Is Environmental Injustice a Myth?

By Ariana de Leña

According to Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger’s newest book, it is. The book, entitled Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility is a take-off from Norhaus and Shellenberger’s 2004 essay which criticized environmentalists for offering solutions that were too narrow and disconnecting people from environmental issues. This time around, Norhaus and Shellenberger take aim at the Environmental Justice movement, arguing the EJ activists are seeing “conspiracies that don’t exist” [pg. 72]. The EJ movement, which they say is “complaint-based,” [pg. 68]  is also weak and disjointed, without a single “compelling agenda” [pg. 82].

Though Nordhaus and Shellenberger, who won Time’s Heroes of the Environment award in 2008, advocate for a greater government investment in renewable energy, it’s hard to overlook these critiques of a movement which they seem to know very little about.

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