SAN FRANCISCO – In a landmark case, a federal court decided today that the third planet from the sun has the same legal protections as the corporations that profit off it.
The plaintiffs in the case – a group of scientists, environmentalists and citizens – used legal rulings that favored a corporation’s right to ‘personhood’ to argue successfully that because Earth participates in a ‘wide array of social contracts’ that provides a ‘unique service to the community – namely, life,’ the planet deserves equal status and privileges as any other business organization, according to Judge Thomas Whitmore, who ruled in the case.
“That means Earth has the same rights under the law as corporations, including the right to sue,” Whitmore announced to a courtroom filled with bewildered lawyers.
The judge confided that his decision was made, in part, due to the ‘dramatic testimony’ that took place during proceedings.
In the last hour of the trial, the plaintiffs called their final witness to the stand. Using recently patented ‘elemental’ technology, as one scientist described it, he shot moonbeams from a device that resembled a remote control at a fortune cookie lying on the floor.
The fortune cookie cracked, and from it grew ‘Mother’ Earth, summoned to the courtroom to plead her case.
“My friends also call me ‘Gaia,’ but y’all can call me ‘G’ if that’s easier for you … ah-ha-ha-hah-ahhh!” said G, who coughed uncontrollably as she took the stand.
Wearing a sky-blue shower cap and a forest-green robe, the street-smart woman began her testimony explaining why she appeared sick and under-dressed for the occasion.
“Excuse me, ladies and gentlemen for my respiratory fits and inappropriate attire,” said G, spitting up and swallowing her phlegm as she addressed the court, “but I’ve been under the weather for decades, with all of the dirty air you’re creating, and I was just stepping into the bath to soak when you called –”
“Objection, your honor!” interrupted a silver-haired lawyer, one of dozens of whom represented the world’s most successful multinationals in their defense. “Anyone with a brain knows it doesn’t matter how we treat the Earth — because Earth is not a real person — so this woman is clearly a fraud!”
“A fraud?” said Mother Earth. “I object to such dehumanization, your honor. The birds and bees owe everything to me, as does this army of snotty attorneys …”
G sneezed, and then she continued with her testimony.
“I don’t ever recall selling any of you my air or my land or my water, yet here you are since the Industrial Revolution, getting high on your power and prestige. You’re just a bunch of money-crazed frat boys, if you ask me, who’ve gotten a little too used to sucking from fire hydrants of whisky and snorting from buckets of cocaine –”
“All right … all right … you got us, we suck, so get on with it, will ya?” said the silver-haired lawyer through clenched teeth. “As you can see, I’m already jonesing for my next fix. What do you want, Mom?”
His remark was followed by hoots, hollers and cat calls from the army of attorneys.
“Ain’t it obvious, bros?” said G. “Payback.”
To compensate for her losses, Mother Earth explained to the court that she intends to open approximately 85 million lawsuits worldwide that will target thousands of corporations for thousands of violations against her rights they have committed against for hundred of years and range from trespassing to more serious offenses such as arson, racketeering, rape, and attempted murder.
“Long ago, you coerced me to go along with your get-rich schemes, and when I started to speak out about your ill-treatment of me and my progeny – the myriad of lifeforms that consider me home – you said I was overreacting. You threatened that if I continued to speak out about your abusive behavior, your buddy, The Economy, would suffer miserably. So, I’m here to set the record straight. Stop blowing smoke up my ass, and start cleaning up your act!”
As the army of attorneys listened to Mother Earth’s arguments, little wads of spittle shot from her mouth and onto their astonished faces.
“What kind of world do you think this is, that you can behave like such savages, and to me? Didn’t your Mother raise you differently, to care about anything besides your bottom line?”
The attorneys looked around at each other. A few shrugged.
“Not really,” one whispered.
“Lies!” said G between bouts of coughing. “Now that I stand before you, hacking up a smog storm, you still deny the damage you’ve done! Well, guess what, fellas? I’m gonna cap your carbon footprint and wash out your dirty factories with earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis until you and your hypochondriac pal The Economy start returning me and my world to its former glory, you hear me?”
“Oh, look, Mama’s pissed!” said the silver-haired lawyer. “The sky must be falling…”
He looked at his colleagues, but none of them laughed.
“Still not getting it, are you, old man?” said G. “Playing ignorant is fun until someone gets hurt. Because, you see, if you’re not with me, you’re against me, and if you’re against me I suggest you find another planet to call home. I hear Mars is opened for business, but I gotta warn you, fellas, that man ain’t known for his hospitality …”
“I suggest you keep a good thing going, and start treating me with just a little more respect.”
Samantha Huerta, Oct. 23, 2019
UPDATE: The army of attorneys said they plan on appealing their case to the Supreme Court on the grounds that The Economy ‘rocks,’ they are sore losers, and they already swore their allegiance in a secret satanic ritual to the one percent.