Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice

Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice

Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice

Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice

Synopsis

Through case studies that highlight the type of information that is seldom reported in the news, Faces of Environmental Racism exposes the type and magnitude of environmental racism, both domestic and international. The essays explore the justice of current environmental practices, asking such questions as whether cost-benefit analysis is an appropriate analytic technique and whether there are alternate routes to sustainable development in the South.

Excerpt

Environmental racism, or more generally environmental justice, is a major but largely unnoticed problem in environmental ethics. This book is an important contribution to recent efforts to begin addressing this issue. Indeed, it can correctly be called a pioneering effort.

One reason that environmental racism has been ignored is that environmental ethics literature, for the most part, reflects environmentalist concerns, and these have not included concerns about human welfare. Environmentalism is focused rather narrowly on the protection of natural systems and species—on the nonhuman world. Environmentalists are not especially interested in talking about human rights, preferring to speak about rights for nature instead, and environmental ethicists, who have been unable to come up with a theory of rights for nature, are busy trying to develop alternative terminology to express the environmentalists' intuitions. To date, the effort to replace talk about the rights of nature with talk about the intrinsic value of nature is not going well. Advocates of the civil rights movement, on the other hand, though they have spent a great deal of time defending a host of human rights, have seldom focused on the right to a safe and healthy environment and have seen little need to work with environmentalists, whom they frequently consider to be part of the system to which they are opposed.

There is a historical basis for this belief, and similar criticisms against the major environmental organizations have frequently been made from within the environmental movement by such grassroots groups as the Earth First! movement. Although most movements started slowly and with difficulty, the environmental movement sprang into existence in the mid-nineteenth century without any preliminary struggles, immediately producing a spate of environmental legislation beginning with the creation of Yellowstone and Yosemite as national parks. The environmental movement arose quite naturally out of changes in attitude toward nature as a result of developments in landscape . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.