To be honest, I have always been more concerned with concepts such as 'human rights' and 'social justice' than 'animal rights' or 'environmental justice'. When I found out that a core subject in my uni course this year was "sustainable futures", I wasn't overly thrilled by the idea. It is not that I don't believe in climate change, global warming, and fair treatment of animals, but I think that I always felt more connected to social struggles and probably as if they were issues that I may be able to have more of an impact on.
However, in trudging along to my first "sustainable futures" lecture I very quickly felt a lot more positive about being learning about this area. And one of the most important things that I learnt on that day was that "sustainability" is not just about the environment, it must also incorporate social factors; and I have since learnt that in turn, environmental issues don't just have an affect on our planet, but they also have a major impact on the communities which live in those societies. In essence, environmental and social issues in our world are intrinsically linked.
Through my studies, and further researched, I've learnt about the major issue of petrol consumption and transportation on a global scale. At the moment, it is becoming cheaper for us in Australia to import our petrol than to produce it ourselves, with refineries in Australia being shut down. I have also learnt about the major issues of 'fracking' which even sounds rude right? And, trust me, it is rude! It's about digging right down into our earth's core and finding pockets of gas to be extracted. Often this is happening on people's land, and causing serious implications to not only their environment but also their health.
I am really glad to have been given this insight into environmental issues so far, and in particular to be made away of the way in which social and economic justice are essentially inseparable.
Here's a little video which certainly got me thinking about the amount of 'stuff' I use, and the serious impacts it could be having on out planet...and how we are being totally jibbed!