Stay informed: two EJ blogs to follow

For the duration of this semester, I will be following the blog of the organization I investigated last week, We’re learning about what makes a good blog, how blogs interact with readers and how blogs can change the world. We can see all 3 of these elements in the 350 blog!

The first thing I noticed about the blog was its broad scope of topics relevant to climate change and environmentalism. The most recent post discusses the success of the Arab Youth Climate Movement, a perfect example of 350’s global reach and use of social media and blogs to reach the younger generation. After all, the future of human life on the planet rests in the young. Before reading this post, I had no prior association of the Middle East with environmentalism. Like many, I associated this part of the world with the stuff that’s (literally!) fueling environmental degradation, fossil fuels. It was refreshing and eye-opening to realize that we aren’t the only inhabitants of Earth who care about the planet. Blogger Sarah Rifaat writes, “They are already gearing up to organize an Arab Day of Climate Action on November 3rd… This just goes to prove that youth in the Arab World are eager to take a leading role in turning the tide on climate change.”


Arab Youth Climate Movement

Secondly, each post is user-friendly and interactive. For that particular blog post, commenters used Facebook to log in and leave each other comments like “Selam sisters and brothers from istanbul turkey :) ”, “Hi..Youth I am from Gaza, Palestine” and “Team work at play. Let us work together not against each other. We can learn from the Young; they have more vision than many of us” from Egypt. The comment feature gives people a space to reflect on the material as well as meet and greet one another, a nice bonus compared to an article published in traditional print media.


Thirdly, posts are written by a variety of bloggers or guest bloggers with their own voice and opinions to lend to the story. For example, the blog post Pacing the Planet featured guest blogger Gavain U’Prichard. He, his wife Dana, and their young children are all walking the roads of America, Grapes of Wrath style, to call attention to climate change and the number 350. Their story absolutely blew me away. Here was a family who lived 100x more simply than I: living in a self-sufficient wooden home in the woods, reclaiming water from the roof to do laundry and gardening, washing and drying clothes by hand, drawing electricity almost purely from a wind turbine, hunting deer for venison, parenting and “homesteading”. Basically these people are simple saints in today’s busy world. But they realized that sticking to their isolated eco-bubble wasn’t going to change the world.

Our family realized that we would fail to address the momentous implications of the recent climate science if we just continued to dwell in the personal obscurity of our own lives, our day-to-day, our work, our enjoyments. We needed to do something…. We’re called to step outside, meet each other eye-to-eye, and acknowledge the extraordinary situation that anthropogenic global warming has put us in.

I think we all really have a lot to learn from this family. I’m just in awe of the intense commitment to integrity by which they live. They know we’re in an urgent crisis and actually stopped their already exemplary simple lives to raise awareness for the issue. You can read more about their journey at

I’m also following a blog focused on environmental food justice, This blog has more frequent, briefer snippets of breaking news and growing trends in the fight for fair food. Its interface is very sleek and modern, and the writing style of its bloggers is very clear-cut and easy to read. Every post has lots of links to original sources or relevant outside information, giving the posts a journalistic feel, despite its casual tone.


Today I learned that Chipotle signed an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) in Florida, the source of a lot of our fresh produce.  I’d heard of CIW for a few years now, as I published an article (Sí Se Puede) about the environmental dangers that our farmworkers face every day out in the fields, especially the undocumented workers with virtually no rights.  I’m not sure exactly what concrete changes Chipotle agreed to, but CIW’s protests and threats of bad publicity seem to have paid off. Hopefully this agreement with CIW improves the lives of the hardworking men and women that feed our entire nation.

For decades, farm laborers in Florida have harvested tomatoes and other fresh produce for stagnant, sub-poverty wages, under harsh working conditions. The CIW’s advocacy begins at the top of the food supply chain, with consumers who demand that large food retailers source their produce only from growers who pay fair wages and treat their workers in accordance with national and international human rights standards.

The Food Justice blog has a much more specific scope but ultimately encapsulates what the EJ movement is all about: everyone’s right to live and work in a safe and healthy environment.

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