One of the major conversations around climate justice is environmental racism. Environmental racism is based on the policy of redlining. It includes such things as: zoning communities of color for toxic and polluting industries such as oil refineries and landfills, planning for oil and gas pipelines to cross Indigenous lands and through communities of color and underfunding public transportation which makes it more difficult for those living in poorer communities to access employment, housing, and shopping. One of the most well-known examples to date, is the water crisis in Flint Michigan where homes in the city have had toxic water since 2014.
Pope Francis’ call in Laudato Si’ goes beyond recycling our plastics and switching to electric vehicles. Laudato Si’ calls us to hear the Cry of the Earth and the Cry of the Poor. The Laudato Si’ Action Platform’s 7-year process will help us craft an answer to both.