[Greet audience and introduce yourself. Thank audience for attending and your host/ess for supporting this training. Briefly share how you got involved/interested in ECJ work.]
This is an outline of what we will be exploring during this session. Please feel free to ask any questions or offer comments as we go along, This is not for me to just talk at you—this is a dialogue and a strategizing opportunity for you.
This picture was taken by ECJ Program staff of Portsmouth, VA. This photo exemplifies the physical proximity many African Americans have to coal-fired power plants and other pollution sources. You can see in the foreground children playing. There’s the church which is a central place for community members and then homes nearby. In the background, on the upper left of the picture are stacks from the failing coal-fired power plant, Cogentrix. INSERT LINK TO VIDEO FROM PORTSMOUTH RESIDENT There’s a video on the Dropbox Someone talking about that community. Ask Jacqui for date.
This photo was taken by a NAACP staff person in Chicago. This gives another visual example of how we are disproportionately exposed to air pollution. According to research, “African Americans have a significantly higher exposure to air pollution. Approximately, 71 percent of African Americans live in counties in violation of federal air pollution standards; and 78 percent of African Americans are located within 30 miles of a coal-fired power plant.This proximity of a 30 mile radius is important because people living within a 30 mile radius of a coal fired power plant have higher health risks associated with radioactive and non-radioactive emissions from coal-fired power plants. Race, over income, is the #1 predictor of whether a person is located near a polluting facility. An African American making $50,000 per year is more likely to live in an area cited for air pollution than a white American making $15,000 per year.Image: http://ohiocitizen.org/chicagos-2-coal-fired-plants-to-shut-down-sooner-than-expected/
Picture of Cesar Chavez High School in Houston, Texas. The students at this school are mostly Latino and African-American. You can see students practicing sports; and others outside watching and moving around. There is an oil refinery in the background. This 1 of 5 of the same type of facilities within a 10 mile radius of this school. We’re often exposed to multiple pollutants. Respiratory problems rates are up in this region—It’s little surprise, look at what they are exposed to. Image: http://weekendamerica.publicradio.org/standard/display/slideshow.php?ftrv_id=83783&slide=1
Again another photo from where we were at a community park in River Rouge, MI. You can see the coal-fired power plant in the background. TALK ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WHERE WE HAVE RECREATION AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES THERE ONGOING EXPOSURE TO POLLUTANTS. WHERE FAMILY COOKOUTS HAPPEN HERE. THE PLANTS ARE ESSENTIALLY IN OUR BACKYARDSThe property value of homes in COMMUNITIES WITH TOXIC WASTE FACILITIES ARE S ARE VALUED AT up to 15% LOWER THAN COMMUNITIES WITHOUT TOXIC WASTE FACILITIES.SOME OF THE TOXINS EMITTED FROM COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS:Sulfur Dioxide can aggravate the breathing of asthmatic children and adults. Short-term exposure can cause wheezing, chest tightness and weakness in breath. Long-term exposure, along with exposure to particulate soot, can cause respiratory illness, lessening of the lungs defenses, and a worsening of existing respiratory diseases. Mercury exposure can cause pulmonary and nervous system problems; and have harmful affects the spinal cord, brain, kidney and eyes, and even death. Arsenic has non-cancer effects which include thickening and discoloration of the skin, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; numbness in hands and feet; partial paralysis; and blindness. It has also been linked to cancer of the bladder, lungs, skin, kidney, nasal passages, liver, and prostate. Leadis associated with damage to the brain and nervous system. Exposure on fetuses and young children can be severe: Delays in physical and mental development, lower IQ levels, shortened attention spans, and increased behavioral problems. In adults, lead poisoning causes reproductive problems (in both men and women), high blood pressure and hypertension, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint pain. At very high levels lead can cause seizures, coma, or even death. Nitrogen Dioxide studies show a connection between breathing elevated short-term nitrogen dioxide concentrations, and increased visits to emergency departments and hospital admissions for respiratory issues, especially asthma.
Picture was taken after a Coal Blooded Campaign townhall in Detroit, Michigan—right near a failing coal plant. There were two men fishing in the body of water outside of where the townhall had taken place. You only see one man in this photo. Again, the coal plant was across the street from our townhall event. WE NOTICED THAT were a number of signs in the area stating that there is a fishing ban in many nearby bodies of water. WE approached the men fishing and asked them if they knew about the warnings about the water. The man in the photo said he had heard that there was possibly some problem with the water. He said it was about feeding his family. [POINT OUT THE PIPE (ON THE RIGHT, UNDER BLUE ARROW) THAT’S PROBABLY COMING FROM THE PLANT THAT’S DRAINING INTO THE WATER HE IS FISHING IN.]Let’s hope it’s not the case, but, this man could potentially be bringing fish to his family with dangerous levels of mercury, carcinogens, or other toxins such as lead, pesticides, and arsenic. He’s taking a risk seemingly out of the need to feed his family.
As a partial consequence of this disproportionate and widespread exposure to air pollution, African Americans’ rate of asthma and other illnesses is roughly three times that of the general population. African Americans are likely to be more significantly affected by some of the detrimental health effects of global climate change such as the increased incidence of heat-related deaths or possibly some communicable diseases.The photo on the left is a list of prescriptions for a 4-year-old, named Antoine from Indiantown, Florida. The photo on the right is of his bag of medications. Jacqui Patterson met Antoine’s grandparents at a teach-in in Florida. The parents arrived late to the teach-in and later explained to Jacqui that they had to take Antoine to the hospital before the teach-in because he had an emergency problem with his asthma.Another challenge to the higher exposure, is that African Americans have more limited resources to combat these effects. For example, the percentage of African Americans lacking medical insurance is 150% that of the general population. A report on power plant pollution found that emissions from all power plants in the U.S. (both coal and other fuel sources) are responsible for 30,000 premature deaths, 7,000 asthma-related emergency room visits, and 18,000 cases of chronic bronchitis each year. Asthma affects African Americans at a 36% higher rate of incidence than White Americans. African Americans are hospitalized at three times the rate of White Americans and die of asthma at twice the rate of White Americans.Let’s look at Virginia for a moment…“Richmond, our state capital, was named the 2010 top “Asthma Capital”in the Asthma and Allergy Foundationof America’s annual ranking of the 100most challenging places to live. [Source:“Virginia Asthma Plan 2011-2016: A statewide strategic plan and call to action for asthma in Virginia”, http://www.virginiaasthma.org/Asthma%20Plan.8.30.10.pdf, Virginia Asthma Coalition, Prepared by Patti G. Kiger, MEd, Eastern Virginia Medical School,The Virginia Asthma Coalition and the Virginia Department of Health, August 2010.]The report also indicates that Virginia’s children have experienced a steady increase in lifetime asthma rates from 9.3 percent in 2003 to 14.4 percent in 2008.According to the 2004 data used in this report, 7.3 percent of Virginia adults, or 412,370 people, and 9 percent, or 152,277 Virginia children have asthma.Another striking statistic from the Virginia Department of Health: “Of the 680 asthma deaths in Virginia from 1999 to 2004, the mortality rates among African Americans were three times higher than those for whites.”[YOU COULD ASK THE AUDIENCE TO SHOW BY RAISING HANDS HOW MANY OF THEM EITHER HAVE ASTHMA OR PERSONALLY KNOW SOMEONE WITH ASTHMA] [GO TO NEXT SLIDE]
PHOTO: Antoine and his family in a mall. Antoine’s family told Jacqui about the numerous times they have had to take Antoine to the hospital or the doctor because of unexpected challenges with his asthma. Which also means that his family has to take time off from work to get Antoine the care he needs. Antoine sometimes misses school, or has to stay inside and not play with neighborhood children because of his asthma. Antoine misses out key experiences of life—school and his social life. Looking out the window at children playing because of fear of him having an asthma attack. Jacqui feels this picture symbolizes Antoine’s life and the lives of many children living with asthma.SIDENOTE: Another impact of exposure to lead is ADD—missing school, not being fully functional because of learning difficulties. Limits our ability to get full education and full employability. If not on grade level by 3rd grade your chances of entering the criminal justice system are greater. Between learning challenges and high out of school rates for children with asthma, African children face a high burden of barriers from school success. We know too well the linkage between school success and risk of incarceration.[****NOW MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME TO SHOW PART OF “COAL BLOODED” DOCUMENTARY***** YOU CAN DECIDE HOW MUCH OF IT TO SHOW & DISCUSS]
Coal is responsible for 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and the U.S. is the world’s second largest coal producer. Let’s take a domestic and local look at coal and its consequences…Climate change is a change in weather over periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average weather or a change in the distribution of weather events around an average (for example, greater or fewer extreme weather events). Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected continuation.Some of the results of climate change: Melting glaciers/ice caps; sea levels rise—which we’re already seeing—and displacing people; more extreme weather; species extinction; and changes in agricultural yields which impacts black farmers who are already struggling economically and make existing food deserts worse.What that means for us: Illness/disability/death; physical displacement; culture erosion as communities and nations are displaced; and Food Insecurity/Malnutrition; economic insecurity; Housing insecurity; Violence—crime and violence against women will increase; and criminalization—from disaster situations which tend to result in militarism and accompanied by criminalization of survivors.*Climate change disproportionately negatively impacts those who are least responsible for its advancement, namely persons of color.
A view of what we saw in Pratt City, Alabama after a tornado 2011. This neighborhood was African American and it was completely wiped out from the tornado. Geographically most African Americans live in areas more prone to weather problems—urban settings with extreme heat being heightened by concrete; in hurricane zones in the southeast and the eastern seaboard, or our homes may be placed in flood plains. It’s not by coincidence that African Americans live predominantly in those areas! That is a result of historic land use planning and regulation that was influenced by racism and anti-immigrant biases and ultimately helped to enforce racial segregation.Also, the quality of many of our homes may not be of strong stock. All these factors can make African Americans more vulnerable to extreme weather events. The “Highways of Mortality” are often our communities (think of Hurricane Katrina).
We’ve also seen a surge in damaging torndadosLike most recently in January with tornadoes going through Mississippi and and in Solsberry, Indiana
A flooded home in Mississippi in Port Gibson, a majority black community, in frightening proximity to the Grand Gulf Nuclear station. With only one escape route for the town, disasters are a double-threat.Mississippi State Conference and Jacqui went there – in front of city hall there were two red cross volunteers During flooding – instead of having a full on recovery center – only has two volunteersWerent paying for shelters for themRed Cross cant have operations within 7 miles of a nuclear facility They cant even get help?Lack of zoning and infrastructure planning – residents are living in places where even the Red Cross wont establish operations in.
As we know, there are three impacts of climate change. Superstorms like Katrina and Sandy are going to become commonplace. Aerial view of 101 burned to the foundation homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens, NY after a fire erupted and the winds during Hurricane Sandy swept through the neighborhoodAerial view of 101 burned to the foundation homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens, NY after a fire erupted and the winds during Hurricane Sandy swept through the neighborhood.
Photo: Huntsville, Alabama after 2011 tornado. Alabama after the tornado 2011 the racial divide on the storm’s impact. The pictures above are from the area where survivors of the storm could go to get food: Notice all the servers of the food are white and the recipients of the food are black. The man in the white shirt and khaki pants( (on right photo) worked for the organization providing the food. We noticed this disparity was consistent to what we’ve seen in multiple disaster situations.When disasters happen, we need to ask: Who’s impacted? Who’s able to bounce back more easily?
Photo:Outside of same building where food was being served in Huntsville, Alabama. On the stage, people from FEMA. local Red Cross, and local government-- essentially the people in control of the public services. In the photo on the right pay attention to the three African American women in line at the microphone in need of services and information.
A dream home destroyed…now the Clark Family has to move back to the city because the insurance and FEMA money was insufficient to cover the damage
Our communities are disproportionately food deserts which means we are less likely to have a supermarkets offering nutritious foods within 3 miles of our homes. So the picture on the left is more our reality than the one on the right.
The result is that, coupled with the fact that we are also less mobile so not even as able to drive to a supermarket, we have more access to life sapping foods than life lengthening foods. Our supply includes foods high in additives, preservatives, sugar, and sodium rather than the rich anti-oxidant, immune boosting fresh fruits and vegetables.
The companies that run the industries that are polluting our communities and advancing climate change are fighting hard to hold on to their profits. They are investing millions of dollars in lobbying against regulations that protect public health and the environment. They are also investing heavily in keeping officials in office that support their industries while fighting against the re-election of President Obama and others who want to preserve communities and the environment.
They fight against regulations that safeguard public health AND they fight against any attempt to shift to policies supporting clean energy and energy efficiency that don’t harm people.
I was in Louisiana following Hurricane Isaac and saw a CNN commercial which featured the above dialogue which demonstrates the policy making that prioritize preserving investments over protecting people.
Companies are driven by protecting profits and they pay top dollar to their executives for decision making that protects the bottom line
While we continue to suffer from double-digit unemployment and extreme wealth disaparity
[Walk them through a conversation on these issues.] If you’re going to focus on coal, ask these questions. As you consider what you want to do…how dependent are community members on the coal plant? What’s the level of emissions and proximity to coal plants? How many community members are employees of the plant? Do you get electricity from the plants? Are people in the community getting tax revenue from the plants? But what if everybody works at the plant? …If the plant’s revenue affects the whole town? Argue for a just transition for workers, even if you want to shutdown the plant. You may decide to push for implementation of controls on the plants. Each community has different needs. We want to have a voice in the decisionmaking process. We’re concerned about workers’ rights and the economy. Look for opportunities that may be available to our communities.
Based on those considerations…What do you want the change to be? Do you want stricter, eco-friendlier pollution controls/regulations on a facility?Do you want that coal-fired plant to converted into a solar-powered facility? Do you want the plant closed all together?
Now, if you as branch members feel motivated to do something about the coal and other forms of pollution in your region, we can focus on strategy. [It may be good to form a large circle or a few small circles for easier group discussion.]Image: http://chicagoist.com/2012/09/01/chicago_coal_plants_quietly_burn_th.php#photo-7
Zero waste initiatives, by definition, are local which keeps jobs in the community and cuts down on monopolies that concentrate wealth at “the top” with CEOs and other executives.
Depending on what people want to do. [GO THROUGH THESE QUICKLY] Educating ourselves and are communities is key.
[ANOTHER VISUAL OF NAACP BRANCH MEMBERS. MOVE THROUGH THIS QUICKLY.]
[MORE VISUAL. MOVE THROUGH]
NAACP Branches are taking action! [IF YOU HAVE TIME PLAY TESTIMONY FROM REVEREND THERESA DEAR OF CHICAGO AT AN EPA HEARING ON LEAD LEVEL REGULATIONS]
You may take your message to the streets and use visual methods to make your point! THEY ARE IN FRONT OF CITY HALL—PUSHING FOR A LOCAL ORDINANCE TO REGULATE POLLUTION.
[POINT OUT THAT THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF TACTICS THAT WE CAN USE]
The NAACP has entered into a legal intervention against the coal industry which is suing EPA as they fight for their “right” to continue polluting communities with mercury, arsenic, lead and other toxins as they fight for the repeal of the Mercury and Air Toxics Regulation that limits the amount of toxins coal plants can spew into the air.
One strategy that the Rainforest Action is taking to advocate, through petitions, for Bank of America to stop financing coal companies. Bank of America is the biggest underwriter of coal in the US. The petition asks Bank of America to not fund more dirty coal projects that continue to harm the health of communities across the country.
[CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, NEED A CONSULTATION/SUPPORT. WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!]Image: http://chicagoist.com/upload/2012/09/Fisk-Plume.jpg?55
Omaha coal blooded training presentation
The Social, HEALTH AND ECONOMICImpactof CoalPutting Faces on the Consequences of America’sAddiction to Coal
Presentation Overview• Overview of NAACP ECJ Program• What is Environmental & Climate Justice?• Disproportionate Exposure• Disproportionate Impact• The Injustice of Coal and Communities of Color• North Omaha Station and North Omaha Profile• Planning the Strategy• Short Video: Reverend Dear in Chicago• What Are Affected Communities Doing?• What Do You Want To Do?
Disproportionate EXPOSURECogentrix Plant, Portsmouth, VA
Disproportionate EXPOSURECrawford Plant, Chicago, IL
Points of injusticeCesar Chavez High School, Houston, TX
WIDE spread exposureRiver Rouge Community Park, MI
We need to take control!We need to take control!We need to take control! Of this climate!<Repeat>It’s getting hot! Yeah it’s heating up!!The climate’s changing! How it’s affecting us!!You mean the floods storms, droughts, and fires.
And heat related deaths in the US is getting higher!Now who at risk? You at risk? So what you doin’?Neighborhoods affected by all this air pollution…..It’s not amusing. It’s a problem . It’s solution!Decreasing carbon footprint…..it’s really not hard to do it.I been going green since I was a little kid. In my hood the heatis killing kids!
Get Your Green Classhttp://soundcloud.com/getyourgreen123/green-team-climate-control
I speak for the climate. Yeah, I’m the earth’s ventriloquist!Those heat waves, I know you feeling it.Stop burning that coal. Use propane when you grilling it causeit could harm your respiratoryAsk these politicians for change. They ain’t doing nothing forme.They pollute around my area cuz we ain’t in they category!We need to take control! Of this climate!Ladder to prosperity…I’m ready to climb it!
This country’s morals, laws…..Somebody help me find itOur eco-death certificate. They ready to sign it!And I ain’t having that, especially not around my habitat! Andthat’s mainly where it happen at!They acting upon us. So that’s the reason why we acting back.Protesting, lobbying,….. Going green is my hobby, man.Stop drilling for fossils. Worry ‘bout tomorrow!
Keep going at this rate, the whole earth going be insorrow. No resources to borrow.I said let’s take control of our climate and your carbonfootprint, please try to decline it!It’s getting hot! Yeah, it’s heating up! The climate’schanging! How it’s affecting us….
IMPACTS---EXTREME WEATHERHurricanesDroughtFloodsEarthquakesTropical CyclonesLandslidesWildFiresHeat or Cold Wavesand much more….
STATS• Capacity: 627 MW• Built: 1954• 2007-10 average SO2 emissions: 13,358 tons• 2007-10 average NOX emissions: 6,272tons• 2011 CO2 emissions: 3,460,600 tons• 2005 Mercury emissions: 216 lbs21,92921,929
Who Is Breathing North OmahaStation Pollution• Residents in 3-mi radius : 43,133• Average income: $13,858 (70% of Nebraskaaverage)• People of color : 56.7%Coal Blooded Grade: F
Death and Disease Attributable to Fine ParticlePollution From North Omaha Station(SOURCE: Clean Air Task Force—Abt Associates)Type of Impact Annual Incidence ValuationDeaths 14 $100,000,000Heart attacks 22 $2,400,000Asthma attacks 240 $13,000Hospitaladmissions10 $240,000Chronicbronchitis9 $3,900,000Asthma ER visits 15 $6,000
Anti-Regulatory InvestmentsCompany Total Spent on Lobbying in 2010Southern Company $13,220,000Edison International $13,080,000American Electric Power $10,313,196Duke Energy $4,800,000Dominion $2,050,000First Energy $1,865,000Xcel Energy $1,720,000DTE Energy $1,500,000
Fighting Renewable Energy• Southern Company successfully opposed aplan to create a national electricity market in2004 and has dedicated significant moneyand effort to fighting the Renewable PortfolioStandard (RPS), which would require utilitiesto purchase 15% of their power fromrenewable sources by 2020.
CNN NEWSROOM-HurricaneIssacMALVEAUX: And Senator, finally, why is it that PlaqueminesParish did not get that support for a levee?LANDRIEU: Because the Corps of Engineers has a formula thatthey use to determine where they are going to build orreinforce the levees, based on economic impact ….you get lesspoints if there is less of an economic impact……
CEO Compensation for 2010 at Companies Owning theTop EJ OffendersCompany CEO Name CEO CompensationEdison International Theodore F. Craver Jr. $9,536,038Dominion Thomas F. Farrell II $16,924,385DTE Energy Gerald M. Anderson $5,601,383Duke Energy James E. Rogers $8,815,181Xcel Energy Richard C. Kelly $9,956,433Southern Company Thomas A. Fanning $6,019,151First Energy Anthony J. Alexander $11,627,657[i] AFL-CIO CEO Pay Database, Accessed November 2011 http://www.aflcio.org/corporatewatch/paywatch/ceou/industry_2011.cfm
Our Overall Economic Plight• While the national rate of unemployment during February2012, was 8.3% that rate is nearly double of AfricanAmericans at 14.1%.• A report by the Pew Research Center revealed that the wealthdivide between whites and people of color hit a record high in2009, with the median wealth of white households 20 timeshigher than black households
Deepening Disparity• The average CEO compensation for thesecompanies in 2010 was $9,782,889 while theaverage worker in these companies made$33,840.• On average the CEOs at these companieswere compensated at 289 times the rate ofcompensation for the average worker.
Promoting Local Ownership• Local ownership programs can create two to threetimes as many jobs per megawatt produced. Andthese local jobs keep over three times as muchmoney and wealth in a community compared to bigcompanies.
Forming ObjectivesWhat Will Get Us to What WeWant?
• Who Has Power Over What We Want?• What Will Influence Those in Power?
Tactics• Direct Negotiation• Town halls with testimony• Postcard/letter writing campaign• Shareholder resolution• Advocacy Day on Capital Hill• In-district educational visits to congressional representatives• Demonstration in front of power plant or corporate offices ofowners• Legal/Litigation Action• Engaging with EPA and other regulatory agencies andinstruments• Boycotts• Media blitz for public awareness and support raising as well asshaming of the perpetrator: op-eds, radio/TV interviews, newmedia (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.)
Communities Across theCountry Are Recognizing theImpact of Coal On TheirWellbeing and They AreLaunching the Resistance!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLlJPVi8uao&feature=plcpRising Up—TakingAction!