B. Jesse Clarke: New Orleans stands as an all-too-powerful example of what the future may hold if we fail to advance progressive alternatives to the ongoing planned disaster of current models of economic development. In looking at global economic situations, it is clear that we need to promote green economic development as a significant part of the solution, both for climate change and rebuilding, in the wake of disasters. But how can this solution be integrated with historic equity challenges faced by low-income people in communities of color in the distribution of public and private resources?
A Look at the Long Road to Environmental Justice (Vol. 10, No. 1: Summer 2003)
This issue of Race, Poverty and the Environment both celebrates the EJ Movement and offers a critique of it. At this critical point in EJ history, RPE takes a big-picture look at the Movement's past, present and future. In the "Looking Back" section, three articles explore the relationship between EJ and the Civil Rights Movement, examining lessons learned from liberation struggles of the 60s and 70s, as well as failures and missteps to avoid. With this hindsight and analysis, the EJ Movement has the potential to be even more powerful and effective than the social change struggles that preceded it. Another article delves into the tensions between EJ and the environmental movement. The section ends with a review of key milestones in the Movement's history.
More than 15 years ago, community residents, ministers, and elected officials stood hand-in-hand with the newly-created West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WE ACT) as we convened a press conference to offer a challenge to the most indifferent government entity in New York—the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
Created in the atmosphere when oxides of nitrogen combine with reactive organic gases in the presence of sunlight. These reactive organic gases are primarily generated by auto emissions, but industrial emissions as well. Once in the lungs, ozone generates a free radical, an oxygen atom, that irritates lung tissue—causing or exacerbating asthma, emphysema, respiratory disease and, over time, reduced lung capacity. Animal studies also indicate that ozone either causes or exacerbates cancers.
Everyone knows carbon monoxide as a colorless, odorless gas that comes out of the tailpipes of cars which, by blocking the delivery of oxygen to the blood, can kill you. But carbon monoxide in smaller doses causes dizziness, impairs central nervous system functioning, deprives the heart muscles of oxygen—leading to heart attacks, and is also a reproductive toxin.