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EARTH DAY IS FOR ALL OF US (Blog #47)


In recognition of Earth Day 2024 (April 22) we want to share data on the impact of climate change and the warming of the earth’s surface on Black communities.  A 2021 Report by the Environmental Protection Agency made findings on the disproportionate risks of climate change to Black and African American communities.  The EPA's Social Vulnerability Report found that Black and African American individuals are more likely than others to live in areas that are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change and the impacts of global warming.  The EPA’s findings regarding Black and African American persons are:      

 

Air Quality and Health

o   34% more likely to live in areas with the highest projected increases in childhood asthma diagnoses with 2°C of global warming

 

Extreme Temperature and Labor

o    23% more likely to live in areas with the highest projected reductions in labor hours due to extreme temperatures with 2°C of global warming

 

Extreme Temperature and Health

o   40% more likely to live in areas with the highest projected increases in extreme temperature-related deaths with 2°C of global warming

 

Coastal Flooding and Traffic

o   6% more likely to live in areas with the highest estimated increases in traffic delays due to coastal flooding with 50 cm of global sea level rise

 

Inland Flooding and Property

o   10% more likely to live in areas with the highest projected damages from inland flooding with 2°C of global warming

 

Coastal Flooding and Property

o   11% more likely to live in areas where the highest percentage of land is projected to be lost to inundation with 50 cm of global sea level rise

 

The adverse effects of climate change along with toxic dumping practices and pollution exacerbate environmental harm in under-served communities.  See Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back. - The New York Times (nytimes.com).

 

That’s why it is so important to support organizations that advocate for the environmental rights of minority communities.  As the NAACP makes clear: “Environment and climate justice is a civil rights issue.”  The pollutive effects of toxic dumping can happen in an urban, suburban or rural area.  These environmentally destructive practices must be addressed through effective policy and litigation, and through effective financial investment that will improve necessary infrastructure.  So, support your local environmental and earth justice organizations and representatives.  It is good for our children and families, our communities and our planet!

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