Today is Earth Day – an annual event started by grassroots organizers in 1970 in the US and Canada but is now celebrating in many cities and countries all around the world. There are so many different things happening today, including the fact that the Paris climate deal is being officially signed by 170 nations.
But it seems like now more than ever, Earth Day and year round environmental justice needs to happen because there are still so many threats to the environment. Scientists now say that 93% of the Great Barrier Reef is now bleached; National Geographic has had to make major changes to its atlas because of the shrinking ice caps in the Arctic; many politicians in the US, including presidential candidates, are avid climate change deniers despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. And those are just some of the issues currently at play.
Environmental justice has a lot to do with protecting and conserving the environment and wildlife all over the world but there are plenty of ways in which environmental justice also fights for some of the world’s most marginalized people. Environmental racism impacts low income and people of color in so many different ways both in the US (like Flint, Michigan) and around the world. A UN report found that climate change will deepen poverty and hunger and it impacts the world’s poor more than previously thought.
Here are some things to read about various environmental justice issues:
- A mining company tweeted about World Earth day and hoo boy – Rob Scott
- Earth Day in Seattle is finally all about the city’s commitment to environmental justice – Sydney Brownstone
- #EarthDay: The high cost of eco-activism – Nurith Aizenman
- Five planet-changing consequences of global warming to consider on Earth Day and every day – Dean Goodwin
- Celebrate Earth Day with Photo Ark’s amazing documentation of species – before they go extinct – Alexandra Rosenmann
- The Navajo are fighting to get their water back – Erica Gies
My own pieces:
- Climate Change
- #sHellNo protests
- The environmental impact of whales and wolves
- Zoos, SeaWorld, and Exotic Pets
Other days include: