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Environmental Ethics

Volume 17, Issue 3, Fall 1995

Troy W. Hartley
Pages 277-289

Environmental Justice
An Environmental Civil Rights Value Acceptable to All World Views

In accordance with environmental injustice, sometimes called environmental racism, minority communities are disproportionately subjected to a higher level of environmental risk than other segments of society. Growing concern over unequal environmental risk and mounting evidence of both racial and economic injustices have led to a grass-roots civil rights campaign called the environmental justice movement. The environmental ethics aspects of environmental injustice challenge narrow utilitarian views and promote Kantian rights and obligations. Nevertheless, an environmentaljustice value exists in all ethical world views, although it involves a concept of equitable distribution of environmental protection that has been lacking in environmental ethics discussion.