The Center for Biological Diversity is an international conservation organization dedicated to saving life on earth and a member of the Nevada Environmental Justice Coalition. We are fighting the twin crises of extinction and climate, which threaten all life on earth. We believe that the forces which oppress and subjugate nature are the same forces which oppress and subjugate people. There can be no solution to the climate crisis or the extinction crisis that does not include liberation from oppression and the correction of environmental injustice. We also recognize the special role of racism in creating environmental injustice – the only livable future for our planet is one where racism and white supremacy have been eliminated.
We support a complete transformation of our energy systems – for transportation, for buildings, for electricity. There are two paths our climate future can take. To use the terminology coined by Amory Lovins, there are “hard paths” and “soft paths.”
A hard path looks like our current energy system. A hard path to solving the climate crisis involves a “substitution of inputs” – taking our existing system, which is inherently tied to oppression, and replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. The hard path will only perpetuate the very systems which have brought our natural and social systems to collapse to begin with.
Whereas, we could take the “soft path.” The soft path involves decentralized production of energy, at the point of consumption, by the consumers. The soft path involves breaking down the resource extraction and centralized energy production modality that has resulted in the climate crisis. Instead this path focuses on democratized energy, empowering every person to generate and consume their own energy.
For-profit corporations shouldn’t decide the future of the climate crisis. The people should. The Nevada Climate Initiative should focus on decentralized energy, to break down the systems of oppression which cause environmental injustice and empower all people to take control of their future. Democratized energy is climate justice.