America Needs Environmental Equity Essay

3597 words - 15 pages

Introduction

"...We live in a breakable takeable world, an ever available possible worldÖ" These words, by poet and singer-songwriter Ani Difranco, articulate the relationship between the environment and its inhabitants. Society is constantly manipulating the environment. Our capacity for changing the environment is kept in check by the destructible aspect of nature. The changes we make, those advancements in technology, are limited. While the industrial revolution, per say, is over, industry is ever expanding, moving us into a faster, more efficient lifestyle. However, efficiency and advanced technology are not without their price, and that fee, even more so than monetary in nature, ...view middle of the document...

Instead, the white middle and upper class people have abused the power they have in the form of environmental racism.

We take for granted, in the United States of America, that we are safe in our homes. At least, this is likely the perspective of the middle-class, white majority citizens, and in good reason. White middle-class people are, for the most part, not personally confronted by environmental risks. However, members of the ethnic minority and lower socio-economic class deal with issues of health and safety, as the environment, daily influences them. In 1987 Reverend Benjamin Chavis, Jr. coined the term "environmental racism" to describe the phenomena of the existence of racial inequalities as related to living conditions. Chavis defines environmental racism as:

ÖRacial discrimination in environmental policymaking, the enforcement of regulations and laws, the deliberate targeting of communities of color for toxic waste facilities, the official sanctioning of the life-threatening presence of poisons and pollutants in our communities, and the history of excluding people of color from leadership of the environmental movement." (Bullard 1994)

Environmental racism is not a modern manifestation; it has been documented since the early 20th century, and could be argued to have existed ever since the colonization of North America by white Europeans. According to Charles Lee, research director of the Commission for Racial Justice, the United States suffer today from a long history of oppression and exploitation of ethnic minorities. Racially aimed abuse is evident in "genocide, chattel slavery, indentured servitude, and racial discrimination in employment, housing and practically all aspects of life in the United States." (Bullard 1994) By the 1980's, researchers began to examine closely the relationship between race, poverty, and environmental conditions. Researches looked at the populations living in areas surrounded by hazardous waste sites of various kinds and in areas with poor air quality. Their data was consistent regardless of where the study was carried out; the people who live the closest to toxic waste sites and areas with a lot of air pollution are ethnic minorities and those who are poor.

Factors of Environmental Racism

Upon careful analysis, researchers determined that although economic variables exist, the primary factor that determines the extent to which an individual will be negatively affected by their environment is race (Bullard 1993). In 1992, Bryant and Mohai found that people of color face elevated toxic exposure levels even when social class variables, such as income, education, and occupation, are held constant. Many independent studies determined race to be an independent factor, not reducible to class, in predicting 1) the distribution of air pollution (Freeman 1972; Gianessi, Peskin, and Wolff 1979; Gelobter 1988; Wernette and Nieves 1992), 2) contaminated fish consumption (West, Fly, and Marans 1990), 3)...

Other Essays Like America Needs Environmental Equity

Corporate Sustainability Essay

5201 words - 21 pages companies were systematically integrating environmental and social factors in corporate decision making, against 63 percent of privately owned firms. (“McKinsey Global Survey Results: Valuing Corporate Social Responsibility”, 2009). The high rate of adoption by listed companies illustrates the increased sensitivity of managers to shareholder concerns over the impact of corporate conduct on equity values and corporate earnings.   Managers of private

Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review

1630 words - 7 pages different perspective on how businesses work in a global market. Another ethical perspective one should examine is obligation. Obligation can be described as doing what is morally correct without taking into account the ramifications. However, based on the perspective of obligation toward ethics, the results and equity perspectives also needs to be examined. The results perspective fluctuates within the idea of ethics being based upon the perception of

John Muir And The Environmental Conservation Movement

1690 words - 7 pages not belong to the elite, class and race that was "good" for the movement. Almost all of the people who were allowed and able to join the movement organizations, were WASP and also from the same elite class (fox 1981) (McFarland and Constain 1948). Another reason why minorities were not represented in the environmental movement was because mostly minorities were poorer and had more immediate needs. This is mostly the problem because minorities

Sustainable Fashion

2207 words - 9 pages large apartment buildings in america. CONSUMER ROLE * Change in the sector to reduce environmental impact and promote social equity will occur if driven by consumer choice. "The industry is addressing fast fashion and moving toward a closed loop where end of use does not mean the end of life," said Tricia Carey, vice chairperson of Textile Exchange and senior merchandising manager for Lenzing [German], a leading manufacturer of

Communiction

1865 words - 8 pages environmental, social equity and economic demands - also referred to as the "three pillars" of sustainability or (the 3 Es). Healthy ecosystems and environments are necessary to the survival and flourishing of humans and other organisms. There are a number of major ways of reducing negative human impact. The first of these is environmental management. This approach is based largely on information gained from earth science, environmental science and

You Are the International Manager of a Us Business That Has Just Developed a Revolutionary New Personal Computer That Can Perform the Same Functions as Existing Pcs but Costs Only Half as Much to...

1678 words - 7 pages these reserves. Any company wishing to operate in the E&P sector needs to prove its credentials to the respective government in terms of: its technical ability to bring the potential oil and gas fields into production; its awareness and track record in respect of environmental issues; the company’s financial capacity in respect of the investment required to bring the oil and gas field into production. This report is about the issues of YJ E

Discussion 1

980 words - 4 pages mineral deposits in international waters Management of these common pool resources often creates ethical dilemmas for the resource manager. Select one of the following ethical principles and explain how it creates an ethical dilemma: * Intergenerational equity * Precautionary principle * Sustainable development * Polluter pays Resource Dale, L. (2015). Environmental policy (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Finance 571

1821 words - 8 pages Guillermo Furniture Store Financial Analysis Guillermo needs to implement a new business strategy to remain competitive in business and with foreign manufacturers. Guillermo furniture business is viable because it meets the criteria of a successful business; new competition and diversification of his business after the competition entered the market. This paper will analyze three possible alternatives for Guillermo to remain competitive in

Comprehenive Analysis Outline

660 words - 3 pages to Oceans C. Political Stability 1. Authoritarian Law 2. Democratic Desires D. Economic Conditions 1. Weak Economy 2. Weak Financial Markets E. Finance Options Available 1. Foreign Owned Banks F. Social Health and Environmental Conditions 1. Little Regulation 2. Pollution G. Terrorism Threats 1. Lack of

Negotiation

535 words - 3 pages In an international business there has to be at least 2 parties, from different countries, negotiating a business deal. There are 2 factors in the international negotiation. The environmental context – this Includes environmental forces that neither negotiator controls that influence the negotiation The immediate context – this Includes factors over which negotiators appear to have some control The following diagram below shows the context

Powerpoin Slides

4682 words - 19 pages in environmental initiatives (WB 2002). 10 Chart 2. Corporate Social Responsibility Development/Operational Outline (prototype framework) Narrative I. National Goals 1. Poverty Reduction (equity) 2. Income Growth 3.Environmental Sustainability II. Development Objectives Business investment made respecting the norms for environmental compatibility Percentage of foreign and domestic productive investment decisions respecting environmentally

Related Papers

Sci/256 Final Essay

1042 words - 5 pages areas of clean air and water, community planning, economic development, energy efficiency, equity and environmental justice, as well as housing and transportation choices. The partnership incorporates six principles of livability into its grant-making and program development. The largest swamp in North America, the Okefenokee Swamp covers roughly 700 square miles and is located in the southeastern corner of Georgia, Cypress

White Collar Invasion Essay

5355 words - 22 pages environmental costs (ActionAid, 1999), and render the economy of these countries dependent on the fluctuating prices in the international markets. Emphasis on export production means a shift towards cash crop production, harming availability of food crops for the poor, and clearing of forests and dislocation of the local people. The case of banana prices grown for exports in Latin America hitting rock-bottom and the resulting economic consequences

Accounting Essay

4324 words - 18 pages external and internal factors are affecting British America Tobacco Malaysia directly and indirectly. These factors are discussed below. 4.1 External environmental factors: A business does not operate in a vacuum. Any business act and react to what happens outside the business. Those factors happen outside the business but as result business are affected directly and indirectly are known as external factors. The external factors affect

Whole Foods Market, Inc. Financial Analysis

5731 words - 23 pages are announcing a new rating system to improve value for fresh produce and organic nutrition. Whole Foods believes that by reinforcing their position as the prime retailer of natural and organic foods, they can aspire to become customers’ preferred choice to a healthier lifestyle. Whole Foods’ Code of Conduct and Business Ethics The company’s overall goal is to balance the needs and desires of their customers, team members, shareholders