Saturday, July 05, 2008

Environmental Justice

Why does it seem that every movement seems to have an ethnic / racial aspect to it? There are many who consider the environmental movement just a white person's gripe. When it comes to climate change, I don't see that as the reality. After all, the same climate will affect us all. In fact, it will affect mostly those who can not afford a shining palace on the hill.

That is the theme of a new video published by The New Republic. Go there to view it. There are some interesting non-conversations. I was surprised by several things. First, while the video and the story it tells is excellent, TNR provides the following as the front page link TNR TV: Finding Environmental Activists In the Most Unlikely Place

If the problem is going to affect the South Bronx more than it will Berkeley, then why consider that this is an "unlikely place" for environmental activists? Should not those with the problem be the ones who initiate change, who command attention, who define the solutions?

There is a role for the rest of us, to help, to join, to witness, but not to presume to know best what is good for "them." Such arrogance is what got us into most of the troubles we have. That is the arrogance of the George W. Bush who would rebuild New Orleans but not spend another dime to prevent that environmental catastrophe that will inevitably flood it again... along with a lot of the rest of the country.

Reliance on Washington and the big programs it always defines.. and then porks up... allows arrogance to continue unabated. More than anything, we need more local activism aimed at greening our own cities, our own block.

Here is a good example:

Early Fall of 2007 neighbors joined together to create GoSolarMarin, a program where communities and homeowners could benefit from a group purchase program to go solar.

Let's find a few more and add them to the list.

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