Volume 2 2012

Wisconsin's Water Library

Environmental Justice

Environmental justice is a concept that was born in the early 1980’s and is defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as “the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” This concept began in the United States and has now spread around the world. Start at home by reading some of these great titles.

Blessed Unrest: How the largest social movement in history is restoring grace, justice, and beauty to the world
By Paul Hawkin. New York: Penguin Books,  2007.
“Blessed Unrest” is the account of how people use imagination, conviction and resilience to redefine their relationship to the environment and to one another, healing the wounds of the Earth with passion and determination.

Dumping in Dixie
By Robert D. Bullard. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press,  2000.
Starting with the premise that all Americans have a basic right to live in a healthy environment, “Dumping in Dixie” chronicles the efforts of five African-American communities, empowered by the civil rights movement, to link environmentalism with issues of social justice.

Slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor
By Rob Nixon. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,  2011.
Nixon examines a cluster of writer-activists affiliated with the environmentalism of the poor in the global South. By approaching environmental justice literature from this transnational perspective, he exposes the limitations of the national and local frames that dominate environmental writing.

Soil not oil: environmental justice in a time of climate crisis
By Vandana Shiva. Cambridge, Mass. : South End Press,  2008.
With “Soil Not Oil,” Vandana Shiva connects the dots between industrial agriculture and climate change. Shiva shows that a world beyond dependence on fossil fuels and globalization is both possible and necessary.

To see more books on this topic, visit the recommended reading list at aqua.wisc.edu/channel/23.

Anyone in Wisconsin can borrow these books. Just email askwater@aqua.wisc.edu.


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