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environmental justice disability justice

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Megan Bayles

on 4 December 2018

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Transcript of environmental justice disability justice

environmental racism & environmental justice
all the ways that people resist environmental racism; equitable distribution of environmental impact (important but not end point); recognition, respect, and valuing of all people and nonhuman species; participation and procedures for decision making; both about environmental HARMS (toxic waste, climate change, unemployment, gentrification, etc.) but also environmental BENEFITS (housing, education, food, transit, health care, infrastructure, etc.)
environmental justice
EJ history
Student Academic Success Center
Water is Life
"Their [the Standing Rock Sioux and the people of Flint] sufferings come through a denial of the most basic human need: safe, clean water. Water sustains life on this planet; without it, people perish. In the United States, a country founded on principles of equality and liberty, no one should have to worry about the water they are drinking. But the DAPL and the situation in Flint demonstrate that poverty and race affect access to the most fundamental needs." - Maya Durham
the Dakota Access Pipeline
Flint, Michigan
impacts of lead consumption: In children = impaired cognition, behavioral disorders, hearing problems and delayed puberty. In pregnant women = reduced fetal growth. In everyone = affects the heart, kidneys and nerves.
free write
How is "nature" exclusionary?
native solidarity; allies
Environmental Racism
production of geographically uneven environmental conditions that contribute to a group’s vulnerability to premature death
Environmental Justice
The response to DAPL reflects a broad environmental justice framework (protest, divestment, recognition of disproportionate impact, link to legacies of colonialism), common sense (what we do impacts the environment), AND an acknowledgment of the spiritual importance of the land held by many tribes.
How is DAPL an example of environmental racism?
the DAPL controversy
1,172-mile-long underground oil pipeline
2014: Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) announced it was ready to begin construction; the original path had it crossing the Missouri river near Bismarck, ND, but the route was changed citing potential threat to the city's water supply in the event of a spill
revised route: 1/2 mile from the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation, across land taken without their consent in 1958; digging the pipeline required disrupting burial grounds and sacred lands, and with disregard for the threat of water contamination to the reservation or other surrounding communities along the pipeline's route
Protests drew more than 3,000 people.
Construction halted in December 2016 when the Army Corps of Engineers denied an easement on a patch of land. An environmental impact assessment was to be done.
Feb. 27, 2017 Donald Trump fast-tracked the completion of the pipeline.
tribes that rely on resource extraction
Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes) - oil
Navaho Nation and Crow Nation - coal
"One hundred eighty-nine [tribal governments] have had resolutions or statements of solidarity with Standing Rock. That’s amazing, historic. The crazy part is a lot of tribes that are heavily dependent on resource extraction have also come out in support. [...] All sent statements of solidarity and actually brought their presidents to this camp. It’s fascinating. It opens up a door for so more organizing to say, “Hey, you’re standing in solidarity with Standing Rock on this issue, can you stand in solidarity to keep fossil fuels in the ground, because that’s what really promotes projects like this.” - Dallas Goldtooth, organizer, in Yes Magazine
Flint, located 70 miles north of Detroit, former home of General Motors; a city of 98,310; 41.2% of residents live below the poverty line; 56.6% African-American.
the Flint Water Crisis
The city switched water sources in 2014, after the state took over control of Flint's finances; sourced water from the Flint River, a degraded supply source.
The water was not properly treated with an anti-corrosive agent, causing lead from pipes to leach into the water.
March 17, 2017: "Mayor Karen Weaver and the head of Flint’s underground pipe replacement program said Tuesday they think it will be more than two years until they can recommend residents drink their tap water without filters." (The Detroit News)
How is the Flint Water Crisis an example of environmental racism?
What links DAPL and Flint?
Spaces where people live, work, play, and learn
Social and ecological physical surroundings, conditions and relationships that sustain life and contribute to death
A concept of fairness rooted in social relations
●* Concerns life, health, well being, happiness,
opportunities, privileges, etc.
People have been fighting for centuries to combat environmental racism ○
○ Land use
○ Housing discrimination
○ Pesticides/working conditions
Coherent movement and language of environmental justice came together in the 1980s (recognized by the US government in the 1990s)
US Civil Rights Movement
○ Direct action organizing (vs. electoral politics)
○ Structural understandings of racism (vs. racist intent and individuals)
Anti-Toxics Movement
○ Grassroots environmentalism (vs. mainstream/government)
○ Social impact, patterns of development and land use, human health
○ Pollution prevention (vs. cleanup)
○ Structural understandings based on political economy (capitalism)
○ Empirical research supporting broad claims and local battles
○ Developed theory affirming and building on structural understandings of racism and political economy (studies the relationships between individuals and society and between markets and the state)
○ Shaped policy
Labor Movement
○ Safe working conditions
○ Workers control the conditions that affect their lives and livelihoods
○ Cleaner industries = cleaner communities
Environmentalism Movement
○ Largely ignores structural racism and radical critiques of political economy
○ Effectively changed state structures through legislation and lawsuits
Native American Struggles
○ Self-determination and sovereignty, “We speak for ourselves”
○ Culturally specific (and diverse) knowledge systems and worldviews beyond capitalism and the state
What is an environment? How does it intersect or interact with social identities like race, class, or disability?
Full transcript