James K. Boyce is an author, economist, and senior fellow at the Political Economy Research Institute of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has written for Harper’s, Scientific American, Politico, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and numerous scholarly journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecological Economics, Environmental Research Letters, and Climatic Change. He received the 2011 Fair Sharing of the Common Heritage Award from Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation, and the 2017 Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. His most recent books are Economics for People and the Planet: Inequality in the Era of Climate Change (Anthem 2019; audiobook edition with foreword by Manuel Pastor, 2021) and The Case for Carbon Dividends (Polity 2019).
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The practical question in Washington today is not whether regulations will go, but whether anything will replace them
The tragic crisis in Flint, Michigan, where residents have been poisoned by lead contamination, is not just about drinking water. And it’s not just about Flint. It’s about race and class, and the stark contradiction between the American dream of equal rights and opportunity for all and the American nightmare of metastasizing inequality of wealth and power.
Distributional Considerations in Climate Change Mitigation: Policy Design as if the Present Generation Matters
Using data on industrial air pollution exposure in the United States, we compute three measures of environmental inequality: the Gini coefficient of exposure, the ratio of median exposure of minorities to that of non-Hispanic whites, and the ratio of median exposure of poor households to that of nonpoor households.