Environmental Justice

Background: The National Institute of Environmental Health (NIEHS) states that environmental factors are fundamental determinants of health and well-being. Researchers and activists have shown that low income communities and communities of color have higher exposures to environmental pollutants and disproportionately host polluting sites such as bus depots, waste transfer sites, chemical facilities and industrial sites.  This distribution of pollutants and sites represents a Justice issue because these communities carry a larger share of the environmental burden without reaping equal economic benefits associated with the facilities.

The NIEHS report on its efforts to advance environmental justice is here.  A lot of NIEHS’ current work on environmental justice is funded through their Partnerships for Environmental Public Health program which focuses on using Community Based Participatory Research methods to address environmental concerns.

The Mix:

After a string of hits about catching a wave the Beach Boys came out with “Don’t Go in the Water”, their almost campy song about water pollution.Next up, Bim Skala Bim ‘s “Burning Under Ground” is about a coal mine fire that burned for years underground.

“Global Warning” by Steel Pulse warns that degrading the Earth’s environment was not part of Jah’s plan.

Then there is a trio of songs about urban sprawl – The Pretenders’ “My City Was Gone”, Cake’s “Long Line of Cars” and R.E.M.’s “I Remember California” – the last one is for Bruce Link who just moved to University of California, Riverside.

Then the tempo picks up with Bad Religion’s demand for action on global warming,  “Kyoto Now”.

And we end with the classic “The Day the World Turned Day-Glow” by the X-Ray Specs.




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