Environmental Justice

An awareness and commitment to the good health of Planet Earth is no longer optional! Global stewardship is of critical import, and therefore, as a global citizenry, we have a collective obligation to ACT NOW for the sake of survival.

On a personal level, it is often expressed, “Few things are more important than good health.” The same can be said of Mother Earth. Without a healthy planet, what sort of quality of life exists? The planet is in peril on many fronts. Chief among these is climate change, and the consequence of ignoring science.

The central debate about climate change is over. To argue a case for denial is an exercise in futility. The United States, as of 2017, leads the world in willful ignorance. Disgraceful, but true. This issue alone is reason to fight like hell to change control of Congress in 2018.

How is it that in the USA, the impulse toward greed has become so extreme among so many, that special interest money can hijack the Paris Accord and humiliate the vast majority of American citizens?

Indeed, the oligarchs have arrived. A handful of greedy, powerful extremists are taking our planet to the brink. Environmental Justice calls us to be good stewards of planet earth, and we can start by supporting public policies that conserve, preserve, and protect our natural resources – and rely on scientific consensus for decision-making.

Environmental Justice

ENACT BOLD CLIMATE SCIENCE

“Regardless of the Trump Administrations dismissive views about climate change, and despite its efforts to undermine U.S. climate action, it still is bound by laws. These require climate research, data, observations, and communications — all essential to informed action by both our public and private sectors. I look forward to helping ensure that our Federal government is fully complying with the spirit and letter of the law, and is serving the public interest.” Nicky Sundt — Senior Fellow for Government Accountability Project/Climate Science & Policy Watch June, 2017

And, responding to Trump’s Paris Accord charade, CA Governor Jerry Brown responded wisely by asserting, (This is a ) “Temporary deviation from the World Norm on climate change.” June, 2017 MSNBC Interview

The two statements above give us a measure of confidence and hope. In spite of the significant setback of post 2016 USA Presidential Election, the world wide momentum to address climate science issues remains strong. Yes, it is a planetary disgrace, that America, the leader of the Free World is ‘missing in action’ and (temporarily) has taken unilateral action akin to a rogue, flat-earth society outlaw. But, we must take heart that other world leaders are committed to carrying the climate science torch. And, kudos to the recent massive grass roots resistance marches throughout America — The March for Science and Peoples Climate March. Inspiring! These events were organized to march in defense of truth and justice – the essence of what it means to protect our people and our planet. One final quotation — “attacks on science don’t just hurt scientists, they hurt scientists’ ability to protect the people, and climate change epitomizes that. When politicians cater to fossil fuel interests by denying the basic realities of climate science and pursue anti-science climate policy, they endanger the jobs, justice, and livelihoods of ordinary people everywhere.” Dr. Geoffry Supan, MIT and Harvard Renewable Energy Modeler (common dreams)

The scientific verdict has been rendered. We must act to protect people and the planet by demanding that public policy is grounded in science, truth, and justice – not extreme, ignorant ideology.

STEWARDSHIP OF PLANET EARTH

“We are stewards, not masters of the Earth” – Pope Francis

Whether one is right, left, or center politically speaking – this issue is completely relevant. Environmentalists, family protection advocates, and ‘personal responsibility’ ideologues – surely, all share this belief in stewardship of planet earth. Libertarians and conservatives like to emphasize personal responsibility. I wholeheartedly agree! Let’s apply this directly to acting like responsible stewards of our environment, our planet. The scientific verdict has been rendered. We must ACT to protect our people and our planet by demanding that public policy is grounded in science, truth, and justice — not extreme ideology.

Pope Francis, in his address to the European Union in 2014 encapsulates this philosophy perfectly by asserting, “Our Earth needs constant concern and attention. Each of us has a personal responsibility to care for creation, this precious gift which God has entrusted to us. This means, on the one hand, that nature is at our disposal, to enjoy and use properly. Yet it also means that we are not its masters. Stewards, but not masters. We need to love and respect nature, but instead we are often guided by the pride of domination, possessing, manipulating, exploiting; we do not preserve the Earth, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a freely given gift to look after. Respect for the environment, however, means more than not destroying it; it also means using it for good purposes.” (ECO WATCH.com)

Amen.

SAFE WATER, AIR, AND FOOD

Families the world over, hold as their primary environmental concerns – safe water, air, and food. These basic human necessities cannot be taken for granted in many places, including the USA. A recent, high-profile case of serious water contamination is happening in Flint, Michigan. The story is quite alarming due to the extent of the problem, the incompetence of state officials to deal with it, and the cover-up attempted by responsible parties to bury the truth. The Flint, Michigan water crisis is a prominent example of Environmental Injustice. Flint has become a working class city with a high percentage of low income residents and people of color. Can one imagine a water toxicity crises of this magnitude occurring in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a relatively affluent city?

Time and again, it can be documented that regulatory neglect and environmental degradation go hand in hand.

This inexcusable water crisis in Flint has been compounded by racial and socio- economic discrimination.

Horrific information has begun to emerge in recent years related to food production — especially in the hog, dairy, chicken, and cattle industries. The mass production of meat in the U.S. is largely a very nasty business. The living conditions of livestock, the contaminated feed for animals, antibiotics, hormones, etc. will turn your stomach instantly. Documented proof of these deplorable meat production facilities is challenging to obtain. Why? Because the food production oligarchs have put their filthy money to work, to influence members of Congress, to protect their contaminated empires. Investigative journalists are threatened with jail time for trying to expose these unsavory practices. The “Ag Gag Laws” hide factory farm abuses that public scrutiny would start your hair on fire. In my opinion, food production issues related to animal cruelty, quality of agriculture products, and nutrition will emerge as one of the most significant environmental justice movements of our time.