Friday, September 7, 2007

925 926 Environmental Justice

Message no. 925[Branch from no. 914] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Monday, May 7, 2007 4:55pm Subject: Re: relational summary

Thanks for the links to hazards affecting rivers in New York! Hard to keep up with all the things criminal businesses and negligent people get away with that affects innocent unaware people.

I don't any longer agree that "we don't learn our lesson" though. I think what happens more often is that people do learn the lesson -- and move away from the places where disasters occur and many try to stop doing the things that are dangerous. I think what happens, however, is that population pressure, lack of alternatives and business incentives provide a never ending stream of newcomers who can be duped into living in bad and dangerous conditions and areas. The safe property is bought up by the rich and the dangerous areas are offered at low rates to anybody who is willing to trade the risk of dying in a disaster or through toxic exposre for the risk of dying of poverty. For this reason you will notice that, for example, when California had our earthquake in 1994 64 people died, while in Turkey many many thousands died. Disasters and poverty go hand in hand, and we tend to look at the poor as if they were a homogeneous mass. In fact individual poor families try desperately to get out of dangerous places and often succeed when they can find an opportunity. But there are so many poor people with even less opportunity that others immediately move in again. It is rarely the same people.

For this reason we have a movement in the world called "The Environmental Justice" movement. It says that people are trapped into being victims, not that they don't learn from other's mistakes.

I believe that there is a propoganda that makes us believe that "we" are all to blame, as if human beings were just stupid and flawed and keep on doing dumb things. This obscures the fact that criminal behavior by developers and speculators is putting enormous numbers of people at risk.

Our job should be to put a face on individual families and see how hard most people struggle to do the right thing. I'm proud of the human race; I'm just suspicious of the very few who control the wealth and the media.

Message no. 926[Branch from no. 912] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Monday, May 7, 2007 4:59pm Subject: Re: Varshawn...Relational Summ...

I think you are right Varshawn -- asthma seems to be telling us that our immune systems are overwhelmed by the toxins and particulate matter in the air.

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