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By William E Gibson

Articles linking ecological sustainability and social justice.

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Extra info for Eco-Justice: The Unfinished Journey

Sample text

Our lifestyles have changed in lots of modest ways. Responding to the energy crunch and the high price of oil, we decided to heat with wood, since we live in a neighborhood where housing is not too dense to make this acceptable, and in a county where forests provide a sustainable yield of firewood. We are growing more of our food, doing that organically, participating in a co-op, lending equipment more freely to friends who need it, writing more letters to public officials . . endeavoring to take the steps we can see to take.

With slow growth or no growth, however, it can no longer be pretended that a tolerable economic minimum can be achieved without a greater measure of equality. In the face of persistent poverty and inexorable ecological limits, the world no longer can afford the wasteful lifestyle of the affluent. We have to face hard questions about the control and organization of resources, employment, 28 Eco-Justice—The Unfinished Journey productive capacity, compensation, and mechanisms for redistribution. But it is at bottom a question of value, of justice as sufficiency.

Intrinsic to the idea, however, is an evaluative judgment about those facts, a judgment that the reality to which they point has to be turned around. Eco-justice is the hoped-for, intended reality of a global society that more nearly embodies enduring values that always give definition, I believe, to human The Eco-Justice Perspective 29 existence. But those values now become norms formulated to give impetus and guidance to the transformation of present reality. Living by the norms for our time, we shall seek a sustainable sufficiency for all.

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