Thursday, 20 March 2014

Social inequity vs. the environment is a false choice

It's time we stop pretending that inequality and environmental decline are two separate problems 

From, March 16, 2014
By Annie Leonard, originally published in Earth Island Journal

Note:  Annie Leonard is an American proponent of sustainability and critic of excessive consumerism. She is most known for her animated film The Story of Stuff about the life-cycle of material goods.

Note 2:  Leonard makes reference to Wilkinson and Pickett.  If you  haven't seen the 17 minute TED talk by Richard Wilkinson called:  "How economic inequality harms societies", I highly recommend it.  You can find it by clicking here.

In this article, Leonard proposes solutions to the challenges of addressing both economic inequality and environmental decline.  While it is a U.S.-based article, it has application to us in Canada as well.

story of solutions annie leonard
Image Source:

Excerpts from the article:

Excerpt 1:  On the one hand, inequality is a huge problem, with many people prevented from accessing the resources they need for dignified lives. Inequality is inherently unjust, and is the root of an array of environmental, health, and social ills. In Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, public health scientists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett show that high levels of inequality correlate with a stunning array of ills that reduce quality of life for all of society. 

Excerpt 2:  On the other hand, it’s undeniable that worldwide we’re using too many resources. We have only one planet, but globally humanity is using raw materials and generating waste at a rate that would take 1.5 Earths to sustain.

Excerpt 3:  I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do have some ideas of steps to get started.

Click here to read the entire article, including her ideas for "getting started".

- Submitted by Gareth

No comments:

Post a Comment