Friday, September 19, 2008

Clyburn, Climate Change, and African Americans

Well, I'll be darned. You live and learn, as they say. How many of you, by a show of hands, knew that global warming disproportionately impacts African Americans above all other people? Show of hands? *Crickets* Yeah, that's what I thought. Thank heavens I have my representative, Jim Clyburn (aka, "Backstabber") to tell me these things. Otherwise, I would be living under the delusion that global warming affects ALL of us. But what do I know?

In this article, House Majority Whip: Climate Change Hurts Blacks More can tell you all about it), Rep. Clyburn said:
“It is critical our community be an integral and active part of the debate because African-Americans are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change economically, socially and through our health and well-being.”

Well, okey dokey then. On what did Clyburn base this assertion, one he used to help "launch the Commission to Engage African-Americans on Climate Change, a project of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies"? That would be one prepared by an organization entitled Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC). This group:
"claims African-Americans are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. EJCC describes itself as a “climate justice” advocacy group.

“Though far less responsible for climate change, African-Americans are significantly more vulnerable to its effects than non-Hispanic whites,” the report says. “Health, housing, economic well-being, culture, and social stability are harmed from such manifestations of climate change as storms, floods, and climate variability.

“African-Americans are also more vulnerable to higher energy bills, unemployment, recessions caused by global energy price shocks, and a greater economic burden from military operations designed to protect the flow of oil to the U.S,” it says.

Hmmm. Now, I agree that, "health, housing, economic well-being," etc., etc. are impacted by global warming, and while there is no doubt that many in the wake of Katrina were African American, especially in New Orleans, they were not, by any stretch, the only people affected by that hurricane. They were not the only ones who lost homes, jobs, family, pets, and location as a result. I hasten to add, I am in NO way diminishing the horrors that many in New Orleans and other areas in the Gulf Coast experienced during Katrina (or Gustav, or Ike, for that matter), absolutely not. I just wonder at extrapolating from that event to such a broad statement. But it seems like that is exactly what happened:
The commission Clyburn helped launch claims Hurricane Katrina’s impact on New Orleans was a preview of how global warming will affect African-Americans.

“[W]hile individual storms cannot be linked specifically to climate change, scientists warn that warmer waters may foster-more intense storms,” the background paper on the commission’s efforts, authored by Michel Gelobter, Carla Peterman and Azebuilke Akaba said. “The flooding of New Orleans still highlights the vulnerability of the African-American community to types of extreme weather events expected with global climate change.”

Uh huh. I agree absolutely that warmer weather will foster more, and more INTENSE storms - I do live on the SC coast, after all. I am well aware. And I am certainly aware that with ANY of these big storms, it is hard for middle/upper middle class people to leave when things get bad, thus MUCH harder for people who are in a lower economic bracket. No doubt about that. And, no doubt that will include African Americans. And Hispanics, who comprise a larger part of the population than African Americans, by the way. I know that the majority of migrant farmworkers in this area are Hispanic. I am pretty sure that is the case in FL, another state frequently hit by hurricanes. And Caucasians live there, here, in LA, TX, MS...I'm just sayin'.

And another thing I find to be surprising in this report is this: HOW is it that African Americans are not as much to blame as all the rest of us for global warming? I mean, they drive cars, warm/cool their homes, and all of that just like the rest of us do, right? But somehow, they are not as much to blame for it as the rest of us? Please tell me if I am missing something here. I just find that claim to be a bit of a stretch.

And really - in all the world, US African Americans are hit HARDEST by global warming? REALLY? More than, say, China, or Pakistan or Afghanistan or Bangladesh or India that have been hit HARD by monsoons? Yeah. Okay.

There's a little more to the study:
But the goals of environmental and race activists don’t include allowing investors to earn the benefits of putting their money into proposed solutions.

J. Andrew Hoerner, director of the sustainable economics program at Redefining Progress and a co-author of the EJCC report, told the Business & Media Institute that solutions to climate change should be designed in a way so investors don’t reap all the benefits.

“There is a certain disconnect between what is good for workers, consumers, managers, and the economy on one hand and stockholders on the other,” Hoerner said. “We found that the combination of efficient market instruments, return of the revenue, cost-effective promotion of new clean technologies and efficiency, and targeted policies for low-income households grows the economy. It increases employment and profits overall, and provides a net benefit for consumers.”

The report suggested implementing a “fee, tax or allowance auction on polluters,” which was meant to “eliminate the financial burden on low-income and moderate-income households.” This would pay for efforts to reduce global warming. Hoerner said that although it would cause product costs to increase, under his policy, the revenue from the “fee, tax, or allowance auction payment” would be redistributed to consumers to offset the higher costs.

“However, this increase in profits may be smaller than the windfall to stockholders if allowances are given away for free, even though this windfall is partially offset by higher product prices, lower sales, lower production and lower profits on the firm’s output, exclusive of the value of the allowances,” Hoerner continued. “Most businesses are energy consumers, not producers, and their interests lie with household energy consumers.”

Oh, boy. Read those last two paragraphs again. Sounds like it might be a hard sell to me - on all counts.

(If you are interested, go check out this organization: The Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative Go to the "About Us" or whatever it's called section. I am not implying anything untoward about this organization at all - And here is the address for Redefining Progress.)


Texas said...

Rabble, (I'm kinda tired of RRRA, any objections?)

I received another Obama e-mail today to which I had to respond. Well, not respond exactly. I rewrote it in satirical style.

I had to post at FR again, NQ didn't post it.

Camp Obama is going to game the general election. It's happening again. I'm physically sick. I'm seriously considering standing outside the polls on Nov 4th with my video camera to document the process.

I sent the original Obama e-mail to Peniel and Dr. Long. Pen said that she expected this and told me alot more about what they (Team Obama) have planned. Hopefully, Lynette can get it in front of McCain and maybe he can tell us how to counter their efforts.


Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, Tex!

Absolutely no objections - you can call me Amy, too, you know! ;-)

Oh, that was a FUNNY piece! I tell you - I am CERTAIN people don't know this is for real - the ObamaCamp thing. How freakin' scary is THAT???

GOOD for you for contacting Peniel and Dr. Long. I really, really hope Dr. Long can get this in front of McCain. I think this is really dangerous - it is truly CULTISH, don't you think?


Texas said...

I read this article last night about Obama's relationship with Ayers. There are multiple parts to the article.

After experiencing what I did at the caucuses and knowing what Camp Obama is really about, this article struck a nerve with me.

The author suggests that the structure of Obama's campaign is exactly that of Ayers' Maoist-style revolutionary tactics of local "offices" all over the U.S. to indoctrinate workers. No other political campaign has ever been run that way.

I hope McCain is paying attention to Camp Obama. It's dangerous.

Pen said that she and Lynette are working on an article together about feminism. Keep an eye out for it, it'll be good.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks for the link, Tex! I am just constantly amazed that the media has done SO little on Ayers! Even my brother made a dismissive remark abt their relationship, using Obama's line that he was only 8 when Ayers bombed the Capitol. I said, that's true, but they have worked together closely for a long time, and Ayers said post-9/11 he wished he had combed more places. Completely unrepentant, that one. My brother didn't have much to say after that - you know how it is - the Obama followers don't want facts to get in the way of their hopey changey unicorn ride to the rainbow!! Sheesh.

Oh, WOW - I cannot WAIT for that article from Pen and Dr. Long! That should be AWESOME! It will be nice to have a good piece to put up against Steinem's, Enslers, and others (did you hear abt what Sandra Bernhard said recently? It was offensive on SO many levels - wow.).

Have you written abt your experiences at the TX caucuses?

Oh yes - those Camps!! That is just plain crazy - CRAZY!! Can you IMAGINE the hew and cry if the REPUBLICANS did something like that? Dems would be calling them right wing nut jobs who are a bunch of born again crazies or something. SHOCKING.

Thanks for coming by!