the “i” word [idealist]

Hey there, my name is Rebecca, and I’m a summer intern at the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative. This is a really exciting time to be involved with this movement! The national and international “green scene” is approaching a critical period in time: Governments, corporations, and the public are finally looking at themselves and asking, “How can we fix this mess?” International Indigenous Rights movements are building up steam, along with Human Rights movements, and, especially in the United States, discussions of race and gender have treaded waters that they hadn’t even dipped a toe in for quite some time. The rhetoric of “Change we can believe in” has moved beyond presidential campaigns into people’s personal lives. This is certainly true in the United States where most people are fed up with a war that has gone on for too long. We are financially crippled by our dependence on fossil fuels and the structures of oppression that lead to disparities and inequalities between particular groups in the U.S. are stubbornly persistent.

I feel that all of these factors can help to stimulate the environmental justice and climate justice movement. As humans, no matter how removed we might feel from the environment, we are surely still dependent on it. So if we are to survive, we must conserve it. There are vast amounts of deep-seated power structures in all parts of the world, but in order to create a just, fair, and vibrant earth, an immeasurable amount of people must be invested in the common vision of dismantling these structures. This challenge is what inspires many people involved in the social justice movement to do what they do.

Interestingly enough, it is very possible for both of these enormous issues to be combated simultaneously, which is what environmental justice and climate justice is all about. (More on this idea next post!)


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June 2008
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