1. Penn to donate $100 million to Philadelphia school district to help public school children
  2. BLACK ECOLOGIES IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA
  3. WHAT IS “FROM THE SOURCE REPORTING?”
  4. LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
  5. THE ECOWURD SUMMIT LAUNCH
  6. National Geographic Virtual Photo Camp: Earth Stories Aimed to Elevate Indigenous Youth Voices
  7. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2020
  8. TOO MANY NATURAL GAS SPILLS
  9. GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK
  10. BLACK VOTERS ARE THE ECO-VOTERS CLIMATE ACTIVISTS ARE LOOKING FOR
  11. CANNABIS PROFIT & BLACK ECONOMY
  12. THE NATURE GAP
  13. BLACK PEOPLE NEED NATURE
  14. WHAT IS TREEPHILLY?
  15. IS AN OBSCURE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE IN HARRISBURG DOING ENOUGH?
  16. AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM’S RACIST ROOTS
  17. “THERE’S REALLY A LOT OF QUIET SUFFERING OUT THERE
  18. “WE NEED TO GET INTO THE SUPPLY CHAIN”
  19. “AN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW THAT GIVES YOU A VOICE”
  20. URBAN PLANNING AS A TOOL FOR WHITE SUPREMACY
  21. HEAT WAVES REMIND US CLIMATE CHANGE IS STILL HERE
  22. Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
  23. IN PANDEMIC, MAKING SURE PEOPLE EAT & HOW HBCUs HELP
  24. WE’RE NOT DONE, YET – MORE ACCOUNTABILITY IS NEEDED AT THE PES REFINERY SITE
  25. COVID-19 IS LAYING WASTE TO RECYCLING PROGRAMS
  26. THE PHILADELPHIA HEALTH EQUITY GAPS THAT COVID-19 EXPOSED
  27. THE POWER OF NEW HERBALISM
  28. THERE’S NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
  29. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit
  30. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit 2020 Press Release
  31. Too Much Food At Farms, Too Little Food At Stores
  32. THE LINK BETWEEN AIR POLLUTION & COVID-19
  33. CORONAVIRUS REVEALS WHY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS STILL THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME
  34. FROM KATRINA TO CORONAVIRUS, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
  35. COVID-19 SHOWS A BIGGER IMPACT WHERE BLACK PEOPLE LIVE
  36. THE CORONAVIRUS CONVERSATION HAS GOT TO GET A LOT MORE INCLUSIVE THAN THIS
  37. MEDIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE COVERAGE KEEPS BLACK PEOPLE OUT OF IT
  38. “WE DON’T HAVE A CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS”
  39. PHILADELPHIA HAS A FOOD ECONOMY
  40. HOW URBAN AGRICULTURE CAN IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN U.S. CITIES
  41. MAPPING THE LINK BETWEEN INCARCERATION & FOOD INSECURITY
  42. PHILLY’S JAILS ARE, LITERALLY, MAKING PEOPLE SICK
  43. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2019
  44. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit
  45. “We Can’t Breathe: Zulene Mayfield’s Lifelong War with Waste ‘Managers’”
  46. “Is The Black Press Reporting on Environmental Issues?” by David Love
  47. “The Dangerous Connection Between Climate Change & Food” an interview with Jacqueline Patterson and Adrienne Hollis
  48. “An Oil Refinery Explosion That Was Never Isolated” by Charles Ellison
  49. “Philly Should Be Going ‘Community Solar'” an interview w/ PA Rep. Donna Bullock
  50. “Is The Litter Index Enough?” an interview w/ Nic Esposito
  51. “How Sugarcane Fires in Florida Are Making Black People Sick” an interview w/ Frank Biden
  52. Philly Farm Social – Video and Pictures
  53. #PHILLYFARMSOCIAL GETS REAL IN THE FIELD
  54. THE LACK OF DIVERSE LEADERS IN THE GREEN SPACE Environmental Advocacy Organizations – especially the “Big Green” – Really Need More Black & Brown People in Senior Positions
  55. PLASTIC BAG BANS CAN BACKFIRE … WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PLASTICS TO CHOOSE FROM
  56. WE REALLY NEED POLITICAL STRATEGISTS LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE – NOT ACADEMICS
  57. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS IN A MUCH MORE CLIMATIC WORLD
  58. A SMALL GERMANTOWN NON-PROFIT “TRADES FOR A DIFFERENCE”
  59. IS PHILLY BLAMING ITS TRASH & RECYCLING CRISIS ON BLACK PEOPLE?
  60. BUT WHAT DOES THE GREEN NEW DEAL MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE?
  61. HOW GREEN IS PHILLY’S “GREENWORKS” PLAN?
  62. The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy event recap #ecoWURD #phillyisgreen
  63. Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists
  64. RENAMING “GENTRIFICATION”
  65. FOUR GOVERNORS, ONE URBAN WATERSHED IN NEED OF ACTION
  66. JUST HOW BAD IS THE AIR HURTING PHILLY’S BLACK FAMILIES?
  67. EcoWURD Presents:The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy
  68. IF YOU ARE LOW-INCOME OR HOMELESS, THE POLAR VORTEX IS LIKE A FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
  69. NOT JUST FLINT: THE WATER CRISIS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
  70. DO THE TRAINS STOP RUNNING? THE SHUTDOWN’S IMPACT ON MASS TRANSIT
  71. BLACK WOMEN & THE TROUBLE WITH BABY POWDER
  72. A WHITE COLLAR CRIME VICTIMIZING NICETOWN
  73. IN NORTH CAROLINA, CLIMATE CHANGE & VOTER SUPPRESSION WORKED HAND-IN-HAND
  74. LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS WOULD GAIN THE MOST FROM GREEN ROOFS
  75. YOUR OWN HOOD: CLOSING THE GENERATIONAL GREEN DIVIDE IN BLACK PHILADELPHIA
  76. THE PRICE OF WATER: LITERAL & FIGURATIVE THIRST AT WORK
  77. THAT CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT TRUMP DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE? YEAH, WELL, IT’S THE LAW
  78. RACIAL & ETHNIC MINORITIES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO WILDFIRES
  79. NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS Philly Has a Cigarette Butt Problem
  80. HOW SUSTAINABLE CAN PHILLY GET?
  81. USING AFROFUTURISM TO BUILD THE KIND OF WORLD YOU WANT
  82. UNCOVERING PHILLY’S HIDDEN TOXIC DANGERS …
  83. WILL THE ENVIRONMENT DRIVE VOTERS TO THE POLLS? (PART I)
  84. ARE PHILLY SCHOOLS READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?
  85. 🎧 SEPTA CREATES A GAS PROBLEM IN NORTH PHILLY
  86. 🎧 BREAKING THE GREEN RETAIL CEILING
  87. That’s Nasty: The Cost of Trash in Philly
  88. 🎧 How Can You Solarize Philly?
  89. 🎧 “The Environment Should Be an Active, Living Experience”
  90. Philly’s Lead Crisis Is Larger Than Flint’s
  91. Despite What You Heard, Black Millennials Do Care About the Environment
  92. Hurricanes Always Hurt Black Folks the Most
  93. Are You Going to Drink That?
  94. The Origins of ecoWURD
  95. We Seriously Need More Black Climate Disaster Films
  96. 🎧 Why Should Philly Care About a Pipeline?
  97. 🎧 Not Just Hotter Days Ahead… Costly Ones Too
  98. Philly’s Big and Dangerous Hot Mess
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
  1. Penn to donate $100 million to Philadelphia school district to help public school children
  2. BLACK ECOLOGIES IN TIDEWATER VIRGINIA
  3. WHAT IS “FROM THE SOURCE REPORTING?”
  4. LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
  5. THE ECOWURD SUMMIT LAUNCH
  6. National Geographic Virtual Photo Camp: Earth Stories Aimed to Elevate Indigenous Youth Voices
  7. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2020
  8. TOO MANY NATURAL GAS SPILLS
  9. GREEN IS THE NEW BLACK
  10. BLACK VOTERS ARE THE ECO-VOTERS CLIMATE ACTIVISTS ARE LOOKING FOR
  11. CANNABIS PROFIT & BLACK ECONOMY
  12. THE NATURE GAP
  13. BLACK PEOPLE NEED NATURE
  14. WHAT IS TREEPHILLY?
  15. IS AN OBSCURE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE IN HARRISBURG DOING ENOUGH?
  16. AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM’S RACIST ROOTS
  17. “THERE’S REALLY A LOT OF QUIET SUFFERING OUT THERE
  18. “WE NEED TO GET INTO THE SUPPLY CHAIN”
  19. “AN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW THAT GIVES YOU A VOICE”
  20. URBAN PLANNING AS A TOOL FOR WHITE SUPREMACY
  21. HEAT WAVES REMIND US CLIMATE CHANGE IS STILL HERE
  22. Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land
  23. IN PANDEMIC, MAKING SURE PEOPLE EAT & HOW HBCUs HELP
  24. WE’RE NOT DONE, YET – MORE ACCOUNTABILITY IS NEEDED AT THE PES REFINERY SITE
  25. COVID-19 IS LAYING WASTE TO RECYCLING PROGRAMS
  26. THE PHILADELPHIA HEALTH EQUITY GAPS THAT COVID-19 EXPOSED
  27. THE POWER OF NEW HERBALISM
  28. THERE’S NO RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
  29. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit
  30. ecoWURD Earth Day Summit 2020 Press Release
  31. Too Much Food At Farms, Too Little Food At Stores
  32. THE LINK BETWEEN AIR POLLUTION & COVID-19
  33. CORONAVIRUS REVEALS WHY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IS STILL THE CRITICAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME
  34. FROM KATRINA TO CORONAVIRUS, WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
  35. COVID-19 SHOWS A BIGGER IMPACT WHERE BLACK PEOPLE LIVE
  36. THE CORONAVIRUS CONVERSATION HAS GOT TO GET A LOT MORE INCLUSIVE THAN THIS
  37. MEDIA’S CLIMATE CHANGE COVERAGE KEEPS BLACK PEOPLE OUT OF IT
  38. “WE DON’T HAVE A CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS”
  39. PHILADELPHIA HAS A FOOD ECONOMY
  40. HOW URBAN AGRICULTURE CAN IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY IN U.S. CITIES
  41. MAPPING THE LINK BETWEEN INCARCERATION & FOOD INSECURITY
  42. PHILLY’S JAILS ARE, LITERALLY, MAKING PEOPLE SICK
  43. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit 2019
  44. ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit
  45. “We Can’t Breathe: Zulene Mayfield’s Lifelong War with Waste ‘Managers’”
  46. “Is The Black Press Reporting on Environmental Issues?” by David Love
  47. “The Dangerous Connection Between Climate Change & Food” an interview with Jacqueline Patterson and Adrienne Hollis
  48. “An Oil Refinery Explosion That Was Never Isolated” by Charles Ellison
  49. “Philly Should Be Going ‘Community Solar'” an interview w/ PA Rep. Donna Bullock
  50. “Is The Litter Index Enough?” an interview w/ Nic Esposito
  51. “How Sugarcane Fires in Florida Are Making Black People Sick” an interview w/ Frank Biden
  52. Philly Farm Social – Video and Pictures
  53. #PHILLYFARMSOCIAL GETS REAL IN THE FIELD
  54. THE LACK OF DIVERSE LEADERS IN THE GREEN SPACE Environmental Advocacy Organizations – especially the “Big Green” – Really Need More Black & Brown People in Senior Positions
  55. PLASTIC BAG BANS CAN BACKFIRE … WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER PLASTICS TO CHOOSE FROM
  56. WE REALLY NEED POLITICAL STRATEGISTS LEADING ON CLIMATE CHANGE – NOT ACADEMICS
  57. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS IN A MUCH MORE CLIMATIC WORLD
  58. A SMALL GERMANTOWN NON-PROFIT “TRADES FOR A DIFFERENCE”
  59. IS PHILLY BLAMING ITS TRASH & RECYCLING CRISIS ON BLACK PEOPLE?
  60. BUT WHAT DOES THE GREEN NEW DEAL MEAN FOR BLACK PEOPLE?
  61. HOW GREEN IS PHILLY’S “GREENWORKS” PLAN?
  62. The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy event recap #ecoWURD #phillyisgreen
  63. Bike-friendly cities should be designed for everyone, not just for wealthy white cyclists
  64. RENAMING “GENTRIFICATION”
  65. FOUR GOVERNORS, ONE URBAN WATERSHED IN NEED OF ACTION
  66. JUST HOW BAD IS THE AIR HURTING PHILLY’S BLACK FAMILIES?
  67. EcoWURD Presents:The Future of Work in Philly’s Green Economy
  68. IF YOU ARE LOW-INCOME OR HOMELESS, THE POLAR VORTEX IS LIKE A FORM OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
  69. NOT JUST FLINT: THE WATER CRISIS IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
  70. DO THE TRAINS STOP RUNNING? THE SHUTDOWN’S IMPACT ON MASS TRANSIT
  71. BLACK WOMEN & THE TROUBLE WITH BABY POWDER
  72. A WHITE COLLAR CRIME VICTIMIZING NICETOWN
  73. IN NORTH CAROLINA, CLIMATE CHANGE & VOTER SUPPRESSION WORKED HAND-IN-HAND
  74. LOW-INCOME NEIGHBORHOODS WOULD GAIN THE MOST FROM GREEN ROOFS
  75. YOUR OWN HOOD: CLOSING THE GENERATIONAL GREEN DIVIDE IN BLACK PHILADELPHIA
  76. THE PRICE OF WATER: LITERAL & FIGURATIVE THIRST AT WORK
  77. THAT CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT TRUMP DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SEE? YEAH, WELL, IT’S THE LAW
  78. RACIAL & ETHNIC MINORITIES ARE MORE VULNERABLE TO WILDFIRES
  79. NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTTS Philly Has a Cigarette Butt Problem
  80. HOW SUSTAINABLE CAN PHILLY GET?
  81. USING AFROFUTURISM TO BUILD THE KIND OF WORLD YOU WANT
  82. UNCOVERING PHILLY’S HIDDEN TOXIC DANGERS …
  83. WILL THE ENVIRONMENT DRIVE VOTERS TO THE POLLS? (PART I)
  84. ARE PHILLY SCHOOLS READY FOR CLIMATE CHANGE?
  85. 🎧 SEPTA CREATES A GAS PROBLEM IN NORTH PHILLY
  86. 🎧 BREAKING THE GREEN RETAIL CEILING
  87. That’s Nasty: The Cost of Trash in Philly
  88. 🎧 How Can You Solarize Philly?
  89. 🎧 “The Environment Should Be an Active, Living Experience”
  90. Philly’s Lead Crisis Is Larger Than Flint’s
  91. Despite What You Heard, Black Millennials Do Care About the Environment
  92. Hurricanes Always Hurt Black Folks the Most
  93. Are You Going to Drink That?
  94. The Origins of ecoWURD
  95. We Seriously Need More Black Climate Disaster Films
  96. 🎧 Why Should Philly Care About a Pipeline?
  97. 🎧 Not Just Hotter Days Ahead… Costly Ones Too
  98. Philly’s Big and Dangerous Hot Mess

By Charles Ellison | ecoWURD Managing Editor

It’s not only been a summer season (now autumn) of a deadly pandemic, toxic politics, and social unrest, but the nation has been rocked by a non-stop series of environmental calamities triggered by the human-pressed climate crisis. Hurricane Sally was a destructive slow moving mix of high winds and epic flooding battering the Gulf Coast and other parts of the South. That was after Hurricane Laura and ahead of an unprecedented number of cyclones forming in the Atlantic for what’s building up into one of the most active – if not the most active – hurricane season on record. The entire West Coast is either, literally, on fire or under a blanket of choking smoke from the said fire. This summer was the fourth hottest on record, with nights no longer cooler and city neighborhoods burning up due to little shade, too little tree canopy and still lots of pollution. Meanwhile, glaciers the size of whole states are rapidly melting in the global poles, raising sea levels and destabilizing weather patterns.

 

When these climate catastrophes strike in the United States, it is the nation’s Black people that are hit the hardest – while lacking the resources and social mobility to confront them. More than a quarter of the Black population in the U.S. live in the Gulf Coast states constantly hit by hurricanes, not to mention the large concentrations of Black communities in other East Coast states hit by massive flooding. They’re also living in “urban heat island” spaces that are up to 20 degrees warmer than normal, making them twice as likely to die from heat than Whites. Exposure to bad air and water quality are rampant in Black communities that are daily punished by environmental injustice by zip code. We’ll become more aware of this as fires throughout places like California and Oregon, for example, reveal high rates of permanent respiratory illnesses among Black people, especially those who do not have the economic means to move away from those areas.

 

This is all aggravated by an unmitigated blend of systematically racist designs and generations of redlined public policy. The coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted and killed so many Black people in the U.S., is one monstrous byproduct of the racist geographic burdens placed on Black communities. As researchers J.T. Roane and Justin Hosbey noted in their study Mapping Black Ecologies, “ … the ongoing reality [is] that Black communities… in the African Diaspora are most susceptible to the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, subsidence, sinking land, as well as the ongoing effects of toxic stewardship.”

 

With Black people clearly on the front lines of climate crisis and environmental disaster (as victims and forced resistance fighters), it would seem natural for Black voters in the 2020 election to view the environment as a top issue.  Indeed, Black voters could in many ways be the decisive eco-voters of the most high stakes election in American history – particularly as we consider the current Trump administration’s zealous hostility to and aggressive dismantling of environmental protections.

 

This election will decide the fate of the planet and human civilization because the outcome will decide the direction of policy to fix the damage done to our collective home. Environmental issues, in fact, seem to permeate as key context throughout every major racial injustice highlighted this past summer: it was the diabolical gentrification plans of real estate companies that ended up murdering Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY as police were being used to methodically push out low income Black residents for a redevelopment scheme.  And there are redlining legacies in Minneapolis, MN and Kenosha, WI that eventually led to the death of George Floyd and the paralyzing of Jacob Blake.  Behind every headlining viral act of open racism is an intersection of environmental injustice. Will Black voters be making those connections as they mail ballots or show up at polling places?

 

It’s not clear at the moment. A recent Economist/YouGov survey found 33 percent of Black voters (by far the highest of other groups polled) were not sure if “the world is becoming warmer as a result of human activity,” but a higher percentage (47 percent) believed that the severity of recent hurricanes and wildfire is increasing.  Yet, Black voters were also the most likely to say (75 percent) – out of all demographics – that climate change and the environment were either “very” or “somewhat important.” Interestingly enough, an August 2019 poll from Quinnipiac found Black voters split on whether it was an emergency, with 44 percent saying it was not. But, in the recent YouGov poll, that issue ranked 5th among Black voters (at 8 percent) out of the ten most important issues, with healthcare at the top (35 percent).

 

With polling of Black potential or eligible voters notoriously incomplete (since political polling firms are overwhelmingly led by White men), it’s hard to determine the size of the Black eco-electorate: or rather, that portion of the Black voting community that is mobilized by environmental issues, including climate change and pollution.  What we do know is that Black people, generally speaking (and based on the polling data we have to work with), have an enormous amount of situational awareness on these subjects. Of course, it bothers them: as a Yale Program on Climate Communication found “… Hispanics/Latinos (69 percent) and African Americans (57 percent) are more likely to be Alarmed or Concerned about global warming than are Whites (49 percent). In contrast, Whites are more likely to be Doubtful or Dismissive (27 percent) than are Hispanics/Latinos (11 percent) or African Americans (12 percent).”

 

The issue, however, is around mobilization. Is this a key issue prompting outrage and a related rush to the polls among Black voters? Are there large segments of the Black electorate moved by issues around the climate crisis, toxic air, and water or demanding dramatic policy changes such as clean energy infrastructure and the expansion of a “green economy” that creates jobs and Black startups? The recent Yale survey shows 36 percent of Black respondents willing to “join a campaign” to address climate change (versus 37 percent of Latinos and just 22 percent of Whites). When asked if these issues would significantly influence their decision in the 2020 election, 60 percent of Black voters surveyed ranked “environmental protection” as their 11th top issue out of 29 top issues listed and 53 percent ranked “global warming” as their 16th top issue – that’s impressive compared to just 44 percent and 35 percent of Whites, respectively, on the exact same issues. “Research suggests that people of color may be more concerned than Whites about climate change because they are often more exposed and vulnerable to environmental hazards and extreme weather events,” reported the study. “One particularly important example is that people of color are more likely than Whites to be exposed to air pollution. Inequitable exposure to environmental problems such as this may also explain, at least in part, why Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans report greater intentions to engage in climate activism.”

 

What we’re seeing in the Yale survey (which was conducted in 2019 before the pandemic hit) is that Black voters are, potentially, more activatable on environmental health and climate crisis than White voters. Yet, the mainstream news, discourse and protest around eco-issues is steadily focused on White concerns and White conversation. Even during the early months of the pandemic – as necessary stay-at-home lockdowns placed major burdens on vulnerable Black families and households confined to smaller spaces and densely populated locations which increased risks of infection – mainstream local news and cable coverage too often focused on the comparably minor inconveniences faced by White middle class families. We typically hear little, if at all, about Black household or neighborhood burdens when climate disasters such as hurricanes at the Gulf Coast and wildfires consuming the West Coast take place.

 

Yet, Black people do understand that they are prime targets of zoning and redlining decisions that push them into pollution zones, and they know they’re families are suffering from high rates of chronic illnesses such as asthma and cancers that are directly correlated to pollution and climate change impacts. They also understand, such as the case with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, that they frequently find themselves the least unprepared for and most economically displaced by climatic disasters. Black communities also, instinctively, realize that as the climate crisis intensifies, the racism of scarce resources and space will get worse. But, as a July focus group survey by Third Way of Black communities in Detroit, Philadelphia and Greensboro correctly noted “…. even though they’re concerned about the environment worsening around them, Black Americans aren’t necessarily counting climate change among their top priorities—and they’re not hearing people speak to them on the issue in a manner that resonates.” Environmental advocacy movements often express frustration over the public’s inability to put electoral pressure on policymakers about issues such as climate change. Maybe it’s because they’re not really talking to Black voters about it … or investing the time and money it takes to do just that.

Charles Ellison is the managing editor for ecoWURD.com and host of Reality Check on WURD Radio, the only independent Black-owned talk radio station in Pennsylvania. Listen to WURD Radio in Philadelphia on 96.1FM or 900am. Listen globally at wurdradio.com or on the WURD App. Watch live streamed video on Facebook/forWURD or Youtube/onWURD. Learn more about WURD Radio’s environmental justice initiative which explores the intersection of race, income, and the environment at ecowurd.com