This is a summary of a paper I will be presenting at a Sociology conference in Montreal, on June 1st -
A burgeoning array of activists, organizers, and critics are adopting and circulating “climate justice” goals and critiques. These proponents of climate justice claim that groups who are less responsible for global warming also tend to be more vulnerable to these and other climate changes—which some climate justice advocates also see as outcomes of market systems (such as carbon trading). Focusing on gender and race inequities, I will convey how these forms of inequality are bound up with purported causes and consequences of climate change. The gendered injustices I will address include additional burdens borne by women who are responsible for gathering water amidst droughts, as well as food from failing crops. Interrelated climate vulnerabilities—if not ongoing hardships—experienced by Africans, Inuit peoples, and other indigenous groups, all are pertinent instances of climate injustices along race lines which I will discuss. Although climate justice proponents usually highlight international economic disparities, gender and race injustices also are important sides of climate justice concerns and critiques, as I will explain. My overview will bridge various manifestations of the term “climate justice,” while offering a framework that is compatible with some other potential instances of climate justice approaches.
I also delivered an earlier version of this during a Research Day, in my Sociology department.
A key point which the abstract doesn’t convey is the emphasis that I placed on market factors during the presentation — even as I focused on racism and patriarchy.
Update (March, 2011) –
Starting this abstract with “burgeoning array” comes across as being too pompous. There was bound to be some awkwardness involved in trying to talk about the (then) largely non-academic climate justice movement in a professional-scholarly context, but I think that I over-compensated when I started the abstract with those words.