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On Poverty and the Environment

isabell.the.polyglot's picture

I think that Van Jones' effort to include underprivileged kids in the fight for climate change is admirable. The way that he uses his upbringing to inspire the highschool dropouts (who probably weren't given much support through their academic lives) is significant in that he gives them a cause to fight for. While I don't necessarily agree that it is their responsibility to incite change (as this is like saying it is the job of the minority groups to fight racism). it makes sense that Van Jones wants to include the underprivileged population in the fight against climate change. After all, they are usually the ones who are the first to feel the effects of environmental issues (both the destruction and the prevention of them). It seems like too big of a project to take on these mass corporations which are so closely intertwined with the government. It is true that the underprivileged should feel the need to protest against the bigger, more powerful entities, so a fundamental change must occur to educate the underprivileged people of the priorities of the government in order for anything to be done properly and effectively. 

However, it is also important to consider that raising awareness is important, but working from within the system is just as -- if not more -- effective in such cases.