What Does Sustainability Have to Do with Social Justice?

Peter Wood

In honor of Earth Day, Peter Wood examines the sustainability movement's Bookchin-born theory that "everything is connected to everything else." An excerpt:

What about that idea that that human social relations and the relation of humanity to the natural world belong on the same plane of analysis?  Is it true?  The answer is rather important, since pretty much the entire sustainability movement assumes that it is true.  The reason that the sustainability movement can range freely from concern over pollution and global warming to issues of economic organization and matters such as racism and women’s rights is that it treats all of these as not merely connected by UNESCO-style chains of cause-and-effect but also by a pseudo principle that, deep down, these are all instances of a single phenomenon:  oppression.  To cure the oppression of Mother Earth, we must simultaneously rid the world of man’s inhumanity to man.
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