HBCU Writers's Project
For Immediate Release
November 24, 2009
Contact Information

Joy Williams
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

(BPRW) Global Warming and African Americans

(BLACK PR WIRE/FAMU-TALLAHASSEE) – Many people are unaware of how serious an issue global warming has become. Many people know and just pay it no mind. However, the effects of global warming are too great to ignore. Health, housing, economic well-being, social stability and culture are all affected by global warming. The African American community is one group global warming affects severely. As reported by the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative (EJCC), “African Americans are more vulnerable to higher energy bills, unemployment, recessions caused by global energy price shocks, and a greater economic burden from military operations ...”

Everyday, the health and living conditions of the black community are affected by global warming. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) reported that African Americans are three times more likely to be hospitalized from asthma and other respiratory illnesses than white Americans. Due to high rising temperatures from global warming, African Americans are twice as likely to die in a heat wave or stroke.

The rise of sea levels is caused by global warming. EJCC reported that approximately 80 percent of African Americans in the U.S. live in coastal regions. New Orleans, which is two feet below sea level and has a 62 percent African American population, has felt the severe effects global warming has impacted on the African American communities.

To improve this issue, energy costs and gas emissions need to be reduced. Many community and activist groups have taken action to help improve global warming conditions. The NAACP passed a formal pledge to support comprehensive climate and clean energy legislation. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice has come together to promote environmental awareness.

Organizations on college campuses have also taken action to reduce energy cost. The FAMU Green Coalition passed out energy-saving light bulbs to the Tallahassee community. The FAMU Green Coalition has also held summits to inform students and campus leaders about global warming. “Every little bit helps. No task is too small to initiate change, but it starts with self,” said Kiara Wright, president of the FAMU Green Coalition. Wright said, “You can start by reducing air condition units to a constant rate of 75, turning off the water when brushing your teeth, and unplugging electronics when they are not in use.”

Tips on going green can be found at www.famugreencoalition.com. For information on how to get involved in the fight against global warming, visit www.ejcc.org.