Between ej and mainstream environmentalism different

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Distinctions/disagreements between EJ and mainstream environmentalism Different participants: affected communities v. defenders of nature Different goals: defense of human health v. defense of nature Different concerns: preservation of human spaces v. preservation of “wild”
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Tensions The problem with “nature” Privilege and preservationism What is “the environment”? Who speaks for the environment?
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A long history of Environmental Justice Aristocratic privilege v. “the common” Moral economy and social protest Enclosure and the rationalization of agriculture
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More recently: Warren County, NC PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) landfill site, 1978 60,000 tons of contaminated soil dumped in landfill Contamination crisis: water under landfill
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Warren County, cont. Warren county demographics 75% African-American 97th of 100 counties in NC in GDP
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Social action “Marriage of environmental concerns with civil rights activism”--Washington Post, 1982
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United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice Report, 1987
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UCC report Found people of color overrepresented in communities near toxic waste sites 1985: EPA had noted more than 20,000 uncontrolled toxic waste sites in US 3 of 5 African Americans and Hispanic Americans live in communities with uncontrolled toxic waste sites Half of all Native Americans live in communities with uncontrolled toxic waste sites
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