With the world’s climate changing the way it is, with permafrost not being so permanent anymore, it’s clear that a much broader sense of environmentalism could have been quite beneficial. But there’s always been a divide between people who are just privileged enough to enjoy a relatively contained experience of fresh air with nice views and those who are considered quite far from nature and heedlessly contributing to litter. It’s not uncommon for the latter to be disenfranchised and often just trying to get through the day. Between this divide is where most people would probably consider themselves: mindful about their environment, but generally just going with the flow of a world where pollution is the not-overwhelmingly-tangible output of convenience as normalcy. I don’t know that environmentalism has ever really addressed those who aren’t privileged, though I’m speaking only to the privilege-regarded field. Even in something that is supposed to be as eco-friendly and accessible as urban gardening, it seems like the people lacking in privilege who take it up (particularly in areas that aren’t gentrified) are quite the exception. I figure that most populous among polluters are people who are sort of privileged and those who are underprivileged. But both of them are utilized and out-polluted by rampant profiteers — folks who have instilled and created an infrastructure of considerably wasteful and literally toxic values all over the world. A disparity in resources can mean the difference between apathy about the environment due to a lack of solidarity, or apathy that comes from entitlement and convenience. Generally people with resources are the only ones whose opinions count (or seem to count) in a society that can be all too driven by money; maybe this is why few people have ever really expected under-privileged people and areas to be devoid of (or care) about pollution. If you’ve lived in a place that’s not considered respectable, you’ve probably seen people from neighborhoods that are (considered respectable) come to drop their garbage off. The world’s changing climate is already affecting everyone to different degrees. People who have no resources and are unable to move to drier pastures (hopefully not so dry that they don’t have a decent supply of drinking water) will continue to be affected most negatively — though there’s little clear sailing all around. It’s an awful lot to ask people who aren’t privileged to care about something they don’t get to enjoy the best of. But, however it may be subdivided, there is only the one planet.
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