Discussing ways to protect the world’s environment, the president has been championing the creation of cleaner energy through The First Mover’s coalition, which is comprised of some of the leading companies in innovation and technology that are looking to build renewable energy resources to help solve climate change’s drastic effects. The group is expected to help offset the need for excessive amounts of electricity, which is often powered by coal, another harmful pollutant to the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal was the third-largest energy source for U.S. electricity generation in 2020—or about 19 percent.
Biden was also scheduled to announce his administration’s first government-backed initiative to conserve the global forest. The decade-long plan will focus on “preserving critical carbon sinks, like coastal ecosystems” and hold big energy-guzzling nations accountable for global warming. Biden said he hopes that these changes will help to prevent future generations from feeling the worsening effects of climate change.
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So, you might be asking yourself at this point: What exactly does any of that have to do with Black people?
The answers are actually more intuitive than you might think.
While voter suppression can often be caused by the manipulation of election rules like imposing strict voting requirements and misinforming people about key voting dates, climate change can also have a severe impact on the voting process, especially in the aftermath of severe storms or natural disasters. No electricity means voting machines are less likely to be functioning. New Orleans, for example, has struggled to recover following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The majority-Black city was pummeled yet again when Hurricane Ida ravished the southeast with flooding, gusty winds and torrential rain back in August. Polling locations are likely closed when environmental incidents occur, dates are often pushed back without notice and little updates are given on when polling sites are back up and running. People can receive absentee ballots in lieu of physically placing their votes, but how do you do that if you’ve been displaced during a natural disaster? Likewise, how do ballots get sent out if the postal system is affected by a natural occurrence? This is the problem.
The upcoming election in Louisiana, which is now rescheduled for Nov. 13, will give citizens the ability to vote on four constitutional amendments that will impact tax laws. But with the Bayou State struggling to rehabilitate after Ida, along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the number of voters who actually make it to the polls is uncertain.
Environmental Issues Place Black People’s Health At Higher Risk
Black people are more likely to live in low-income communities that are closer to industrial facilities that release toxic emissions. According to a report conducted by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Clean Air Task Force, “Blacks are 38 percent more likely to be exposed to air pollutants than whites.”
For those suffering from asthma, air pollution can make the condition worse. Black people with asthma are three times more likely to be hospitalized or die from an asthma attack than whites, the report noted. Climate change can often lead to water pollution which could cause other life-threatening conditions for Blacks, including cancer and respiratory disease. Black people make up a majority of the South in the U.S.– an area that is often plagued with deadly heatwaves and vicious storms. Many people of color are often hospitalized, or in extreme cases, die from these environmental issues.
Climate Change Linked To High Rates Of Crime
According to a study conducted by The Washington Post, “more than 2 million major crimes were committed between 2001 and 2012″ in Chicago, and air pollution was to blame for them. The data was compiled after research discovered that deadly air currents from vehicles were blowing into communities south of the city’s I-290 highway.
Black people breathe in “particulate matter” which includes diesel exhaust chemicals 56 percent more than other communities due to where they live. Air pollution has been linked to changes in the brain which could lead to people exhibiting more aggressive and violent behavior, the University of Minnesota notes.
Environmental factors can displace millions of students preventing them from attending school. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, students were forced to switch over to online courses in order to continue their studies. But for many communities of color, the technology leap wasn’t so easy. Some households did not have access or could not afford digital tools such as computers or portable devices to maintain their children’s studies. Often times schools are turned into shelters during extreme storms. Educational establishments can be slammed with unprecedented damage, causing children to temporarily miss out on school.
Climate change affects employment statuses significantly regardless of one’s racial background. But because Black people disproportionately work blue-collar jobs outdoors and in hot indoor environments, they “are at increased risk of heat stress and other heat-related disorders, occupational injuries, and reduced productivity at work,” according to a report published by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
A Disturbing Timeline Of Ahmaud Arbery's Killing And Murder Investigation In Georgia
1. October 20191 of 43
2. November 2019
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This video is from 11/17. Larry English called 911 on 11/18 and said he had a problem with "other people" the night before. This appears to show that day and is from English's attorney. There is no record of neighbors calling 911 this day, based off records from Glynn Co 911 pic.twitter.com/BXlyYEaBcL— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 15, 2020
3. Dec. 20, 2019
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Police told the homeowner where #AhmaudArbery was last seen to contact Greg McMichael if his cameras caught someone on his property. McMichael in turn gathered a posse & began hunting for Ahmaud, or someone who fit his description, catching up with him on 2/23/20– killing him. pic.twitter.com/BmlmW636f5— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 16, 2020
4. Dec. 20, 2019
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This is the man that set the plan in motion that led to the murder of #AhmaudArbery.— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 18, 2020
ROBERT RASH is a Glynn County Police Officer.
He instructed a homeowner to contact Gregory McMichael to deal w/ trespassers.
McMichael and his son formed a posse and murdered Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/ZqZg567Agp
5. Feb. 11, 2020
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Larry English’s attorney gave me this video from Feb 11. It shows the incident outlined in my story when Travis McMichael called 911 and saw someone in the home. On 2/23, he and his father thought the Abrery was who they saw on the 11th pic.twitter.com/C2gVJCJ3xQ— Wright Gazaway (@WrightKATU) May 14, 2020
6. Feb. 23Source:Getty 6 of 43
7. Feb. 27, 2020
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This is the DA who blocked the arrest of 2 white supremacist TERRORISTS after they murdered an innocent black man execution style while he was jogging in his neighborhood— StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) May 9, 2020
JACKIE JOHNSON NEEDS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR OBSTRUCTING & ENDANGERING THE LIVES OF BLACK MEN
ARREST HER pic.twitter.com/ngSIEGMCq1
8. Feb. 27, 20208 of 43
9. Feb. 29, 2020Source:Getty 9 of 43
10. March 2020
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If you’re wondering why no charges were initially filed on the murderers of #AhmaudArbery, it’s because D.A. George Barnhill immediately concluded Arbery was a criminal & that he attacked the men who were hunting him.— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) May 7, 2020
This is letter Barnhill sent to the Brunswick authorities pic.twitter.com/vsGCboful7
11. April 2, 2020
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Police report sheds more light on Satilla Shores shooting https://t.co/Zi6YVGTkhK— The Brunswick News (@Brunswick_News) April 2, 2020
12. April 3, 202012 of 43
13. April 1313 of 43
14. April 26, 2020
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We’ll never know how often Black life is taken, justice denied:— Dr. Malinda S. Smith (@MalindaSmith) May 9, 2020
“Two Weapons, a Chase, a Killing and No Charges.
A 25-year-old man running through a Georgia neighborhood ended up dead. A prosecutor argued that the pursuers should not be arrested” @nytimes https://t.co/pJA6kSK6cj
15. April 28, 202015 of 43
16. May 5, 202016 of 43
17. May 5, 202017 of 43
18. May 7, 202018 of 43
19. May 8, 202019 of 43
20. May 8, 2020
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On what would have been his 26th birthday, people were jogging 2.23 miles in his honor to signify the date he was killed by Gregory and Travis McMichael, who racially profiled and shot the jogger in Brunswick, Georgia. #IrunwithMaud #IRunwithAhmaudhttps://t.co/V2KuBaeKjx— NewsOne (@newsone) May 9, 2020
21. May 9, 2020Source:Getty 21 of 43
22. May 10, 202022 of 43
23. May 11, 2020
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Another huge WIN for #JusticeForAhmaud! At the family’s demand— a special prosecutor will replace Tom Durden the S. GA prosecutor that sat on the case until video of Ahmaud’s murder was leaked. Joyette Holmes is out of @cobbcountygovt. Her office is being reviewed for conflicts. pic.twitter.com/rcuQ7UPOfE— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) May 11, 2020
24. May 12, 2020Source:Twitter 24 of 43
25. May 13, 2020
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“Ahmaud, I am so sorry. I should have stopped them,” reads the note. “I am so sorry.” The card was not signed by a name and no more information or context was provided, including when the card was left there. https://t.co/nzzY5aNple— NewsOne (@newsone) May 14, 2020
26. May 14, 2020Source:Getty 26 of 43
27. May 18, 2020
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Because this story wasn't bad enough now we discover Lindsay McMichael, the daughter and sister of Ahmaud Arbery’s alleged killers, posted a picture of Ahmaud’s deceased body to snapchat pic.twitter.com/RwTwzrAXAG— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) May 19, 2020
28. May 18, 202028 of 43
29. May 20, 2020Source:Getty 29 of 43
30. May 20, 2020
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Today, the GA Congressional Delegation co-signed a letter to U.S. AG William Barr and Asst AG Eric Dreiband, encouraging the use of “all possible Federal resources to achieve full justice, transparency, and accountability in the case of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery.” https://t.co/8FcMZEEKWF— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) May 20, 2020
31. May 21, 2020Source:WJAX 31 of 43
32. May 25, 2020
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NEW: Attorneys for Ahmaud Arbery's parents announce that the Department of Justice will be investigating Arbery's killing and why it took so long to arrest the people responsible. See their statement here: pic.twitter.com/yfcnrT5SjV— Hayley Mason (@HayleyMasonTV) May 26, 2020
33. June 2020
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Reports of a photo op with the president or standing with the White House during the EO signing are false.— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) June 16, 2020
Show me the civil rights leaders who are upset about families making a direct appeal for federal intervention after the murder of their loved one & I’ll show you a clown. pic.twitter.com/GXR5arB8Mz
34. June 17, 2020Source:WJAX 34 of 43
35. November 2020Source:Getty 35 of 43
36. December 2020
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William ‘Roddie’ Bryan tried to publicly absolve himself of having any part in Ahmaud Arbery’s modern-day lynching, but this newly released bodycam footage confirms what we long suspected: He clearly used his truck to block Ahmaud's escape from the McMichaels! pic.twitter.com/UAms4LYS28— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 15, 2020
37. January 2021Source:Getty 37 of 43
38. February 2021Source:Getty 38 of 43
39. Feb. 23, 2021Source:Getty 39 of 43
40. April 2021Source:Getty 40 of 43
41. May 2021Source:Getty 41 of 43
42. September 2021
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This is the mugshot of disgraced District Attorney Jackie Johnson who was just arrested today for her role in the coverup of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. pic.twitter.com/OKF2xKkV3Z— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) September 8, 2021
43. October 2021Source:Getty 43 of 43
5 Ways Climate Change Directly Affects Black People was originally published on newsone.com