Moet deze boom dezelfde rechten hebben als u?
Should this tree have the same rights as you?
Around the world, a movement is gaining momentum that grants legal rights to natural phenomena, including rivers, lakes and mountains. Robert Macfarlane investigates the rise of the new animism
On 26 February 2019, a lake became human. For years, Lake Erie – the southernmost of the Great Lakes – has been in ecological crisis. Invasive species are rampant. Biodiversity is crashing. Each summer, blue-green algae blooms in volumes visible from space, creating toxic “dead zones”; the algae is nourished by fertiliser and slurry pollution from surrounding farms. In August 2014, phosphorus run-off so fouled Erie that the city of Toledo, at the lake’s western tip in Ohio, lost drinking water for three days in the hottest part of the year.
Photograph: Zu Sanchez Photography/Getty Images