Indigenous stewardship contributes to ecological biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency. Restoring reciprocal relationships between American Indians and traditional lands can improve ecosystem health and cure social ills through the restoration of traditional foods, medicines, and culturally utilized plants. Federal regulations and failure to recognize tribes near Yosemite National Park threaten endangered cultures and languages as well as traditionally utilized native plants. The societal understanding of the term natural, meaning without human influence, is becoming more complicated. Human-induced climate change and recognition of landscapes previously thought absent of human influence are now understood to have been shaped in part by Indigenous people, mainly through anthropogenic fire. Preserving public lands without Indigenous stewardship does not protect natural and cultural resources from impairment for future generations of Indigenous children.
Residential solar and utility scale solar are low-hanging fruit in the renewables transition, but targeting low-hanging fruit can only go so far. Can states innovate, reach further, and ignite near-universal consumer demand for clean energy and achieve social justice goals through equitable community solar?
Community choice aggregation energy programs have proliferated throughout California as a tool for public municipalities to aggregate their communities’ electricity demand and procure electricity for themselves. Through their community choice aggregation programs, communities have reduced their electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions in order to combat climate change. In this Article, we will attempt to demonstrate that community choice aggregators in California have been used as an effective tool to further the Principles of Environmental Justice through community engagement, renewable energy development, and programs for low-income, marginalized, or vulnerable communities that are informed by local input.
What can you, as students, do to get involved in the environmental justice or social justice movements? My name is Roger Lin. I am one of the attorneys in Berkeley Law’s Environmental Law Clinic. We do environmental health and environmental justice cases. We have fantastic panelists who are going to dive into the question: What can students do right now for the environmental or social justice movements?