CO2 Limits Most Harmful to Low-Income Minorities

The Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative has issued a report that rising temperatures, supposedly from CO2, will hurt American blacks the most.

Blacks are more likely to be hurt by global warming than other Americans, according to a report issued Thursday.

The
report was authored by the Environmental Justice and Climate Change
Initiative, a climate justice advocacy group, and Redefining Progress,
a nonprofit policy institute. It detailed various aspects of climate
change, such as air pollution and rising temperatures, which it said
disproportionately affect blacks, minorities and low-income communities
in terms of poor health and economic loss.

“Right now we have
an opportunity to see climate change in a different light; to see it
for what it is, a human rights issue on a dangerous collision course of
race and class,” said Nia Robinson, director of the Environmental
Justice and Climate Change Initiative. “While it’s an issue that
affects all of us, like many other social justice issues, it is
disproportionately affecting African-Americans, other people of color,
low-income people and indigenous communities.”

Heat-related
deaths among blacks occur at a 150 to 200 percent greater rate than for
non-Hispanic whites, the report said. It also reported that asthma,
which has a strong correlation to air pollution, affects blacks at a 36
percent higher rate of incidence than whites.

Existing
disparities between low-income communities and wealthier ones, such as
high unemployment rates, are exacerbated by such negative effects of
climate change as storms and floods, the report said.

Hmm, no mention of reductions in cold-related deaths, which typically are larger in a given year than heat-related deaths.  But a more serious issue is the CO2-abatement measures this advocacy group supports.  These abatement efforts could easily increase gas prices by as much as $20 a gallon, along with similar increases in electricity and natural gas prices.  In addition, strong CO2 abatement programs are likely to knock a percent or two off economic growth rates and, if ethanol is still a preferred tactic, will likely substantially raise food prices as well.  I am no expert, but I would say that rising gas, electricity, and food prices and falling economic growth are all likely to hit low-income minorities pretty hard. 

CO2 abatement is a wealthy persons cause.  The poor of America and the world at large will be demonstrably worse off in a world that is cooler but poorer.

  • Hud

    Ah yes, but AGW isn’t about science, or economics, or facts, it’s about power, politics and Communism. The “Justice” comes in making us all poor and equally affected.

  • Scientist

    This post is just pure supposition. What is the basis in fact for your claim that fuel prices will rise by 20 USD per gallon? What is the basis in fact for the claim that economic growth will drop by ‘a percent or two’?

    You mention winter excess death rates. Did you know that the correlation between temperature and winter death rate is not very strong at all? The winter excess death rate is higher in the UK than in Norway, and within Europe it’s highest of all in Portugal and Spain. Studies have shown that higher summer temperatures mean more heat deaths, but that higher winter temperatures do not necessarily reduce cold deaths. Here’s one.

  • Matt

    This comment is off-topic, but I couldn’t see a way to email you. I just thought you and your readers might be interested in two of the articles in this recent journal issue…

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/16310713

    I refer to Mouel et al and Usoskin & Kovaltsov.

    Best,
    matt

  • John Galt

    If you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs

    — Joseph Stalin

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Of course GW is detrimental to minorities.

    It’s detrimental to [insert special interest advocacy group constituency here], too. That’s what’s so wonderful about GW – it has created an entire industry of lobbyists. We in the US are in dire need of more lobbyists and lawyers.

    Never mind the economic expense of these misguided policies and people.

  • REJ

    Conclusion from paper referenced by Scientist:

    “Overall death rates are higher in winter than in summer, and it is possible that milder winters could reduce deaths in winter months. However, the relationship between winter weather and mortality is difficult to interpret.”

  • REJ

    Conclusion from paper referenced by Scientist:

    “Overall death rates are higher in winter than in summer, and it is possible that milder winters could reduce deaths in winter months. However, the relationship between winter weather and mortality is difficult to interpret.”

  • REJ

    Conclusion from paper referenced by Scientist:

    “Overall death rates are higher in winter than in summer, and it is possible that milder winters could reduce deaths in winter months. However, the relationship between winter weather and mortality is difficult to interpret.”

  • Hmmmm.

    It seems to me that older people are more susceptible to heat related problems and in order to address that, I propose a significant tax increase to fund a social security increase so that older people can use more air-conditioning which, of course, will require more electric power which will increase the CO2 which will increase the global warming which will require further increases in taxes to support more increases in social security payments.

    Who said there is no positive feedback from CO2?

  • kuhnkat

    PSientist stated:

    “Studies have shown that higher summer temperatures mean more heat deaths, but that higher winter temperatures do not necessarily reduce cold deaths.”

    HIGHER WINTER TEMPERATURES??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • TDK

    HIGHER WINTER TEMPERATURES??

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Given that we are talking about a hypothetically hotter world then both summers AND winters are likely to be warmer. Ergo winter temperatures are likely to be higher than now. I struggle to see why you find that so ridiculous.

    That’s not to validate Scientist’s point. More people do die from excess cold than excess heat. Moreover I imagine a large portion of the latter are caused by the unusualness of the extreme. People expect to wrap up warm in winter but many people are blasé about heat, failing to take even basic precautions such as wearing a sun hat and sun screen. Mad dogs and Englishmen as they say.

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