Hello Rights of Nature Friends,
On November 3rd, in Florida, Orange County citizens will make history by voting on the Wekiva River and Econlockhatchee River Bill of Rights (WEBOR). It would install into law the rights of these two rivers and all waterways in Orange County to exist, flow, be free of pollution, and maintain a healthy ecosystem. It will also give citizens the right to clean water.
As far as I know, this he only Rights of Nature initiative in the nation that will be on a ballot in November. We need your support. The opportunity to help on such a fundamental level doesn't happen often. Please keep reading.
This law, prescribing these rights, is necessary because:
• Orange County citizens, like all Floridians, do not have a right to clean water. In fact, a new law in Florida expressly says Floridians have NO rights regarding the natural world. This amendment guarantees Orange County citizens clean water.
• If corporations can have rights, so can nature. If nature doesn’t have rights, it can’t be defended against polluting corporations that do. That’s the legal reality.
• Our current regulatory system isn’t working. Our waterways in Florida have been polluted for years and it’s always the same story: “We have to elect the right people.” No. Our right to clean water and healthy ecosystems shouldn’t depend upon who’s in office.
The importance of this charter amendment to SW Floridians is two-fold.
First, pollution in Orange County makes it way into Lake Okeechobee, worsening blue-green algae blooms and red tides such as we residents of SWFL experienced in 2018, when our beaches were lined with dead marine life and our tourist economy was severely impacted. We’ve had multiple water summits down here, while the problem mostly originates up north.
Second, passing the Wekiva River and Econlockhatchee River Bill of Rights makes a Caloosahatchee River Bill of Rights or an Estero Bay Bill of Rights much more likely. Passing this ballot measure will clearly declare the will of the people to protect the quality of our lives and the natural world we cherish.
Opposing forces will be pumping lots of money into defeating this citizen initiative at the ballot box. We need to respond with a robust campaign of our own. Please help us by providing critical financial support now at https://righttocleanwater2020.com/. A $50.00 donation will buy approximately 350 texts messages to targeted voters, $100.00 twice that or a strategically placed 4’ x 8’ road sign.
Welcome to our SWFL Community. We hope to see more of you engaged here soon! Today we will have a tour of the Pachamama Alliance Commons and of our SWFL Community. My sister Tricia Rauen Evenson painted this Snow Leopard.
The News-Press recently ran “Keep energy affordable during COVID recovery.” It argued now is not the time for society to shift to renewable energies.
Now is the perfect time.
There is nothing affordable about fossil fuels. The World Monetary Fund says Americans indirectly subsidize the fossil fuel industry approximately $649 billion yearly by covering the costs of extreme weather events, rising sea levels, the economic losses of tourism-killing algal blooms, and the costs of health care directly related to fossil fuel pollution. Americans could buy a lot of clean renewable energy with $649 billion.
And to promote fossil fuels during the COVID crisis is particularly disturbing. The World Health Organization says fossil fuel pollution kills over 3 million people a year and sickens millions more. Talk about a health crisis!
A day after the "affordable" energy article, the News-Press ran “Climate change on minds of young people.” Young people certainly don’t see anything affordable about fossil fuels. They see environmental and generational injustice on an almost unthinkable scale, dishonesty in those who question climate science, and an abdication of true climate leadership in this country.
COVID-19 is a crisis and an opportunity. For our children’s sake, we must make the most of it.
(Letter to the Editor, News-Press, 6/17/20)3 likes
Spotlight on PA SWFL Core Group Leader - Linda Sechrist
Wise message from Linda during these challenging times:
While reading Marianne Williamson’s introduction to Stephen Dinan’s excellent book, Sacred America Sacred World, a quote she referenced by visionary Werner Erhard snagged my attention. “You can live your life out of your circumstances, or you can live your life out of a vision”. A vision of positive changes we know are possible. The conversation during my interview with Stephen, president of the SHIFT Network, reminded me of a proverb, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Was it a coincidence that our SWFL Pachamama Alliance Elders group was in the process of creating a vision and mission statement as well as a strategic plan for the SWFL RESET Center we are developing in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers? No.
Sheltering-in, reading, walking my neighborhood, weeding, and meditating provided lots of time to think about Stephen’s call for a movement of evolutionaries committed to midwifing a new chapter in American history. He suggests that for spiritual seekers this is the calling of our soul, which knows we are each part of something larger. Its’ this call that I’ve felt and written about for more than 10 years and have particularly had hope for ever since our elders group coalesced. However, it’s been impossible to stop wondering how to help others melt their pandemic fear freeze and learn to comfortably cohabitate with the confusion, economic uncertainty and unpredictable future being compounded by conspiracy theories, mainstream media’s 24/7 fearmongering, and the governments authoritarian measures in response to the pandemic and racial unrest.
How I, the majority of my friends, and colleagues have melted the fear freeze to navigate these tumultuous times is all that I can speak for. We’ve relied on friendships, community, and connectivity, and leaning on our spiritual relationship with a higher power, by whatever name we call it. We stopped listening to and reading news. We’ve all decided that this was a time to feel, connect with and breathe into and out of our heart.
My spirit’s been buoyed up by weekly Zoom calls with our SWFL PA Elders Group, Fritjof Capra’s Systems Thinking group, which met twice a week, my Enough Sisters group, I’ve been part of for several years, my Mind Body Medicine weekly calls and The Connection Partners group I’ve been with for 10 years. These meetings required homework in between so I was busier during COVID than I was before.
Watching the world outside of me melt down, it was easy to acknowledge there were no answers “out there”. Now time to take a deeper dive inward, I put my 30 years of reading books about quantum physics, oneness and transformation into action—counting on the scriptural wisdom taken from the Bible, Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads to melt any fear and anxiety. Relying on ancient wisdom and seeking higher guidance might seem like inaction. It’s not. In fact, it raises our collective vibration and allows we evolutionaries to help midwife Pachamama Alliance’s vision of an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet into reality. In other words, a vision that would not only keep the people from perishing but would also create a world that works for everyone.
The Lee County Town Hall and BOCC Candidates forum we were co-hosting tomorrow, Thursday, March 12th IS CANCELLED due to COVID-19 and an "abundance of caution". Please help us spread the word. We will reschedule with all BOCC Candidates as soon as we can. Be well my friends! Stay home and take care of yourselves. May the Force Be With You!