How Action Circles Can Address Toxic Pollution

  1. For example, a google search on “Research on disparities in exposure to pollution” yielded 78,000 results. The first page of results will likely give you an accurate analysis of the degree to which this is a problem. (Just reading the titles indicates that is it is.) The summary would indicate not only the extent to which there are disparities but the specific kinds of pollution and the diseases that they cause.
  2. An analysis of the policies that have enabled companies to pollute without consequences. These will include federal policies down to the level of individual communities. They include the many policies that McGhee describes that segregated poor people into neighborhoods that were polluted. This analysis would enumerate policies that seem most likely to begin to correct the problem; although it should point to how further research could refine these policies.
  3. Search for examples of efforts to combat the problem. It is unlikely that there are experimental evaluations of strategies for reducing pollution in disadvantaged areas, but if there are, these would be particularly valuable. In any case, there are examples of successes, such as the efforts in Richmond, California to reduce the pollution produced by a Chevron installation there.
  4. A database of organizations working on this problem would be a resource for subsequent action circles to partner with or get help from these organizations. This would not only help action circles but would also lay the groundwork for Values to Action to collaborate with these organizations to the mutual benefit of V2A and these organizations.
  5. Provide a summary, of what a local action circle could do to address the problem, with links to organizations and communities that appear to be making progress.
  6. If it chose, this action circle could then turn to the effort of bringing about change in a particular community. But even if it did not, it would be laying the groundwork for action circles around the country.



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Anthony Biglan

Anthony Biglan

Anthony Biglan, PhD, is President of Values to Action and author of Rebooting Capitalism