Cis-hetero-white supremacy, colonialism, and modern capitalism are long-term ecological processes disproportionately harming Black and Brown bodies and the planet. Western Earth and environmental science does not - and as it functions, cannot - address these processes. The CriticalEcology Lab aims to deepen our understanding of how these processes shaped society and the planet by giving voice to questions/actions grounded in a more expansive understanding of global change, called criticalecology.
The environmental problems (i.e., climate change) that have resulted from various industrial and extractive activities have been building over time, and disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, & People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Climate change is now a mainstream problem because those harms have begun to impact white middle class people, while continuing to disproportionately harm BIPOC. Other impacts, in relation to and as a result of systemic murder for natural resource extraction (land seizure, genocide, chattel slavery), deleterious chemical exposure (modern environmental justice, socioeconomic vulnerability to climate change, and forced participation in ecologically harmful economic systems (neoliberal capitalism), have been ignored, excluded, deprioritized, and externalized for centuries (see: A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, Kathryn Yusoff).
Contemporary western science only emphasizes study of Earth and environmental change in the most recent and most distant time scales (last century or millions of years; the blue triangle). These time scales ignore global change as it relates to BIPOC (the rest of the triangle), and offer a back door for scientists to escape responsibility for these processes. BIPOC buffer white people from experiencing environmental harms and support the existence of the blue triangle (see: Racism is Killing the Planet, Hop Hopkins, Sierra Club.
Criticalecology is an entire paradigm in science that remains unexplored, and through it, researchers can do better. Both human bodies and the planet are at risk.
Image by Suzanne Pierre Text by Kunal Palawat and Suzanne Pierre