These experiences resonate strongly with the concept of “solastagia,” described both as a form of homesickness while still in place, and as a type of grief over the loss of a healthy place or a thriving ecosystem.
Nuclear State, Nuclear Waste: Emily Simmonds on Canada as a nuclear nation & ongoing colonialism through uranium mining.
Waste colonialism refers to how waste and pollution are part of the domination of one group in their homeland by another group. The concept has been gaining traction since the 1990s to explain patterns of power in wasting and pollution.
The deficit model frames public controversies about contamination as a lack of scientific understanding or trust in government institutions. People are seen as deficient in knowledge about an issue, erasing local, community, and personal expertise.
We tend to think that we are familiar with waste because we deal with it every day. Yet, this is not the case–most aspects of waste are entirely hidden from view and understanding.
Neighborhoods with median annual incomes below US$25,000 were nearly 2 decibels louder than neighborhoods with incomes above $100,000 per year. And nationwide, communities with 75 percent black residents had median nighttime noise levels of 46.3 decibels – 4 decibels louder than communities with no black residents. A 10-decibel increase represents a doubling in loudness of a sound, so these are big differences.
Newman’s activists press for environmental change imbedded with critiques of capitalism and industrialization, racial injustice, and its global implications. This view distorts the complexity of historical events within the environmental movement.
Colonialism in Canada is an ongoing structure whereby settler society and government assert sovereignty over lands already occupied by Indigenous peoples.
Notions of “sustainability” and “urban greening” ought to include values of justice and equity. Otherwise, important projects like the Blue Greenway will build sustainable waterfronts for the urban elite, rather than spreading the environmental benefits of toxic cleanup to the many.
A reading list of the David and Goliath story of communities versus industries, governments, and polluting infrastructures.