Society & Social Justice

Earth Day and Social Justice

Tomorrow (April 22nd) is Earth Day.  The Earth Day Network has announced that this year’s theme is Protect Our Species.  Human activity is having an unprecedented toll on the earth’s species diversity due to things like climate change, pollution, and deforestation and other habitat loss.

Bees play an important role worldwide through pollination, yet their numbers have been sharply declining.  Neonicotinoid pesticide use is thought to be a contributing factor.  The David Suzuki Foundation has some tips on how to grow a bee-friendly garden.

Earth Day isn’t just an environmental issue; it’s also a social justice issue.  Access to things like clean air and safe water should not depend on the colour of someone’s skin or how much money is in their bank account, but unfortunately in too many cases they do.

A post by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) for last year’s Earth Day points out that oppressed communities, which are often racialized and of lower socioeconomic status, are often disproportionately affected by the effects of pollution and other environmental toxins.  The ongoing water quality issues in Flint, Michigan are a prime example.  In Canada, the government has recently been taking action on the matter, but for years there have been large numbers of Indigenous communities that had years-long boil water advisories in place.

An article by Chris Benjamin in the Canadian publication Halifax Magazine brought up the concept of environmental racism and the effect this had both past and present on Indigenous peoples.  Certainly industry has had a huge effect on Indigenous stewardship of the land.  The author also argues that social inequality hurts the environment, and environmental sustainability requires a just society.

There’s certainly a lot to think about this Earth Day, but don’t forget to look for ways to mix action in with thought.

Social justice and equality

The Social Justice & Equality page has info and resources on a wide variety of social issues.

Visit the MH@H Resource Pages hub to see other themed pages from Mental Health @ Home.

8 thoughts on “Earth Day and Social Justice”

  1. I completely agree that living in a poorer neighborhood shouldn’t equal bad water, or other environmental issues. That makes me very sad! People everywhere should be able to run tap water and drink it, for crying out loud.

    Great post! I’d forgotten tomorrow was Earth Day!! A happy Earth Day to all!!

  2. What affects the poor today, will affect the rich tomorrow.
    Eco-systems are slowly being destroyed, which keep everything stable, and we are really getting a sense now of the damage we are doing through sea levels rising, icecaps melting, releasing methane, the temperature of the earth heating up,record temperatures, messed up seasons, extinct animals, and uncontrollable weather patterns. Including fires breaking out everywhere from land being so dry.
    The lungs of the earth soak up a third of all the CO2, we put out there, these are the rainforests, and yet we are cutting and burning down trees quicker than ever. It’s like we are cutting our own air supply off.

    Plant trees, lots of trees!

  3. It’s scary the direction the environment is going in. I have been much more mindful and aware of things like this after taking an environmental science course at my college. I’m trying to waste less, use more eco-friendly products, etc

  4. Hey, I’m making a blog about environmental issues on my page for a school project, and I need to have interactions with people in the comments. If you could take second just to ask a question or gives feedback on one of my posts that would be great! 🙂

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