A new report released by Puget Sound Sage and Got Green, based on interviews with 175 residents and 30 organizations, reveals that the poor and people of color are often hit first and worst by the impacts of climate change. The report also affirms that affordable housing has much to do with climate change. Considering low-income and colored communities often face health barriers, this would lay an added burden on them. Health professionals are well aware of the inequities of care. At the very least, let's try our best to ensure we limit the encroachment of climate impacts on these populations. Through Climate for Health, medical professionals are organizing to address these climate concerns and limit their outcomes. As the Seattle Weekly News puts it in the article below, "It's not just the traditional green groups that are brainstorming about climate solutions anymore: It's also people who care about gentrification, and affordable housing, and food. (Read: most people)." Join us.
By Sara Bernard I March 15 2016
It may seem like a leap. But that's what a glossy new study, developed by environmental justice nonprofits Got Green? and Puget Sound Sage, suggests: It uses a whole bunch of community feedback to underscore the relationship between low-income communities of color and the risks of climate change here in Seattle.
And it argues that, yes, the price of housing has everything to do with the climate.
That's because the more expensive Seattle becomes, the more likely low-income workers are to move to the outskirts and commute long, carbon-spewing hours, often with fewer public transit options. As 40 percent of Seattle's carbon emissions come from road transportation, the report argues, battling gentrification and displacement is also a way to battle climate change.
And because low-income communities of color are the ones living in the parts of Seattle most likely to see major flooding in the coming decades – huge swathes of the Duwamish River Valley could be completely underwater by 2100, according to an analysis by Seattle Public Utilities – questions about affordability, equity, race, and climate impacts are all intertwined.
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