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Why does environmental racism exist? The reason is simple. Those with resources can raise awareness, money, and public attention to ensure that their communities are unsullied. This has led to an inequitable distribution of environmental burdens. Another method of keeping this inequity alive is NIMBY protests. Chemical plants, airports, landfills, and other municipal or corporate projects are often the subject of NIMBY demonstrations. And equally often, the NIMBYists win, and the objectionable project is moved closer to those who have fewer resources to fight it.


The area of environmental sociology is growing as extreme weather patterns and concerns over climate change increase. Human activity leads to pollution of soil, water, and air, compromising the health of the entire food chain. While everyone is at risk, poor and disadvantaged neighborhoods and nations bear a greater burden of the planet’s pollution, a dynamic known as environmental racism.

Short answer

After reading this section, will you change the way you treat your household waste? Explain.

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How do you think the issue of e-waste should be dealt with? Should the responsibility fall to the companies that make the products or the consumer who buys them? Would your buying habits be different if you had to pay to recycle old electronics?

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Can you think of a modern example of the tragedy of the commons, where public use without accountability has created a negative outcome?

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NIMBY protests occur when concerned citizens band together to speak up against something that will impact them negatively. Is this a positive or negative trend? Give an example of a NIMBY protest and whether you support it or not.

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Further research

Visit the Cleanups in My Community web site: (External Link) to see where environmental hazards have been identified in your backyard, and what is being done about them.

What is your carbon footprint? Find out using the carbon footprint calculator at (External Link)

Find out more about greening the electronics process by looking at Greenpeace’s guide: (External Link)


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Bertolucci, Jeff. 2009. “How Green Is Your Apple?” Macworld , April 22. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Blanchard, Ben. 2007. “Coke Vows to Reduce Water Used in Drink Production.” Reuters , June 5. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Bullard, Robert D., Paul Mohai, Robin Saha, and Beverly Wright. 2007. Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty: 1987–2007 . United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Bureau of Indian Affairs. 2012. “FAQs.” Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

DeKok, David. 1986. Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and the Centralia Mine Fire . Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Environmental Justice Case Studies. 2004. University of Michigan. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Frosch, Dan. 2009. “Uranium Contamination Haunts Navajo Country.” New York Times , July 27. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Greenpeace. 2011. “Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics.” November. Retrieved December 13, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Greepeace. 2012. "Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics." November. Retrieved December 17, 2014 ( (External Link) ).

Hardin, Garrett. 1968. “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162(3859):1243–1248. Retrieved December 10, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Kamps, Kevin. 2001. “Environmental Racism, Tribal Sovereignty and Nuclear Waste.” Nuclear Information and Resource Service. Retrieved January 22, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

NASA. 2014. “NASA Finds 2013 Sustained Long-Term Climate Warming Trend.” NASA, January 21. Retrieved October 27, 2014(http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140121/).

Ogunseitanl, Oladele, Julie M. Stoning, Jean-Daniel M. Sapphires, and Andrew A. Shapiro. 2009. “The Electronics Revolution: From E-Wonderland to E-Wasteland.” Science 326(5953):670–671. Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

Papenfuss, Mary. 2011. “Cynical Chinese Taking Own Smog Readings.” Newser , December 8. Retrieved January 23, 2012 ( (External Link) ).

Troilo, Pete. 2012. "Yes, We Can? Obama's Global Climate Change Initiative." International Development . Devex, January 30. Retrieved October 27, 2014 (https://www.devex.com/news/yes-we-can-obama-s-global-climate-change-initiative-77363).

Turneffe Atoll Trust. 2008. “Improper Development: Recommendations of the Turneffe Atoll Coastal Advisory Committee.” Retrieved December 14, 2011 ( (External Link) ).

United States. 2011. “Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing.” Washington, D.C: U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce. Retrieved October 29, 2014 (http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Hydraulic%20Fracturing%20Report%204.18.11.pdf).

Questions & Answers

how relevant is socialization to law
Salihu Reply
Can anyone tell the form of family
Inoto Reply
wrire the function of family
Ahammad Reply
what is marriage
Ahammad Reply
Marriage ia a socialy and legaly rocognized social bond between two people for the procreation of offsprings and satisfaction of sexual desires. With the tie of marriage there generates right and duties on both partners to comply with.
types of marriage
Monogamy, Polygamy, Polygyny, Polyandry , Bigamy
function of marriage
it is explained in definition
what do you mean by Endogamy
who is the father of sociology
Ahammad Reply
ibne khaldoom
what is sociology
study of people groups society and interactions.
write the definition of "types of marriage "
important of social science research in our contemporary society
Sharif Reply
Social research is an important source of knowledge. It provides updated, proved, authentic and very useful information to the end users.
Structural Changes. Social research is responsible for bringing structural changes in a social life.
Social Prediction. Social research helps in making laws and the relation between social laws and their factors.
we apply social research to a society for bringing social order and control.
New Techniques. Social Research introduces new techniques and improves the old ones.
how positivism is used in social science
Sam Reply
Positivists believe that sociology can and should use the same methods and approaches to study the social world that “natural” sciences such as biology and physics use to investigate the physical world.
positivists use quantitative methods such as official statistics, structured questionnaires and social surveys. Statistical, numerical data is crucial to Positivist research. Positivists need to collect statistical information in order to make comparisons. And in order to uncover general social tren
auguste compte
August Comte is known as the father of Sociology.
what is Darwin's theory?
What are the e contribution of Auguste Compt to Sociology?
August comte
difference between polygamy and polyandry
Arvina Reply
polygamy having more than 1wife ...and polyandry having more than 1husband
explanation on human Development
Hamukwele Reply
Happy independence day to all indians. Let we live with peace love harmony and friendliness with each other without any discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, race, class, gender, power, economic, political, professional and status. Jai hind.
manisha Reply
Respect and peace.
happy independence day to all....
happy independent to Indians 🇮🇳
nice to hear from all of you. i know people are here from all around the world. first msg is definitely for indians as today is independence day for them. and other msg can be receive by others.. gratitude..
happy independence Day
Happy Independence day to you all Indians.
happy independence Day from Occupied Kashmir.
what is sociology
Ali Reply
the study of social problem
Sociology is the systematic study of diverse human culture.
who is father of sociology
Surjeet Reply
seriously man. y ppl ask this ques again n again. august comte :)
Class and class structure
priyanka Reply
G S Gurye
society is jenus headed is an animal and has two head discuss this in the lite of culture
Hajja Reply
i need the answer urgent
where are you from
i guess there is something missing in the question.. kindly write it again
What causes social stratification
Assalamu alaikum Happy independence day to pakistani friends. Love from india..
jenus? is this an English word
the two head i believe is language and culture
culture is our beliefs....
beliefs, values, behavior
I am a student of MSc socialogy
thanks ....manisha
Types of Societies?
hunting and gathering
post industrial
bio genetic
how social reseach is an approach to confirm the observations and pattern of behaviours prevailing in the society
sitta Reply
any body with answer pleaz

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