Why climate justice matters to me

A fossil fuel divestment rally at a college where I’ve worked. You can see me on the right. Photo by James Ennis.

So, you may have noticed that I’ve been blogging more and more about climate change/climate justice.

I’m not going to stop writing about fatshion, fat acceptance, and pretty things–in fact, I’ve got several outfit posts in the works, and lots of interesting stuff about sustainable fashion. (I just need to sit down and put it together!) But climate justice….well, it’s where my heart is right now.

I’ve been aware of global warming for as long as I can remember–I learned about greenhouses gases in elementary school. And I’ve known for years that things are pretty bad, and only getting worse. But there are so many terrible things in the world–sometimes, you have to push some of them to the back of your mind to stay sane.

So I pushed what’s happening to our planet to the back of my mind, mostly.

But lately I’ve found I can’t do that anymore.

I’ve been tip-toeing the fine line between recognizing the urgency of the problem and getting overwhelmed: vacillating between hope and hopelessness, action and inaction. Doing my best to push through it all, and just act.

Photo by James Ennis

There’s a lot I could say about climate justice, why I’ve gotten involved with 350.org and the fossil fuel divestment movement, why I admire the living hell out of those who are practicing civil disobedience to save our planet.

But, in short, it’s the moral issue of our time.

It’s inherently linked to pretty much all social justice issues.

It’s not just another environmental cause–it’s about whether or not we will even have a future.

And time is running out. By some estimates, we have less than four years to turn around our economy in time to avoid catastrophic changes to the climate.

It’s not easy to look this challenge in the eye, to refuse to back away.

Sometimes I feel like Oscar the Grouch in the Sesame Street movie Don’t Eat the Pictures, when the characters get stuck in the Metropolitan Museum of art overnight:

David: I’ve got a real bad feeling that this museum is locked, and we are locked in the museum for the night.
Telly Monster: David, what are we going to do now?
Oscar the Grouch: Well, I’ve got a suggestion. Let’s panic!

But deep down, I don’t believe I have a choice.

On the purely selfish level, I want a future. I feel screwed enough by the economy into which I graduated–I don’t want to be screwed out of a livable planet as well.

Less selfishly, I want a livable and just future for everyone. I know that climate change has the worst impact on those who are most vulnerable, most marginalized: the ones who did the least to cause the problem. That’s not ok, and it needs to change.

I believe in the important of fighting on multiple fronts: both to end the destruction of our environment by fossil fuels, and to replace them with a stronger, more just, sustainable way of living.

If you’re interested in getting involved, check out 350.org and see if there’s a local chapter near you. I also highly recommend reading Bill McKibben’s Deep Economy and Eaarth, Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff, and Jay Walljasper’s All That We Share.

There are so many great campaigns and projects going on, and I’m constantly inspired by all the activism and movement-building I see. Are you all interested in a list of resources–books, blogs, organizations, events, people to follow on Twitter, info on the science behind climate change, ways to get involved? Let me know, and I’ll think about putting one together.

One thought on “Why climate justice matters to me

  1. Pingback: OOTD: Fighting climate change in style | Tutus And Tiny Hats

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