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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electronic Green Journal

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Examining the Impact of Religion on Environmentalism 1993-2010: Has the Religious Environmental Movement Made a Difference?

The view that emerged in the social science and religious literature is that Judeo-Christian tradition was in part responsible for the environmental crisis by fostering a "dominion mandate" or mastery-over-nature orientation. Despite the growing significance of the environmental movement, most church bodies had not addressed the problem officially until the early 1990s. Several national and faith-based organizations evolved to catalyze interest and organize the movement. This paper examines whether those efforts resulted in a significant change in environmental attitudes, beliefs, or behavior among the religiously involved. Using data from the General Social Survey for 1993, 2000, and 2010, results indicate that the respondents' denominational identification, grouped in terms of its liberal, moderate, or fundamentalist orientation, was weakly but significantly associated with several indicators of environmentalism for all three study years. These associations remain relatively consistent throughout this period, suggesting little change overall in the relationship between religious identification and environmental concern.


The Theory of Justice in a Warming Climate

This article test, whether John Rawls´ Theory of Justice is still relevant in a warming climate. The starting point is Finland, which is assumed as a useful example, as many social indicators suggest that Finland is close to a Rawlsian egalitarian standards of distributive justice. The theory is brought to the globalized world of 21st century, by widening the perspective from to a global level.

It can be argued that economic growth in developed countries benefits people in developing countries, as we can afford to give more development aid. I argue, however, that this has not been large enough to compensate for its the negative side effects, most notably that of a warming climate. Furthermore, the costs of current carbon fueled economic growth favoring present generations in the developed countries will mainly be paid by future generations of the poor in developing countries.


Shaping Environmental Justice: Applying Science, Technology, and Society Boundary Work

This article applies Gieryn’s two concepts of boundary-work, ‘expansion’ and ‘exclusion’, to observing ‘Environmental Justice’ (EJ) research. The application of boundary-work in the field of EJ science shows that similar phenomena noted in Gieryn’s case studies can also be found in EJ research. EJ scientists continue to shape and reshape the meaning of EJ. Meanwhile, activists also use rhetoric boundaries to discredit the legitimacy of EJ’s opponents. We suggest that the EJ movement is still dependent on scientists to provide a scientific way to foster equal distribution of environmental risks. However, to achieve a just distribution, science along is not enough. Public participation in the field of both EJ science and the political movement is necessary.

Rethinking Sustainability on Planet Earth: A Time for New Framings

Sustainable development and sustainability have been key terms in environmental thought and practice since the time of the Brundtland Report. Because of being firmly situated in the humanist tradition, these terms and their associated approaches have been appealing to social workers tackling environmental concerns. Given the significant and inexorable changes being wrought by global warming and the lack of similitude between Earth prior to anthropogenic warming and the incipient Eaarth introduced by global warming, examining the continued relevance of the terms sustainable development and sustainability is warranted. This chapter explores these terms in the context of climate change and points toward a responsibility approach based on environmental and social justice principles consistent with social work strengths and values.


Environmental Information Sources: Websites and Books

Websites and books related to environmental science.


Review: Making Nature Whole: A History of Ecological Restoration

Book review: Making Nature Whole: A History of Ecological Restoration

Review: Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life

Book Review: Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life

Review: Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

Book Review: Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice

Review: Knowledge and Environmental Policy

Book Review: Knowledge and Environmental Policy: Re-imagining the boundards of science and politics

Review: Sacrifice Zones

Book Review: Sacrifice Zones: The front lines of tocix chemical toxic chemical exposure in the United States

Review: Manufacturing National Park Nature

Book Review: Manufacturing national park nature : photography, ecology, and the wilderness industry of Jasper

Review: A Landscape History of New England

Book review: A Landscape History of New England

Review: Wicked Environmental Problems

Review: Wicked Envrionmental Problems

Review: Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea

Book Review: Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea