Posted on June 19, 2022 at 6:45 pm
Environmental justice is a complicated subject. Engulfing two already complicated subject matters—the environment and justice—it is hard to define entirely. However, it is clear to see what is isn’t.
Looking around, there are significant human rights violations that come as a result of big capitalists exploiting the environment and the people. There is perhaps no greater example of this than in the case of clean drinking water. Our beloved household brand Nestle is a common offender here. Taking clean drinking water from underserved communities and then proceeding to sell it back to them? Turning a profit on their own possessions? Here we see the most evident example of injustice: a community being denied access to something they should be entitled to. If we look past it, we can see the big capitalists exploiting the land even further. By polluting our seas, skies, and soil, once again our favorite household names are actively working to deny populations the right to enjoy their life. It may not be their goal—but then again, it might be—be merely a byproduct of capitalism. What results is a combination of factors ensuring the middle and lower class are forced to suffer in silence as the rich upper class can enjoy the rich air of a private island, on a private jet polluting the air and contributing to global warming—an issue we have to deal with that they do not They. What results is injustice. These rich capitalists are simply not being held responsible for their actions and the rest of the population has to pay the price.
Seeing these examples, it is much more clear to define what environmental injustice is. Even more, its importance should be held at one of the highest priorities especially in Delaware where our skies and beaches are polluted. They aren’t polluted by the actions of ourselves, however, but by big corporations up north. The industries of Philadelphia are responsible for making our beaches unsafe and our air unclean, and we have to live with it.
The truth is, we don’t have to live with it, not anymore at least. As I see it, it is far from too late to make change. As with all climate action, it relies on our youth to get involved politically. We have to rally the next generation. To show the youth of today what the previous generations have done to our entire can change minds. Changing minds creates conversation. Conversation creates a movement. Eventually, this movement creates change. We need to elect better officials, but even more so, we need complete political reform. We need to abolish the idea of a career politician, interested entirely in wealth and not at all in creating change for the betterment of the people. Once we can make people understand the health of the entire human race is at stake, politics should become a more pressing matter. The planet will be alright. It will survive. It always finds a way. We wont be so lucky.