Silent Spill

Author: Thomas D. Beamish
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262261708
Format: PDF
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In the Guadalupe Dunes, 170 miles north of Los Angeles and 250 miles south of San Francisco, an oil spill persisted unattended for 38 years. Over the period 1990-1996, the national press devoted 504 stories to the Exxon Valdez accident and a mere nine to the Guadalupe spill -- even though the latter is most likely the nation's largest recorded oil spill. Although it was known to oil workers in the field where it originated, to visiting regulators, and to locals who frequented the beach, the Guadalupe spill became troubling only when those involved could no longer view the sight and smell of petroleum as normal. This book recounts how this change in perception finally took place after nearly four decades and what form the response took.Taking a sociological perspective, Thomas Beamish examines the organizational culture of the Unocal Corporation (whose oil fields produced the leakage), the interorganizational response of regulatory agencies, and local interpretations of the event. He applies notions of social organization, social stability, and social inertia to the kind of environmental degradation represented by the Guadalupe spill. More important, he uses the Guadalupe Dunes case as the basis for a broader study of environmental "blind spots." He argues that many of our most pressing pollution problems go unacknowledged because they do not cause large-scale social disruption or dramatic visible destruction of the sort that triggers responses. Finally, he develops a model of social accommodation that helps explain why human systems seem inclined to do nothing as trouble mounts.

Environmental Justice in Latin America

Author: David V. Carruthers
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262033720
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Scholars and activists investigate the emergence of a distinctively Latin Americanenvironmental justice movement, offering analysis and case studies that illustrate the connectionsbetween popular environmental mobilization and social justice in the region.

The Global Cities

Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262338874
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Over the past four decades, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and key urban regions of China have emerged as global cities -- in financial, political, cultural, environmental, and demographic terms. In this book, Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng trace the global emergence of these urban areas and compare their responses to a set of six urban environmental issues. These cities have different patterns of development: Los Angeles has been the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl; Hong Kong is dense and vertical; China's new megacities in the Pearl River Delta, created by an explosion in industrial development and a vast migration from rural to urban areas, combine the vertical and the horizontal. All three have experienced major environmental changes in a relatively short period of time. Gottlieb and Ng document how each has dealt with challenges posed by ports and the movement of goods, air pollution (Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and urban China are all notorious for their hazardous air quality), water supply (all three places are dependent on massive transfers of water) and water quality, the food system (from seed to table), transportation, and public and private space. Finally they discuss the possibility of change brought about by policy initiatives and social movements.

The Environmental Advantages of Cities

Author: William B. Meyer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262518465
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Conventional wisdom about the environmental impact of cities holds that urbanizationand environmental quality are necessarily at odds. Cities are seen to be sites of ecologicaldisruption, consuming a disproportionate share of natural resources, producing high levels ofpollution, and concentrating harmful emissions precisely where the population is most concentrated.Cities appear to be particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, to be inherently at risk fromoutbreaks of infectious diseases, and even to offer dysfunctional and unnatural settings for humanlife. In this book, William Meyer tests these widely held beliefs against the evidence. Borrowingsome useful terminology from the public health literature, Meyer weighs instances of "urbanpenalty" against those of "urban advantage." He finds that many supposed urbanenvironmental penalties are illusory, based on commonsense preconceptions and not on solid evidence.In fact, greater degrees of "urbanness" often offer advantages rather than penalties. Thecharacteristic compactness of cities, for example, lessens the pressure on ecological systems andenables resource consumption to be more efficient. On the whole, Meyer reports, cities offer greatersafety from environmental hazards (geophysical, technological, and biological) than more dispersedsettlement does. In fact, the city-defining characteristics widely supposed to result inenvironmental penalties do much to account for cities' environmental advantages. As of 2008(according to U.N. statistics), more people live in cities than in rural areas. Meyer's analysisclarifies the effects of such a profound shift, covering a full range of environmental issues inurban settings. The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

Urban place

Author: Peggy F. Barlett
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262025867
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Cross-disciplinary studies find that reconnections to place and to the natural world, which are emerging through urban sustainability efforts, build community and political action and have important medical and psychological health benefits.

The code of the city

Author: Eran Ben-Joseph
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262025881
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Traces the evolution of urban development codes and standards, examines their effect on city planning and design, and proposes alternatives that will encourage innovation.

Resisting global toxics

Author: David N. Pellow
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN:
Format: PDF
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Examines the export of hazardous wastes to poor communities of color around the world and charts the global social movements that challenge them.

Rivertown

Author: Paul Stanton Kibel
Publisher: The MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262113076
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Examines efforts in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Jose, and other cities to reclaim postindustrial urban riverside land for use as open space, parks and housing.