In 1977 Sidney Howe, Director of the Human Environment Center, argued that the poor were exposed to more pollution than others, and that those creating the most pollution live in the least polluted places. He used the term environmental justice to describe the corrective measures needed to address this disparity. The term environmental racism came into popular use at a conference held at the University Michigan's School of Natural Resources in 1990. The conference, which focused on race and environmental hazards, brought together scholars and policymakers to discuss the relationship between racism and the environment. In addition, the term environmental equity movement was used in the late 1980s to describe the growing movement to address racial, gender, and class environmental inequalities. However, by the early 1990s the term justice replaced equity because environmental justice activists felt justice was a more inclusive term that incorporated the concepts of equality and impartiality. The movement focuses on two kinds of justice: (1) distributive justice, who bears what costs and benefits, and (2) corrective justice, concerned with the way individuals are treated during a social transaction. The environmental justice movement is concerned with distributive justice especially as it relates to identifying past racial injustices and advantages as well as the quest for future remedies. The movement is also concerned with corrective justice as it relates to corporate-worker–community relations and government–local community interactions.
Research that produces nothing but books will not suffice.
- Kurt Lewin
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