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Learn more about environmental justice and how it is defined:
Environmental justice in postwar America : a documentary reader by edited by Christopher W. WellsIn the decades after World War II, the American economy entered a period of prolonged growth that created unprecedented affluence, but these developments came at the cost of a host of new environmental problems. Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number of them, such as pollution-emitting factories, waste-handling facilities, and big infrastructure projects, ended up in communities dominated by people of color. Constrained by long-standing practices of segregation that limited their housing and employment options, people of color bore an unequal share of postwar America's environmental burdens.This reader collects a wide range of primary source documents on the rise and evolution of the environmental justice movement. The documents show how environmentalists in the 1970s recognized the unequal environmental burdens that people of color and low-income Americans had to bear, yet failed to take meaningful action to resolve them. Instead, activism by the affected communities themselves spurred the environmental justice movement of the 1980s and early 1990s. By the turn of the twenty-first century, environmental justice had become increasingly mainstream, and issues like climate justice, food justice, and green-collar jobs had taken their places alongside the protection of wilderness as "environmental" issues.Environmental Justice in Postwar America is a powerful tool for introducing students to the US environmental justice movement and the sometimes tense relationship between environmentalism and social justice.
Publication Date: 2018
What Is Critical Environmental Justice? by David Naguib PellowHuman societies have always been deeply interconnected with our ecosystems, but today those relationships are witnessing greater frictions, tensions, and harms than ever before. These harms mirror those experienced by marginalized groups across the planet. In this novel book, David Naguib Pellow introduces a new framework for critically analyzing Environmental Justice scholarship and activism. In doing so he extends the field's focus to topics not usually associated with environmental justice, including the Israel/Palestine conflict and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States. In doing so he reveals that ecological violence is first and foremost a form of social violence, driven by and legitimated by social structures and discourses. Those already familiar with the discipline will find themselves invited to think about the subject in a new way. This book will be a vital resource for students, scholars, and policy makers interested in transformative approaches to one of the greatest challenges facing humanity and the planet.
Publication Date: 2017
Keywords for Environmental Studies by Joni Adamson; William A. Gleason; David N. PellowA new vocabulary for Environmental Studies Understandings of "nature" have expanded and changed, but the word has not lost importance at any level of discourse: it continues to hold a key place in conversations surrounding thought, ethics, and aesthetics. Nowhere is this more evident than in the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies. Keywords for Environmental Studies analyzes the central terms and debates currently structuring the most exciting research in and across environmental studies, including the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature. Sixty essays from humanists, social scientists, and scientists, each written about a single term, reveal the broad range of quantitative and qualitative approaches critical to the state of the field today. From "ecotourism" to "ecoterrorism," from "genome" to "species," this accessible volume illustrates the ways in which scholars are collaborating across disciplinary boundaries to reach shared understandings of key issues--such as extreme weather events or increasing global environmental inequities--in order to facilitate the pursuit of broad collective goals and actions. This book underscores the crucial realization that every discipline has a stake in the central environmental questions of our time, and that interdisciplinary conversations not only enhance, but are requisite to environmental studies today. Visit keywords.nyupress.org for online essays, teaching resources, and more.
Publication Date: 2016
Environmental Justice and Environmentalism by Ronald Sandler (Editor); Phaedra C. Pezzullo (Editor)Analysis and case studies from interdisciplinary perspectives explore the possibility and desirability of collaboration between the grassroots-oriented environmental justice movement and mainstream environmental organizations. Although the environmental movement and the environmental justice movement would seem to be natural allies, their relationship over the years has often been characterized by conflict and division. The environmental justice movement has charged the mainstream environmental movement with racism and elitism and has criticized its activist agenda on the grounds that it values wilderness over people. Environmental justice advocates have called upon environmental organizations to act on environmental injustice and address racism and classism in their own hiring and organizational practices, lobbying agenda, and political platforms. This book examines the current relationship between the two movements in both conceptual and practical terms and explores the possibilities for future collaboration. In ten original essays, contributors from a variety of disciplines consider such topics as the relationship between the two movements' ethical commitments and activist goals, instances of successful cooperation in U.S. contexts, and the challenges posed to both movements by globalization and climate change. They examine the possibility and desirability of one unified movement as opposed to two complementary ones by means of analyses and case studies; these include a story of asbestos hazards that begins in a Montana mine and ends with the release of asbestos insulation into the air of Manhattan after the collapse of the World Trade Center. This book, part of a necessary rethinking of the relationship between the two movements, shows that effective, mutually beneficial alliances can advance the missions of both. Contributors Kim Allen, J. Robert Cox, Vinci Daro, Kevin DeLuca, Giovanna Di Chiro, Daniel Faber, Dorothy Holland, Dale Jamieson, M. Nils Peterson, Markus John Peterson, Tarla Rai Peterson, Phaedra C. Pezzullo, J. Timmons Roberts, Ronald Sandler, Steve Schwarze, Peter Wenz
Publication Date: 2007
Environmental Justice in America by Edwardo Lao RhodesEdwardo Lao Rhodes examines the issue of environmental justice as a public policy concern and suggests the use of a new methodology in its evaluation. Rather than argue the merits of growth versus environmental protection, he makes the case that race and class were not major concerns of environmental policy until the 1990s. Why this was so, and why awareness of social justice should be an important consideration in thinking about environmental impact, takes up the first part of the book. Part II looks more closely at public policy concerns and discusses the methodological approaches that can illuminate the problem of environmental justice. Rhodes proposes the use of "data envelopment analysis" as a more useful risk-assessment tool than current methodologies. The book's final section examines the disposal of hazardous material in rural Noxubee County, Mississippi. After acknowledging the difficulties of arriving at an "equitable" solution in this complex case, Rhodes discusses recommendations that might ensure that sharing the burden of risk becomes a fundamental part of environmental policy. Although Environmental Justice in America deals primarily with the United States, it raises issues of international concern: global environmental justice programs, national sovereignty, the paternalism of developed nations toward the underdeveloped world, and questions of economic necessity.