The year is 1945 the Second World War is over and the cold war is just beginning; in New Mexico mining of uranium is at its all-time high, mining companies are making millions and the United States government is getting the material to make atomic weapons, all on the back of the Navajo Nation. During the middle of the twentieth century jobs were scarce for much of the population, especially in the Southwest, to make ends meet many Navajo men went to work in the uranium mines. The work was dangerous, the pay was small, and the conditions were deplorable. At the end of the 1950’s cancer rates for miners were higher than any other area of the United States. Even though companies disregarded health reports and the warning signs and officials were slow to address the workers concerns; the Navajo miners, were denied compensation for the suffering they went through (Benally, 1997). The case study can be found at this link http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/sdancy.html
At the beginning of the 1990’s the population in Mexico City, Mexico was 16.8 million and the gross national product (GNP) was a dismal 2,971 U.S. dollars. The increase in the inhabitants of Mexico City was from the arrival of migrants from the surrounding economically depressed areas. The population growth directly impacted the Mexico City’s water and air qualities. In addition, the city was the site of 48% of all Mexican industries; resulting in an increase of demand on natural resources. In 1992, there was an explosion of one of the city’s sewer system, this led to contamination of the water table resulting in more than 100 deaths. The outcome resulted in the creation of the National Institute of Ecology and the Environmental Attorney General. These agencies were tasked with developing environmental regulation and protection guidelines. However, the increase in the oversight from environmental authorities did little combat the increasing urbanization and industrialization in Mexico City (Pennsylvania State University Library).
The first location described in the above is not comparable to my hometown of Swedesboro, New Jersey. The total population of Swedesboro based on the 2010 census is 10,300 people. The majority of the population are upper middle class transplants from Philadelphia suburbs and other areas within the Southern New Jersey. However, the second paragraph is slightly similar to Swedesboro, but close to the pollution laden Mexico City. The reason I can make a comparison is because Swedesboro is located between Salem nuclear power plant and Chester refinery. However, the majority of our community has city water and sewer treatment center, meaning the threat of contamination is minimal. The one condition that I am concerned about is the air quality. The byproduct of the refining process and the release of CO2, NOx, and SO2 is something that will require monitoring.
Benally, Timothy, Sr. “Environmental Justice for the Navajo: Uranium Mining in the Southwest.” In Motion (1997). Web. <http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/sdancy.html
“Are Megacities Viable? A Cautionary Tale from Mexico City.” Environment 38.1 (1996). Pennsylvania State University Library.