". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"God Didn't Create No Junk"

The subject title above was a line delivered by Van Jones, an African American "Green" and environmentalist activist.

Since the poor and minorities tend to be most affected by pollution and environmental degradation, how in the world can anyone think that strategy and discussion about planning and dealing with climate change exclude the groups to which most of us in the world belong?

There are many green and environmental activist groups in the African American communities, both urban and rural. They have been doing good work for as along as anyone else has been doing, and the impact is personal.

successfully with climate change involves enormous work, which means jobs, which would mean a certain wealth re-distribution, because this MUST be funded. Everything from research and development, to clean-up, to manufacture, to infrastructure replacement, repair and renewal, as well a planning for a major population displacement. This work can replace the lost manufacturing sector that has been outsourced to cheaper (approaching slave) labor in other parts of the globe. This CAN be done, if we choose to. The only reason none of this is being done is because the powers who have by now redistributed the majority of the national and global wealth to their tiny minority holding don't want to. This is also hard work and demands many hands and their energies, but we can, if we want to.


K. said...

Environment justice is one of the most overlooked grass roots movements in the world. In the United States, Native Americans have been especially active. Where there's a significant amount of waste -- toxic or otherwise -- you can bet there's a poor community nearby.

Graeme said...

indeed. I read a defense of nuclear power the other day. No doubt the power plants would be in poor peoples' back yards.