By now you’ve heard it a thousand times: there is no Planet B! The seriousness of climate change cannot be overstated. The way we experience life is fundamentally changing, and not for the better environmentally.

We’re all affected; however, we aren’t all affected in the same way. Rural communities, poor communities and black and brown communities disproportionately suffer the adverse effects of pollution, toxicity and unsafe conditions.

Environmental justice is guaranteeing that all of us have access to quality air, food and water. It means underrepresented communities having a voice on the environmental issues that affect us. It also means our communities shouldn’t be targeted as prime sites for toxic waste dumping and pipeline compressor stations.

I applaud the hard work of environmentalists fighting against the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast fracked gas pipelines in rural Virginia, against fossil fuels and dangerous coal ash disposal. Sustainable agriculture, clean energy sources and Virginia’s Green New Deal are the path forward. Let’s support the efforts of organizations and coalitions like Virginia Organizing, POWHR, and Appalachian Voices who are fighting for our future.

BRANDY FAULKNER

BLACKSBURG

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