HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
October 01, 2009
Contact Information

Lorna Love
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

(BPRW) African Americans and Climate Change

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Although blacks are less responsible for climate change, they are more likely to be poorly affected by global warming than other Americans. According to a recent report, written by the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative and Redefining Progress, African Americans make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, and emit 20 percent less greenhouse gases than non-Hispanic whites. The inconsistencies that already exist among races are only magnified by global warming.

One-fourth of blacks did not have health insurance in 2006, which is nearly double the amount of non-Hispanic whites. This could be deadly since climate changes are producing catastrophic weather and introducing new diseases. The report also showed how racist stereotypes have reduced the amount of aid that was donated to help blacks after severe storms and floods.

Economic well-being and social stability can also affect how African Americans are affected by global warming. More blacks than non-Hispanic whites live in close proximity to coal plants or in counties that are violating federal air pollution. Also, more blacks have asthma, which will only get worse as air quality decreases. The Atlantic hurricane zone, which is expected to receive bigger and more devastating storms than Hurricane Katrina, contains the six states with the highest black populations.

One solution the report recommends is to tax polluters, which would finance efforts to reduce global warming and eliminate the financial burden on low and moderate income households. Blacks need to become more aware of climate change so they can help fight it.