“Climate action is commendable, but it must not cause us to overlook the circumstances of social and economic injustice which make climate action necessary.”
—Applying Martin Luther King, Jr.’s critique of philanthropy* to climate
Sometimes climate justice is described as a “lens” — it’s a way of seeing, analyzing or interpreting the world. But as I learned about climate justice, I started to see that capitalism is also a lens – a particularly distorting, fogged-up lens that I didn’t even know I was wearing.
Taking off the capitalism lens hasn’t been easy. It’s still an ongoing process.
I’m struggling to find a way to explain it that isn’t academic or woo-woo. The best I can come up with is this: the world feels more real when viewed through a climate justice lens. It’s an alternative to hype and cynicism and isolating individualism. It offers hundreds of thousands of stories of resistance, across the globe and throughout history — new and old ways of living and evolving. It’s a world of many truths, coming together to create more possible worlds. And yes, there are many contradictions and conflicts, but at the heart of it is the question, “How can we live in a way that supports Life? How can we be more human?”
These are a few of the works that made the world more vivid for me.
In order of length, more or less:
- TA’U TAMA, Small Island Big Song featuring Vaiteani & Luc (song, h/t Andrew Revkin)
- Increase Your Footprint, Farmer Rishi (poem)
- Love as the Practice of Freedom, bell hooks (essay, h/t Aditi Desai)
- What is economic value, and who creates it?, Mariana Mazzucato (TED talk)
- Seed: The Untold Story (documentary, h/t BPL)
- Down Uterus, Down Girl! with Rebecca Solnit, Hot Take (podcast episode)
- The Repair, Scene on Radio (podcast season, h/t Georgia Tan)
- The Old Is Dying and the New Cannot Be Born, Nancy Fraser (book)
- The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige (book)
- Property Will Cost Us the Earth: Direct Action and the Future of the Global Climate Movement, ed. Jessie Kindig (essay collection, free)
*“Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.” — Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love
Oculus / Metaverse Festival collage by Melissa Hsiung (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Images used: Oculus VR from Facebook by Official GDC via Flickr (CC-by-2.0), The Metaverse Festival by Duncan Rawlinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), DEADMAU5 The Metaverse Festival (Portapotties/”Dump-N-Pump”) by Duncan Rawlinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), DEADMAU5 The Metaverse Festival (White beams & people) by Duncan Rawlinson via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0),