Tag Archives: environmental hazards

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions (Neil A. F. Popovic)

Author

Neil A.F. Popovic

Keywords

environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights

Extract

I. Introduction

Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.

Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.

The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.

Citation

(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47

Paper

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions

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Migration and Environmental Hazards (L.M. Hunter)

Author

Lori M. Hunter (University of Colorado)

Keywords

Environmental hazards, internal migration, international migration, migration, natural hazards, technological hazards, residential mobility

Abstract

Losses due to natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes) and technological hazards (e.g., nuclear waste facilities, chemical spills) are both on the rise. One response to hazard-related losses is migration, with this paper offering a review of research examining the association between migration and environmental hazards. Using examples from both developed and developing regional contexts, the overview demonstrates that the association between migration and environmental hazards varies by setting, hazard types, and household characteristics. In many cases, however, results demonstrate that environmental factors play a role in shaping migration decisions, particularly among those most vulnerable. Research also suggests that risk perception acts as a mediating factor. Classic migration theory is reviewed to offer a foundation for examination of these associations.

Citation

(2005) 26 Population & Environment 273-302

Paper

Migration and Environmental Hazards

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Global Catastrophic Risks (N. Borstrom and M.M. Cirkovic)

Editor(s)

Nick Bostrom ( Oxford University , UK )
Milan M. Cirkovic (Astonomical Observatory, Belgrade )

Keywords

Evolution theory, humanity, catastrophes, insurance, public policy, environmental hazards, climate change, global risk, pandemics, threat of nuclear war, nuclear terrorism, biotechnology, biosecurity, nanotechnology

Abstract

Chapters from leading experts and thinkers covering some of the biggest risks facing the world today. Covers natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. Addresses the key methodological, ethical, and policy issues arising from the study of Global Catastrophic Risks.

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues – policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes.

This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.

Citation

Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic (eds), Global Catastrophic Risks (OUP, Oxford 2008 )

Book

Global Catastrophic Risks

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