Cover image for Environmental injustices, political struggles : race, class, and the environment
Environmental injustices, political struggles : race, class, and the environment
Cuesta Camacho, David E. (David Enrique)
Publication Information:
Durham [N.C.] : Duke University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
viii, 232 pages : maps ; 24 cm
The environmental justice movement : a political framework -- The social construction of environmental justice -- Race, class, and environmental hazards -- Environmental racism in southern Arizona? : the reality beneath the rhetoric -- Race for water? : Native Americans, Eurocentrism, and western water policy -- The failure to provide basic services to the Colonias of El Paso County : a case of environmental racism? -- Environmental justice and the role of indigenous women organizing their communities -- Environmental injustices and traditional environmental organizations : potential for coalition building -- Environmental injustices : examples from Ohio -- Bishigendan Akii : respect the earth -- Environmental ethics as a political choice.
Reading Level:
1520 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GE170 .E5763 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In the United States, few issues are more socially divisive than the location of hazardous waste facilities and other environmentally harmful enterprises. Do the negative impacts of such polluters fall disproportionately on African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans? Environmental Injustices, Political Struggles discusses how political, economic, social, and cultural factors contribute to local government officials' consistent location of hazardous and toxic waste facilities in low-income neighborhoods and how, as a result, low-income groups suffer disproportionately from the regressive impacts of environmental policy.
David E. Camacho's collection of essays examines the value-laden choices behind the public policy that determines placement of commercial environmental hazards, points to the underrepresentation of people of color in the policymaking process, and discusses the lack of public advocates representing low-income neighborhoods and communities. This book combines empirical evidence and case studies--from the failure to provide basic services to the "colonias" in El Paso County, Texas, to the race for water in Nevada--and covers in great detail the environmental dangers posed to minority communities, including the largely unexamined communities of Native Americans. The contributors call for cooperation between national environmental interest groups and local grassroots activism, more effective incentives and disincentives for polluters, and the adoption by policymakers of an alternative, rather than privileged, perspective that is more sensitive to the causes and consequences of environmental inequities.
Environmental Injustices, Political Struggles is a unique collection for those interested in the environment, public policy, and civil rights as well as for students and scholars of political science, race and ethnicity, and urban and regional planning.

Contributors. C. Richard Bath, Kate A. Berry, John G. Bretting, David E. Camacho, Jeanne Nienaber Clarke, Andrea K. Gerlak, Peter I. Longo, Diane-Michele Prindeville, Linda Robyn, Stephen Sandweiss, Janet M. Tanski, Mary M. Timney, Roberto E. Villarreal, Harvey L. White

Author Notes

David E. Camacho is Associate Professor of Political Science at Northern Arizona University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Camacho's volume is a welcome addition to the literature on environmental justice because it encompasses extensive examples--from Native American water rights to gender-based environmental discrimination. Consequently, it broadens to a variety of populations the environmental justice arguments of earlier collections ( Confronting Environmental Racism, ed. by Robert D. Bullard, CH, Nov'93)--that racial minorities and other lower-status groups are at greater risk of exposure to and harm from environmental and resource-based hazards. However, like many edited collections on such a wide-ranging topic, the contributions and the degree to which they truly illuminate these claims are uneven. Chapters by Clarke and Gerlack on southern Arizona and Berry on western water policy do an excellent job of aiming at the core questions: namely, the "historical, subjective context and societal presumptions" that shape perceptions and actions toward the environment. Other chapters are, in themselves, intrinsically interesting but do not convincingly show the "failure of consumer society" or other assertions made by the editor. As a supplemental text, it would work well with countervailing approaches such as Christopher Foreman's The Promise and Peril of Environmental Justice (CH, May'99). Undergraduate, graduate, and faculty collections. D. L. Feldman University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Table of Contents

IntroductionDavid E. Camacho
I A Framework for Analysis
The Environmental Justice Movement: A Political FrameworkDavid E. Camacho
The Social Construction of Environmental JusticeStephen Sandweiss
II Environmental Injustices
Race, Class, and Environmental HazardsHarvey L. White
Environmental Racism in Southern Arizona? The Reality beneath the RhetoricJeanne Nienaber Clarke and Andrea K. Gerlak
Race for Water? Native Americans, Eurocentrism, and Western Water PolicyKate A. Berry
The Failure to Provide Basic Services to the Colonias of El Paso County: A Case of Environmental Racism?C. Richard Bath and Janet M. Tanski and Roberto E. Villarreal
III Confronting Environmental Injustices
Environmental Justice and the Role of Indigenous Women Organizing Their CommunitiesJohn G. Bretting and Diane-Michele Prindeville
Environmental Injustices and Traditional Environmental Organizations: Potential for Coalition BuildingPeter J. Longo
IV Environmental Justice
Environmental Injustices: Examples from OhioMary M. Timney
Bishigendan Akii: Respect the EarthLinda Robyn and David E. Camacho
Environmental Ethics as a Political ChoiceDavid E. Camacho