University of Washington Tacoma
Shirley Low, Rachel Struck, and Julie Dolan
Date of Interview
This interviewee underscores the need for social equity, stressing that all community members should have equal opportunities for prosperity, health, and access to natural services. An emphasis is placed on the fact that the indigent must live in and around areas of high toxicity vis-à-vis their wealthier counterparts who can afford to live closer to healthy green spaces. He also states that the actions taken by one person have direct consequences on others, and that a failure to recognize this has led to environmental abuses by people living in affluent countries who are unaware of the harm their choices cause others. The interviewee raises examples where the purchase of commodity goods in one location work to drive an increase in industrial pollution somewhere else. Consequently, there is a growing need for governments to develop better regulatory measures where external costs are calculated and paid for by the responsible parties. There is also discussion about designing systems that produce minimal waste, thus lessening the need to recycle. As a whole, the interviewee places a great deal of focus on anthropocentric concerns, and approaches the topic of environmental justice from a perspective of human equality and equity.
Higley, Rus, "Rus Higley Interview" (2013). Puget Sound Environmental Justice Interviews. 8.