For some, the term ‘social justice’ equates to addressing the plight of those members of humanity who are in the margins, disadvantaged or at risk. At Loreto Normanhurst, we recognise that addressing environmental issues also fall under the umbrella term of ‘social justice’ – whether it be climate change, pollution or habitat destruction, there is a fall out for people as well as all the other organisms on this planet.
2019 has brought with it unprecedented summer temperatures in Australia, exacerbating the drought. Whilst many continue to use the term global warming to describe the impact of industrialisation and over consumption on our atmosphere, it is more correct to use the term climate change. In the northern hemisphere for example, we have seen record snowfalls and low temperatures in Europe and dangerously low temperatures in the USA this week.
Climate change affects us all, but for many, the effects of drought, flood and bushfires in Australia are felt very intensely. Entire communities continue to be challenged by the drought and the implications of water restrictions and dwindling water supplies. When one considers the strain on communities living through these conditions, it’s easy to see how environmental issues and social justice are interconnected. Globally, our poorest nations are at greatest risk of the effects of climate change, which include food and water shortages, displacement and conflict.
So many of us in the community have succeeded in reducing our use of single-use plastic in our families and Loreto Normanhurst has changed many practices to incorporate reusable items in place of disposable items. Make 2019 the year that you rise to the challenge of reducing electricity consumption in your homes; until there is a seismic shift away from coal-fired power, most units of electricity generated in Australia has a hefty carbon footprint. This article contains some practical, realistic ways in which you can start today.
Mrs Elizabeth Cranfield