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Why does environmental racism exist? The reason is simple. Those with resources can raise awareness, money, and public attention to ensure that their communities are unsullied. This has led to an inequitable distribution of environmental burdens. Another method of keeping this inequity alive is NIMBY protests. Chemical plants, airports, landfills, and other municipal or corporate projects are often the subject of NIMBY demonstrations. And equally often, the NIMBYists win, and the objectionable project is moved closer to those who have fewer resources to fight it.

Summary

The area of environmental sociology is growing as extreme weather patterns and concerns over climate change increase. Human activity leads to pollution of soil, water, and air, compromising the health of the entire food chain. While everyone is at risk, poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods and nations bear a greater burden of the planet’s pollution, a dynamic known as environmental racism.

Short answer

After reading this section, will you change the way you treat your household waste? Explain.

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How do you think the issue of e-waste should be dealt with? Should the responsibility fall to the companies that make the products or the consumer who buys them? Would your buying habits be different if you had to pay to recycle old electronics?

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Can you think of a modern example of the tragedy of the commons, where public use without accountability has created a negative outcome?

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NIMBY protests occur when concerned citizens band together to speak up against something that will impact them negatively. Is this a positive or negative trend? Give an example of a NIMBY protest and whether you support it or not.

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Further research

Visit the Cleanups in My Community web site: (External Link) to see where environmental hazards have been identified in your backyard, and what is being done about them.

What is your carbon footprint? Find out using the carbon footprint calculator at (External Link)

Find out more about greening the electronics process by looking at Greenpeace’s guide: (External Link)

References

American Indian Cultural Support. 2006. “Short History of Big Mountain—Black Mesa.” Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Bertolucci, Jeff. 2009. “How Green Is Your Apple?” Macworld , April 22. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Blanchard, Ben. 2007. “Coke Vows to Reduce Water Used in Drink Production.” Reuters , June 5. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Bullard, Robert D., Paul Mohai, Robin Saha, and Beverly Wright. 2007. Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987–2007 . United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Bureau of Indian Affairs. 2012. “FAQs.” Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

DeKok, David. 1986. Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire . Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Environmental Justice Case Studies. 2004. University of Michigan. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Frosch, Dan. 2009. “Uranium Contamination Haunts Navajo Country.” New York Times , July 27. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Greenpeace. 2011. “Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics.” November. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Greepeace. 2012. "Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics." November. Retrieved December 17, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Hardin, Garrett. 1968. “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162(3859):1243–1248. Retrieved December 10, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Kamps, Kevin. 2001. “Environmental Racism, Tribal Sovereignty and Nuclear Waste.” Nuclear Information and Resource Service. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

NASA. 2014. “NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend.” NASA, January 21. Retrieved October 27, 2014(http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140121/).

Ogunseitanl, Oladele, Julie M. Stoning, Jean-Daniel M. Sapphires, and Andrew A. Shapiro. 2009. “The Electronics Revolution: From E-Wonderland to E-Wasteland.” Science 326(5953):670–671. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Papenfuss, Mary. 2011. “Cynical Chinese Taking Own Smog Readings.” Newser , December 8. Retrieved January 23, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Troilo, Pete. 2012. "Yes, We Can? Obama's Global Climate Change Initiative." International Development . Devex, January 30. Retrieved October 27, 2014 (https://www.devex.com/news/yes-we-can-obama-s-global-climate-change-initiative-77363).

Turneffe Atoll Trust. 2008. “Improper Development: Recommendations of the Turneffe Atoll Coastal Advisory Committee.” Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

United States. 2011. “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing.” Washington, D.C: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce. Retrieved October 29, 2014 (http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Hydraulic%20Fracturing%20Report%204.18.11.pdf).

Questions & Answers

what is the generally accepted definition of marriage
Onyeka Reply
marriage is the legal union between two people
JAYz
according to beathis(1980) marriage is the union between a man and women such that the children born to the woman are the legimate offsprings of both partners
Bamshak
what about socratic method
VICTOR
Victor I don't understand your question
Bamshak
I mean the current authorities who defined the Socratic method?
VICTOR
social stratifaction
Alabi Reply
definition of culture
Hassan Reply
what are the effect of poverty in education
Chileshe
poverty effects education and our children. Children living in poverty tend to be exposed to more stress, more intense & longer lasting stress that negatively impact attention, focus, cognition, IQ and social skills.
Sonasa
underachievement
Sarmin
living Style of the people is known as culture
Qudrat
Why we need social interaction?
Qudrat Reply
what is norms and beliefs
Aabid Reply
what is norms
Prince
behaviour and attitudes which are considered normal
Chileshe
what are the causes of poverty?
Chileshe
capitalism
Sarmin
what is social stratification?
Keeper
what is the difference between values. norms. and belief
Qudrat
which is most desiminated religion in the world
ahmed
Trust me I'm not too sure about the "most disseminated religion", but for my money Christianity somehow dominates...
Athenkosi
Why study sociology
mohamed Reply
I need an enlightenment on the course the military and the state?
onoja Reply
what does the open system approach in education looks at as whole?
Beau Reply
it is the vave of feminism in which feminist want to equal education for male and female
Muhmmad
of what relevance is sociology towards understanding African social thought
Abubakar Reply
What is population studies?
onoja Reply
it's the study of population the population can be family, fertility, mortality e.t.c
Abubakar
What are the subjective reality of mass communications
isah Reply
preconditions that give rise to deviance behavior
James Reply
what is group
Nazir
a collectivity of people that are United for one common purpose
Asif
what do you mean by "power to constraint"?
Chisom Reply
can someone please elaborate the main elements of ethnicity.
Tinya
What is social thought? And the difference between social thought and sociological thought
onoja Reply
social thought : these are those thoughts which belongs to the practical life of an individual mean : A man is a social animal . he learn from the society sociological thoughts : it means theoretical thoughts which are related to a book or which are taken from a book<> 📖 or which are taught in
Qudrat
social thought: has do with. our daily exchanges of ideas from one person to another. while, sociological thought: derives from the attributes of social thought and social ideology.
Keeper
Please some one should explain this theories for me.. Functionalism,, conflict theory and symbolic interaction
onoja Reply
functionalism: interrelated parts designed to meet the biological and social needs of the individuals in that Society
Lisa
conflict Theory: the way inequalities contribute to social differences and perpetuate difference in power
Lisa
Symbolic: one to one interactions and communications
Lisa
Can this theories be criticise?
onoja

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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
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