Seeking Environmental Justice: Coal, Campaigns and Climate Change (with Nick Stump)

by | Aug 1, 2017

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Interviewee: Nick Stump

Nicholas F. Stump is the Head of Reference and Access Services at the George R. Farmer Jr. Library, WVU College of Law. He is an Associate with the Oxford Human Rights Hub. His upcoming monograph with the WVU Press Appalachia Reconstructed: Law, The Environment, and Systemic Regional Reform examines how the United States’ energy and environmental law regimes have affected Appalachia, as evidenced by ecological impacts and related socio-economic challenges. He argues that these challenges cannot be addressed solely through traditional legal reform and instead advocates for broader, transformative change that targets social, political, and economic systems that operate above or behind the law. His current work is informed by critical environmental law, Appalachian studies, and law and social movements studies. He teaches in the legal research curriculum with an emphasis on administrative law and energy and environmental law.

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Interviewer: Kira Allmann

Kira Allmann is the OxHRH Communications Director and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford. Her current research focuses on digital inequality, exploring community-driven grassroots solutions to closing the digital divide. She leads several research projects, using ethnographic methods to study the role of community-owned internet networks, local digital skills training, and public internet access points in promoting digital inclusion. Kira is also a research partner of the Whose Knowledge? campaign, which works to center the knowledge of marginalized communities on the web. She completed her DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) at the University of Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and also holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies (University of Oxford) and a B.A. in Government and Linguistics (The College of William and Mary).

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Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, what is the future of environmental justice and human rights in the United States and the world? We talk with environmental human rights expert and lawyer, Nick Stump, about what we can learn from the experiences of the Appalachian region of the U.S. Appalachia is known for coal mining, and it became a focal region in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, as Trump promised to save a declining and environmentally destructive industry to create more coal jobs. As such, Appalachia has become symbolic of the American economic crisis, along with other industrial regions. We talk about the environmental realities in Appalachia, the power of symbolism, and the prospects for realising environmental human rights.

Interview with: Nick Stump (West Virginia University)
Produced by: Dr Kira Allmann (University of Oxford)
Music by: Rosemary Allmann

[Release: 1 August 2017]

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