Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Environmental justice | Social Inequality | MCAT | Khan Academy

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- Where we live in society plays a huge role

in the environmental benefits and risks

that we're exposed to.

And, I'm gonna actually draw in

different parts of society by using this line

which represents a spectrum of society.

On the right hand side I'm gonna draw

part of society that experiences higher poverty

and also incorporates the often disadvantaged

racial and minority groups.

On the left hand side I'm gonna draw

a much wealthier part of society.

One of the things that we know

is that living areas that experience

high poverty and have a lot of racial minorities

often have few environmental benefits

compared to the wealthier part of society.

What do I mean by environmental benefits?

I mean green spaces, parks, recreational areas.

What does that look like?

Well let me draw it for you, using this triangle.

This is supposed to represent environmental benefits.

And one of the things we can see

is that the wealthier part of society

has much higher benefits than the high poverty

and racial minority part of society.

And as I mentioned, those benefits

include things like parks, bike paths,

and other green spaces.

So one part of society seems to be getting

a lot of benefit while another part of society

seems to not be getting as much benefit.

But what the high poverty and racial minority

part of society does get, it does get something,

and what it does get,

it gets a lot of environmental burden.

So what does that look like?

This line is actually supposed to represent

increasing burdern.

So compared to the high income part of society

the high poverty and racial minorities

get increasing burden.

And this includes things like waste facilities,

manufacturing and factories,

energy production,

and transportation facilities such as airports.

And one of the things we have to consider

is that these are disadvantaged populations,

they are really at risk

because they're disadvantaged in many ways.

They often have few alternatives

in terms of where they work and where they live.

They may have little awareness

of the risks they may face being exposed

to various environmental risks or pollutants or chemicals.

They may also have other pressing issues,

meaning that environmental issues

are low on their agenda

and let us contrast that to the wealthier population.

The wealthier population may very well

be more politically powerful,

they can also be economically powerful,

literally being able to demand

that the environmental beneficial facilities

are placed close to them,

and the burdensome facilities are placed far away.

And being able to control things

like laws and regulations to benefit them

more so than the other communities.

And they can also be better represented

in environmental groups or lobbying groups.

Now this is all of significance

when we consider that the high poverty groups

and racial minorities may have health problems

such as asthma or obesity, because we know

conditions like asthma have got strong correlations

to environmental issues such as pollutants,

particles and ozones,

and these are part of the environmental burdens

that these populations face.

And also when we consider obesity,

obesity can be thought of as a lack

of access to safe recreational facilities

where people can exercise.

So a lack of access to environmental benefits,

and lack of access to affordable

grocery and shopping facilities.

The big concept here, that I want to write down

is the concept of environmental justice.

And what this concept really looks at

is that there is a fair distribution

of the benefits and burdens,

of the environmental benefits and burdens

within society, across all groups.

And as we can see here, that is clearly

not happening at the moment,

and much action still needs to be taken.

The Description of Environmental justice | Social Inequality | MCAT | Khan Academy