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ATD V-2 Video #4:

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Awakening the Dreamer - Changing the Dream Where are We? Social Justice We've seen the impact that the dream of the modern world is having in the environment and other species but how is it affecting the human family? one of the primary expectations people have of the modern industrial system has been that by growing the economy life will get better for everyone that we are continually moving toward to a more socialy just world but is this true? When I was growing up, I always thought that of course the world will become more equal. There will be more people educated people will get jobs and, you know, we'll all be better off we'll all be more prosperous. However, what has happened in the last 20 years or so, is the world has become more unequal. This idea that the poor will be kind of helped to come along even though the rich get richer. This hasn't actually worked out to be true. We all know that a great disparity currently exists between rich and poor. One way to understand this disparity is to think of the Earth as a commmunity of 100 people.. 2 people own 50% of the world's wealth. and 50 people share only 1% of the world's wealth. 15 are hungry and seriously malnourished. 16 have no safe drinking water 39 have no basic sanitation 15 are unable to read if you have food in your refrigerator clothes in your closet a bed to sleep in, and a roof over your head you are better off than 83% of people in this planet. People around the world are starting to realize that climate disruption, pollution and other environmental problems will soon have an impact on the way they live. But for million of others, it already has. The movement to address this has a name, envinronmental justice. Environmental justice is the belief that no community should have to bear the brunt of a disproportionate amount of environmental burdens and not enjoy any environmental benefits. But right now, race and class are the most excellent indicators as to where you're going to find good stuff like parks and trees and where you're going to find bad stuff like waste facilities or power plants. And around the world, that is something that you see. Black Mesa, Navajo Nation Arizona, USA In the United States, Native Americans continue to be marginalized and have their natural resources appropriated. All of this energy that's being mined on our lands doesn't go to our people. The people who live on Black Mesa, the people who live right off of the coal mine area, don't have electricity. They don't even have running water. All of that electricity goes to California, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Our lands have been labeled a national sacrifice area. That's when we stood up and said, hey, this isn't a sacrifice area. This is where I have two kids I am raising, I want to raise them here. One way to look at the dynamics of environmental injustice comes from the United States in this excerpt from a film by Annie Leonard called "The Story of Stuff" Our problem is not just that we're using too much stuff, but we're using more than our share. We (in the US) have 5% of the world's population but we are using 30% of the world's resources and creating 30% of the world's waste. So, my country's response to this limitation is simply to go take somebody's else's! This is the Third World, which some would say is another word for our stuff that somehow got on someone else's land. So what does that look like? The same thing trashing the place. Globally 200,000 people a day are moving from environments that have sustained them for generations, into cities many to live in slums. So, you see, it is not just resources that are wasted along this system, but people too. Whole communities get wasted. In many parts of the world, especially once-colonized countries, where local people still have no control over their natural resources the industrial world's demand for oil, minerals and timber is having devastating effects on the land, air, water and people. An example is the Niger Delta of Nigeria where hundreds of millions of dollars of oil have been extracted and exported, yet most of the people live in poverty on less that one US dollar a day. Because of the oil activities in this place a lot of people who go fishing, can't even catch fish. The aquatic life is destroyed. Look, the cassave is all rotten, the oil spoils it like this. Our plantain, cassava, cocoyam, everything dies... All our food, all our fish dies-finished! The community asked us to go out and do the clean up. I was five months pregnant. I miscarried We are nine women who miscarried. Oil should be a blessing and not a curse. But it is a curse to our land now. We are dying here. What we do not understand is that we humans are only part of this ecosystem. And when we kill part of the system, we are killing ourselves. The principal of social justice is that there is social contract. We are not just individuals; we are part of a society, a worldwide society. We're interdependent, and that interdependence flows at many levels: It's spiritual, it is psychological, it is economic. The notion that we can exist and prosper just individually, based purely on what we do and what we earn, is a rather new notion in history, and it doesn't work I think for a lot of people who are born in privilege, there's a sense of what a friend of mine calls, the right not to know: I don't have to know about poverty, I don't have to know about racism, I don't have to know about environmental degradation or environmental justice or injustice because it's not me. I've got my life, and I've got my family and I can do what I want. But the world is not forgiving of that much anymore. Pollution carries, water runs out in rich places too. The forests are coming down everywhere; the fish in the sea are depleting. It's hurting us all. Yes, it's hurting the poor first, but it's very, very difficult to go through life anymore and not see it and not feel it at some level personally. A socially just world is a world in which, if you had to draw a lot, and it would put you anywhere in that society, you would feel perfectly confident; you wouldn't be worried, because you knew whatever lot you drew would be a good lot. It doesn't mean everything is equal. It just means that every single person in that society has a decent shot at living the fullest life that they can. But if you close your eyes and you think to yourself, would you want to be black? Would you trade places? Well, if you wouldn't trade places, then there's a work to be done...

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 18 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 1,036
Posted by: pachasherilyn on Feb 8, 2010

ATD V-2 Video #4: "Where Are We? Social Justice"

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