Equity & The Environmentposted
Earth Week Reflections
I've been thinking about ways in which we can keep equity at the center of our environmental concerns.
One way is to reflect upon the history of European dominance over indigenous peoples and the impact of that dominance on the land.
Join the members of Arboretum Cohousing for a special presentation and neighborhood walk with Larry Johns, an Oneida tribal member who has worked on identifying, protecting and educating people about the sacredness of our land and area. He will share his knowledge about mounds, effigy mounds, and the neighborhood, answer questions, and walk with us to local mound sites including the Vilas Avenue circle. Effigy Mounds, Past & Present Arboretum Cohousing 1137 Erin St. Saturday, April 27th 1 pm talk with Larry Johns 2 pm visit to mounds.
(District 13 resident Bill Cronon's book, Changes in the Land, is an excellent source to go deeper into this subject.)
Another way to look at how equity intersects with the environment is to consider the myriad ways the unregulated market tends to shift costs off the books and onto the backs of workers and poor communities, particularly communities of color. Cancer Alley in Louisiana and the water crisis in Flint, Mi are prime examples, leading to charges of environmental racism.
We have an environmental justice issue right here in Madison with the problems at Truax Field and its impact on the nearby Truax neighborhood. The levels of PFAS in our groundwater should concern us all. The impact on the lives of low-income neighborhoods surrounding the base sounds the alarm.
The plume of PFAS contamination will continute to grow without effective mitigation.
In other words, we shouldn't wait until PFAS shows up in our own drinking water here in District 13 to be concerned.
Green New Deal
Unregulated commerce also shifts costs onto future generations. Maximizing shareholder value in the short-term doesn't fully take into consideration social and environmental costs years down the road. Hence, climate change, and the warnings that we have until 2030 to shift the global economy onto a sustainable footing before irreversible damage occurs.
One thing for sure, this is not a jobs vs the environment issue. The data are clear; investing in a sustainable future will create family-supporting jobs and a healthy economy.
Take a moment to watch this stunning video narrated by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Finally, the Earth Day Challenge to help clean up our parks is still on tomorrow despite the forecast. Dress warmly and have fun loving Mother Earth.