ENV 846b () / 2020-2021

Perspectives on Environmental Injustices

Credits: 3

Spring 2021: Time and location TBA


In this seminar we explore domestic and global environmental issues from a perspective that foregrounds questions of social justice. This course is based on three fundamental premises: (1) all individuals and communities, regardless of their social or economic conditions, have the right to a clean and healthy environment; (2) there is a connection between environmental exploitation, human exploitation, and social justice; and (3) many environmental and social injustices are rooted in larger structural issues in society that must be understood. With these premises as a starting point, we turn to more difficult questions such as, Why and through what political, social, and economic processes are some people denied this basic right to a clean and safe environment? What is the state of scientific evidence surrounding environmental injustice and what are the current scientific challenges in assessing environmental injustices in relationship to human health?  What legal frameworks exist within the USA to address environmental injustice?