Climate change impacts our lives threatening our health and the economy. I’ve spent years focusing on how environmental impacts affect us and recent reports like the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment Report have loudly rung an alarm bell for me. These reports and the scientists behind them have told us in no uncertain terms that extreme weather is taking a toll on our homes, our businesses, our communities, and our lives.
The White House and the Obama administration started down the path of solving this problem last June when the President announced his plan to tackle climate change. And this June, one of the most important phases of his climate change plan will be released: EPA’s proposal to cut emissions from the existing power plants that burn coal, and are the largest single source of carbon pollution.
Health experts are very concerned about the impacts of rising temperatures due to extreme heat, which kills more every year than hurricanes, tornadoes and all other disasters combined. In addition to that we know that warmer temperatures contribute to smog. Of course, this is also a tremendous problem for Latinos who already live in large numbers in areas that fail to meet air pollution standards regularly. Repeated inflammation of lungs due to this type of pollution in the air can cause long-term damage. When you’re looking at Latinos who work in large numbers in agriculture, landscaping, and construction – this is a huge risk.
Perhaps this is why Latinos are so ready to act. In a December 2013 poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Latino Decisions, we found that 9 out of 10 Latinos in the U.S. support the government taking action to tackle carbon pollution and to fight climate change; 8 out of 10 want the President to take action. So this is the time for us as Latinos, as Americans, to take action and let the EPA say we need to stop the completely unregulated dumping of carbon pollution into our atmosphere. EPA has an opportunity to do this next week. We need everybody to join the call to say it’s time to do more to protect our loved ones and our communities from harm.
Many Latinos came to this country, whether generations ago or just recently, to build a better life. We still believe in the strength of this country and the American dream. Taking carbon pollution out of the atmosphere and controlling climate change is a critical step towards realizing that dream and building that better life and preserving what we have built.
We will be eagerly watching for EPA’s proposal and working to make sure it gets us there. Visit NRDC or Voces and take action today.