Volume 20, 1998
Philosophy and Gender
Karen J. Warren
Some Ecofeminist Worries About a Distributive Model
Environmental philosophers, policy-makers and community activists who discuss environmental justice do so almost exclusively in terms of mainstream Western distributive models of social justice. Whether the issue is treatment of animals, human health or property, wilderness and species preservation, pollution or environmental degradation, the prevailing and largely unchallenged view is that the issues of environmental justice are for the most part distributive issues. I think this wholesale framing of considerations of environmental justice solely in terms of distribution is seriously flawed. Drawing on both ecofeminist insights into the inextricable interconnections between institutions of domination and Iris Young's work on the inadequacy of distributive models of social justice, I argue for the twofold claim that a distributive model of environmental justice is inadequate and that what is needed is an additional nondistributive model to supplement, complement and-in some cases-take precedence over a distributive model.