Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Risk & Justice: A comment...

The environmental justice movement begun in the local areas, empowered by those impacted by particular social and environmental inequalitites within geographically small local regions bringing together the civil rights movements with the environmental movement. Whereas the national environmental movements fail to consider the individuals at the local level.


While these national organizations have had some push on environmental changes and influencing the EPA and I do not beleive it is easy to directly blame one particular entity for the commodification of pollution, but more of a failure of the freemarket and outcome of the privatization of waste services and the nature of capitalism. Although many forms of pollution do not directly impact the area where the pollution is being "created" instead they are sent off somewhere further away, where the poor minorities are still being impacted. Particular legal acts have cleaned many visible source pollutions, but still they fail to acknowledge the inequalities within the relocation of pollution.

Particular risk factors are important to take into account, the author questions the political systems ability to fairly distribute risk factors, and that localities should have more control over what takes place within their locale, rather than just a yes or no ultimatum. There are a few lines that hit me as being right at the heart of the authors argument; "there has been insufficient attention given to the role of capitalist production in producing these risks in the first place."

My interpretation may not be accurate, or I may be missing something, but to me it seems that, among many other points within the article the author is trying to make, at the heart of it all is the inability for capitalism to embrace healthy social conditions for as many as possible, and is willing to accept unhealthy environments for its poor and minorities so long as there is a profit.

The author goes into a great deal of history with the development of manufacturing within the United States as well as the commodification and profitability of natural resources.


No comments:

Post a Comment