ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
Rights of Nature
PCRG core members continue our deep concern for protecting Nature within our community. The threat of Climate Disruption, the continued extraction of oil and gas, injection of O & G waste, building of pipelines all threaten our community.
We've included Rights of Nature in our effort to secure expanded individual and community rights to protect the environment on which we depend. In the present system of law, "Nature" or the "Environment" has no standing in court. Thus, if you own property you are free to destroy or contaminate it (with few legal exceptions). Individuals or corporations that need to get rid of waste (even toxic waste) can apply to the state for permits. True, such permits often restrict the amount of such waste, but even when the waste is cumulatively so toxic that it should not be allowed at all, the "permit" allows it. Since these permits are issued at the state level, the local community has little or no voice in forbidding or permitting it.
Factory farms are another threat to Ohio's environment: Annually over a number of years, the people of Toledo had no water: they not only couldn't drink water coming out of their taps, they couldn't touch it because of toxic algae contamination of Lake Erie. The people rose up, formed Toledoans for Safe Water, and enacted a Bill of Rights for the Lake so they could protect their only source of water for their homes. While the Federal Court struck it down, we know that women's right to vote faced years of challenges. So, too, Nature's Rights will continue to require fights to secure. Toledoans for Safe Water is a member of the Ohio Community Rights Network (OHCRN). PCRG continues to support OHCRN.
We have much to protect, as the home of three watersheds into Lake Erie and two that flow into the Ohio River. We have hundreds of small farms, 18 of which have or participate in local farmers' markets. We're lucky to have over 1300 acres of parks, with miles of bike and hike trails. In seeking a charter, we have incorporated Rights of Nature (RoN) to give us the tools to protect the land, air, water which sustains our lives. In short, we have a lot of Nature to protect.
At the state-wide level, the Ohio Community Rights Network is working towards State Constitutional Amendments that protect local Community Rights and the Rights of Nature. We need to build support for State Constitutional amendments protecting RoN. If you want to learn more, check out these resources: