ROOTS Beauty Hero Spotlight: Steve Donziger 🌎
Every month, we will be spotlighting a human being who is making a heroic contribution to elevating love, peace, and fairness in our society and our planet. We want to take a moment to honor these brave people and explore how we can support the causes they represent.
Steve Donziger is an American attorney and indigenous rights advocate who represented 30,000 Ecuadorian farmers and indigenous citizens who filed against Chevron after suffering health problems and land pollution as a result of oil drilling. Donziger initially won a 9.5 billion dollar case against Chevron, the largest ever win for an environmental lawsuit.
Unfortunately, Chevron countered this settlement in a different court and was able to get him disbarred, arrested, and put on house arrest in Ecuador. He was locked under house arrest for 900 days as Chevron spent nearly 2 billion dollars in legal action against him personally. He lost his bar license as a result of this process.
His case highlights the corruption that keeps huge businesses free from answering for crimes against humanity and the Earth. The fossil fuel industry is one of the most egregious hotbeds of this corporate corruption.
Steve is currently fighting these actions in court. Throughout the legal battle, Steve remains strong in his message that the real problem is the oil drilling in the Amazon. He asks us to remember the importance of standing up for those whose voices have been traditionally oppressed. There is so much exploitation that occurs "out of sight and out of mind," and so many of the prettily wrapped products we purchase here in the US have bloody histories behind them.
Instead of feeling discouraged, negative, or powerless, we can join in the spirit of inspiration that these heroes provide us. Here at ROOTS we are all about solutions and positive action! So what exactly can you do to support the Amazon, Mother Nature, and Steve Donzinger?
WHAT CAN I DO?
1. Limit your use of fossil fuels. Small changes mean conserving energy in your daily habits. A big change could mean switching to an alternative energy source for your home or car. In many states, solar energy is actually cheaper monthly than traditional energy. Look into alternative power sources for your house, and consider getting an electric car as your next vehicle.
2. Contact your local or state representative and ask them what they are doing to preserve the economy and limit fossil fuel consumption. Make it clear you care.
3. Research ingredients in products you buy to make sure they are not sourced from large-scale farming on rainforest land.
4. If you own stocks, divest your holdings from fossil fuel and related industries. Invest in intelligent alternatives and do research to make sure your stocks are in green and ethical companies.
5. Spread awareness of Donzinger's case or the general fossil fuel problems in South America on your social media. Encourage people to donate. Studies show that people are more likely to listen to people they personally know than general news sources when it comes to worldwide issues.
6. Switch to a bank that doesn't allow investment in fossil-fuel related industries. Aspiration is a groundbreaking new bank that doesn't allow your money to be used for unsustainable purposes. They also plant trees and offer carbon offsets for every gallon of gas that you purchase.
7. Do your own research and generate your own creative solutions to positive change. We all have the right to make our mark in this world.
8. Follow Steve on Instagram or Twitter to stay updated about his progress and ways that you can help.
IG-@stevendonzinger Twitter- @SDonziger
9. Donate to an indigenous rights foundation.
10. Donate to Steve's Legal Fund:
A MESSAGE FROM STEVE.....
"The outcome of this case is critical not just for me and others involved but also for the larger global struggle for corporate accountability, environmental justice, Indigenous rights, and Free Speech. To meet this challenge, we need financial support urgently. If we can demonstrate that a human rights lawyer can beat back a powerful corporation with grassroots funding, it will also create enormous possibilities for the environmental and corporate accountability movements and will dramatically increase the odds we can save our planet."