Intersectional environmentalism acts as a gateway between environmental issues and social injustices. These two topics often merge as various marginalized groups are more negatively impacted by the climate crisis.
Identifiers such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, and ability play a part in who is disproportionately affected. Here are a few specific cases:
People of color
Communities of color are often located nearby waste incinerators, landfill dumps, and other environmentally precarious sites, putting residents at a higher risk of suffering from pollution. Poor water and air quality can lead to health-related issues.
Black neighborhoods also face the most destruction due to natural disasters, yet receive minimal relief in comparison to predominantly white and higher-income neighborhoods.
In many developing countries, it is the woman’s responsibility to provide her family with certain resources, most commonly water. When drought occurs, women must journey into foreign territory in search of bare necessities.
Additionally, women are subject to eco-fascist narratives that blame the ecological crisis on overpopulation rather than over-consumption and hazardous demands that infringe upon women’s reproductive rights.
Due to discrimination, members of the LQBTQ+ community face far worse environmental consequences. For example, during Hurricane Katrina trans people experienced transphobia and were turned away from shelters.
Moreover, 24% of homeless youth in the UK are from the LGBTQ+ community. These people often end up in poor circumstances because they did not receive fundamental help after a natural disaster.
Indigenous peoples feel a connection to the Earth and therefore are often the first to recognize the effects of climate change. However, without the proper resources, Indigenous communities are not in a position to offer solutions.
On top of that, scarcely any countries obey land protection rights, resulting in ancestral land being used for large-scale agriculture and Indigenous peoples losing their homes.
Acknowledging these many strands of injustice that all relate back to our Earth is important in fighting the climate crisis. With this notion in mind, we can work towards equality and fair treatment of all people despite the pockets of privilege and discrimination we observe.
Article Written By Eden Leavey