Launch Post: Environmental Justice

The interview with Beverly Wright titled “Fighting for Environmental justice” brought the issue of environmental justice to light. Personally I have always been interested with environmental issues and the effects of mankind on the environment. I find it interesting to research the effects of global warming and how our earth is continually changing. At the same time, I have never really considered the direct ramifications of environmental issues on the poor. They are often forgotten about when environmental issues are discussed such as global warming. Two issues that Beverly Wright brought up stuck in my thoughts. The first was the communities that live along Cancer Alley. It is hard to fathom that people continue to live in an area that is known to be toxic and harmful to their health without a means to remove themselves from the situation. I know that if I was in their situation with sufficient resources, I would do everything in my power to move to a healthier location. How can government leaders and other people who know about this situation stand by and let these people continue to live in an environment that is detrimental to their health? The second issue that she commented on that had an impact on me was the poor’s ability to survive natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes. When a disaster hits a community, chaos and panic spreads until evacuation and aid plans can go into effect. The evacuation plans are often efficient but only cater to those with cars and a place to go to. This often times leaves the poor with nowhere to go. The poor are the ones in the most need because they have the least resources available to them to get out of harm’s way. Lastly, once a disaster has passed the poor have the hardest time to recover because once again they have the least resources available to them. Although the poor are easily forgotten, we must do our best to look out for the needs of all people.

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