The battle for the rights of nature heats up in the Great Lakes

Photo: Algae floats on the surface of Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (AP/Paul Sancya)

In February, the voters of Toledo, Ohio, passed a ballot initiative that gives Lake Erie and those who rely on the lake’s ecosystem a bill of rights. The idea is to protect and preserve the ecosystem so that the life that depends on it — humans included — can have access to safe, fresh drinking water.

On the surface, it seems pretty logical: Humans need water to survive, and if an ecosystem that is relied on for water — in this case, Lake Erie — is polluted (in this case, with algae), then the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (or LEBOR) would ensure the rights of humans would come before the polluters (in this case, big agriculture).

Except, that’s not what’s happening.

Rather, in a perhaps unsurprising move, the state of Ohio has at once both acknowledged rights of nature to exist, and taken them away, with a line written in, of all things, the state budget: “Nature or any ecosystem does not have standing to participate in or bring an action in any court of common pleas.”

“It’s not surprising that the Ohio legislature has the shameful distinction of being the first in the country to […]

Summary
The battle for the rights of nature heats up in the Great Lakes
Article Name
The battle for the rights of nature heats up in the Great Lakes
Description
The state of Ohio has at once both acknowledged rights of nature to exist, and taken them away, with a line written in, of all things, the state budget.
Author
Publisher Name
Salon
Publisher Logo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *