The planet seems to be heading into an ecological catastrophe, in which the earth will become uninhabitable for many species, including human beings. At the same time we humans are beset by appalling injustices. The Rio Declaration which addressed both these sets of problems contains conceptual contradictions about ‘development and ‘nature’. This paper addresses the issue of whether it is logically possible to work for both global justice and ecological sustainability. The article (1) proposes a way of responding to the spirit of the Rio Declaration without reinstating its contradictions; (2) considers a posthuman perspective on the issue; and (3) proposes a phenomenological approach to ethics and justice which would include both the human and more-than-human parts of the world. In section (4) the implications for education are drawn out, in terms of ‘learning to mind’. Finally, links are drawn to the Journal theme of translation.