Climate Change and Oppression

According to, oppression is the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust matter. This oppression is caused by people who abuse their earned, given, or (most times) self-appointed power. According to Oxford Languages, oppression is defined as the state of being subject to unjust treatment and control. This definition is broader as it leaves more room for interpretation of the source of the oppression, or the oppressor. Climate change is simply long-term weather changes. The climate changes we have seen have been very drastic and are speculated to be human error. 

If climate change is at the fault of humans, it could be considered a form of oppression: Earth as the oppressed and humans as the oppressors. Humans have abused their power and overutilized the Earth’s resources resulting in drastic changes to normal climate patterns worldwide. The unjust treatment and control could be represented by the trash and oil spills in the ocean, air pollution caused by planes, trains, cars, and other engines, or the overuse of non-renewable energy sources. Humans have subjected Earth to this kind of treatment for decades. It is very reasonable to compare this treatment to the concept of oppression. 

The concern with this is that oppression is a serious word that should be used sparingly to prevent misuse and desensitization. In my opinion, oppression is intentional and is done to belittle and demean the oppressed. Under that circumstance, the Earth cannot be oppressed, and climate change cannot be oppression because I do not think the harmful actions are intentional. However, humans now know the harm they cause by doing certain actions and continue to perform them. Though the actions may not be performed with the intention to harm, they are still performed with the knowledge of what the harm can cause. In conclusion, climate change can be considered a kind of oppression because of the unjust treatment of Earth by human actions that are recognized as harmful to the environment. 

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