Environmental Justice is the acknowledgement that marginalized people, people of color and the poor suffer disproportionately from environmental degradation, and that is its our responsibility to work against the systemic injustice that creates this disparity. It is the involvement of all people, regardless of race, class, gender, national origin or income in developing, implementing and enforcing environmental laws, regulations and policies.
A clean, healthy and sustainable environment is necessary and essential for survival of life on planet Earth. A UUA General Resolution written in 1994 stated "...the concept of environmental justice links the principles of liberal religion with the values of ecological awareness and racial and class justice."
Specific areas for action and support at state and federal levels:
Environmental Protections and Sustainability
Support a healthy environment with clean air and abundant sources of clean water. Conserve undeveloped land.
Climate Change/Sea Level Rise
Acknowledge that human activity is a contributing factor and that humanity has the means and responsibility to mitigate its consequences.
Renewable Energy/Fracking Ban
Reduce reliance and dependency on fossil fuels.
The impacts of climate change include increased global temperatures, more frequent heat waves, extremes of precipitation, and more frequent and severe storms. These effects are evident to people around the globe, and are currently impacting communities in Florida.
UUJF is responding with:
- -A climate resilience ministry to build capacity in underserved communities so they can more effectively address the public health impacts of climate change that they are experiencing.
- -Action alerts through our UUJF Action Network that call for:
A ban on frackingThe purchase of Florida Forever lands and the enactment of protections from development
Protection of Florida's springs and aquifersWater and energy conservationReduction of the solid waste stream by composting organic waste and expanding recycling effortsEverglades RestorationRenewable energy
- Some of the impacts of climate change that communities in Florida are currently addressing include:
Sea level rise, which is challenging storm water drainage systems in coastal areas, and causing saltwater intrusion that threatens our water supply. It causes beach erosion, and creates mold in homes and contaminated flood waters during the highest tides of the year.
Extremes of precipitation, such as droughts that are cause wildfires, and heavy precipitation that causes flood hazards.
Wildfires reduce air quality posing health threats for those with respiratory conditions.
An increase in vector borne diseases, such as the 2016 Zika outbreak.
Toxic algae blooms that occur when runoff containing phosphates and other pollutants combine with heat and pollen to provide nutrient rich environments for blue green algae.
Protecting Florida's natural systems increases our climate resilience. This calls us to advocate for responsible stewardship of our waters, our lands, and the flora and fauna that share our Earth home, as we work to reduce greenhouse gases.