. I turn your attention to theGuardian’s Story of Hope.

    Of course the overriding question is “is this enough”? And the answer is an absolute NO. The core of the problem is rampant capitalism and that is not going away anytime soon.


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