The Green Amendment book cover
The Green Amendment book cover back
Maya K. van Rossum

The Green Amendment

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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.

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.

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.

"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

"A rallying cry not only for conservationists and wildlife biologists, but for pediatricians, teachers, psychologists, architects, city planners--everyone who is concerned about the welfare of all species, including human beings. Please read this important book."

—Richard Louv, chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network and author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle

"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."

—Bill McKibben, author of Radio Free Vermont

". . . 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
Maya K. van Rossum headshot

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.

November 2017

ISBN: 978-1-63331-021-6

316 pages

5.5 × 8.5 in