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Climate Change

Nonrenewable Power Strikes Hardest At “The Least Of Us” (VIDEOS)

Want to do something big for the environment when it comes to nonrenewable (aka “dirty”) power? You have about 10 days left to comment on the nation’s Clean Power Plan, as presented by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this year.


The thing about dirty power is that it costs. The recent midterm elections have increased pessimism about environmental progress in many areas and intensified denial from those who do not understand the potential of climate change.

However, this next 10 days also give Americans the best chance we’ve had in a long time to take advantage of the opportunity to reduce climate pollution at its major source—utilities that produce pollution and nonrenewable power from toxic fossil fuels.

It’s also a time when lawyers and physicians have begun to highlight the disproportionate impacts of polluting power plants on those who can least afford another setback. They’re talking about the very young, seniors, and those who live in low-income communities and communities of color.

Abigail Dillen, Vice President of Litigation for Climate & Energy at Earthjustice, says: “The need to take immediate action on global warming could not be any clearer.”

@Earthjustice’s Abigail Dillen on how climate action is a human right. #ActOnClimate! from Earthjustice on Vimeo.

Consider some of the inequities in the profile of climate change effects:

  • Increasing droughts, wildfires, floods, severe storms, and the like have already been identified as most threatening to vulnerable individuals and communities.
  • Asthma and allergy attacks are rising in communities within smokestack range—such as those housing 40% of America’s Latino population.
  • Severe heat waves are becoming more common and causing increased illness and death, especially in outdoor workers and high-risk groups.
  • Increasing incidece of autism and other developmental issues have been linked to coal pollution.
  • Rising food prices from longer, more severe droughts, and changes in the water regime hit those with fixed or low incomes the hardest.
  • Fostered by warmer temperatures, insects, rodents, and pathogens worsen our ability to combat disease, which has the greatest potential for disaster in crowded communities.

“We demand common-sense limits on carbon pollution—and we want them to be strong,” say advocates of human rights during this period of climate uncertainty.

At the Earthjustice organization, a four-star charity, civic and professional leaders like the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. (President & CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus), Dr. Elena V. Rios (President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association), and Mark Magana (President of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change & Green Latinos) are speaking their minds about injustice perpetrated by nonrenewable power and the resulting existence of climate change. And they believe solutions to both the climate problems and the persistent inequities are within reach.

Access their perspectives here. The organization also urges citizens to speak up to the EPA during its official comment period on the new power plant rules. You can contact EPA about it directly through this Earthjustice link.

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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


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