Given our imminent turn to a more conservative Supreme Court, and
Given the skepticism that our conservative justices have shown about the constitutional footing of even the most necessary environmental regulation, and
Given the urgency of the climate crisis and widespread ecological collapse,
The time seems right for a constitutional amendment to set federal environmental action on unquestionable legal footing. I propose the following text:
The federal government of the United States, in conjunction with the various states, tribes, and territories, holds in public trust the health of the soils, waters and atmosphere, along with the integrity of the biotic communities and ecological processes that depend on them. This public trust is vital, essential to sustaining a just and democratic society. Therefore, congress shall have the power to take such actions as are reasonably directed at the conservation, preservation and restoration of our natural heritage.
I eagerly seek your aid in improving and disseminating this proposal. As you offer constructive criticism in the comments below, please indicate any legal or scientific expertise that you bring to the conversation.