Environmental justice entails advocating for an equitable environment for all people regardless of color differences, racial identities, and social classes. Ecological impartiality promotes fairness and balance through the enforcement and implementation of environmental laws (Withgott and Laposata 27). The three main concerns in society are social equity, ecological integrity, and economic prosperity, all of which help improve people’s living standards, protect the environment, and ensure access to resources. The above issues are addressed through sustainability, emphasizing people meeting the present needs without affecting the future generations (Marlow and Sancken 299). Environmental justice establishes a foundation for sustainability where social equity, integrity, and economic prosperity are guaranteed regardless of one’s status. Therefore, it means that sustainability cannot be achieved without guidelines that promote environmental justice.
The circumstance of Kivalina villagers filing a suit against 24 major electric and oil companies in the United States is an excellent example of how environmental justice issues affect sustainability. The companies were accused of contributing to global warming. The primary concern was that the people were at risk of facing destruction due to the sea ice melting and the possible erosion of the coastline (Marlow and Sancken 294). Unfortunately, the court failed to adequately handle the matter, arguing that greenhouse gas emissions were an issue of politics and not a legal concern.
Despite failing to obtain justice, the Kivalina residents’ case of climate change triggered the world to concentrate on the issue of environmental sustainability by committing to find a lasting solution to global warming (Marlow and Sancken 301). Therefore, Kivalina, a small native village, through their determination to preserve the environment, made the world understand the need to implement ecological regulations which leads to socio-economic preservation. In summary, Kivalina’s case is a clear indication of the importance of the law as a powerful tool for achieving a sustainable life. A viable environment is fundamental to the people; hence, it is a problem that must be approached not from a political angle but rather from a legal concern (Withgott and Laposata 58). Therefore, the judicial system in any country must be vigilant and firm when dealing with environmental justice issues because they affect various life spheres, including economic sustainability.
The Relevance of the ‘Broken Ground’ Podcast on the Life of a Young College Student
The Broken podcast primarily focuses on the rising sea levels in North Carolina and how people’s lives near the coasts are disrupted. It reflects on the stories of increasingly growing ocean heights inflicting people living near the shores (Bullard). The practice of land reclamation is an excellent way of explaining the phenomena of sea-level rise. One of the major challenges that result from the rising sea altitudes is flooding. The problem is instigated by people who have reclaimed land and pushed their settlement into the sea, making the water fill the coastline’s original borders, especially when it rains (Bullard). Some of the water overflow effects to the residents include limited mobility, water pollution due to fertilizers and waste products, and disruption of socio-economic lives (Bullard). Therefore, it is advisable for the North Carolina residents who mostly live on inherited lands at the coastlines to move to higher areas to avoid flooding.
In conclusion, there are significant lessons that I have learned from the Broken Ground podcast. Firstly, as an environmentally conscious individual, I must be ready to provide solutions to guarantee a safe ecological system instead of just hoping that the problem will end on its own. Secondly, I should always consider the future implications of my decisions when dealing with environmental issues. The North Carolina experience is largely due to the refusal of the residents to shift to higher areas to avoid floods. The North Carolina people must embrace some of the suggested solutions, such as vacating to avoid occasional problems resulting from floods.
Marlow, Jennifer J., and Lauren E. Sancken. “Reimagining Relocation in a Regulatory Void: The Inadequacy of Existing US Federal and State Regulatory Responses to Kivalina’s Climate Displacement in the Alaskan Arctic.” Climate Law, vol. 7, no. 4, 2017, pp. 290–321. Web.
Bullard, Robert. “Environmental Justice Is Equal Justice.” Navigating Sea Level Rise in the South.2, 2020. Web.
Withgott, Jay, and Matthew Laposata. Environment: The Science Behind the Stories. 6th ed., Pearson, 2017.