Justice is a concept of great importance to all of us working for a better world. It is fundamental to theories of social order. Studies show that the sense of justice may be instinctual to our nature. Today, calls for justice are getting louder – calls for social justice, climate justice, environmental justice, economic justice, the list goes on.
But in a world already sorely out of balance, with globalization transcendent, and with corporations controlling much of the world’s resources and distribution systems, in some circumstances it can be difficult to know from whom to demand justice. The gap between the “haves” and “have nots” is getting more disproportional; unraveling the causes of fundamental injustices can lead to truths some of us would rather not face.
Simply put, in order for us “haves” to maintain our current gigantic physical and ecological footprints (which we have come to think of as “normal”), corporations must keep drilling, blasting, digging and ripping and the people and animals who get in the way of these operations will continue to be silenced, bought off, poisoned, killed or enslaved. These companies aren’t ruining the environment for their own amusement. Unless there is a profit to be made there is no business – and unless there are buyers for their products no such business for that reason too.
It’s doubly scary because studies also show that despite an inner sense of fairness, we also have a tendency to ignore facts that would require us to give something up or change. The make or break point for our collective futures and those of our children will likely come down to whether or not the world’s currently comfortable, the “haves”, can muster up the will to consciously redefine what “normal” looks like.
The ecocity vision, we believe, holds a world of promise in that regard. Attaining that vision, however, will require changing, giving some things up, and rebuilding our built environment to fit a renewable energy future. A daunting task, maybe impossible, but just maybe not.
Kirstin Miller for Ecocity Builders
339 15th Street, Suite 208
Oakland CA 94612 USA