Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Environmentalism Was Once a Social-Justice Movement, It Can Be Again.

The incoming Trump administration is likely to see the greatest revival of environmentalism as a confrontational, grassroots, sometimes radical movement since at least 1970, when more than a million people took part in the first Earth Day. The vigil at Standing Rock, which surprised nearly everyone by blocking the proposed route of the Dakota Access Pipeline through traditional Sioux lands, was a far cry from the litigation and high-level lobbying that are so much of the environmental movement’s work these days. As courts and lawmakers continue to falter in addressing climate change, with professional climate-change denier Myron Ebell heading the Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team, and Scott Pruitt tapped to lead it (Pruitt is an ally of the fossil fuel industry and key architect of the legal strategy against President Obama's climate policy) and the prospect of public lands opening to expanded mining and drilling, ever more people who believe that environmental responsibility has become a life-or-death issue are going to start acting like it. A more confrontational environmentalism will find new allies, like the Native American activists of Standing Rock and the military veterans who showed up there just before the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would not approve the controversial pipeline route. It may also strain some of the relationships with wealthy funders and corporate partners that have become central to mainstream environmentalism. Activists will have to decide whether to cultivate alliances with other movements that have sprung up in recent years: the Movement for Black Lives, which has called for divestment from fossil fuels and pointed out that incinerators, waste facilities, and other pollution sources are often concentrated in poor and heavily non-white neighborhoods, or whatever comes after Bernie Sanders’s campaign, which blamed the fossil-fuel industry for blocking climate progress and promised to “keep it in the ground” in a rapid transition to renewable energy. Joining environmentalism to movements for economic and racial justice wouldn’t be new. It would shift the movement toward what you might think of as its left wing, often called the environmental-justice movement, which emerged in the 1980s as an internal criticism of “mainstream environmentalism” for being too elite, too white, and too focused on beautiful scenery and charismatic species. But it would also point toward a longer history, now mostly forgotten. For decades, environmentalism and what we now call environmental justice were deeply intertwined. Care for the earth and for vulnerable human communities belonged together. Empowering workers, protecting public health, and preserving landscapes were part of a single effort. Maybe it’s time to reclaim that older environmental movement, and see that it was an environmental-justice movement all along...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Environmentalism was always a tool, a vehicle to advance the mix of socialist-Marxist-Fascist movement, (known as Progressives).
You can see it in every infringement we endure now against our Rights and Property Rights that didn't exist in the early 1960's, comes down from this.
It gained speed in the 1960's-70's with the generation and hippies of that time. Even some conservatives swallowed the bait.
It never was about Social Justice, that's a false cover.

Conservation use to be the word for being stewards of the land, forest, streams, etc. Environmentalism was used to separate the two by the Eco-extremists, Earth 1st Eco-warrior types.
Now they are embedded in state and federal government, all the ABC agencies, since the Carter Administration of the late 1970's let them in. Gave them jobs.
Environmentalism movement is the polar opposite of everything in the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, Property Rights and Rights, statutes that recognize Rights. Eco's and a Constitutional republican form of government are not compatible. Eco's know that. Progressives within the DNC know that.
It is a weird mix, a recipe, of political ideologies attractive to the dumbed down masses and it all works collectively for global government.