Indiana University Bloomington Environmental Justice Summary

Indiana University Bloomington

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I need help with a Political Science question. All explanations and answers will be used to help me learn.

Both parts require reading the two articles, and then summarizing them (separately) with an opinion on each of them. Each summary should be between 900-1000 words. Please refrain from using outside resources. (MLA citations required)

Half of each article should be the summary, and the other half should have a direct response (an opinion) on specific parts of the article.

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See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: Justice is the goal: Divestment as climate change resistance Article in Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences · February 2016 DOI: 10.1007/s13412-016-0377-6 CITATIONS READS 16 96 4 authors, including: Eve Bratman American University Washington D.C. 15 PUBLICATIONS 89 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Eve Bratman on 11 July 2019. The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file. Justice is the goal: divestment as climate change resistance Eve Bratman, Kate Brunette, Deirdre C. Shelly & Simon Nicholson Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences ISSN 2190-6483 J Environ Stud Sci DOI 10.1007/s13412-016-0377-6 1 23 Your article is protected by copyright and all rights are held exclusively by AESS. This eoffprint is for personal use only and shall not be self-archived in electronic repositories. If you wish to self-archive your article, please use the accepted manuscript version for posting on your own website. You may further deposit the accepted manuscript version in any repository, provided it is only made publicly available 12 months after official publication or later and provided acknowledgement is given to the original source of publication and a link is inserted to the published article on Springer's website. The link must be accompanied by the following text: "The final publication is available at”. 1 23 Author's personal copy J Environ Stud Sci DOI 10.1007/s13412-016-0377-6 Justice is the goal: divestment as climate change resistance Eve Bratman 1 & Kate Brunette 1 & Deirdre C. Shelly 1 & Simon Nicholson 1 # AESS 2016 Abstract This article takes a sympathetic look at the university fossil fuel divestment movement. The push for divestment is changing the conversation about what Bsustainability^ means for college campuses. It is also generating a new, more critical and politically engaged cadre of climate activists. We use a shared auto-ethnographic approach from student activists’ and professors’ perspectives to analyze the campus divestment movement based on the experience of American University’s Fossil Free AU campaign. We argue that this issue is one where sustainability politics are re-politicized as they challenge traditional power relations and conceptualizations of what environmentalism entails. The case study explores how a climate justice framework, radical perspectives, and inside/outsider strategies were used within the campaign. We argue that the campus fossil fuel divestment movement holds potential to change the university’s expressed values from complicity with fossil fuel economies toward an emergent paradigm of climate justice, stemming predominantly from student activism. The work presents new vantage points for understanding the relationship of personal experience, local campaigns of ecological resistance, and sustainability politics more broadly. Keywords Divestment . Fossil fuel . Climate change . Higher education . Activism * Eve Bratman 1 American University, Washington DC, DC, USA Universities and colleges are important sites of political activism and social movement organizing. In the USA, social movements for women’s rights, peace, civil rights, an end to South African apartheid, and many other issues all notably received significant support and impetus from actions by students, staff, and faculty on higher education campuses. This history and culture of action and activism is seeing new expression today around environmental concerns. In recent years, environmental issues have become mainstream considerations on campuses. They receive attention from many university administrations via commitments to sustainability and reductions in campus carbon emissions. Vibrant student clubs have also sprung up as a way to catalyze and mobilize support for on-campus sustainability activities. Such efforts, though, while important, have done little to illuminate or tackle the underlying drivers of climate change and other forms of large-scale environmental harm. Now, the activist muscle present on campuses is being flexed in new and interesting ways, as a coordinated and sophisticated campaign that seeks to spur universities and other institutional investors to divest from fossil fuel holdings. In this article, we explore the implications of a growing, more politically engaged resistance to the actions, forces, and structures that are producing climate change. Our contention is that the framing and mobilization surrounding campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns is a response to broader societal failures to meaningfully address climate change—a failure in which colleges and universities, via their large institutional holdings in fossil fuel companies, are complicit. Unlike other recent environmental campaigns and mobilization, which address specific infrastructure projects (e.g., the Keystone XL pipeline) or more general environmental concerns and Author's personal copy J Environ Stud Sci consciousness raising (e.g., Earth Day), the campus divestment movement approaches the political economy of fossil fuel exploitation as the foundation for shifting the paradigm of climate change discourse and action. This paper makes use of the case of American University’s student-led fossil fuel divestment campaign—a campaign driven by a broad-based coalition that has gathered under the umbrella BFossil Free American University^ (FFAU)— to examine key themes in the theorizing and practice of university campus-based responses to environmental harm. We highlight three key dimensions of how FFAU has used strategies of political engagement to make climate change issues a potent source of ecological resistance: 1. Development and promotion of a climate justice-oriented framework for the issue of climate change; 2. A radical understanding of and approach to political engagement around environmental concerns; and 3. An inside-outside strategy of exerting pressure upon and simultaneously collaborating with campus authorities. The following snapshot of the ongoing FFAU campaign provides a glimpse into the evolution of activism that has yet to achieve its stated goal—divestment by American University from fossil fuel company holdings. We explore the campaign’s impact on the campus conversation and outlook on climate change and sustainability concerns more generally and suggest that the divestment movement is a newly emergent manifestation of a transformational approach to sustainability issues. Methods The case study presented here is based primarily upon a collective engagement in auto-ethnography and reflexive memory. This methodological approach is aimed at extending sociological understandings by presenting the viewpoints of the author(s) based on personal narrative of experience (Wall 2008). The integration of such auto-biographical and narrative investigations aims to Bnot only render contingent (and that much more personable and human) the claims to knowledge produced by the discipline but also enable forms of empathetic knowing and solidarity that transcend disciplinary debate^ (Mandaville 2011, p. 202). Encouraged by autoethnographic and auto-biographical approaches toward the study of politics (Inayatullah 2011; Kumarakulasingam 2014; Neumann 2010), we situate the activism in which we were involved and which our university campus is experiencing within a theoretical framework concerning climate justice and the politicization of sustainability. Our non-traditional methodological format creates a space for individual experience to be examined within the societal and political spheres. Given that we have co-authored this paper as a team of four individuals, our narratives are distinct and unique but simultaneously reflect our collective interpretations of events. Our methodological process involved dynamic participation within the campaigns discussed herein, sometimes involving roles as organizers, leaders, and participants, and sometimes as sympathetic observers. Early in the life of the FFAU campaign, three of us (Eve Bratman, Kate Brunette, and Deirdre Shelly) decided to start keeping journal-style reflections, which took the form of notes about the campaign, our engagements, and our observations about our own involvement. At that point, the reflections served as a way to record our impressions of a fast-evolving campaign. As we began to plan for this article, our notes and writings were shared as a group and we each wrote additional reflective passages, casting our minds back to key moments in the campaign and to key insights we gained along the way. Our narratives were then coded by topic and further sorted by theme, drawing upon standard ethnographic field note sorting protocols (Denzin 2006; Wall 2008). Then, having collectively identified and discussed central themes, we drew essential parts of these narratives forward into this jointly composed text. We strove to balance our multiple and sometimes differing perceptions and to situate those narratives within a theoretical and analytical framework about the fossil fuel divestment movement. As a team, our insights stem from both shared conversation and multivoiced perspectives, situated within our individual roles as faculty members (Eve Bratman and Simon Nicholson) and students (Kate Brunette and Deirdre Shelly). During our writing process, we endeavored to convey how our varying perspectives are both a product of the different roles we played in the campaign and also of our individuality. While we acknowledge that there are power differentials inherent in the relationships between faculty and students, we worked hard to collaborate in a non-hierarchical manner and to present a coherent discussion concerning the campaign rather than about our singular experiences.1 Since this was a student-led campaign, we collectively made sure that the voices of the two student authors are strongest and are given primacy in the narrative portions of our account. Ultimately, our narratives are positioned as a collage of experiences within a case study, portraying what Mike Pearson refers to as Bmystory,^ in which: BThe author identifies with the object of study, acknowledging affiliations and bias, and this drives the research: whilst conventional academic practice is clearly present, it is infused with personal 1 None of the student authors received course credit, nor were they similarly graded in relation to this work. We occasionally met in person and most frequently collaborated in virtual spaces such as email and videoconference and delineated roles for the case study narrative and data analysis to largely be driven by the student collaborators and theoretical contributions and analysis largely led by the faculty co-authors within a series of iterations of this work. Author's personal copy J Environ Stud Sci observations and sources of lay knowledge. The method is emotional, self-reflexive and revelatory^ (Pearson 2006). Through these perspectives, we present new vantage points for understanding the relationship of personal experience, local campaigns of ecological resistance, and sustainability politics more broadly. Our discussion reveals the iterative ways in which our experiences and positions, as well as the movement itself, politicize sustainability. The environmental politics of higher education and divestment Worldwide, Bgreening^ and Bsustainability^ efforts have been gaining in profile and popularity in higher education. For a long while, universities lagged behind governments and businesses in their willingness to adopt and monitor sustainability practices (Ralph and Stubbs 2014; Merkel et al. 2007). While experiments in sustainability within US higher educational settings do have a long historical tradition of attempting to link ecological living with character and community development, achieving sustainability as a response to a planetary emergency is arguably the most important challenge facing higher education (Thomashow 2014). In recent years, in response to increasing demand from students and the arrival of new cohorts of environment-minded faculty and administrators, universities have changed, and now, many are in a race to adopt a Bgreen^ mantle. Curriculum and program offerings in sustainability and environmental issues have increased at an astonishing rate: Two-thirds of all environmental science and study programs (undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral) were added since 1990 (Vincent 2009). New standards such as the American Colleges and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s Sustainability Tracking and Rating System, and the Sierra Club’s BCool Schools^ list reward universities for commitments to carbon neutrality, zero waste programs, BLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design^ (LEED) construction for new and retrofitted buildings, and sustainable purchasing policies. These efforts suggest a widening and deepening respect on campuses for the importance of environmental studies and environmental action, and in addition, they provide visibility for universities, attracting new students and donors. As impressive as this embrace of sustainability by higher education has been, much more remains to be done. International law scholar Richard Falk wrote, in his 1971 book This Endangered Planet, of three different orientations to social change, which he labeled system maintaining, system reforming, and system transforming (Falk 1971). The sustainability efforts on most university campuses in the USA have, to this point, been of the system maintaining or reforming variety. Existing university policy, in line with mainstream Bgreening^ efforts, pumps the brakes on the processes that drive large-scale environmental harm but does little to address them at their roots. Furthermore, environmental policy in higher education is largely depoliticized and pursued independent of intersectional concerns of environmental justice. Environmental justice involves the concerns of both ecological systems and collectivities, encompassing individuals and groups, non-humans, and humans alike; interrelating between and sorting out these different dimensions of human obligations within a justice context is a challenge of deliberative democratic and pluralistic engagement (Schlosberg 2007). Climate justice and fossil fuel divestment The student fossil fuel divestment movement aspires to work in solidarity with the grassroots climate justice movement and centers environmental justice—especially in relation to climate change—in their perspective significantly more than the conservationist and protection-oriented mainstream of the environmental movement of the 1970s (Schlosberg and Collins 2014). The broad idea of environmental justice starts from the principle that Ball people and communities are entitled to equal protection of environmental and public health laws and regulations^ (Bullard 1996). Environmental justice advocates critiqued mainstream environmental organizations for conceptualizing the environment as existing independent of people and therefore focusing resources on protecting wilderness or endangered species (Wright 2011). Environmental justice advocates instead tend to define the environment as where people Blive, work, and play^ and demand that environmental action and activism focus on how environmental risks threaten day-to-day life, often with attention to racial inequalities and disparities in environmental harms (Gottlieb 2001; Novotny 2000). The call for environmental justice has since its earliest days served not just as impetus for new forms of environmental activism but also as a critique of mainstream environmentalism, contending that it too often ignores the protection of particular people and populations from social and political abuses (Cole and Foster 2000). As the environmental justice movement predominantly focused on localized impacts of pollution, climate justice activists began in the 1990s to turn their attention to the widespread threat of climate change (Bond 2012). Traditionally, academics and elite NGOs concerned with climate change have focused their attention on national-level energy and climate legislation and on international climate negotiations. By contrast, the grassroots climate justice community has clearly connected climate justice with the fossil fuel economy, targeting the multinational oil, coal, and gas companies and the governments which support their existence (Moellendorf 2012; Schlosberg and Collins 2014; Shue 1999; Klein 2014). The climate justice movement began to take Author's personal copy J Environ Stud Sci shape in the late 1990s and early 2000s. At the first Climate Justice Summit, which was organized around the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2000, activists argued that Bfossil fuel companies were responsible for climate change and the already vulnerable—poor communities in urban, rural, and coastal communities already impacted by fossil fuel extraction—would be made even worse off^ (Schlosberg and Collins 2014). Tandem condemnation of corporate polluters and activism in support of the populations most affected by their actions orients the Bblockadia^ strategies of contemporary climate change activists, who take frontline direct action tactics as well as legal battles to leverage opposition to fracking, mining, pipelines, and other Bdirty^ energy projects (Klein 2014). The climate justice movement is influential as a precursor to the contemporary fossil fuel divestment movement. The fossil fuel divestment movement can be thought of as a child of the broader environmental justice movement. It had its beginnings at Swarthmore College, when, in 2010, students started the Swarthmore Mountain Justice campaign. They were inspired by Alternative Break trips to Appalachia where students spent time with anti-mountain top removal coal mining activists (Sumka et al. 2015). The students, having read about earlier movements on campuses across the USA to divest from apartheid South Africa and holdings in the tobacco industry, decided that divestment was a tactic they could adopt to organize in solidarity with Appalachian communities impacted by mountain top removal practices. In 2011 and 2012, several other universities and colleges, including Brown University, began their own coal divestment campaigns. The divestment effort launched as a nationwide (and then global) movement in 2012, with and Bill McKibben’s BDo the Math Tour^ (Grady-Benson and Sarathy 2015). McKibben’s carbon budget analysis assessed that around 80 % of known fossil fuel reserves must stay buried in the ground if the world is to have a good chance of remaining beneath the climate change threshold agreed to by the international community of no more than 2 °C of atmospheric warming above pre-industrial levels (McKibben 2012). The broad outlines of McKibben’s carbon budget analysis have since been affirmed in a range of academic works, including by the 2014 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014). The Do the Math tour call to action echoed the argument made over a decade earlier at the UNFCCC in 2000: The clear culprit of climate change is the fossil fuel industry, and the already poor and vulnerable will be hit Bfirst and worst^ within and between nations (McKibben 2012). McKibben’s speaking tour pitched divestment as a tactic to mostly young audiences. His argument was that a Brapid, transformative change,^ based on a newly invigorated social movement, was necessary in order to avoid disastrous levels of climate change (McKibben 2012). The fossil fuel di ...
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Final Answer





Environmental Justice


Environmental Justice
Universities and colleges are good platforms of change and various movements such as
women's movements, civil rights, and peace movements have gained considerable support and
have succeeded. Environmental concerns have also found their way to campuses as universities
and colleges want the reduction of carbon emissions in their institutions. The Fossil Free
American University Association has enabled political change in the use of fossil fuels by
developing and promoting justice-oriented frameworks regarding fossil fuel usage. Students in
this association have been able to do so by engaging the political class and ensuring a radical
understanding of the usage of fossil fuels and lastly collaborating and pressuring university
authorities to ensure environmental justice.
Universities have for long lagged from government environmental concerns but have
recently started fostering for environmental justice. In ensuring environmental justice, they have
increased the number of environmental programs both at the graduate and postgraduate levels.
They have also made commitments to ensure environmental justice in their institutions and
across the country. These higher learning institutions have also allowed students to voice their
opinions and ideas.
Fossil fuel divestment movements by students aim at working with proximity to
grassroots environmental justice movements and centers of environmental justice. The advocates
of environmental justice note that everyone has the right to live in a good environment and
should be entitled to all that the environment offers in good condition. They also focus on the
environmental risks posed to the human’s daily life mostly paying attention to the environmental

Environmental Justice
risks and inequalities in environmental harm. Environmental justice movements are more
concerned with the effects of environmental pollution and more importantly on the threat posed
by climate change.
Climatic change can be largely attributed to fossil fuels and companies that deal with
them have the corporate responsibility of ensuring that climate remains unchanged. The fossil
fuel divestment movement by university student’s campaign for stoppage of fossil fuels
manufacture to ensure environmental justice has greatly changed the usage and manufacture of
fossil fuels. To ensure environmental justice, fossil fuels ought to remain undisturbed and
underground. Having in mind that these climatic changes would affect the poor people in the
society, it gives a good reason as to why the movements were begun and why they were
significantly radical. Manufacture of fossil fuels break social morals and fossil fuels divestment
movements aim at shifting the discussion of fossil fuels from a technocratic view to a more
human-oriented discussion because it poses a greater challenge to the less privileged in the
society. Divestment movements aim at achieving environmental justice and stop the usage of
fossil fuels because it causes climatic change.
The formation of FFAU was informed by three main themes. The first theme was the
importance of climate justice frameworks and the challenges adopted with its use. The second
theme that fostered the formation of this movement was the tensions that were inherent in the
radicalization of environmental justice movements and lastly the need for operation between the
insider and outsider strategies in and out of campuses. The FFAU sees divestment as a social
change rather than considering it as a climate oriented change and this is what the association
wants to address. The campaign on fossil fuel divestment has evolved over time and it is now
gaining considerable attention from the board of trustees.


Environmental Justice


Climate change is becoming more real and is worsening every day. Fossil fuels and other
human activities are the largest cause of these climatic changes as they contribute to the large
carbon emissions to the environment. However, fossil fuels seem to be the largest source of
carbon emissions owing to their high usage and how they burn to emit large amounts of carbon
to the environment. Climatic change poses a bigger threat to the humans and the ecosystem at
large owing to the fact that increased carbon emission causes and increases the impacts of global
warming which threatens the quality of life in the globe. With these effects, it is therefore
important to ensure environmental justice and ensure that there is little or no fossil fuel use that
can affect the quality of life. Government authorities and legislators should ensure that there are
laws that govern the usage of fossil fuels. Considering that the usage of fossil fuels is quite large.
Coordination and organization of environmental justice movements is a challenge as it requires
the backing of huge crowds and the government or corporate institutions as well.
Universities and colleges are such good platforms for fostering environmental justice
because there are large numbers of energetic people and their concerns cannot be ignored. There
are large numbers of university students and owing to the history of the movements they have
induced successfully, it seems a good platform to foster for any form of social change.
Environmental politics can best be fostered by university students because they value quality and
good environments such as clean resting places and recreation facilities. The introduction of
environmental-related studies in the American schools following the success of environmental
justice movements seems to have greatly fueled the subsequent environmental-related
movements. There has arisen hundreds of environmental-related movements in the US after the
introduction of these courses and it seems that they played a critical role in shaping subsequent
movements. The introduction of these courses has also held universities and learning institutions

Environmental Justice
accountable because they ideally have to practice what they offer and teach. With such
considerable backing, it seems that the students have a great say and can initiate any change.


Environmental Justice


Bratman, E., Brunette, K., Shelly, D. C., & Nicholson, S. (2016). Justice is the goal: divestment
as climate change resistance. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 6(4), 677690.



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Debt and Power
Debt and Power

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