There’s a growing consciousness that today’s under environmental laws are not adequate to protect our water. The environmental laws and policies we’ve been using over the past fifty years just aren’t getting the job done. Without clean water, clean air and a stable climate, the future of all life is at risk.
Existing environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act are often subjugated to corporate economic interests. This results in “legalizing environmental harm” says Mari Margil, of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).
The existing laws fail to protect and preserve the natural world. We need to change how we govern our own behavior towards the natural world,” Margil says.
A growing global movement of activists and attorneys are defending the legal "rights of nature." The notion that nature and man coexist with the same “rights” has flourished with many indigenous peoples for millennia.
This fight is both a global and local crisis. Local communities water supplies need to be protected from corporations reign of destruction and exploitation. For years environmental laws and regulations have favored the rights of big business over ecosystems. Our environmental laws need to protect the people’s right to clean water.
Recently, a new lawsuit requests the U.S. District Court in Denver (September, 2017) to treat the Colorado River as a person rather than property. The lawsuit argues that if U.S. corporations can be granted the same rights as people, shouldn’t rivers be granted the same protections as well?
The lawsuit is based on the rights of nature, to enact new environmental law to establish the inherent rights of the natural world to exist and flourish independent of human ownership or use.
The case argues for guardians to act in the best interests of the Colorado River ecosystem. Members of the Deep Green Resistance, an environmental activist group, are listed as guardians in the suit, acting on the river’s behalf. The guardians would be able to hold the government responsible for certain actions, or inactions, that cause the river harm.
Denver attorney Jason Flores-Williams, who filed the case on the river’s behalf:
“ The rights of nature approach to water is not advocating for river ecosystem to take precedence over the health and wellbeing of people. It’s a rebalancing of resources so that both the basic needs of humans and ecosystems are met. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, it’s impossible to separate the health of nature with the health of humans. The pollution in water is harming people’s health in communities. “
Last year, the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin began the process of establishing rights of nature in its tribal constitution. The City of Lafayette, CO has passed its Climate Bill of Rights (April, 2016) granting policy rights of nature. Earlier this year a court in India declared that the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers are legal “Rights of Nature”.
Visit the Deep Green Resistance (DGR) website to learn how you can stop the insanity about the assault on our water. DGR has a realistic plan to stop the insanity, Decisive Ecological Warfare. The Earth is more important than this insane culture of based on exploitation of our planet’s finite resources. DGR offers organized, reliable ways to promote sane ways of living and surviving the ongoing crisis.
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