Environmental Justice Concepts, Evidence and Politics

ISBN-10: 0415589746
ISBN-13: 9780415589741
Edition: 2012
Authors: Gordon Walker
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date: 12/15/2011
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.078
Language: English

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.

List of figures
List of tables
List of boxes
Preface
Acknowledgements
Understanding environmental justice
The scope of environmental justice
Framing
Claim-making
Definitions of environmental justice and the case for multiplicity
Defining environmental inequality: the is-ought distinction
Summary
Structure of the book
Further reading
Globalising and framing environmental justice
The environmental justice movement in the US
The international travelling of the environmental justice frame
Environmental justice framings of global issues
The implications of 'going global'
Summary
Further reading
Making claims: justice, evidence and process
The three elements of claim-making
Justice concepts: how things ought to be
Evidence: how things are
Process: why things are how they are
Summary
Further reading
Locating waste: siting and the politics of dumping
Resisting waste: three cases
Unequal patterns of waste site locations
Environmental racism or markets? Analysing positions
Displacement, toxic imperialism and environmental blackmail
From redistribution to prevention
Summary
Further reading
Breathing unequally: air quality and inequality
Air quality and multidimensional claim-making
Evidence of air quality inequality
Explaining patterns of inequality
Vulnerability and impacts on health: the 'triple jeopardy'
The distribution of responsibility for air pollution
Justice in the air
Summary
Further reading
Flood vulnerability: uneven risk and the injustice of disaster
Characterising flooding: values, time and nature
Inequalities in flood exposure: who lives with flood risk and why?
Inequalities in vulnerability: who suffers flood impacts?
New Orleans and the Katrina flood
Justice and flooding
Summary
Further reading
Urban greenspace: distributing an environmental good
Greenspace as a 'good thing'
Always a good thing? Contested meanings of urban greenspace
Greenspace and social difference: evidence claims and inequality
Greenspace and justice
Summary
Further reading
Climate justice: scaling the politics of the future
Challenges for climate justice
Impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation
Mitigation, responsibilities and transitions
Towards integration in climate justice
Summary
Further reading
Analysing environmental justice: some conclusions
There is value in understanding exactly how social differentiation exists and how it is experienced in environmental terms
Environmental inequalities are constituted by more than spatial patterns of proximity and exposure
Recognising the methodological complexities and choices involved in generating empirical evidence is important in progressing understanding and in doing justice
It is necessary to distinguish between inequality and injustice and to reason carefully about why an inequality matters and to whom
Environmental justice is about more than just patterns of distribution; procedure, recognition and their detail also matter
Environmental justice is contested and involves political challenges
Environmental justice is an objective but also a process of 'working towards'
Bibliography
Index

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