The Americans experienced difficulties in combating environmental inequality

US residents strive for justice in the possession of the environmental benefits and were reluctant to accept equality in the distribution of environmental damage. They are ready to share the budget for the improvement of environment in adjacent regions, as well as financial reward to charity, the beneficiaries of which will be their neighbors. But they’re less willing to take part in other people’s problems and in General are experiencing difficulties with the management of environmental damage. The study on this subject published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Environmental inequality is an uneven distribution of benefits and damage between groups of people. They are interested in environmental benefits, positive environmental changes. These may include the decreasing pollution of air and water, noise reduction, or landscaping an urban area. At the same time, people seek to avoid environmental damage, but its application to the environment is inevitable due to the growth of the economy. What environmental inequality causes people to make decisions that will affect their health and economic well-being. However, until now, practically not investigated how people perceive this inequality and what efforts are ready to make to fight him.

A group of scientists from Israel and the United States headed by Tamara Poppy (Tamar Makov) from the University named after David Ben-Gurion in the Negev studied the psychological features of perception of environmental inequalities among residents of the United States, spending among the population a two-stage surveys of the distribution of environmental benefits and environmental damage. Each survey covered a particular situation and were conducted on a new sample volume from 100 to 1602 people.

The work of the international airport O’hara in Chicago puts night noise pollution of the city of wood Dale (which is the strip 28R) and Elkhart (where the runway 22L). The wood Dale accounts for 30 percent of the night traffic, and Elmhurst at 7 per cent. In 2016, the airport management decided to increase the number of night flights and had to decide which runway to use. This situation has led to violent disputes, as the residents of wood Dale claims that have already suffered disproportionately, and the people Alierta expressed confidence that a large number of night flights will drastically worsen their quality of life.

The researchers decided to use the incident to conduct two surveys, interviewed 100 people in the US are not living in these cities. The first time they said that the airport management has decided to increase the number of night flights, and asked respondents, on the runway of the city want to direct the flight. 38 percent were in favor of wood Dale and 62 percent for Elmhurst. Thus, the first survey was limited to the redistribution of environmental damage. The second time it was reported that the airport management decided to reduce the intensity of night traffic for the well-being of local residents. Scientists asked respondents what lane you should unload from a few flights. 86% voted that we need to help the residents of wood Dale and only 14 percent were in favor of additional benefits for Amherst. The authors of the study concluded that people are more willing to share environmental benefits than agree to share the burden of environmental damage.

Similar surveys had raised the issue of the quality of drinking water, but the situation was already fictional. 1129 respondents (involved in both the first and second survey) were asked to imagine that in the state there are two cities. In the first, the quality of tap water is estimated at 2 out of 5, and there is work obsolete a wastewater treatment plant. In the second city the quality of this water is 3 out of 5 due to the efficient water treatment plant. The first survey has put forward the condition that the budget has funds for one additional water treatment system. Its operation will improve the properties of the water quality at one point. 92% of respondents were in favour of the construction of treatment facilities in the city with initially lower water quality. They were willing to help people who need help is stronger. The second survey was that the government is forced to dismantle one of the purification plants, and people need to decide in which city to do it. 73 percent of respondents voted for the closure of buildings in the city with cleaner water. In this case, they also sought to environmental equality, but not so unanimously.

Surveys with scenarios of air pollution by industrial emissions and distribution of solid waste in garbage landfills has led to the same results: equality through the acquisition of environmental benefits was supported by 74 percent of respondents, and due to the distribution of environmental damage — 56%. The study authors noted that even the difference in the wording of the question might provoke an inadequate reaction. So, scientists have demonstrated a hypothetical project of oil spill response on the shoreline length of 60 miles. In the first version of the survey for 270 people, it was said that during this type of purification system on 40 miles of water area will be destroyed. This development gave 62 per cent of respondents. In the second case, scientists reported that cleanup will save 20 kilometers of water area of the 60. Such cleaning has supported 75 percent of respondents.

Scientists believe that the distribution of environmental goods and environmental damage is an integral part of the government’s work and economic development. The authors came to the conclusion that people are not yet ready to admit the inevitable environmental damage to the environment. They welcome the equality by adding environmental benefits to others, but not so sure about the environmental damage.

In contrast to environmental inequality, the differences between groups of people on the basis of the possession of property and privileges have long been known. Thus, the social inequality between the inhabitants of Central Europe were able to set through the remains of the bronze age, and the impact of gender inequality on girls ‘ achievements in mathematics were measured in 2014.

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