Episode #137 Love The Earth

Environmental justice is about so much more than pandas and pollution. This week, Martha Chandran-Dickerson joins Dr. Michael Brown as she broadens our vision and deepens our understanding of the connection between daily decisions, climate change, and vulnerable communities.

Show Notes

We are still struggling to acknowledge that we are living on stolen land.
Martha Chandran-Dickerson

Ten Problems

  • Climate change affects more than just plants and animals, and it harms vulnerable communities first and foremost.
  • Although America only represents 4% of the global population, it is the world’s single greatest emitter of greenhouse gasses.
  • Just as we can hurt individuals unintentionally, we can also harm the environment without knowing it.
  • If the Earth does not thrive, neither can we who live on the Earth thrive.
  • We will never become the best version of ourselves if we live in a state of perpetual defensiveness.
  • Over-shopping and overspending to fill a void in our lives only functions to fill landfills and empty our wallets.
  • The price of personal pleasure is often paid by the environment.
  • Failure to heal from the trauma in our lives often leads to a transference of that trauma onto the Earth.
  • Selfishness elevates our desires over others’ needs.
  • Redlining forced the descendants of enslaved people into areas with higher rates of industrial pollution, and this contributes to current health inequities in communities of color.

Five Principles

  • The best way to heal our relationship with the Earth is to learn from those who stewarded the land before us.
  • The choices we make today do not affect us alone, and they can even affect people living thousands of miles away and thousands of years in the future.
  • We will inevitably make mistakes in the process of dismantling systems of oppression, but we should not use this to justify inaction or unwillingness to correct those mistakes.
  • Every choice has environmental as well as cultural, moral, and relational implications.
  • To love the Earth is to love ourselves.

Two Perspectives

  • “Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard… Lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to lack of respect for humans too.” – Chief Luther Standing Bear
  • “Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” – Chief Seattle

Five Practices

  • Submit to the environmental knowledge and authority of those who know the Earth best – Indigenous people of the past and present.
  • Invest in companies that take good care of the Earth and the people living in it.
  • Watch The True Cost to learn about the environmental and economic consequences of the fast fashion industry.
  • Read My Grandmother’s Hands to learn about ways that generational trauma affects your physical body.
  • Ask yourself, “Which policies do I support that perpetuate inequality by ensuring that poor people stay poor?”