Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2011 / Dimensions of Environmental Justice

Environmental Studies

Dimensions of Environmental Justice- Megs Gendreau

Story posted December 06, 2011

Event date(s): December 06, 2011 — December 30, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011 3:00 pm
Adams Hall, Room 406

Numerous studies have shown that environmental hazards are not distributed evenly: some communities bear a disproportionately large burden of pollutants from waste disposal, manufacturing, industry, and other sources. This distribution leads to an increase in negative health outcomes, and affected communities are typically of low socioeconomic status and have large populations of persons of color. While this captures part of the challenge such communities face, empirical evidence suggests that, even in the absence of harms to health, the presence of environmental hazards can also challenge the development and exercise of robust political agency. Consideration of this facet of environmental justice leads to the interesting conclusion that there is greater space for valuing the environment in John Rawls's system of justice as fairness than is typically thought.

Megs Gendreau has a B.A. from Hampshire College, an M.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside.

Megs is the Andrew W. Mellon Post Doctoral Fellow in Environmental Studies and Philosophy at Bowdoin.