An expanding array of hazardous substances poses an increasing threat to public health. But what makes our society a toxic culture are the social arrangements that encourage and excuse the deterioration of human health and the environment. Elements of toxic culture include the unquestioned production of hazardous wastes, economic blight, substandard housing, chronic stress, exploitative working conditions, and dangerous technologies.
In this book, environmentalist and lawyer William Shutkin describes a new kind of environmental and social activism spreading across the nation, one that joins the pursuit of environmental quality with that of civic health and sustainable local economies. In the face of challenges posed by often corrosive market forces and widespread social disaffection, this civic environmentalism is creating nothing less than a new public discourse and dynamic social vision grounded in environmental action.
In Making Microchips, Jan Mazurek examines the environmental and economic implications of the computer microchip industry's exodus from California's Silicon Valley to New Mexico, Virginia, Ireland, and Taiwan. Globalization, economic restructuring, and changing manufacturing processes in this rapidly growing industry present difficult new questions for environmental policy. Mazurek challenges the assumptions of U.S. policies designed to promote the competitiveness of domestic microchip makers.
Universities can teach and demonstrate environmental principles and stewardship by taking action to understand and reduce the environmental impacts of their own activities. Greening the Ivory Tower, a motivational and how-to guide for staff, faculty, and students, offers detailed "greening" strategies for those who may have little experience with institutional change or with the latest environmentally friendly technologies.
In many areas of the world, environmental degradation in and around human settlements is undermining prospects for both socioeconomic justice and ecological sustainability. To explore the issues involved in this worldwide problem, Keith Pezzoli focuses on a dramatic instance of conflict that grew out of the unauthorized penetration of human settlements into the Ajusco greenbelt zone, a vital part of Mexico City's ecological reserve.
The problems recyclers face with wastepaper are connected to the issues addressed by forest advocates, as well as to the difficulties confronted by those involved with industrial pollution from the paper industry. In this richly detailed study, Maureen Smith shows how industrial and environmental analysis can be synthesized to clarify these complex problems and produce solutions.