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 power of environmental constitutionalism for environmental justice,
- the economic imperative of environmental constitutionalism, and
- how to take action in their communities.
The Green Amendment, Securing Our Right to a Healthy Environment was selected as the 2018 Living Now Evergreen Awards GOLD Winner in the Nature Conservation category. The Living Now Evergreen Book Medals were founded to “commemorate world- changing books”. The book also received an honorable mention from the 2017 Forward Indies Book of the Year awards in the category ecology and environment.
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100% of the proceeds from the sale of The Green Amendment go to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
"She writes persuasively and makes a convincing case. It was inspiring to see that grassroots activity combined with good lawyering can still create change."
Professor at Vermont Law School
“From her tireless advocacy for the Delaware River watershed and those who love it, Maya van Rossum offers a sobering message: In an era when legislatures and regulatory agencies are hobbled by divisive politics and unable to keep pace with our scientific understanding of threats to public health and the environment, constitutional protection of natural and human communities may be our best hope for survival.”
—Bradley M. Campbell
President of the Conservation Law Foundation, former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and former Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
“Read this book and you will be infuriated and inspired. Infuriated because the book drags you through the environmental muck of fracking, pipelines, PFOA .... But you will be inspired by the notion, transformed into a call for a constitutional amendment, that we, the people, have always had more power than we thought.”
—A. R. Ingraffea, PhD, PE
Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University
"This is activism 2.0. Important, timely, and passionate, The Green Amendment will revolutionize the way we approach our work to protect the environment."
Pennsylvania State Representative, 166th Legislative District
"The Green Amendment asks us to imagine a world in which the right to pure water and healthy air exist on par with due process and free speech—and then shows us how to make it so."
—Sandra Steingraber, PhD
Author of Living Downstream and Raising Elijah, recipient of the Rachel Carson Leadership Award, and co-founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking
"If we were writing our Constitution for the first time today, wise leaders would surely insert protections for our environment. Amendments are hard, of course — there’s a lot of corporate power to overcome — but given the stakes, this is surely an idea worth everyone taking very seriously!"
Author of Radio Free Vermont