USP 515 Session 2 Notes

Central Concepts

  1. What do you think of when you hear the term “environmental justice”?
    • Disparate impact of environmental decisions
      • Alameda county and 580 freight ban
        • Racial gap in life expectancy and respiratory disorder
    • Role of research in demonstrating impact and causes
    • Bring people into conversation about environments
    • Humans and the environment coinciding
    • Trying to create an equitable, equal playing field for everyone
      • Access to outdoor spaces
  2. What do you think the concept “environmental justice” implies and is aiming for?
    • Implies that there is a systemic problem
    • Calls attention to differential impacts
    • Goal-oriented concept
    • Rejects these paradigms
      • Environmental injustice
      • Environmental racism
      • Mainstream environmental movement
  3. How does environmental justice relate to the planning of the urban environment and to people’s everyday lives?


  • The professor presented a deductive argument for her perspective of environmental justice which features anthroprocentrism as a descriptive and absolute fact about the entire movement of environmental justice rather than a “most” or “some” argument.
    • Several students offered counterexamples to reject the”all” argument, since there are many examples which disagree such as native traditions. The professor rejected these critiques of her position.
  • Environmental justice features redress as a core duty.
    • Reparations for historical injustices

No Assigned Readings