Environmental Impact On The Environment Essay

Environmental Impact On The Environment Essay

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Protecting the environment is regarded from many people as an optional
matter and of minor importance. It is believed that is something people should care
about only when they have plenty of time and money. But this is not the case; lowincome
communities and minority ethnic groups often have to face the most severe
consequences of environmental degradation and pollution. This essay is centered on
environmental justice: the fact that the aforementioned communities often bear a
disproportionate share of environmental costs. (Massey, 2004)
Environmental racism is one of the reasons polluters tend to target
disadvantaged communities. Poor people account for more than 20% of the human
health impacts from industrial toxic air releases, compared to 12.9% of the population
nationwide. One reason for toxic industries to concentrate in minority or poor
neighborhoods is because of their lack of political power. These groups are treated
unfairly either due to a lack of homeownership or because of a general inability to
participate politically, such as the inability of illegal immigrants who cannot
participate in the political system. States may also regard placing toxic facilities near
poor neighborhoods as beneficial from a Cost Benefit Analysis perspective. It is more
likely for a toxic facility to be placed near a city of 20.000 poor people than being
placed near a city of 5.000 wealthy people, who would have more money to challenge
its practices. (“Environmental Justice”, n.d.).
Environmental quality, income levels, and access to health care can all affect
people’s health. Environmental pollution, in fact, is linked to a range of disabilities
and chronic illnesses such as cancer and asthma. As pollution is distributed unequally
within ind...

... middle of paper ...

...e notions of environmental justice and environmental inequalities, which
have been part of the US policy arsenal for almost two decades, have been only
recently acknowledged from European policy-makers. Yet, challenges to equality and
fairness in the environmental domain are many and growing within the European
Union. (Laurent, 2011)
In conclusion, the environmental justice movement seems to be gaining
momentum. There is a large list of organizations founded to fight environmental

discrimination and racism. The movement has united weak minority communities,
giving them a platform to convey the truth about environmental racism and its effects.
Although it is essential to promote democratic accountability and ensure that minority
communities can have a voice, it is the impacted communities themselves that are the
most effective advocates for clean and safe communities.

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