Eco-equality - saving the world for all, not just the rich
Apologies - yes, it's been a while since I last posted. Things have been very busy at work and home, so besides the crush on the demands on me, there just hasn't been the time to sit and write all things that have been swirling in my head for this blog. But I thought I'd share a few notes.
One thing foremost on my mind is the Tim Flannery keynote address for the Melbourne Writers Festival last Friday. I promised to blog on the Festival where I could, and Flannery's speech on global warming has given me much to think about. While I don't have the time to work through all the issues I'm reflecting on regarding Flannery's key approach to dealing with global warming (which can be summed up as 'green consumerism'), I can at least share as a first response these compelling ideas about eco-equality by Van Jones that WorldChanging.com has posted on their site:
This new green wave of technology... of opportunity... lends itself to a question: will the green wave lift all boats, or will we have eco-apartheid? Will we have some communities with solar-this and bio-that and organic-the-other, and other communities like Oakland, with cancer clusters and pollution pockets, kids with asthma... or will we have eco-equity?Right on. It is worth remembering that those who will suffer the worst affects of global warming will most clearly be those disadvantaged socially, economically, and culturally - not just geographically. As a reminder, on this first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, let's remember how it was predominantly poor, African American and Hispanic people who were most tragically affected.
[What if] we make a decision as a movement to say 'no, no - we have to rescue life on this planet, and we have to do it collectively. We have to build an ark, so we can put the failing communities on it. Then you begin to have a new politics; it's a politics of real solidarity. It's a politics that says: The only way for these new environmental solutions can work is if the majority of people can embrace them. Suddenly the young people who don't have any jobs have a reason to talk to the environmentalists - why? Because you can offer them jobs. Putting up the solar panels. Retrofitting the buildings. There're jobs and opportunity that you can offer to young urban youth that right now don't care about environmentalism... dignified work that can help save the planet. Making a declaration [that] those communities that were locked out of the last century's pollution-based economy will be locked in to the new clean and green economy.