In recent years, environmental justice scholarship has exploded. But virtually every relevant piece of work has understood the history of environmental justice as dating only to the late 20th century. This talk goes back to the 17th century, seeking to trace and analyze the evolution of a positive environmental rights discourse in European and American history. Having established our opposition to environmental injustice, we might want to ask: what exactly are we aiming for, in positive terms? What are the components of environmental justice? Is there any common ground left to stand on? And how might a deeper historical perspective help us answer these questions?