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With the current climate crisis we’re facing, it’s natural that we might get ahead of ourselves in certain stages of finding solutions, considering the clock doesn’t stop. But what does this mean, and does it have to do with Eco-Ableism? What is that, anyway?
Well. Let’s start with the perfect example: straws. When faced with the fact that we have about 8 billion straws on our shores, we managed to manifest and demand that something be done about it. The initial and instinctive thought regarding a solution would be putting an end to straws, we don’t really need them and it wouldn’t make a big difference, right?
Not quite... By making this type of presumably logical decision when it comes to climate change, we are neglecting millions of people that have disabilities. It’s not that their lives would be drastically worse because of a straw, but the point is that their needs should and must be taken into consideration as well, when looking for a solution! We could say this example is one in a million. If you live with disabilities, you’ll face them all at once on a daily basis! It's fair to say, life is already very challenging on these terms, so we shouldn’t make it harder while fighting for the common goal of saving the planet!
Let’s lay the groundwork for this:
Ableism is discrimination or prejudice against disabled people in favor of non-disabled people. Therefore, within an ecological context and despite being non-intentional, eco-ableism is defined as a failure by non-disabled environmental activists to recognize that many climate actions they’re promoting make life harder for disabled people.
Briefly, although of the utmost importance, there are Three Pillars of Sustainability when it comes to the environment:
Environmental Protection - the commitment to protect nature against harmful company activities.
Economic Viability - the values set upon the encouragement and protection of the environment through limiting risks posed by production and reducing energy consumption, while aiming for efficiency and economic growth.
Social Equity - representing the values that promote equality and respect for individual rights.
Naturally, this side of the coin doesn’t cross the majority of people's minds. If you’re feeling a bit guilty now that you know about it, don’t sweat it! What matters is how you think and act upon learning about this problem. In this case, awareness is critical, and spreading the word helps not only to save the planet but also one of our most vulnerable communities.
To be able to live in a sustainable world, we must be more inclusive by finding alternative solutions that fit everyone’s needs! We managed to go to the moon and beyond, so this shouldn’t be a big problem.
We’ll see you next week!