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Yesterday a startling study was published which analyzed 32 million U.S. births to reveal that pregnant women who are exposed to air pollution, high temperatures and ozone are more likely to have premature, underweight or stillborn babies. What’s worse is that Black mothers are at the highest risk of these pregnancy complications.
As the New York Times explained, “The cumulative findings from the studies offer reason to be concerned that the toll on babies’ health will grow as climate change worsens.”
Why This Matters: Communities of color–but more specifically Black communities–bear the brunt of the effects of climate change and pollution. It’s also well established that Whites are predominantly responsible for air pollution in the United States. The study underscores that climate injustice is intrinsically linked to racial injustice. Black lives quite literally face immense risks in utero. For instance:
Black mothers are 3x more likely to die from pregnancy complications. New research shows that Black mothers are at greater risk of their newborns dying or being born at a low birth weight due to climate change-driven extreme heat and air pollution.
Black Americans are 75% more likely to live in “fence-line communities,” areas like South Philadelphia and Port Arthur, TX, which border oil and natural gas refineries.
What You Can Do: Moms Clean Air Force is a key group that brings moms to environmental advocacy, today to honor Juneteenth they are holding a free virtual event called This Let Us Breathe which will highlight the continual fight for racial justice, specifically, environmental injustices in the African American community. Stay informed, register to attend here.
Vulnerable Babies: As the Guardian wrote, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists already finds climate change to be an urgent threat to women’s health, in addition to a major public health challenge.
Climate change is linked with worsening cardiac disease, respiratory disease, mental health and exposure to infectious diseases. But pregnant women and developing fetuses are especially vulnerable to its effects.
Joe Biden’s Take:
Climate change is linked to increased pregnancy risks — and heartbreakingly, Black mothers are being hit the hardest. As President, I'll work every day to tackle the climate crisis head-on and root out injustice. Because they are intertwined. https://t.co/egmxpkXoLc
By Wizipan Little Elk On August 23, 1804, a shot rang out on the wind-swept prairie near what is now called southeastern South Dakota, marking the first buffalo kill of the famous Lewis and Clark reconnaissance expedition. For us Lakota, our neighbors, and our buffalo relatives, it signaled the beginning of what was to become […]
Continuing its set of opinion surveys in the run-up to Earth Day, Gallup has released the results of another poll, finding that the percent of American adults who say that “protection of the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth” has dropped by 15% since 2018. Experts say that this number often correlates with unemployment, which the COVID-19 pandemic greatly increased.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Netflix has announced a commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022. The plan, called “Net Zero + Nature,” was announced on the Netflix blog by Dr. Emma Stewart, who became the content platform’s first sustainability officer in the fall of 2020. Netflix estimates that its 2020 […]
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