The Constitutional Change We Need to Protect Our Priceless Natural Resources
For decades, activists have relied on federal and state legislation to fight for a cleaner environment. And for decades, they’ve been fighting a losing battle. The sad truth is, our laws are designed to accommodate pollution rather than prevent it. It’s no wonder people feel powerless when it comes to preserving the quality of their water, air, public parks, and special natural spaces.
But there is a solution, argues veteran environmentalist Maya K. van Rossum: bypass the laws and turn to the ultimate authority—our state and federal constitutions.
In 2013, van Rossum and her team won a watershed legal victory that not only protected Pennsylvania communities from ruthless frackers but affirmed the constitutional right of people in the state to a clean and healthy environment. Following this victory, van Rossum inaugurated the Green Amendment movement, dedicated to empowering every American community to mobilize for constitutional change.
Now, with The Green Amendment, van Rossum lays out an inspiring new agenda for environmental advocacy, one that will finally empower people, level the playing field, and provide real hope for communities everywhere. Readers will discover:
• how legislative environmentalism has failed communities across America,
• the transformational difference environmental constitutionalism can make,
• the economic imperative of environmental constitutionalism, and
• how to take action in their communities.
We all have the right to pure water, clean air, and a healthy environment. It’s time to claim that right—for our own sake and that of future generations.
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About the Author
Maya K. van Rossum is a veteran environmentalist who since 1996 has served as the Delaware Riverkeeper, championing the rights of over 17 million people to a free-flowing, clean, and healthy Delaware River and its tributary streams. In 2013, she was one of the original petitioners in the landmark Robinson Township v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania case. Since 2002, she has served as an adjunct professor and director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Temple’s Beasley School of Law, which she founded. van Rossum lives in Delaware County Pennsylvania with her family.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Mark Ruffalo
Introduction: We Need a Green Amendment
1. Living in the Sacrifice Zone
2. The Right to a Healthy Environment
3. Fracking Away Our Future
4. The Perils of Pipelines
6. The Paving of America
7. Can We Afford a Green Amendment?
8. Fighting for a Green Amendment