A tale of lead, oppression, and the failings of the charity model

Two years ago—on 24 April, 2014—the city of Flint, Michigan, made a calculated decision, switching from nearby Detroit’s water system to the Flint River as the primary water source for its residents. The choice was motivated purely by cost. Almost immediately, residents began complaining that the water was discoloured, malodorous, and unpleasant to drink. Flint’s […]

Environmental Racism Is Consistent Across Economic Classes

A fascinating recent study on environmental racism in the United States reveals the stark nature of the interaction between race, pollution, and health: even high income people of colour experience more exposure to pollutants than their white counterparts. While one might expect an interaction between race, class, and environmental exposures, the study indicates that race […]

Environmental Racism at Work: Building Schools on Brownfields

Activists and advocates concerned with race and environmental justice issues have developed the term “environmental racism” to describe the specific and pernicious social phenomenon of placing communities of colour in danger from pollution. Studies illustrate a strong colocational relationship between low-income communities of colour and polluting industries, developments on polluted land, dumps, and other facilities […]

We Need Real Consequences For Environmental Health Violations

One fact becomes inescapable when looking at health statistics in the United States; low-income people, particularly people of colour and nonwhite people, tend to be less healthy overall. There are a lot of reasons for this, many of which can be seen illustrated in the statistics themselves, and one particularly pressing issue is the extremely […]

If Not In My Backyard, Then Where?

There’s a phenomenon I regularly see playing out in small, wealthy communities across the United States. It usually goes something like this: Company Xyz announces plans to commence operations somewhere near that community. Citizens promptly start holding a series of meetings to oppose it on the grounds that the company’s activities may be environmentally harmful, […]