Wednesday, September 12, 2007

This chapter introduces the idea that environmental justice and sustainability movements have been opposing forces in the past. The idea that sustainability ( along with buying organic, shopping local etc) has been the privilege of the morally minded middle class while environmental justice has been a struggle for proper provision of basic necessities (clean drinking water, non-toxic food supplies, etc). The idea is then introduced that sustainability can really only be achieved from a cooperation of these two forces.
Chapter 1:
This chapter provided a history of the environmental justice movement in relation to civil rights movements. Environmental justice as a bottom up grassroots movement, much like the civil rights movement, is at the opposite side of the top down approach of new environmentalism (which focuses more on preserving wildlife as opposed to the threat of toxics in an urban area as a result of environmental racism)

These first chapters provided an interesting history of the two movements which not many people think about. I was interested by how much thought is put into the definition of each particular issue because it illustrated just how important clarifying terms truly is.

I think that this book is an interesting read, my only criticism of this book is that it seems repetitive to someone who is already familiar with these concepts. It seems like everything I read about sustainability is not really new information, just further definition and clarification of what already makes sense. The interesting parts are the case studies because people make far greater strides in improving the principles and methods of sustainability when they try them out in the real, day to day world.

1 comment:

B. said...

great way to teach class . . .
we'll be watching and have linked to you over at the Green Infrastructure Wiki