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Bad News for Blacks
Environmentalists blame the fierce new storms on global warming – the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Scientists attribute the phenomenon to gases produced by fossil fuels like gasoline, petroleum and coal. Though critics dismiss global warming as junk science, reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have continually found a discernable human influence on world temperatures.
That’s bad news, especially for African Americans. Citing Katrina as a case-in-point, some environmentalists say global warming impacts minorities and the disadvantaged harder than other groups. If global warming gets worse, many African-American communities will be more vulnerable to breathing ailments, insect-carried diseases and heat-related illness and death. But asking Black folks to give up gas-guzzling SUV’s and other bling is a tough sell.
Bruce Britt has written for a variety of publications, including the Detroit Free Press, Washington Post, Billboard, San Francisco Chronicle, Grammy magazine and Hits magazine. He’s the former pop music editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, where he won the LA Press Club of Award of Excellence.
Relatively, Blacks are environmental Good Samaritans. Per capita, we emit approximately 20 percent less carbon dioxide than Whites – well below 2020 targets set by the U.S. Climate Stewardship Act. Not only do we use more energy-conserving public transportation, we spend considerably less per capita on energy-intensive material goods.