“One of the penalties of an ecological education,” wrote Aldo Leopold,” is that one lives alone in a world of wounds.” Ideally we would not do each other or the rest of our biotic community wrong, but we have, and still do. We need non-ideal environmental ethics for living together in this world of wounds. Ethics does not stop after wrongdoing: the aftermath of environmental harm demands ethical action. How we work to repair healthy relationality matters as much as the wounds themselves.
Reparative Environmental Justice in a World of Wounds discusses the possibilities and practices of reparative environmental justice. It builds on theories of justice in political philosophy, feminist ethics, indigenous studies, and criminal justice as extended to non-ideal environmental ethics. How can reparative environmental justice provide a useful perspective on ecological restoration, human-animal entanglements, climate change, environmental racism, and traditional ecological knowledge? How can it promote just practices and policies while enabling effective opposition to business as usual? And how does reparative justice look different when we go beyond narrowly construed human conflicts to include relational repair with ecosystems, other animals, and future generations?
Ben Almassi is associate professor of philosophy and affiliate professor of gender and sexuality studies and interdisciplinary studies at Governors State University.
Table of Contents
1. Justice After the Dam Breaks
2. Environmental Injustice and its Amelioration
3. A Relational Revaluation of Ecological Restoration
4. Animal Ethics and Contexts of Interspecies Repair
5. Climate Change and Intergenerational Reparative Justice
6. Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Reparative Epistemic Justice
7. Reparative Environmental Justice in the Chicago Wilderness
8. Alone and Together in a World of Wounds
About the Author
Almassi’s insightful book on Reparative Environmental Justice in a World of Wounds delivers a most illuminating and thoughtful contribution to the field of morality, ethics and environmental justice. Almassi has truly achieved what he had set out to achieve. He has thoroughly examined the issue of ethical issue of reparative environmental justice
This book argues that the best way to respond to environmental injustice is with reparative environmental justice. The central concept here is what Almassi refers to as "relational repair." He contrasts this theory with retributive theories and theories based on restitution. Restoring a victim’s standing in one's community is central to this theory of relational repair—monetary payments and punishments for offenders are secondary.... This volume will be especially useful to those with research interests in environmental justice, environmental ethics, and, more broadly, questions of justice in political philosophy. Recommended.
"This is a clear and engaging book, which takes as its starting point the need for justice and relational repair in the wake of environmental damage. Building on diverse thinkers and wide-ranging literatures, Almassi develops important new lines of inquiry by showing the salience of moral repair for environmental justice. Deftly weaving together theory and practice, this insightful contribution provides a relational lens through which to consider topics as varied as ecological restoration, animal ethics, toxic waste, and intergenerational ethics."
"A compelling guide to repairing historic wrongdoing, this is the book for the tensions of our time. With philosophical rigor, Almassi braids diverse voices on history, morality, and policy to imagine genuine environmental justice."
"Reparative Environmental Justice in a World of Wounds by Ben Almassi is a wide-ranging text which suggests that reparative justice can challenge and invigorate existing ethical debates about topics as diverse as environmental injustice, ecological restoration, and interspecies relationships. Throughout the text, Almassi takes a neglected but important position in environmental ethics by emphasizing the ethics of the nonideal scenarios that describe much of life. While Almassi identifies a number of issues which should spark further study, most promising is his reflection on intergenerational reparative justice in an era of climate change."
2/20/23, Yale Climate Connections: This book was featured in a roundup of titles about climate change.