Slavery and our fossil fuel addiction

tree1Today is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. You might think, well, laudable, but what’s that doing being mentioned in an environmental blog? Well, (un)fortunately, much more than you might think. I found Jean-Francois Mouhot‘s work on this very enlightening, see e.g. an article on the parallels of slave trade and fossil fuels he wrote for the Guardian. He states that “both [slavery and fossil fuels] perform roughly the same functions in society (doing the hard and dirty work that no one wants to do), both were considered for a long time to be acceptable by the majority and both came to be increasingly challenged as the harm they caused became more visible.”

To have something positive come out of today’s Day, I suggest (re-)reading this article on ‘Slavery and Climate Change: Lessons to be Learned’ and reflecting on what our role is in this: we can get upset about the general issues, but to what extent are we not ourselves part of it by ‘voting’ for this system on a daily basis through the way we spend our money, where we invest our savings and pension etc (like the poster ‘you are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic‘)