Saturday, July 23, 2016

Environmental Injustice

Today’s class started off with a watching of the film, “Fence Line”, which portrayed the struggles of a community getting relocated into a part of town that isn’t next to the fence line of a nearby factory that is polluting the air. The community would take their own air samples and send them to be tested in a California facility because the company would not take responsibility and admit that they were polluting the air. The hard part about this issues is that a lot of the population worked for that company so they believed that the company was good and that it wasn’t creating problems for the community. However, for those who lived the nearest to the factory were experiencing things like asthma and lung cancer.

Out of desperation, the community began to organize because the factory promised them to buy out four streets for an expansion but they went back on their word and were only going to buy two streets. This would split up the community and make it harder for families to stay together. So, to fix this, they protested and even got to attend a convention in Amsterdam with the CEOs of the factory. This brought attention to the issue. The company, in the end, bought four of the streets and relocated all the families in that area.

The other residents still didn’t believe that the factory was polluting the environment. This is the type of mentality that prevents society from being just and fair towards the needs of everyone. In a way, it reminded me of radical political supporters that make up any excuse to justify the actions of the candidate they support even if it is evident that their actions are not correct.

After the movie, we went to lunch and when we came back we had a speaker. The speaker, Patricia Kim, talked about environmental humanities. This is a relatively new field of study that deals with how the environment affects groups of people differently. The speaker said that it was easier to say what environmental humanities was not rather than to say what it was because it covers such a broad spectrum of issues and deals with a lot of intersectionalities.

At the end of her talk, we were dismissed and I hung out with my floormates. We went to get some food at the 1920’s and played Pokemon Go. The time here has been so short and I wish it would slow down but at the same time, I am excited to be able to go back home and see my loved ones again.

1 comment: