Over the course of this past year while building this website to fight climate change and save our environment, the focus of our nation has abruptly changed. Addressing the national mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, the ensuing economic disaster and, in the last eleven weeks since the police killing of George Floyd, police brutality have become central. There is but one thread that binds these human crises together at the same time: systemic racism.
Black, Latino and Indian communities suffer disproportionately four and five times the COVID-19 hospitalization rates compared to non-Hispanic white populations.
Key Findings in COVID-19 research released earlier this month finds that Black Americans have suffered 65.8 deaths per 100,000 population while white Americans have experienced 28.5 deaths per 100,000.
Black and brown unemployment and the accompanying loss of health insurance ranges consistently higher than white unemployment throughout our nation. Not only are blacks disproportionately harassed, arrested and imprisoned by police forces throughout our country, they are also killed out in the open before the world in front of smartphone cameras disproportionately and in greater numbers.
As we start our second year at 10001ways.com, it is now clearer than ever that to save our environment and fight climate change means to tirelessly work for “Climate Justice.” And climate justice is racial justice.
In less than three months of continual protests, there have been demonstrations in at least 1,700 places of all sizes across all 50 states demanding change and police accountability. Many cities and states have passed police reforms including the banning of chokeholds, banning the use of “no knock” warrants, and enforcing the use of body cameras during protests and increased transparency. Fewer have importantly decreased police funding and required de-escalation. Much more needs to be done.
“Climate justice” and “environmental justice” are phrases used to define climate change as a political, moral and ethical issue rather than one that is only environmental, biological or physical. The mal consequences of climate change do not affect all communities equally. An important corollary issue associated with environmental justice is that those who are least responsible for global warming suffer its worst consequences.