This collection of essays examines the relationship between environmental injustice and the exploitation of working-class people. Twelve scholars from the fields of environmental humanities and the humanistic social sciences explore connections between the current and unprecedented rise of environmental degradation, ecomic inequality, and widespread social injustice in the United States and Canada. The authors challenge prevailing cultural narratives that separate ecological and human health from the impacts of modern industrial capitalism. Essay themes range from how human survival is linked to nature to how the use and abuse of nature benefit the wealthy elite at the expense of working-class people and the working poor as well as how climate change will affect cultures deeply rooted in the land. Ultimately, Working on Earth calls for a working-class ecology as an integral part of achieving just and sustainable human development.
Christina Robertson earned her PhD in literature and the environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, USA. She teaches environmental literature, ethnic studies, and composition. Jennifer Westerman is assistant professor of sustainable development at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, USA. She specializes in environmental literature, working-class studies, and environmental justice.