Environmental justice | Social Inequality | MCAT | Khan Academy
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Environmental justice | Social Inequality | MCAT | Khan Academy


– Where we live in
society plays a huge role in the environmental benefits and risks that we’re exposed to. And, I’m gonna actually draw in different parts of
society by using this line which represents a spectrum of society. On the right hand side I’m gonna draw part of society that
experiences higher poverty and also incorporates
the often disadvantaged racial and minority groups. On the left hand side I’m gonna draw a much wealthier part of society. One of the things that we know is that living areas that experience high poverty and have a
lot of racial minorities often have few environmental benefits compared to the wealthier part of society. What do I mean by environmental benefits? I mean green spaces,
parks, recreational areas. What does that look like? Well let me draw it for
you, using this triangle. This is supposed to represent
environmental benefits. And one of the things we can see is that the wealthier part of society has much higher benefits
than the high poverty and racial minority part of society. And as I mentioned, those benefits include things like parks, bike paths, and other green spaces. So one part of society seems to be getting a lot of benefit while
another part of society seems to not be getting as much benefit. But what the high poverty
and racial minority part of society does get,
it does get something, and what it does get, it gets a lot of environmental burden. So what does that look like? This line is actually
supposed to represent increasing burdern. So compared to the high
income part of society the high poverty and racial minorities get increasing burden. And this includes things
like waste facilities, manufacturing and factories, energy production, and transportation
facilities such as airports. And one of the things we have to consider is that these are
disadvantaged populations, they are really at risk because they’re
disadvantaged in many ways. They often have few alternatives in terms of where they
work and where they live. They may have little awareness of the risks they may face being exposed to various environmental risks
or pollutants or chemicals. They may also have other pressing issues, meaning that environmental issues are low on their agenda and let us contrast that to
the wealthier population. The wealthier population may very well be more politically powerful, they can also be economically powerful, literally being able to demand that the environmental
beneficial facilities are placed close to them, and the burdensome facilities
are placed far away. And being able to control things like laws and regulations to benefit them more so than the other communities. And they can also be better represented in environmental groups
or lobbying groups. Now this is all of significance when we consider that
the high poverty groups and racial minorities
may have health problems such as asthma or obesity, because we know conditions like asthma have
got strong correlations to environmental issues
such as pollutants, particles and ozones, and these are part of
the environmental burdens that these populations face. And also when we consider obesity, obesity can be thought of as a lack of access to safe recreational facilities where people can exercise. So a lack of access to
environmental benefits, and lack of access to affordable grocery and shopping facilities. The big concept here,
that I want to write down is the concept of environmental justice. And what this concept really looks at is that there is a fair distribution of the benefits and burdens, of the environmental benefits and burdens within society, across all groups. And as we can see here, that is clearly not happening at the moment, and much action still needs to be taken.

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4 thoughts on “Environmental justice | Social Inequality | MCAT | Khan Academy

  1. Environmental justice: In other words, those people have more money and resources and that's not fair so we're going to forcibly take away money and resources from those who actually earned it, to those that we deem more "deserving" in order to prop up the welfare state and feed the government blob. Of course we could try capitalist solutions to create jobs in the inner cities that would help them move left along that line, and not waste taxpayer resources, but that would naturally be racist or xenophobic or homophobic.

  2. It is astonishing and depressing that this extremist nonsense has penetrated this deeply into what should be science-based education. Shame on every partisan ideologue who has been poisoning academia with this blatant political tribalism.

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