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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Class Reflection From 2/1

Chapter 3
This chapter focuses on environmental racism and explains a situation where toxic waste is being disposed in communities with higher African American and Latino populations. This story seemed very similar to me like the previous chapters how certain communities were targeted because of their economic status. Through our study of environmental justice I find this quote from the book really stirs up questions "that people of color are not protected as vigorously by enforcement of environmental laws as whites". Not only are the white communities not targeted for toxic dump sites, they are put on priority lists for clean up crews. Since when do social practices and social structure decide why your town should get trashed?

I would like to be able to discuss market dynamics in class to be able to best understand it before elaborating on the subject.

Biomass Plant
After our last class period I was interested in finding more information on the biomass plant being built in Kings Beach. Prior to our last class period I had no knowledge of this being a possibility. I thought that it is odd that anyone would consider building one in lake Tahoe to begin with because I believe it would bring down the quality of life in what ever community it resided in. So I got into some research on the subject. Upon my research I found that there are many organizations that were working with the citizens of Lake Tahoe to aid in the fight against a biomass plant being built. But to my relief I saw on a website titled " No Lake Tahoe Biomass Plant!" that the biomass plant will not be built.
I also reflected on what we had spoken about in class about how lower classes and/or races are discriminated against constantly in cases of environmental justice. I feel like that fit perfectly with this case of a Biomass plant because I feel, although they may never admit it, were targeted because of the high level of Hispanics living in that community.

In conclusion, I feel like the biggest question or issue that I am left with is why corporations feel like they can get away in cases of environmental justice. These corporations would never be able to come to Incline Village and build the same plant, the community would be in outrage. In all of the cases of environmental justice that we have studied thus far seem very unfair and I am glad to see that all of the issues have been questioned. But I wonder why this is acceptable to target groups or communities in situations of environmental justice, but if it was full written law it would never fly.

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