The way most people talk about climate change we are led to believe we all have an equal part in creating the capitalist nightmare we live in, but that’s a lie. The unsustainable and extractive nature of capitalism grew directly from the ideological and material foundations of European colonization. We cannot hold the entire human species responsible for that. It’s victim blaming.
The vast majority of waste is produced by the same people and institutions who hold power. Fighting for our planet, the health of our land, our food, our homes, our communities, is where the fight against capitalism and white supremacy collide. Any fight for environmental justice must also be a fight for racial justice because BI&POC are the ones who disproportionately bear the weight of climate change.
White Settler Colonialism Is Destroying the Planet, Not Poor BI&POC
Don’t believe the Malthusian and eco-fascist myth that there are too many people on the planet to care for. This is a lie peddled by capitalists, eugenicists, and people who advocate for genocide. We know that every landbase has its limit for how much life it can support (indigenous peoples have been saying this for hundreds of years), but “overpopulation” rhetoric is overwhelmingly used as a means to enforce colonial hierarchies where wealthy white people can maintain lives of access and privilege while poor BI&POC barely survive.
Instead of telling poor BI&POC to have less children or to stop wanting better lives, we should build a movement to fight climate change which centers racial justice, abolishes capitalism, and forces wealthy, predominately white populations to stop hoarding resources.
Here are some Earth Day facts for tomorrow so you don’t fall for the lies:
Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. (Source: the Guardian)
Black communities are exposed to 56% more pollution than is caused by their consumption. For Latinx communities, it is 63%. (Source: American Journal of Public Health)
97% of waste produced in the United States is corporate waste. 80% of businesses are owned & operated by white people. (Source: “The Story of Stuff” & US News)
Indigenous peoples make up less than 5% of the planet’s human population, yet they are protecting 80% of its biodiversity. (Source: National Geographic)
The world’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while the poorest half contribute only 10%. (Source: Oxfam)
The world’s wealthiest 16% use 80% of the planet’s natural resources. (Source: CNN)
We are not all equally “responsible.” White settler colonialism and capitalism are destroying the planet, not poor BI&POC.