Blog Promt 5 Response Justice

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I disagree with Wenz’s of the use of the word “racism to describe the flaws of how toxic waste is managed, and who it really affects. According to Wenz, Environmental racism takes place when toxic waste is placed in areas that are predominately occupied by minorities. While it is true that most waste is disposed in low income areas, and it is also true that many low income people are from minorities, in the case of disposal of toxic substances, race plays no part. The issue of environmental classism, as I believe it should really be called, is real, and it should be dealt with. The other main issue I have with Wenz argument is that it tries to simplify the issue by saying that those who consume the most, should have the most waste buried next to them. Most products go halfway around the world before making it to consumer’s hands. From a mine in Africa where the raw materials are exploited, to a processing factory that turns them into industrial grade materials in Asia, to factories that create components in the United States, and back to Asia for the final assembly, the path a product follows is a complex one, and the waste, most often than not, is nowhere near where consumers are. This would make it even harder for an agency to implement his plan.  I won’t presume to know the answer to this issue, and while Wenz is in the right track, by trying to make the negative externalities not negatives, I believe plan to be extremely impractical at best. 

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One response »

  1. Do you feel that a practical solution for environmental classism would be by financially de-incentivizing the dumping of waste in areas with low property values? For example, if a wealthy entity wants to dump on the property of a less wealthy entity, the wealthy entity would have to pay fees/taxes/fines as a form of burden compensation.

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