PHIL 224, Week 6
Assignment 2 is due Oct. 27. Instructions.
- Oct. 25, Jim Jordan, Pollution
- Nov. 22, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Climate Change
What is Justice?
- Right-wing view: justice is equal freedoms.
- Left-wing view: justice is equal wealth.
- Fairness view (Rawls difference principle): Inequalities must benefit least advantaged.
- Needs view: justice requires that all people have their vital needs satisfied.
Distributive justice: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
What is Environmental Justice?
Fair treatment of all people with respect to environmental risks and benefits.
Environmental discrimination occurs when a group suffer disproportionately from environmental factors.
Environmental discrimination against Canadian aboriginals?
- Land expropriation and ongoing land claims.
- Poor environmental conditions on reserves.
Current Environmental Issues Affecting Aboriginals
Grand River land claim
Alberta oil sands
Mohawk opposition to Oka niobium mine
British Columbia land claims
Environmental racism = discrimination practiced through the environment.
Mohawks have close ties to land: different world view. See Mapping Minds Across Cultures.
Arguments for First Nations Sovereignty: historical land claims, self-preservation
Governance issues: Iroquois practices vs. Indian Act band councils
Mohawks are culturally and environmentally under attack
Change of values: world needs to move toward aboriginal values.
Move from utilitarian methods to social justice based on rights?
Overflights have bad consequences: sleep, hunting, anxiety
Problems for Innu: subsistence economy
Fairness of environmental impact assessments:
- Temporal fairness
- Geographic fairness
- Economic fairness
- Cultural fairness
- Environmentally friendly economic growth
- Elimination of poverty
- Capacity to endure: Human well-being and biological diversity. Resilience.
- First nations in particular need sustainability.
Should historical injustices be corrected?
Principle: The costs of resource development should be born by those who will reap its benefits. (Contrast: moral hazard)
In hydroelectric and other developments, costs have been imposed on Native communities without consultation.
Why First Nations are reluctant to cooperate
- Financial compensation misunderstands nature of losses: Avoid monetization
- Historical grievances
- Need for co-planning and co-management
Aboriginal Environmental Ethics (Deborah McGregor)
Problems for research on aboriginals:
- Difficulty of authentic representation.
- Role of stereotypes and attitudes.
- Natives are peaceful, spiritual, guardians of the land.
- Omission of aboriginal concepts from research findings.
- Differences between Native and non-Native concepts and ideologies.
Review Questions for Week 6 (updated Oct. 21)
- Briefly explain 4 different conceptions of the nature of justice. For each, give an example of injustice.
- According to Westra, what is environmental racism? State 4 ways in which Canadian aboriginals have suffered from it.
- According to Puschchak, what are the four main criteria for fairness in environmental assessments? Explain each in a sentence.
- What do Cragg and Schwartz think are the 3 main moral components of sustainability?
- What does McGregor think are 4 major ethical barriers to research on aboriginals?
- Essay: From the ethical perspectives of consequences and rights, how should Canada deal with aboriginal land claims? Your essay should include:
- statement of at least two alternatives
- consequences pro and con, and evaluation
- rights and duties, pro and con, and evaluation
- overall evaluation.
This page updated Oct. 21, 2011