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Climate Change hammering People of Color

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People of Color Already Hit Hardest by Climate Change

Steven Hsieh writing for The Nation highlights the race disparity that exists in the USA when it comes to pollution.

Sixty-eight percent of African-Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant, the zone of maximum exposure to pollutants that cause an array of ailments, from heart disease to birth defects. Communities of color breathe in nearly 40 percent more polluted air than whites. African-American children are three times as likely to suffer an asthma attack.

The NAACP launched its Climate Justice Initiative address the stark numbers head on. Working in conjunction with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Indigenous Environmental Network, the Initiative published “Coal-Blooded: Putting Profits Before People” in 2012, which evaluated the impact of 378 coal-fired power plants on communities along racial and economic lines. “Just Energy Policies: Reducing Pollution and Creating Jobs,” released in December, looked at the energy policies of all fifty states through a civil rights lens.

The article continues with an interview of Jacqueline Patterson, executive director of the NAACP’s Climate Justice Initiative. She explains why people of color are affected more than others by climate change and the weather disasters associated with global warming. She also talks about the benefits of cleaner energy on communities of color.

Your work explores the importance of making sure benefits from clean energy are equitable and reach communities of color. Could you talk a little bit about that?

We talked earlier about how 68 percent of African-Americans live within thirty miles of a coal-fired power plant and other frontline communities, such as indigenous Native American communities and Latino communities, are also right in the smog zones of these facilities. Just transitioning to a more energy-efficient economy and clean energy economy would benefit those communities in terms of having clean air to breathe, clean water to drink and clean land to live on. In addition to that, we also want to make sure that those communities are in decision-making spaces as we develop this economy, as well as revenue-generating positions. African-Americans spent $41 million on energy in 2009, but only 1 percent of African-Americans were in energy jobs and less than 1 percent of revenue in the energy sector was earned by African-Americans. Whatever room there is for estimation on either side of those statistics, they’re still fairly stark in saying not only are we being negatively impacted by the current fossil-fuel dominated portfolio, we’re also not even benefiting from the revenue or jobs in that sector, nor are we in positions of being able to have input in how those sectors advance and roll out.

As we transition to a new-energy economy, we need frontline communities, not just communities of color but also low-income communities, to be working in decision-making and revenue-generating positions within the industry.

Read all the article: People of Color are Already Getting Hit the  Hardest by Climate Change 

(photo credit NYC International Socialist Organization)

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  • #Environmental Justice #global warming #People of Color
  • 17 hours ago
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New Post has been published on Peterson Toscano

New Post has been published on

The Climate Stew is Ready!

After weeks of preparation, the Climate Stew Team and I are ready to present to the world our NEW WEBSITE and the Climate Stew Podcast.

We take global warming seriously, but don’t scare the snot out of you. Explore your role on a new planet with Climate Stew.

At Climate Stew we will look at global warming with a fresh, cheeky approach though our blog and podcast. We are considering lots of lenses through which we can view climate change. How is it a queer issue? An issue that already concerns people of color? A faith issue? We see it so much more than simply a scientific and policy issue. And we also feel hope. We seek out hope. We plan on sharing that  hope along with our fears and how we are facing them.

Oh, and humor too. We try to be funny when we can. We need to relax our tensed up, terrified brains, so that we can think critically and face the future together.

Check out the first episode of the podcast (only 13 minutes and transcript included) In it:

  • We talk about coffee mmmmmmm
  • I explain why on earth I am marching for climate change (a humorous essay where I reveal I am rubbish as an environmentalist)
  • and you will hear: This Day in Climate History: A radio broadcast from the future that revisits the past to help us respond to climate change in the present.

We also have GREAT music.

Welcome to Climate Stew. Please visit and share us with your friends.

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  • 2 days ago
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Stay in Touch. Sign up

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Sign Up for the Peterson Newsletter

About four times a year I will send out a newsletter updating folks about the work I’m doing, my tour schedule, and a special note that might be inspirational and hopefully will be entertaining. I hope the short newsletter will be filled with sass, snark, and substance. Also, find out what is happening with my gorgeous and clever husband and his writing projects.

Subscribe to my Peterson Newsletter!

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  • 2 days ago
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It’s time to play your part

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Wisdom from Walt Whitman

The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

-Walt Whitman. Hat tip to Queer Theology.

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  • #Walt Whitman
  • 4 days ago
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Before you March for Climate—get a shot of queer

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Peoples Climate March Teach-In: Queer Response to Global Warming

  • How on earth is Global Climate Change a Queer Issue?

  • How are LGBTQ folks specially positioned to creatively consider Global Warming and develop strategies for addressing it?

  • What will your role be on a new planet?

A Queer Response to Climate Change

Saturday, September 20, 2014 10:45-12:15 PM

Empire College Room 625

325 Hudson Street    NY, NY 10013

Nancy Wilson Nancy Wilson

J Mase III J Mase III

image Peterson Toscano

Jarrett Lucas Jarrett Lucas

Nancy Wilson, with 40 years experience faithfully and thoughtfully addressing social justice concerns, along with Peterson Toscano, a queer comic performance artist and off-beat climate comic, and  J Mase iii, a Black/Trans/Queer/Rowdy-as-Hell Poet with a capital [P], team up to offer a presentation that is guaranteed to expand your thinking, give you hope, and provide direction for you and your community in the face of big changes on our little planet. Jarrett Lucas, executive director of the Stonewall Community Foundation, will also join in as an expert facilitator.

In this interactive workshop (with some performance thrown in) explore what your role might be on a new planet. We will consider social justice in response to crisis–like with climate change, the HIV/AIDS crisis, and hate crimes. We will examine and discuss how understanding the overlapping intersections of race, class, gender, and ability is essential in developing actions that protect human rights.  Learn how LGBTQ folks communities already have experiences and resources to draw on in the midst of our current and growing climate crisis. Learn, contribute, grow. It’s time for the ultimate makeover!


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  • 5 days ago
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It’s not just for sissies: Homo No Mo Halfway House

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Thursday Throwback: Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House

Fun fact: I spent 17 years and over $30,00o on three continents trying to de-gay myself. This failed sexual re-orientation odyssey including ex-gay support groups, exorcisms to drive out the demons of homosexuality, and a two-year stint in the notorious Love in Action gay conversion therapy camp in Memphis, TN.

I lived to tell my tale (and to settle down in a delightful relationship with the man I love) and found that I needed humor to get a grip on the madness that nearly destroyed me. It’s been 12 years since I first sat down to write Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House. I do not perform the play any longer, but you can watch it for yourself. I play nine different characters and give you a personal tour of the Homo No Mo Halfway House. You will discover many things about this ex-gay boot camp, including why they can boldly declare: Yes, we have no bananas.

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  • #ex-gay #ex-gay survivor #performance #Video
  • 5 days ago