Rapt attention

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

As apple pie

I read the article with interest the other day. Fears of truck pollution have killed the proposed Mitsubishi Warehouse at the San Diego Port. People felt that minorities in nearby communities would be dis-proportionally affected by the exhaust fumes from the traffic generated by the facility.

Barrio Logan already suffers from some of the worst asthma- and cancer-causing air pollution in the state.

And I thought, my god, that is un American. What could be more American than siting polluters in low income, minority neighborhoods? The barrio has always been the spot for the tire and chrome shops, who really cares if people that are not rich or white are affected by pollution?

I found a good article on the subject; Racial disparities and climate change. From some ivy league school back east named Princeton. And learned this:

Annually, the United States Oil and Gas Industry releases about 9 million tons of methane gas and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. African American and low-income communities are disproportionately affected by air pollution in the United States. For example, more than one million African Americans live within a half-mile of natural gas facilities, over one million African Americans face a “cancer risk above EPA’s level of concern” due to unclean air, and more than 6.7 million African Americans live in the 91 US counties with oil refineries. In total, African Americans are 75% more likely than White people to live in “fence-line” communities (areas near commercial facilities that produce noise, odor, traffic, or emissions that directly affect the population). Additionally, exposure to poor air quality can cause numerous health problems such as asthma. Approximately 13.4% of African American children suffer from asthma as compared to only 7.3% of White children.  And although African Americans make up 13 percent of the US population, a startling 68 percent live within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant, compared to 56 percent of Whites.

I remember reading something similar occurring in Long Beach about thirty years ago. Smokestack emissions were contaminating the area with lead and not only was it falling hardest on minority neighborhoods, it was empirically proven to result in significantly lower i.q results for those at the epicenter of the pollution. According to this article, environmental racism falls very hard on the hispanic community, where their children are found to have twice the asthma rates of their white counterparts and  have suffered and been impacted through the pandemic with a much higher mortality rate as well.

But hey, if god had loved them like us, he would have made them white, right? And rich.

Then I found this: 
Areas with higher temperatures within cities are the same areas that were segregated decades agoNeighborhoods with higher temperatures are the same areas that were subject to the racist practice of redlining, in which banks and insurance companies systematically refused or limited loans, mortgages, or insurance to communities of color.
According to NPR, in a study of 108 urban areas nationwide, the formerly redlined neighborhoods in nearly every city studied were hotter than those not subjected to redlining. The temperature difference in some areas was nearly 13 degrees.

And this:
2018 study by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used emission particles to compare the environmental burden of pollution across different communities in the U.S. The research found that the burden was 35% higher for people living in poverty in general and 28% higher for People of Color. Black people, specifically, had a burden level 54% greater than that of the overall population. 

Why don't these people know their place?. What the hell has happened to us? Last month Republicans deleted the words environmental justice from their committee documents. Nice.
Last week, Democratic Rep. Nanette Barragán of California, who sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, discovered that the Republicans now in charge have deleted the term “environmental justice” from committee documents describing subcommittee jurisdictions. The congresswoman told Nico Portuondo at E&E Daily, “My understanding is that the jurisdiction of environmental justice has been stricken from jurisdiction of the subcommittees. It’s something our committee should absolutely oversee, how communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted.”

Can't make omelettes without breaking a few eggs, people. Get with the program.

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