Reading Bryan Schutmaat’s article, “The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare” and Emily J. Gertz’s article, “How the West Was Lost: Ranchers Devastated by Fossil Fuel Boom” make me feel small yet very loud and able to to create positive, lasting change on our environment. Schutmaat discusses Rob Billot’s experience discovering his relationship to environmental issues such as fighting the use of chemicals in our food. He originally represented plaintiffs, private citizens, large corporate clients, and defended chemical companies but made a change when he discovered a family connection to a farmer in West Virginia. Moreover, Emily J. Gertz’s article, “How the West Was Lost: Ranchers Devastated by Fossil Fuel Boom” describes how large corporations were able to weave around and ultimately avoid the consequences of disobeying laws and therefore could easily control and manipulate the environment of that area. Although he did not see a full victory, Rob Billot opened up an incredibly important conversation concerning environmental protection and activism.
Similar to the issue of idling, I believe that we are stronger together. Ballot’s fight proves just that. Sure, everyone is busy and has their own life to live. However, we won’t have lives to live (at least live well) if we don’t have clean air, food, and water that are free form corporate interest and manipulation for profit at the expense of the health of our communities and the environment. I believe Earthjustice is an excellent resource to use for my project on idling and air pollution in NYC because Earthjustice works to disempower large corporations that profit off the expense of the health of people and the environment.
The fact that they’re a nonprofit organization is also a plus. It assures communities that their interests are the polar opposites to corporate profiteering interests.
I’d like to quote from another student in class who goes by the name of Eco Kitty on this site. She posted that on their website, Earthjustice has written, “The generous support of hundreds of thousands of individuals like you allows us to take on the most important cases and stick with them for as long as it takes.” Earthjustice is a nonprofit organization that advocates that awareness, education, and action are the primary tools to take advantage of in the face of environmental issues today and after having all the facts and knowledge of what is currently happening in our environment, I can’t imagine how one could defend ignoring this revolutionary fight.