You Have a Right to…

We hear a lot about rights these days, but none is so important to me than my continued ability to remain alive in nature’s world.

The U.S. Constitution defines our rights in order that we can take legal action if one is denied. Further, by documenting these priviledges, government has dictated key moral and ethical prinicples that “we the people” shall follow in the course of our daily lives. It is the hope that a lawsuit will never be needed; the boundaries are carefully set for us to live together in peace.

In short, by knowing our rights, we know when to take action against mistreatment.

Over the years, new entries have been added to our Bill of Rights to account for human cruelty and ignorance. These constitutional amendments address such atrocities as slavery, spying, sensorship, and discrimination. Instead of building layers of laws to control the extent of the damage done when, say, my ability to express an opinion (free speech) is blocked, the first amendment simply prohibits any and all legislation that “abridg[es] the freedom of speech.”

In addition to the U.S. Constitution, each state has its own defining document. And in my home state of Pennsylvania, one unique definition — which has been sitting quietly on the books since 1971 — is going viral. Often called the Environmental Rights Ammendment, it prohibits the destruction of our planet, because every single human (and non-human) life needs the life-giving elements on this Earth. You can read the language of Article 1 Section 27 in this post from 2015.

One woman, Maya van Rossum, has surrounded herself with an ever-growing team of dedicated individuals who are helping her get a similar “green amendment” in the constitution of every state. The organization is called For the Generations and today, July 13, has been declared Green Amendment Day.

Please, if you care about clean air, pure water, and the preservation of the environment, look into and support this groundbreaking-yet-simple movement to solve a problem that is as old as the paper on which our constitution was written. Check out:

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