Defending the Environment provides the means for nongovernmental organizations, community groups, and individuals to bring environmental and public health problems to the attention of international courts, tribunals, and commissions, or to their domestic counterparts. It suggests specific strategies and provides detailed information for taking action. This revised and updated edition also contains new case studies of the application of those strategies that has occurred in recent years.
Each chapter provides a description of the institutional mechanisms that can potentially receive, review, and remedy the alleged violation, along with a set of guidelines that explain how the reader can employ a particular strategy, and an example that indicates the effectiveness of a given strategy. In addition, the book offers an appendix that lists individuals and organizations who can assist with the various strategies described.
Defending the Environment represents the first concise, comprehensive guide to international environmental law and institutions that offers readers hands-on strategies for addressing environmental and public health problems.
Spanning the colonial, postcolonial, and postapartheid eras, these historical and locally specific case studies analyze and engage vernacular, activist, and scholarly efforts to mitigate social-environmental inequity.
This book highlights the ways poor and vulnerable people in South Africa, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe have mobilized against the structural and political forces that deny them a healthy and sustainable environment. Spanning the colonial, postcolonial, and postapartheid eras, these studies engage vernacular, activist, and scholarly efforts to mitigate social-environmental inequity. Some chapters track the genealogies of contemporary activism, while others introduce positions, actors, and thinkers not previously identified with environmental justice. Addressing health, economic opportunity, agricultural policy, and food security, the chapters in this book explore a range of issues and ways of thinking about harm to people and their ecologies.
Because environmental justice is often understood as a contemporary phenomenon framed around North American examples, these fresh case studies will enrich both southern African history and global environmental studies. Environment, Power, and Justice expands conceptions of environmental justice and reveals discourses and dynamics that advance both scholarship and social change.
Contributors. C. Richard Bath, Kate A. Berry, John G. Bretting, David E. Camacho, Jeanne Nienaber Clarke, Andrea K. Gerlak, Peter I. Longo, Diane-Michele Prindeville, Linda Robyn, Stephen Sandweiss, Janet M. Tanski, Mary M. Timney, Roberto E. Villarreal, Harvey L. White
In Environmental Justice, leading thinkers of the environmental justice movement take a direct look at the failure of "top down" public policy to effectively deal with issues of environmental equity.
The book provides a startling look at pressing social and environmental problems and charts a course for future action. Among the topics considered are: the history of the social justice movement the role of the professional in working with community groups methods of dealing with environmental problems at the international level participatory national policy for environmental education, energy, industrial development, and housing and sustainable development.
Contributors include Robert Bullard, Deeohn Ferris, Tom B.K. Goldtooth, David Hahn-Baker, Beverly Wright, Ivette Perfecto, Patrick West, and others.
When she was only nine, Dayani Baldelomar left her Nicaraguan village with nothing more than a change of clothes. She was among tens of thousands of rural migrants to Managua in the 1980s and 1990s. After years of homelessness, Dayani landed in a shantytown called The Widows, squeezed between a drainage ditch and putrid Lake Managua. Her neighbor, Yadira Castellón, also migrated from the mountains. Driven by hope for a better future for their children, Dayani, Yadira, and their husbands invent jobs in Managua’s spreading markets and dumps, joining the planet’s burgeoning informal economy. But a swelling tide of family crises and environmental calamities threaten to break their toehold in the city.
Dayani’s and Yadira’s struggles reveal one of the world’s biggest challenges: by 2050, almost one-third of all people will likely live in slums without basic services, vulnerable to disasters caused by the convergence of climate change and breakneck urbanization. To tell their stories, Douglas Haynes followed Dayani’s and Yadira’s families for five years, learning firsthand how their lives in the city are a tightrope walk between new opportunities and chronic insecurity. Every Day We Live Is the Future is a gripping, unforgettable account of two women’s herculean efforts to persevere and educate their children. It sounds a powerful call for understanding the growing risks to new urbanites, how to help them prosper, and why their lives matter for us all.
Just over two decades ago, research findings that environmentally hazardous facilities were more likely to be sited near poor and minority communities gave rise to the environmental justice movement. Yet inequitable distribution of the burdens of industrial facilities and pollution is only half of the problem; poor and minority communities are often denied the benefits of natural resources and can suffer disproportionate harm from decisions about their management and use.
Justice and Natural Resources is the first book devoted to exploring the concept of environmental justice in the realm of natural resources. Contributors consider how decisions about the management and use of natural resources can exacerbate social injustice and the problems of disadvantaged communities. Looking at issues that are predominantly rural and western -- many of them involving Indian reservations, public lands, and resource development activities -- it offers a new and more expansive view of environmental justice.
The book begins by delineating the key conceptual dimensions of environmental justice in the natural resource arena. Following the conceptual chapters are contributions that examine the application of environmental justice in natural resource decision-making. Chapters examine:
Laotian Daughters focuses on second-generation environmental justice activists in Richmond, California. Bindi Shah's pathbreaking book charts these young women's efforts to improve the degraded conditions in their community and explores the ways their activism and political practices resist the negative stereotypes of race, class, and gender associated with their ethnic group.
Using ethnographic observations, interviews, focus groups, and archival data on their participation in Asian Youth Advocates—a youth leadership development project—Shah analyzes the teenagers' mobilization for social rights, cross-race relations, and negotiations of gender and inter-generational relations. She also addresses issues of ethnic youth, and immigration and citizenship and how these shape national identities.
Shah ultimately finds that citizenship as a social practice is not just an adult experience, and that ethnicity is an ongoing force in the political and social identities of second-generation Laotians.
The whiteness of mainstream environmentalism often fails to account for the richness and variety of Latinx environmental thought. Building on insights of environmental justice scholarship as well as critical race and ethnic studies, the editors and contributors to Latinx Environmentalisms map the ways Latinx cultural texts integrate environmental concerns with questions of social and political justice.
Original interviews with creative writers, including Cherríe Moraga, Helena María Viramontes, and Héctor Tobar, as well as new essays by noted scholars of Latinx literature and culture, show how Latinx authors and cultural producers express environmental concerns in their work. These chapters, which focus on film, visual art, and literature—and engage in fields such as disability studies, animal studies, and queer studies—emphasize the role of racial capitalism in shaping human relationships to the more-than-human world and reveal a vibrant tradition of Latinx decolonial environmentalism.
Latinx Environmentalisms accounts for the ways Latinx cultures are environmental, but often do not assume the mantle of “environmentalism.”
Research in environmental justice reveals that low-income and minority neighborhoods in our nation’s cities are often the preferred sites for landfills, power plants, and polluting factories. Those who live in these sacrifice zones are forced to shoulder the burden of harmful environmental effects so that others can prosper. Mountains of Injustice broadens the discussion from the city to the country by focusing on the legacy of disproportionate environmental health impacts on communities in the Appalachian region, where the costs of cheap energy and cheap goods are actually quite high.
Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.
Laura Allen, Brian Black, Geoffrey L. Buckley, Donald Edward Davis, Wren Kruse, Nancy Irwin Maxwell, Chad Montrie, Michele Morrone, Kathryn Newfont, John Nolt, Jedediah S. Purdy, and Stephen J. Scanlan.
Low-income communities frequently suffer from a lack of access to, or lack of control over, the natural resources that surround them. In many cases, their local environment has been degraded by years of resource extraction and pollution by distant corporations or government agencies. In such settings, initiatives that build natural assets in the hands of the poor can play an important role in poverty-fighting efforts.
Natural Assets explores a range of strategies for expanding the quantity and enhancing the quality of natural assets in the hands of low-income individuals and communities. The book:
Women make up the vast majority of activists and organizers of grassroots movements fighting against environmental ills that threaten poor and people of color communities. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice is the first collection of essays that pays tribute to the enormous contributions women have made in these endeavors.
The writers offer varied examples of environmental justice issues such as children's environmental health campaigns, cancer research, AIDS/HIV activism, the Environmental Genome Project, and popular culture, among many others. Each one focuses on gender and sexuality as crucial factors in women's or gay men's activism and applies environmental justice principles to related struggles for sexual justice. The contributors represent a wide variety of activist and scholarly perspectives including law, environmental studies, sociology, political science, history, medical anthropology, American studies, English, African and African American studies, women's studies, and gay and lesbian studies, offering multiple vantage points on gender, sexuality, and activism.
Feminist/womanist impulses shape and sustain environmental justice movements around the world, making an understanding of gender roles and differences crucial for the success of these efforts.
'Hands-down the best book yet on the Green New Deal' - Jason Hickel
The idea of a Green New Deal was launched into popular consciousness by US Congressperson Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018. It has become a watchword in the current era of global climate crisis. But what - and for whom - is the Green New Deal?
In this concise and urgent book, Max Ajl provides an overview of the various mainstream Green New Deals. Critically engaging with their proponents, ideological underpinnings and limitations, he goes on to sketch out a radical alternative: a 'People's Green New Deal' committed to decommodification, working-class power, anti-imperialism and agro-ecology.
Ajl diagnoses the roots of the current socio-ecological crisis as emerging from a world-system dominated by the logics of capitalism and imperialism. Resolving this crisis, he argues, requires nothing less than an infrastructural and agricultural transformation in the Global North, and the industrial convergence between North and South. As the climate crisis deepens and the literature on the subject grows, A People's Green New Deal contributes a distinctive perspective to the debate.
Power Politics is a rich and readable study of a grassroots campaign where longtime labor and environmental allies found themselves on opposite sides of a conflict that pitted good jobs against good air. Karen Brodkin analyzes how those issues came to be opposed and in doing so unpacks the racial and class dynamics that shape Americans' grasp of labor and environmental issues. Power Politics' activists stood at the forefront of a movement that is building broad-based environmental coalitions and placing social justice at the heart of a new and robust vision.
An ethnography of the Ecuadorian Amazon that demonstrates the need for a relational, place-based, contingent understanding of harm and toxicity.
Reckoning with Harm is a striking ethnographic analysis of the harm resulting from oil extraction. Covering fifty years of settler colonization and industrial transformation of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Amelia Fiske interrogates the relations of harm. She moves between forest-courtrooms and oily waste pits, farms and toxic tours, to explore both the ways in which harm from oil is entangled with daily life and the tensions surrounding efforts to verify and redress it in practice. Attempts to address harm from the oil industry in Ecuador have been consistently confounded by narrow, technocratic understandings of evidence, toxicity, and responsibility. Building on collaborators’ work to contest state and oil company insistence that harm is controlled and principally chemical in nature, Fiske shows that it is necessary to refigure harm as relational in order to reckon with unremediated contamination of the past while pushing for broad forms of accountability in the present. She theorizes that harm is both a relationship and an animating feature of relationships in this place, a contingent understanding that is needed to contemplate what comes next when living in a toxic world.
Engaging a broad spectrum of ecological thought to articulate the ethical scale of global extinction
As global rates of plant and animal extinctions mount, anxieties about the future of the earth’s ecosystems are fueling ever more ambitious efforts at conservation, which draw on Western scientific principles to manage species and biodiversity. In Revenant Ecologies, Audra Mitchell argues that these responses not only ignore but also magnify powerful forms of structural violence like colonialism, racism, genocide, extractivism, ableism, and heteronormativity, ultimately contributing to the destruction of unique life forms and ecosystems.
Critiquing the Western discourse of global extinction and biodiversity through the lens of diverse Indigenous philosophies and other marginalized knowledge systems, Revenant Ecologies promotes new ways of articulating the ethical enormity of global extinction. Mitchell offers an ambitious framework—(bio)plurality—that focuses on nurturing unique, irreplaceable worlds, relations, and ecosystems, aiming to transform global ecological–political relations, including through processes of land return and critically confronting discourses on “human extinction.”
Highlighting the deep violence that underpins ideas of “extinction,” “conservation,” and “biodiversity,” Revenant Ecologies fuses political ecology, global ethics, and violence studies to offer concrete, practical alternatives. It also foregrounds the ways that multi-life-form worlds are actively defying the forms of violence that drive extinction—and that shape global efforts to manage it.
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Standing Our Ground: Women, Environmental Justice, and the Fight to End Mountaintop Removal examines women’s efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. Mountaintop removal coal mining, which involves demolishing the tops of hills and mountains to provide access to coal seams, is one of the most significant environmental threats in Appalachia, where it is most commonly practiced.
The Appalachian women featured in Barry’s book have firsthand experience with the negative impacts of Big Coal in West Virginia. Through their work in organizations such as the Coal River Mountain Watch and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, they fight to save their mountain communities by promoting the development of alternative energy resources. Barry’s engaging and original work reveals how women’s tireless organizing efforts have made mountaintop removal a global political and environmental issue and laid the groundwork for a robust environmental justice movement in central Appalachia.
A Financial Times Best Book of the YearA hardheaded book that confronts and outlines possible solutions to a seemingly intractable problem: that helping the poor often hurts the environment, and vice versa.Can we fight poverty and inequality while protecting the environment? The challenges are obvious. To rise out of poverty is to consume more resources, almost by definition. And many measures to combat pollution lead to job losses and higher prices that mainly hurt the poor. In Unsustainable Inequalities, economist Lucas Chancel confronts these difficulties head-on, arguing that the goals of social justice and a greener world can be compatible, but that progress requires substantial changes in public policy.Chancel begins by reviewing the problems. Human actions have put the natural world under unprecedented pressure. The poor are least to blame but suffer the most—forced to live with pollutants that the polluters themselves pay to avoid. But Chancel shows that policy pioneers worldwide are charting a way forward. Building on their success, governments and other large-scale organizations must start by doing much more simply to measure and map environmental inequalities. We need to break down the walls between traditional social policy and environmental protection—making sure, for example, that the poor benefit most from carbon taxes. And we need much better coordination between the center, where policies are set, and local authorities on the front lines of deprivation and contamination.A rare work that combines the quantitative skills of an economist with the argumentative rigor of a philosopher, Unsustainable Inequalities shows that there is still hope for solving even seemingly intractable social problems.
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