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Resisting Global Toxics: Transnational Movements For Environmental Justice (Urban And Industrial Environments)

Every year, nations and corporations in the "global North" produce millions of tons of toxic waste. Too often this hazardous material -- inked to high rates of illness and death and widespread ecosystem damage -- is exported to poor communities of color around the world. In Resisting Global Toxics, David Naguib Pellow examines this practice and charts the emergence of transnational environmental justice movements to challenge and reverse it. Pellow argues that waste dumping across national boundaries from rich to poor communities is a form of transnational environmental inequality that reflects North/South divisions in a globalized world, and that it must be theorized in the context of race, class, nation, and environment. Building on environmental justice studies, environmental sociology, social movement theory, and race theory, and drawing on his own research, interviews, and participant observations, Pellow investigates the phenomenon of global environmental inequality and considers the work of activists, organizations, and networks resisting it. He traces the transnational waste trade from its beginnings in the 1980s to the present day, examining global garbage dumping, the toxic pesticides that are the legacy of the Green Revolution in agriculture, and today's scourge of dumping and remanufacturing high tech and electronics products. The rise of the transnational environmental movements described in Resisting Global Toxics charts a pragmatic path toward environmental justice, human rights, and sustainability.

Series: Urban and Industrial Environments

Paperback: 358 pages

Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (August 10, 2007)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0262662019

ISBN-13: 978-0262662017

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #607,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #119 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Waste Management #537 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy #719 in Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Environmental Studies

Pellow's book is an original attempt to highlight race in the context of the global trade in toxic and hazardous waste material. He traces the connections between social justice movements around the world and the ways in which they put pressure on notorious toxic corporations. He rightfully points out that despite the fact that the urban social justice movement in the US has successfully theorized race, this has not been done for the transnational market in toxic matter. He therefore brings in the racialized politics and ideology at work in transnational institutions that have thus far failed to address the pressing issue of toxic dumping in the developing world, particularly in countries of the global south inhabited by people of color who are poor.

Chapters 4 thru 6 are the most worthwhile parts of this book. These chapters provide good info about the global links and struggles of environmental groups, especially between activists rooted in the more well-off industrialized countries and poorer third world countries, around issues like dumping of toxic wastes, the poisonous effects of the socalled "Green Revolution" (which was basically a market-growing initiative of the petrochemical industry), and the growing problem of dumping of worn out or obsolete electronics gear.I think it would have been helpful if he'd gone more into the toxics associated with manufacturing of electronics. Most of this manufacturing has been moved to the third world in part to escape tougher environmental laws in "first world" countries (as is pointed out in the book). These chapters also highlight a number of the victories that these cross border movements have been able to achieve.Unfortunately the book is disfigured by excessive amounts of unclear academic post-modernist jargon and an endless array of acronymns. The author doesn't have an adequate analysis of what capitalism is, and ends up substituting the hopelessly vague concept of "modernity."

Pellow is quite knowledgeable and has a LOT of information to share. I learned a ton, some of which made me uncomfortable about the shame of our consumerism and exploitation. You have to have a lot of time to read it - it's quite meaty.

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