Environmental Justice: Concepts, Evidence and Politics

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2012-02-09
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Environmental justice has increasingly become part of the language of environmental activism, political debate, academic research and policy making around the world. It involves asking searching questions about how the environment has impacts on different people'¬"s lives. Does pollution follow the poor? Are some communities far more vulnerable to the impacts of flooding or climate change than others? Are the benefits of access to green space for all, or only for some? Do powerful voices dominate environmental decisions to the exclusion of others? This book focuses on such questions and the processes and complexities involved in answering them. Its aims to explore the diversity of ways in which environment and social difference are intertwined and how the justice of their interrelationship matters. It has a distinctive international perspective, tracing how the discourse of environmental justice has moved around the world and across scales to include global concerns, and examining research, activism and policy development in the US, the UK, South Africa and other countries. The widening scope and diversity of what has been positioned within an environmental justice '¬Üframe'¬" is also reflected in chapters focus on waste, air quality, flooding, urban greenspace and climate change. In each case the basis for evidence of inequalities in impacts, vulnerabilities and responsibilities is examined, asking questions about the knowledge that is produced, the assumptions involved and the concepts of justice that are being deployed in both academic and political contexts. The book will provide readers with a wide ranging and critical view of the evolving field of environmental justice scholarship. It encourages careful thinking and analysis of what is at issue, and provides a framework for understanding the claim making of environmental justice in spatial, temporal and political context. It provides compelling examples of the processes involved in producing inequalities and a clear sense of the challenges involved in advancing the interests of disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded social groups and communities.

Author Biography

Gordon Walker is Chair of Environment, Risk and Justice in the Lancaster Environment Centre at Lancaster University, UK.

Table of Contents

List of figuresp. viii
List of tablesp. x
List of boxesp. xi
Prefacep. xii
Acknowledgementsp. xiv
Understanding environmental justicep. 1
The scope of environmental justicep. 2
Framingp. 4
Claim-makingp. 5
Definitions of environmental justice and the case for multiplicityp. 8
Defining environmental inequality: the is-ought distinctionp. 12
Summaryp. 14
Structure of the bookp. 14
Further readingp. 15
Globalising and framing environmental justicep. 16
The environmental justice movement in the USp. 17
The international travelling of the environmental justice framep. 23
Environmental justice framings of global issuesp. 34
The implications of 'going global'p. 36
Summaryp. 37
Further readingp. 38
Making claims: justice, evidence and processp. 39
The three elements of claim-makingp. 40
Justice concepts: how things ought to bep. 42
Evidence: how things arep. 53
Process: why things are how they arep. 64
Summaryp. 75
Further readingp. 75
Locating waste: siting and the politics of dumpingp. 77
Resisting waste: three casesp. 78
Unequal patterns of waste site locationsp. 84
Environmental racism or markets? Analysing positionsp. 90
Displacement, toxic imperialism and environmental blackmailp. 94
From redistribution to preventionp. 100
Summaryp. 101
Further readingp. 102
Breathing unequally: air quality and inequalityp. 104
Air quality and multidimensional claim-makingp. 104
Evidence of air quality inequalityp. 107
Explaining patterns of inequalityp. 111
Vulnerability and impacts on health: the 'triple jeopardy'p. 115
The distribution of responsibility for air pollutionp. 118
Justice in the airp. 119
Summaryp. 125
Further readingp. 126
Flood vulnerability: uneven risk and the injustice of disasterp. 127
Characterising flooding: values, time and naturep. 128
Inequalities in flood exposure: who lives with flood risk and why?p. 130
Inequalities in vulnerability: who suffers flood impacts?p. 135
New Orleans and the Katrina floodp. 139
Justice and floodingp. 148
Summaryp. 154
Further readingp. 155
Urban greenspace: distributing an environmental goodp. 156
Greenspace as a 'good thing'p. 157
Always a good thing? Contested meanings of urban greenspacep. 160
Greenspace and social difference: evidence claims and inequalityp. 163
Greenspace and justicep. 173
Summaryp. 177
Further readingp. 178
Climate justice: scaling the politics of the futurep. 179
Challenges for climate justicep. 182
Impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptationp. 186
Mitigation, responsibilities and transitionsp. 198
Towards integration in climate justicep. 209
Summaryp. 212
Further readingp. 213
Analysing environmental justice: some conclusionsp. 214
There is value in understanding exactly how social differentiation exists and how it is experienced in environmental termsp. 215
Environmental inequalities are constituted by more than spatial patterns of proximity and exposurep. 216
Recognising the methodological complexities and choices involved in generating empirical evidence is important in progressing understanding and in doing justicep. 216
It is necessary to distinguish between inequality and injustice and to reason carefully about why an inequality matters and to whomp. 217
Environmental justice is about more than just patterns of distribution; procedure, recognition and their detail also matterp. 218
Environmental justice is contested and involves political challengesp. 219
Environmental justice is an objective but also a process of 'working towards'p. 220
Bibliographyp. 222
Indexp. 249
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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