Jun 29

Thinking about Environmental Justice

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 06/29/2020 7:44AM

Thinking About Environmental Justice

Our Quote of the Week stresses the importance of working together to protect our environment from the many human-made threats that are endangering life on Earth. Taking action to create a cleaner, healthier environment is important for all of us. And, as we continue to explore the ways in which our systems have exploited and harmed the poorest and most vulnerable populations on earth, we must remember that protecting the environment is also a question of justice.

Sargent Shriver gave this speech 45 years ago. He stressed a need for international collaboration and spoke about science and the environment in ways that seem remarkably prescient today, particularly in his inclusion of what he referred to as “inadvertent weather modification from all sources,” or what we would refer to today as climate change.

Without a doubt, pollution, climate change, and other factors that destroy our environment are damaging for all of us. But in 2020, we must also understand that the destruction of our environment disproportionately affects the poor and communities of color. For example:

The health, safety, and well-being of populations around the world, particularly those who are already most vulnerable to poverty and conflict, rely on our collaboration and collective action. As we continue to push for action on protecting the environment, let's remember that we are also fighting to achieve environmental justice.

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