A new course offered at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay aims to merge the study of civil rights issues with the study of environmental justice.
The course, which is entitled “Green Lives Matter,” explores the intersection of environmental justice and civil rights by arguing that free market capitalism cultivates societies where marginalized persons are forced to live dangerous and unhealthy lifestyles.
According to the course’s online description, it examines the “Flint lead contamination, migrant farm worker pesticide exposure, Cancer Alley (Louisiana), mining on tribal lands, Hurricane Katrina, Alaskan natives, urban environmental harms,” and how these and other environmental concerns intersect with modern civil rights issues.
The course description insists that the environmental justice efforts are most effective within the context of civil rights and social justice movements. “The Environmental Justice Movement now marks a worldwide grassroots effort for social justice…This course represents an effort to learn about the Environmental Justice Movement by studying its history, causes, and the struggles of people shaping the movement.”
Although this course is seemingly unique to University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, academics across the country have embraced the “Green Lives Matters” movement to argue that free-market capitalism threatens marginalized persons by subjecting them to polluted environments and cheap, unhealthy diets. Because of this, the environmental justice movement is “primarily by people of color, women, and blue-collar sectors of society.”
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org