Friday, December 17, 2010

Why blacks may be biggest victims of climate change

Repost from The Grio. See brief excerpts:

Heat waves, sea level rise and droughts are among the threats climate change's impacts pose around the globe.

But climate change also poses unique dangers to cities, and experts believe the disadvantaged, poor and elderly will bear the brunt of the crisis if it's not abated.


Urban climate change is a critical issue for African-Americans. The five states that have the highest African-American populations -- New York, Florida, Georgia, Texas and California -- are all home to sprawling metropolitan areas and are vulnerable to coastal climate-related stress. In addition, blacks have the highest poverty rate of any race in the U.S., with nearly 26 percent of African-Americans living in poverty, compared to 14 percent of the rest of the country, according to the U.S. Census.

Poorer residents are less capable of fleeing climate-stressed neighborhoods. And although Hurricane Katrina wasn't climate change-related, some climate experts have likened the fallout from the 2005 storm as an example of what could happen to underprivileged city residents in the future.

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