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THE ENVIRONMENT

"Real success can only come if there is a change in our societies and in our economics and in our politics"

Sir David Attenborough

When focussing on the environment, (In)Justice International accentuates the destructive nature of neoliberalism and its unbridled drive for States, organisations and individuals to maximise profits and make cost cutting savings at the expense of safety. Inevitably, such a competitive pursuit to capture finite but lucrative market consumption has resulted in excessive pollution, reckless dumping of un-recyclable products (by industry and all of us alike) and the dispersal of chemicals in waterways (as, for example, in the city of Flint, USA and Guiyu, China). In essence, all demonstrate how such a socio-economic system has significantly contributed to the erosion and destruction of the planet’s biosphere. Yet when combined with extreme forest clearances (to establish larger farming lands in Australia, Brazil and Papua New Guinea), the overuse of pesticides (for farming in the minority world), unfettered air-polluting mining practices (Linfen, China), uncontrollable oil spillages (Exxon Valdez, 1989 and BP’s Deepwater Horizon, 2010) exacerbated by the leeching of approximately 5.25 trillion manufactured oil based plastic particles into the world’s oceans— and their subsequent absorption through the food-chain of the planet—this atmospheric degradation has resulted in unprecedented climate change, devastation and long-term harms for the worse.

All are interrelated, and all have resulted in temperatures increasing disproportionately across the globe, glaciers collapsing in the Arctic/Antarctic, rising sea levels and, as a direct consequence, flooding and Tsunamis on a monumental scale. Uncontrollable forest fires (in Australia and, unusually, most recently in Canada, June/July, 2021), barren lands and tornados/hurricanes (Hurricane Dorian) are also more common occurrences than before. As a result, thousands have been killed or debilitated, left homeless without shelter or food and have been victimised because of their culture or poverty-stricken status. In Brazil, for instance, Indigenous cultural genocide and loss of lifestyles are under threat from deforestation. So too are the lives of these peoples. Nevertheless, in the name of economic expansion—through an expanding cattle/beef industry supported by government—the Amazon forests continue to be cleared and lives are still being lost, whereas the Christian poor in South Sudan during 1998 were starved to death by the Sudanese government who withheld foreign food aid to overcome armed resistance during prolonged periods of drought in the Southern area.

Social harm, therefore, has a twofold effect during such a period of climate devastation. On the one hand, social harms are inflicted on individuals worldwide through the occurrences of these ‘natural’ disasters, whilst on the other, social harm is foisted upon humankind by thoughtless governmental and neoliberal practices. And this does not even incorporate the loss of species and endangerment to animal life in general or the consequences of further damage to the eco-system and pollution of the food chain. By looking through the lens of social harm (click on ‘Social Harm’ below for more), and by examining the longitudinal effects of environmental destruction, (In)Justice International will be able to not only bring these issues more to the fore, and thus help combat any future damage, but also help in the building of a campaign to reduce damaging emissions to help repair the ozone layer, but also help to save lives from reckless action. For related videos click here.