When data justice and environmental justice meet: formulating a response to extractive logic through environmental data justice

Lourdes A. Vera, Dawn Walker, Michelle Murphy, Becky Mansfield, Ladan Mohamed Siad, Jessica Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Environmental data justice (EDJ) emerges from conversations between data justice and environmental justice while identifying the limits and tensions of these lenses. Through a reflexive process of querying our entanglement in non-innocent relations, this paper develops and engages EDJ by examining how it informs the work of the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), a distributed, consensus-based organization that formed in response to the 2016 US presidential election. Through grassroots archiving of data sets, monitoring federal environmental and energy agency websites, and writing rapid-response reports about how federal agencies are being undermined, EDGI mobilizes EDJ to challenge the ‘extractive logic’ of current federal environmental policy and data infrastructures. ‘Extractive logic’ disconnects data from provenance, privileges the matrix of domination, and whitewashes data to generate uncertainty. We use the dynamic EDJ framework to reflect on EDGI’s public comment advising against the US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for Transparent Science. Through EDJ, EDGI aspires to create new environmental data infrastructures and practices that are participatory and embody equitable, transparent data care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1028
JournalInformation, Communication & Society
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • environmental data justice
  • extractive logic
  • whitewashing
  • data justice
  • environmental justice

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