No Environmental Justice without Social Justice
There really can be no environmental justice without social justice. How often has the dialogue around climate been couched in the language of hero and villain? Could part of the issue be that we often separate the environment from people? I don’t think anything has brought the intersectionality between environmental justice and social justice home more than when a colleague from India shared this video about sand mining. This is an environmental issue that I wasn’t familiar with. The single thing that impacted me most when watching this was hearing the man working in this dangerous and destructive industry describing how he hasn’t seen his family for months and whose only wish is that his children won’t have to do the same work. As a result, I’m going to address social justice when I talk about environmental justice. Therefore, I’d like to say thank you to Revathy for sharing this.
How often has the dialogue around climate been couched in the language of hero and villain?
In the Classroom
How can we use this in the classroom? This video is ideal to base a lesson around which looks at the link between environmental justice and social justice. Firstly, try this on one of the UN World days such as World Social Justice Day on February 20th or World Day for Safety and Health at Work on April 28th. Secondly, bring the discussion in next time the lesson is on the topic of work or health. Even without the opportunity to play videos like this in class, we can be conscious of the narrative we use and ensure we recognise and give a voice to those who may suffer injustice. We can address the fact that the root causes of this suffering and environmental destruction are often the same.
Small is Beautiful
Finally, I want to mention that eltsustainable.com has moved from wordpress.com, the giant corporation, to a new home in Serbia. Therefore it’s a much better site for you, and a small business in Serbia gains a customer. Good news all round. Thank you, Milica for supporting me with this move!
Are there cases of how there is no environmental justice without social justice near you? Do you address them in your classes? If you have any ideas, share them in the comments or via the contact page!