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Scientists have warned of the dangers of climate change for decades, yet no meaningul steps have been taken to address its underlying causes; instead ineffective strategies to reduce CO2 emissions incrementally have become popular because they do not disturb the racial hierarchy that sustains the social, economic, and legal structure of the United States. The segregated land use patterns and transportation systems that dominate the U.S. landscape have reified race through the perpetuation of a distinct white over black racial hierarchy; those same land use patterns and transportation systems have contributed significantly to global warming by causing a dangerous spike in CO2 emissions. To address the root causes of climate change thus requires a dismantling of the land use and transportation patterns that protect racial hierarchy and preserve white privilege in the United States. As a result, a consensus of inaction has developed to prevent meaningful reductions in emissions.


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7 Sep 2022
369 kB



  • Subject
    • Environmental Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Third World Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 28

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 289

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022