Global Environmental Racism
The definition used in the overview noted the exclusion
of environmental racism perpetrated, by the US or
multinational corporations, against nations within
countries outside the US. This section will thus explain
the concepts paramount to understanding global
environmental racism and will offer an example of its
application in the real world.
Many factors play a pivotal role in comprehending these
types of problems. They include nation-state conflicts
and resource wars. Nations and states are two very
different things. Nations, as defined by Barbara
Johnston, are generally characterized by distinct
language, culture, and history, territorial bases, and
self-government that predates the creation of modern
states. Many of them have been around for centuries,
even millennia. States, in comparison, are in a stage of
relative infancy, having been created after WWII.
Statistics taken from Who Pays the Price? State that
6000 nations were contained within 190 states in 1994.
Nations, typically much smaller than states, possess the
ability to survive and organize far more efficiently
within their own means than a state.
Though nations account for 10 to 15% of the world’s
population, they have traditional claims to 25 to 30% of
the earth’s surface area and resources (Johnston 21).
This is a major source of conflict as they are seen as
an obstruction to “progress” economically. Within the
global economy in which we live there is an insatiable
need for resources. States cannot attain these
resources, whether they are land, water, minerals, or
oil, unless they deny the rights of the indigenous
groups or nations that have preserved and maintained the
resource base over time.