‘Tis the Season to Protect Children’s Health

BY ON December 19, 2016

Cartoon with Santa putting coal in stockings

It’s time to get down to business – holiday business. While parents across the nation are rolling out Christmas cookies for their cuties to leave out for Santa, and lighting enduring Hanukkah and Kwanza candles, President-elect Trump is steamrolling a parade of fossil fuel-loving climate liars. These guys have vowed to leave our families without many, if not all, of our protections to combat the effects of climate change.

Before handing over the reins to these merry men, Trump needed to say a post-election holiday “thank you.” And true to form, he was not interested in appealing to all Americans. The sign on the podium where he ended his “Thank You Tour” said, “Merry Christmas USA.”

So much for the quarter of the country who are non-Christians.

Being inclusive and celebrating American diversity is clearly not on Trump’s holiday list. No doubt this lack of empathy and respect will mirror how he deals with the families who live, work and play in America’s most polluted environments.

Here are 5 ways environmental racism and failing infrastructure plague communities of color:

  1. Communities of color have higher exposure rates to air pollution than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts.
  2. Landfills, hazardous waste sites, and other industrial facilities are most often located in communities of color.
  3. Lead poisoning disproportionately affects children of color.
  4. Climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color.
  5. Water contamination plagues low-income areas and communities of color across the nation.

Who will work to protect these communities from the social injustices of industry pollution?

It should be the head of the EPA. Yes?

Naughty or nice?

According to TIME, Trump’s nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA will be disastrous:

“Pruitt — who has received more than $300,000 in contributions from fossil fuel industry since 2002—is also a member of an alliance of Republican attorneys general who have united with the energy industry to fight President Obama’s environmental regulations, according to a 2014 New York Times report. In one case as attorney general, he sent a letter confronting the EPA using nearly exact language sent to his office by industry lobbyists.”

With Pruitt’s close ties to the fossil fuel industry, we know whose interests he’ll protect as EPA head. It won’t be the poisoned children in Flint, MI. It won’t be the strong women of Standing Rock, ND. It won’t be the  6.3 million children in the US with asthma. And Pruitt made perfectly clear, it won’t be our warming planet.

‘Tis not the season to leave our children’s health protections behind and amp up our dependency on climate polluting fossil fuels.

Cartoon: Liza Donnelly

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TOPICS: African-American Community, Children's Health, Clean Air Rules and Regulations, Climate Change, Coal, Politics, Social Justice