The people of Toledo, Ohio have voted to give Lake Erie legal personhood to protect it from pollution. The vote, which saw 61% in favour, was the result of a petition put forward by the grassroots group Toledoans for Safe Water. The petition stated that the lake’s ecosystem “which has suffered for more than a century under continuous assault and ruin due to industrialisation” faced imminent “irreversible devastation” from the dumping of industrial wastes, and runoff from large-scale agricultural practices, including hog and chicken farms.

The ...


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