Sunday night owls: When will mainstream environmental groups realize how green Latinos are?
Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
At Grist, Yvette Cabrera writes—Why being green comes naturally to U.S. Latinos:
[...] “In the United States too often we think that ‘environmentalist’ means the person who is driving in that electric vehicle, when in fact we neglect the 20 people who are riding in the bus,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — the first Latino to hold his position — said during a speech at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. “Hard-working people around the globe, people of modest means like my parents, are some of the best conservationists in the world because they can’t afford not to be.”
Becerra grew up in a working-class Sacramento household where his parents, Mexican immigrants, taught him frugality as a way of life.“Hard-working people are the ones telling their kids, ‘Apaga la luz! Turn off that light when you leave that room!’” Becerra continued at the summit. “They’re the ones that say, ‘Clean up that plate. Don’t serve yourself more than you can eat. It’s too precious.”
In an interview with Grist, Becerra recalled that many of the conservation lessons he learned during his childhood were driven by economic need. His family couldn’t afford to stay in hotels when they visited relatives in Guadalajara, so his parents invested in a camper shell for the family pick-up truck, which doubled as a place to sleep and eat for the family of six. Becerra learned to cook on a tiny portable stove, create as little garbage as possible, and identify yerba buena (mint) and té de limón (lemongrass) plants, which Mexicans use to cure stomach aches and other ailments. “At the end of the day, you find that out of necessity you become really good stewards of the land,” said Becerra.
This thriftiness of working-class families translates into energy-saving behavior: In the United States, low-income households generally use about one-fifth the energy of their wealthier counterparts, Becerra pointed out. And in California, where almost 40 percent of the population is Latino, the average carbon footprint is nearly 50 percent less than the average American’s. In Becerra’s view, California’s diverse working class represents “our best environmentalists.”
Yet despite having a smaller carbon footprint, these communities don’t enjoy the full benefits of their energy-saving practices — in part because they often live near industrial facilities, heavily-trafficked corridors, or contaminated Superfund sites. Latinos and African Americans across California disproportionately live in communities overburdened by pollution. More than 18 percent of the state’s Latinos and 17 percent of African Americans live in one of the top 10 percent most pollution-burdened communities, compared to less than 3 percent of white state residents. [...]
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TWEET OF THE DAY
xPresident Truman in 1945: Ã¢ÂÂPeople with low or moderate incomes do not get the same medical attention as those with high incomes. The poor have more sickness, but they get less medical care.« https://t.co/xQzeK0kZ3e— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) February 23, 2020
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—Americans believe war will increase terror:
Bush Co. and its media and warblogging cabal argue that taking out Saddam will help the nation combat the terrorism threat. However, the public isn't buying it. In the latest CBS News poll, 59 percent of respondents believed war would lead to more terrorism in the US. Only 12 percent thought it would lower the threat.
In addition, 60 percent of all respondents, and 40 percent of Republicans, think the US should wait for UN approval before invading.
Not that Bush will heed poll results, but it does indicate that he will place this nation at war without the full and enthusiastic backing of the people—a reality that may bear consequences down the road.
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