Why social, racial, and economic justice are just as crucial as science in determining how humans can reverse climate catastrophe
We are facing a climate catastrophe. A plethora of studies describe the damage we've already done, the droughts, the wildfires, the super-storms, the melting glaciers, the heat waves, and the displaced people fleeing lands that are becoming uninhabitable. Many people understand that we are facing a climate emergency, but may be fuzzy on technical, policy, and social justice aspects. In Is Science Enough?
, Aviva Chomsky breaks down the concepts, terminology, and debates for activists, students, and anyone concerned about climate change. She argues that science is not enough to change course: we need put social, racial, and economic justice front and center and overhaul the global growth economy.
Chomsky's accessible primer focuses on 5 key issues:
1.) Technical questions: What exactly are "clean," "renewable," and "zero-emission" energy sources? How much do different sectors (power generation, transportation, agriculture, industry, etc.) contribute to climate change? Can forests serve as a carbon sink?
2.) Policy questions: What is the Green New Deal? How does a cap-and-trade system work? How does the United States subsidize the fossil fuel industry?
3.) What can I do as an individual?: Do we need to consume less? What kinds of individual actions can make the most difference? Should we all be vegetarians?
4.) Social, racial, and economic justice: What's the relationship of inequality to climate change? What do race and racism have to do with climate change? How are pandemics related to climate change?
5.) Broadening the lens: What is economic growth? How important is it, and how does it affect the environment? What is degrowth?