American Academy Blog

Responding to the Effects of Global Ecological Degradation

November 25, 2013 at 10:49 am Comments are off for this post

The challenge is responding to global ecological degradation and its consequences.

1. Nothing is more compelling given the rapidity of climate change and its already visible effects – with more, and worse, to come! All evidence suggests, further, that the range of anticipated effects (e.g. health, geographic displacement, capacity to earn a livelihood) will be felt most strongly and with greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

2. Read any of Bill McKibben’s work. Much could/can be done, but is not – whether due to the persistence of denial or to corporate domination of political decision-making (almost certainly both).

3. Progress surely “can be made in a decade.” Indeed, the urgency is such that meaningful and measurable progress “must” be made, or we’re likely a doomed civilization, on the precipice of a descent into barbarism.

4. The challenge is already generating such collaboration – though it appears social work/social welfare is late to the party. Time to jump in with both feet (and all other physical and mental parts) without delay.

5. Yes – at least if “innovation” includes recovering a commitment to courageous activism on behalf of the marginalized, vulnerable and oppressed, first of all, and, more generally, social work’s humanistic and democratic traditions.