Sustainable Development Requires Environmental Justice

Sustainable Development Requires Environmental Justice

MICHAEL J. ELLERBROCK 

Professor & Undergraduate Director, Agricultural & Applied Economics, Virginia Tech, USA

Page: 
208-214
|
DOI: 
https://doi.org/10.2495/SDP-V13-N2-208-214
Received: 
N/A
|
Accepted: 
N/A
|
Published: 
1 February 2018
| Citation

OPEN ACCESS

Abstract: 

As an appointed member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), Ellerbrock meets with local stakeholders and participates in pub- lic hearings across the nation in which poor and minority communities suffer disproportionally from chemical exposure, pollution incidents and aesthetic degradation. In this paper, we begin by looking at what three core disciplines – economics, ecology and ecumenism – have in common. Often perceived today as philosophic enemies, the disciplines have common roots in the ancient Greek notion of a household – oikos. Integrating the roots of economics, ecology and ecumenism reveals a tri-partite household that must be managed in harmony for it to be sustainable. In light of violent conflicts (historical and current) over economic resources, political worldviews and religious values, ecumen- ism is a critical factor aimed at mutual understanding, respect and collaboration among diverse groups. Locally and globally, true peace is more than the absence of conflict/war. A key component of qual- ity of life, Environmental Justice (EJ) is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for sustainable development.

Keywords: 

consensus-based solutions, economic ethics, ecumenism, environmental justice, environ- mental racism, oikos household, success stories, sustainable development, U.S. EPA.

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