Updated: May 11
Time Magazine, in its September 2019 issue entitled 2050 The Fight for Earth included an article Meet 15 Women Leading the Fight Against Climate Change. Included in that group is Nova Scotia-born actor and activist Ellen Page. Page had read two books: The Mill: Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest by Joan Baxter and Ingrid Waldron’s There’s Something in the Water. Both books document the environmental racism plaguing generations of indigenous and black communities in her home province of Nova Scotia, Canada.
Page returned to Nova Scotia for her documentary based on Waldron’s work, and sharing her title, which examines the health impacts of environmental racism and the resistance efforts of affected communities. She interviewed women leading the charge to restore their communities. “They band together, for example, to prevent a company from building a natural gas storage facility that would harm the Shubenacadie River, and to fight for the cleanup of Boat Harbour, a former aquatic hub for the Pictou Landing First Nation polluted by wastewater from a nearby pulp mill. “The level of cruelty in what I witnessed, in what these individuals have lived with, is disturbing and horrific,” says Page. “These issues are life or death, literally.”
Time writes: “From sinking islands to drought-ridden savannas, women bear an outsize burden of the global—warming crisis, largely because of gender inequalities. In many parts of the world, women hold traditional roles as the primary caregivers in families and communities, and, as the main providers of food and fuel, are more vulnerable when flooding and drought occur; the U.N. estimates 80% of those who have been displaced by climate change are women.” Women are best placed to help find ways to mitigate the effects of global warming and to adapt to its impact on communities.