Climate Justice

The Farmworker Association of Florida Stands on the Side of Climate Justice

The phrase “climate crisis” refers to long-term changes in the Earth’s climate, apparent from the late 20th century. Science tells us that this is caused by increasing greenhouse gas emissions as well as the degradation of nature’s capacity to capture those emissions from the atmosphere. This has resulted in global warming which, in turn, causes sea-level rise and produces variations in the earth’s climate that adversely affects weather cycles, resulting in more frequent and extreme natural disasters such as devastating floods, tropical storms, and droughts.

According to the Climate Reality Project, over the coming decades the average temperatures in Florida are expected to increase as much as 9 degrees above current records, producing temperatures of over 95 degrees up to 90 days annually. We are already seeing an increase in the frequency, size and intensity of hurricanes impacting the state, with Irma (2017), Matthew (2018), Dorian (2019) and in 2020 the unprecedented phenomenon of four hurricanes roaring down upon the gulf coast of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. The nearly fifteen hundred miles of coastline of the Florida peninsula, including several large coastal cities, also anticipate seeing another major effect of global warming in coming years, as sea-levels rise.

How does FWAF respond to this growing crisis? Besides providing disaster assistance and doing the preventive work in communities of disaster preparedness, central to the vision of FWAF’s Agroecology Program is to be part of mitigating the factors that contribute to global warming.

The program includes training on the causes and impact of the climate crisis, with particular attention to the heavy contribution made by the dominant extractive agriculture system to environmental degradation and global warming, with its emphasis on monoculture and its heavy use of toxic pesticides, herbicides and petroleum-based fertilizers. By contrast, at FWAF’s community gardens, part of the global agroecology movement, community members share traditional knowledge and natural approaches to growing food, wisdom that has been passed down through generations in the places and cultures where they come from. Added to this are science-informed practices for natural soil enrichment, pest control and fertilizing, and growing food that is healthy, without the use of chemical additives.

Agroecology works with the natural processes of the earth, enabling the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses, thus helping re-build a healthy atmosphere and a healthy and safe planet for generations to come. For the sake of the earth, our communities, and all life forms, the Farmworker Association of Florida stands on the side of Climate Justice.