Where is the Intersection of Environmental and Social Justice?
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Global warming has been on the tips of everyone's toungues, from cafes and classrooms to the daily news. Such concern with rising greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on the planet has brought much attention to the relationship between humans and the environment. In this issue we pose the question: "What is the relationship between environmental and social justice?"
Our exploration of this question led us to uncover a wide range of movements, debates, and struggles that we believe reflect the need to respect the environment when pursuing social change goals, and the importance of employing nonviolent means to achieve ecologically sustainable ends.
In his fresh take on vegetarianism, John Campbell exposes how factory farming contributes to environmental degradation, from hazardous runoff to intense use of resources to increased global warming. Caroline Kornfield and Matthew Taylor depict struggles over the importance and sactity of trees, from the depleted forests of Thailand to Berkeley's very own Memorial Oak Grove. Both describe the role that nonviolent actisvists play in preserving the trees.
Racism and classism are two often-overlooked lynchpins of environmental oppression--environmental burdens like toxic waste often have a disproportionate impact on poor people and people of color. Ryan Curtis highlights how an African-American community rose to resist a toxic dump in North Carololina. In an exclusive interview, famous tree-sitter Julia Butterfly Hill tells the tale of her stand in solidarity with the people of South Central Los Angeles against the destruction of the nation's lagrest urban farm.
Lani Lee and JyaHyun Lee bring us around the world to nonviolent environmental struggles in Nigeria, Columbia, and Korea. Jerlina Love introduces us to the Landless Worker's Movement in Brazil, a group that develops farms on fallow fields in order to subsist and enact their inclusive vision of land reform. Ken Preson-Pile profiles Gandhian activist Vandana Shiva, who struggles to protect both the rights of farmers and the integrity of seeds in India.
These and many other nonviolent efforts across the globe
demonstrate the inextricable link between respecting humanity
and respecting the environment. We hope that these articles
inspire you to explore your own relationship with the
world around you.