Most downloaded articles of the journal Environmental Justice available
Free access to articles through February 10, 2020
By Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2020-02-08

The journal Environmental Justice (jEJ) is one of the most relevant pioneers in the field of Environmental Justice Research. The peer-review journal is published bimonthly, covering the impacts and environmental burdens that affect marginalized populations all over the world. Interdisciplinary repports on communities, industry, academia, government, and nonprofit organizations are considered in its editions including human health and the environment, natural science, technology, land use and urban planning, public and environmental policy, environmental history, legal history as it pertains to environmental justice, environmental sociology, anthropology of environmental, health disparities, and grassroots activities.

The jEJ is under the editorial leadership of Editor-in-Chief Sylvia Hood Washington, PhD, MSE, MPH, and senior Editor Kenneth Olden, PhD, ScD, LHD, among others. Through February 10, 2020, the jEJ allows for free online access to a number of most-downloaded research articles from the years 2019-2020.

Dorceta E. Taylor (2018): Racial and Ethnic Differences in Connectedness to Nature and Landscape Preferences Among College Students

An extensive body of environmental psychology, outdoor recreation, and landscape preference research reports that blacks are alienated from nature, fearful of it, and prefer urbanized and developed landscapes to wild or natural environments. But, are these responses and preferences as widespread as reported? Most of the studies in these genres focus on black–white differences. This article provides a more complex analysis by incorporating an environmental justice framework in the assessment of the ways in which blacks, whites, and other minority college students reflect on and think about nature. It also examines how they perceive their connectedness to nature, their curiosity about nature, and their landscape preferences. The participants are students taking part in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programming at a large public midwestern university, a mid-sized private university in the mid-Atlantic region, and a small historically black university in the deep south. The sample of 157 participants contains 46 whites, 43 blacks, and 68 other minorities. None of the respondents say they are disconnected from nature. Most say that, first and foremost, they think about trees, forests, and plants when they think of nature. The study found that black students prefer naturalistic landscapes more than urbanized settings and their perceptions of nature and landscapes mirror that of students of other racial and ethnic groups. None of the study respondents reported a generalized fear of nature either. Instead, students expressed situational fear, object-specific dislike, and simultaneous contradictions when viewing landscape images.

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Gustavo A. García-López (2018): The Multiple Layers of Environmental Injustice in Contexts of (Un)natural Disasters: The Case of Puerto Rico Post-Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria has had devastating impacts in Puerto Rico. Yet this catastrophe has not been felt equally by all. The vulnerability to impacts and ability to recover from hurricanes and other disasters are directly shaped by existing socioeconomic and racial inequalities. The situation post-Maria in Puerto Rico has been labeled a clear case of environmental injustice. This article documents the hurricane's nexus with environmental justice (EJ). It discusses EJ impacts related to toxic pollution, water, energy, and food, and connects these impacts intersect with multiple layers of pre-existing injustices. It then discusses how these impacts have been magnified by the national and federal government's inept and unjust responses, and by histories of unjust planning and colonial–neoliberal institutions. The article concludes with some positive outlooks of how the hurricane has also opened a window to "rethink" Puerto Rico and to self-organized initiatives for enacting a different, more just, and ecological country.

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Marco Armiero, Thanos Andritsos, Stefania Barca, Rita Brás, Sergio Ruiz Cauyela, Çağdaş Dedeoğlu, Marica Di Pierri, Lúcia de Oliveira Fernandes, Filippo Gravagno, Laura Greco, Lucie Greyl, Ilenia Iengo, Julia Lindblom, Felipe Milanez, Sérgio Pedro, Giusy Pappalardo, Antonello Petrillo, Maurizio Portaluri, Elisa Privitera, Ayşe Ceren Sarı, and Giorgos Velegrakis (2018): Toxic Bios: Toxic Autobiographies—A Public Environmental Humanities Project

In this article, we present Toxic Bios, a public environmental humanities (EH) project that aims to coproduce, gather, and make visible stories of contamination and resistance. To explain the rationale of the project and its potentialities, first we offer a brief reflection on the field of the EH and its (possible) contribution to environmental justice research, then, we illustrate the guerrilla narrative strategy experimented through the project.

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Jaime Madrigano, Juan Camilo Osorio, Eddie Bautista, Ryan Chavez, Christine F. Chaisson, Erika Meza, Regina A. Shih, and Ramya Chari (2018): Fugitive Chemicals and Environmental Justice: A Model for Environmental Monitoring Following Climate-Related Disasters

The combination of population growth in areas of mixed (residential, commercial, and industrial) land use along U.S. waterfronts and the increasing frequency of devastating hurricanes and storm surges has led to community fears of widespread toxic chemical contamination resulting from accidental industrial or small business releases, particularly in the aftermath of an extreme weather event, such as a hurricane. Industrial waterfront communities, which are frequently environmental justice communities, contain numerous toxic chemical sources located in close proximity to residential housing, schools, daycare centers, playgrounds, and healthcare centers. Despite the longstanding concerns of community activists and researchers about the potential for "fugitive" chemicals to be released into floodwaters, there has been little coordinated research or action to develop environmental monitoring programs for disaster-affected communities. In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a community-academic partnership was formed between the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, UPROSE, The LifeLine Group, and the RAND Corporation. The collaboration, known as Grassroots Research to Action in Sunset Park (GRASP) has focused on identifying possible sources of chemical contamination, modeling the potential for chemical release into community areas and resulting exposure risks, and proactively developing actions for mitigating or preventing adverse community impacts. Through our ongoing work, we have identified barriers and drivers for community-based environmental monitoring, and in doing so, we have developed a framework to overcome challenges. In this article, we describe this framework, which can be used by waterfront communities bracing to deal with the effects of future devastating weather disasters.

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James S. Mastaler (2019): Social Justice and Environmental Displacementbr>

Climate change is a powerful form of structural violence perpetrated against the world's poorest communities. The international community has failed to mitigate fully or prevent human-induced climate change, and millions of people around the world already have begun experiencing some of the consequences of that failure to act. Moreover, the international community is failing to adequately plan for the worst-case scenarios in which those who are least able to adapt to a new climate paradigm increasingly find themselves displaced and compelled to relocate, domestically or internationally, because of environmental changes. Climate-induced environmental displacement is a multifaceted problem requiring a holistic social justice response—one that can transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and affect change across multiple sectors.

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Image: © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.