Happy Earth Day! Today is the first time WE CAN is taking part in Earth Day. Why? You may have noticed that our planet is sick. We are slowly, but surely destroying habitats for humans and animals, burning fossil fuels at rates damaging to air quality, poisoning our rivers and oceans, and many scientists warn that we are nearing the point of no return. Communities of color remain at higher risk for environmental issues from direct and indirect action by humans.
The theme for Earth Day 2019 is Protect Our Species. The science is clear—human beings are responsible for the loss of biodiversity—with more species going extinct than ever before. In the groundbreaking book, Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, scientists stated that “We are amidst the largest period of species extinction in the last 60 million years. Normally, between one and five species will go extinct annually. However, scientists estimate that we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the normal rate, with multiple extinctions daily. Multiple species will disappear before we learn about them or the benefits they bring to our planet.”
Data like this should alarm all of us. But sometimes statistics like this don’t seem real; like the data do not matter to your everyday life. Sadly, that is not true. The ongoing water crisis in Flint, MI is an example of a man-made environmental disaster. The decision of local officials to redirect the city’s water supply put thousands at risk for poor health outcomes. A recent report that the newly built levee system in New Orleans will not likely offer adequate protection when the next big storm hits are alarming. Both Flint and New Orleans are reminders that communities of color remain particularly vulnerable to environmental crises.
Watch this video to learn more about environmental justice!
For today’s Mobilize Monday action, we ask that you contact your United States Congresspersons and ask that they take immediate action to protect the communities where we live, work, pray, pray and learn. SIGN THIS PETITION to let your Congresspersons know you want to increase our nation’s investments in protecting our communities that would make an immediate difference in the health and well-being of people of color. Their support for communities at highest risk for environmental damage would also help other efforts to protect our species and our planet.
Thank you for taking action this Earth Day 2019!