Activists discuss climate justice during conference
Environmentalists discussed the links between the climate crisis and oppressive systems, as well as human health, during a virtual conference yesterday.
Mikaela Loach, bestselling British author and activist, told students at this year’s Youth Climate Summit that fighting and questioning White privilege is key to understanding climate justice.
She said: “We have to understand that there is a system globally that puts some people’s lives as more important or valuable than others, so interrogating whiteness as a power system is so important for understanding this.”
Ms Loach camped out in front of the British Parliament for two weeks, took the British Government to court and helped to deter Royal Dutch Shell from developing an oilfield in Britain — all in the name of climate justice.
She added: “We have to interrogate capitalism, colonialism and imperialism — these power structures that make it so that only a small amount of people are allowed power and safety at the top, whereas the majority are below.
“In order to tackle the climate crisis, we need to tackle these same systems; we get to transform the world around us and make a better one.”
After Ms Loach’s presentation, climate solutionist Bodhi Patel talked about eco-anxiety.
Also called climate anxiety, it describes when people are distressed about climate change.
Mr Patel said climate anxiety is “something we all feel when connected to the environment.
“However, we also have the tools to transform that.”
He provided four tips for coping with climate anxiety: breathe, exercise, write and choose.
He explained: “The power of your choice in driving systems change is something you may think is weak, but is much more powerful than you might ever believe it to be.”
Mr Patel also noted the link between climate and human health, adding: “When young people are equipped with electrified public transit and have better access to education and the environment, our health and wellbeing improve.
“Simultaneously, when we are able to do that, the health of the ecosystems around our environments and its multiplicity also improve.”
The summit will continue at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute today and tomorrow, and at Cooper’s Island nature reserve on Saturday. Learn more about the event at ycsbda.com.