Dozens of environmentalists crowded into a Denver café last week to voice support for the “rights” of the Colorado River in a lawsuit against the state, Colorado’s Post Independent reports.
Members of the environmental group Deep Green Resistance (DGR) brought the lawsuit in late September. The is the first case in the U.S. where a group has attempted to give nature a legal standing to “exist” and “flourish,” according to a Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) press release.
“I’ve long acknowledged that what we are doing in the environmental movement has not created change,” DGR member Deanna Meyer told the Post Independent. “We see every biotic system on the planet in decline and nothing has gotten better. Until the river has rights, I don’t see any change happening in the way it is being used and exploited.”
Colorado officials filed a motion to dismiss the case several weeks after the original complaint was filed.
“The complaint alleges hypothetical future injuries that are neither fairly traceable to actions of the state of Colorado, nor redressable by a declaration that the ecosystem is a ‘person’ capable of possessing rights,” the motion says, according to the Post Independent.
DGR is committed to stopping “industrial civilization from burning fossil fuels.” The group promotes returning to a “sustainable” culture, or completely cutting out fossil fuels.
“Life on Earth is more important than this insane, temporary culture based on hyper-exploitation of finite resources. This culture needs to be destroyed before it consumes all life on this planet,” the group’s website reads. “Humanity is not the same as civilization. Humans have developed many sane and sustainable cultures, themselves at risk from civilization.”
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