Prostitution, Poverty, And Planet Earth In Peril; Yes, There Is A Connection
Ecopsychology shows us where all the threads weave a pattern — which can express a world of our own design
The Women’s March on the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump introduced a global resistance which continues to display that people worldwide are concerned about the destruction of our planet and the vulnerability of democracy.
Are climate concerns more urgent than sexism? No. They are cut from the same cloth that is smothering our planet to death under a thick blanket of CO2 and ignorance. To put it plainly, we don’t escape exploitation of every earth habitat until we escape injustice itself.
Ecopsychology addresses these issues because it is based on a networking model that demonstrates the whole cosmos is connected by inter-woven threads. Perhaps the buttons on your shirt were sewn by slaves. Perhaps the fruit you ate at breakfast was grown by migrants. Perhaps the dollars you spent on a latte have passed through brothels. It happens.
Climate hot spot concerns include our over-fished oceans, our disappearing coral reefs, arable farm land, the loss of polar ice, and the migration of plants and animals northward. There are already worldwide consequences to increased droughts, Syria’s plight being just one. The suffering in several African nations add more perils than can be documented here.
With so many climate change driven conflicts and natural disasters it should come as no surprise that economic desperation, displacement, and opportunistic pimps swarm in to take their own protection against poverty: prostitution, and modern human slavery.
Climate is a justice issue because climate change hits hardest among the impoverished, and most vulnerable. Pollution related death is well documented, but less discussed are the many thousands of ways women and children become tragic commodities of challenging times.
Save the Children India, and many other worthy NGOs are working against time and rising seas.
Floods and famines, fires and mega storms occur with heart-wrenching regularity now. And, already this essay has taken a terrible turn into real Debbie Downer territory.
So, let’s fix that. Let’s lead the way into a new land, Ellie’s Equality Elevation Land. Land of the mostly ice-free, home of the non-slave.
Equality and fairness prompt economic growth. Releasing a full fifty percent of the world’s minds to have voice and influence helps address every injustice. Making sure every child is a wanted and loved child by choice reduces ravaging of habitats by overpopulation, colonial style over-exploitation, and under-employment.
Ecopsychology is concerned with empowerment. Its basis is positive. Psychologists and therapists have known for decades that blame exacerbates problems. Appealing to fear is useful but often backfires when those who drove the charge of a specific threat are exposed; let’s say for example, the scapegoating of elderly women as witches, or the election of a demented dictator because Jews are erroneously perceived as a global threat.
When charges are made that environmentalists are all Chicken Littles and fear-mongers, or that Al Gore only invented an Inconvenient Truth –presumably for the massive power and wealth it gave him for his swank, posher-than- Mar-A-Lago secret castle under a volcano on Abomination Island — well those accusations are based on the idea that air breathers are using fear to drive their insane progressive agenda. Fear them. They want to force you to bike to work at the clean air and water death camp nearest you.
Empowerment fixes that misrepresentation. Ideals like equality and fairness fix it. Life on Earth improves when people realize that person-hood is powerful. Rigid hierarchy and authoritarian regimes always crumble in the end. When people are seen as full human beings the excuses used to exploit them vanish like canary keepers in coal mines.
If you recognize that every single choice you make today affects life on this planet, you are empowered. You can conserve, or become efficient, or plant gardens, or write books, whatever kindness you choose to do. You don’t need scapegoats. You don’t need to find a universal villain. You can laugh in the face of deniers — well almost.
Some of the faces of denial are apprehensively ugly, such as the enslavers and pimps who prostitute children, and those men who procure young women as child brides throughout the world. Also, the reigning leaders in our most powerful nations should not be above accountability from citizens who demand fairness.
India’s caste system was outlawed in 1949, but it’s tenacious, having been around more than 5,000 years. Several African and Middle-Eastern law books defend rape, polygamy, mutilation, and other human rights abuses based on the reality that a female is still regarded as inferior, or even as property.
If you care about climate change as I suspect you do, put the idea of person-hood for full human beings into your assessment of solutions to get us out of this hot mess.
Control and domination for resources and political power are related. Cutting off services to impoverished women who lack healthcare and contraception should be addressed as a prevention less costly than disaster intervention. Already climate refugees are exposing human rights issues as never before in history.
Overpopulation, and the projection that the population on the African continent alone will double by 2050 is something to take seriously. More hunger, more farming, less water, less wildlife, (meaning less tourism in Africa) more conflict and more troubles loom large. So our response to avert tragedy must loom larger.
The mounting losses of symbiotic species and biodiversity is scary as hell to those of us who understand the biosphere’s complex cascades, triggers, eco-system collapse, and interdependent systems. But you really do not need to know any science to follow your own biological senses that tell you (and most every organism) that clean is better than dirty.
So we nearly destroyed the world choosing toxic instead of non-toxic energy in the 20th century, and toxic, unjust, racist, sexist, and speciesist prejudice in our policies prior to the 20th century. But good news, it’s the 21st century, and we the people, all people, can choose more wisely.
Poverty has forever devalued the lives of those who produce the least amount of toxic hot air and empty promises into our atmosphere.
The for-profit plunder and pillage of Earth’s resources includes not just our decreasing forests and wildlife, of course. It is people being ground into gold dust for the benefit of a few, but we can positively do better. Begin with ecopsychology, listen to your own body, the voice of the Earth, science and reality, and then answer the call to empowerment through social momentum.
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