Racism, War, and The Environment

…A better possibility [than environmental concern becoming another fad] is that the movement to preserve the environment will be seen to be, as I think it has to be, not a digression from the civil rights and peace movements, but the logical culmination of those movements.  For I believe that the separation of these three problems is artificial.  They have the same cause, and that is the mentality of greed and exploitation.  The mentality that exploits and destroys the natural environment is the same that abuses racial and economic minorities, that imposes on young men the tyranny of the military draft, that makes war against peasants and women and children with the indifference of technology.  The mentality that destroys a watershed and then panics at the threat of flood is the same mentality that gives institutionalized insult to black people and then panics at the prospects of race riots.  It is the same mentality that can mount deliberate warfare against a civilian population and then express moral shock at the logical consequence of such warfare at My Lai.  We would be fools to believe that we could solve any one of these problems without solving the others.

Wendell Berry, “Think Little,” The Art of the Commonplace

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