Monday, September 01, 2008

Race, Climate Change and Green Jobs

I just recieved an email from Madeline who posts to the itsgettinghotinhere contributors list, so thanks to her for the heads up on a recent report. The post that Madeline instigated at the aforementioned blog is here. The report that she was highlighting is "A Climate of Change
African Americans, Global Warming, and a Just Climate Policy for the U.S

For my part i am sypathetic with the reports aims, i see the importance of the discussion and i hope people get involved in developing this sythesis of environmental and racial politics. This non-traditional combination reminded me of a recent post of mine addressing a non to uncommon argument about weather climate change is bein hijacked in the UK by idealogues with an agenda or weather real workable solutions require radical political shifts.

I would broaden my approach to climate change if either: 1. It became apparent that my values, the reasons for which i care about climate change, are substantially effected by other issues. A systemic treatment and an approach that resolved both issues would then make sense. 2. It became apparent that dealing with climate change required dealing with a broader set of issues not for reasons of idealogical concistancy but of pragmatism.

A report connecting race and climate change in the US certainly relates to option 1 for me. I look forward to reading the whole report and finding out what it has to say about option 2. Are there solutions to climate change that ignore the race problem?

Here are three of the report findings which give some hint of the answer:

"Sound global warming policy is also economic and racial justice policy. Successfully adopting a sound global warming policy will do as much to strengthen the economies of low-income communities and communities of color as any other currently plausible stride toward economic

Climate policies that best serve African Americans also best serve a just and strong United States. This paper shows that policies well-designed to benefi t African Americans
also provide the most benefi t to all people in the U.S. Climate policies that best serve African Americans and other disproportionately aff ected communities also best serve global economic and environmental justice.

Domestic reductions in global warming pollution and support for such reductions in developing nations fi nancedby polluter-pays principles provide the greatest benefi toAfrican Americans, the peoples of Africa, and people across the Global South."

One of the key ties between green growth and alleviation of the poverty expierianced by african americans is urban development and in perticular green collar jobs.

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