Charting Environmental Conflict - The Atlas of Environmental Justice
Date Written: 20/07/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX19809
Another tool supporting the growing movement and better global awareness is the Atlas of Environmental Justice. The EJAtlas is packed with qualitative information about almost 1800 environmental conflicts.
As differing environmental justice struggles connect with each other, their power to ensure that environmental martyrs don't die for nothing is increasing. The rise of social media is no stranger to that trend and another new and mighty weapon supporting this growing movement and better global awareness is the Atlas of Environmental Justice. The EJAtlas is packed with qualitative information about almost 1800 environmental conflicts. The story they tell is like the story of climate change told through 1800 weather events. One hurricane doesn't prove climate change is real - but when you analyse 1800 hurricanes, there are things you can begin to tell about trends.
What the scientists involved in the EJAtlas do is to look beyond the local particulars and investigate the root cause of all this. Political ecologists at the Autonomous University of Barcelona sifted through the 10,000 pages of information that the Atlas entails to distil a couple of key global trends that are reflected in these local conflicts.
The EU's sucking strategy is now falling apart even on it's own terms. Increased trade flows and the resulting economic growth have been good for Europe's higher income groups ... but the buying power of the lowest incomes in the UK has not increased in the past 30 years. It's precisely this group that just voted to leave the EU. It's also this income group that hates the neo-liberal EU project everywhere in the EU, from Poland to France and from Greece to Denmark. The neoliberal ideology ever increasing environmentally and socially destructive trade flows is bound to become a pretty damn big boomerang and at present it's heading at full speed to Europe's face.
The time for a great rethink of the economy has come and in the age of climate change and resource depletion, the only sensible and workable road is a radical shift to a much smaller, greener and fairer economy.
There's no point going back to the industrial age of the 20th century: we just no longer have the resources and atmospheric absorption capacity to do that. But ecological economists have macro-economic post-growth economic models that can work for all of humanity, on a planet that has its limits.