Learning about climate justice in times of drought and Covid-19
Shirley Walters, PIMA President, recently published this article in the International Journal of Lifelong Education. We hope this article will add to your thoughts and discussion on climate justice.
Abstract: Activism and engagement with real-world climate crises, within particular contexts, are prerequisites for learning about climate justice. I draw on my experience as an imbedded activist researcher living and learning through two recent ‘crises’ in Cape Town, to deepen my understandings of ‘climate justice’. I followed a case study approach to investigate learning within two ‘crises’, the 2017/2018 drought and the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020. Cape Town is a significant context within which to explore climate justice as it is a ‘city of islands’ with ‘so much beauty, yet a tremendous amount of violence and suffering’. It is a microcosm of the inequalities and socioeconomic injustices in the world. Through the study, ecofeminism is identified as a significant framework for understanding ‘climate justice’ and deep, just transitions towards its attainment. It places at the centre of concern marginalised poor, Indigenous, black, peasant women. Climate justice is about foregrounding those people who have contributed least to climate catastrophes and are most affected by them. As climate justice is about systems change, social movements and social movement learning (SML) are key vehicles towards deep transformation. SML importantly confronts knowledge hierarchies and middle-class biases in crisis responses