Time to vote out extreme weather

Time to vote out extreme weather

An overflight view of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona

Flickr / Coast Guard News

Last month Hurricane Fiona ravaged Puerto Rico and Hurricane Ian ravaged Florida causing hundreds of deaths, thousands of destroyed homes, millions without power, and billions in damages.

And that’s just the tip of the extreme weather iceberg. Nearly a third of all Americans are currently impacted by hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, and floods.

If you’re noticing a dangerous pattern, you’re not alone. When the planet heats up (thanks to pollution from powerplants, cars and other fossil fuels) the oceans heat up too, creating more extreme weather.

Unfortunately, Latinos are disproportionately affected by all this.

There are two main reasons.

The Work Force

Latinos are disproportionately represented in the outdoor workforce in positions from farm workers, to construction workers to first responders.

In fact, according to the National Center for Farmworker Health, 80% of farm workers self-identify as Hispanic.

Urban Heat Islands

Facade of an apartment building

O Palsson / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Urban regions tend to be much warmer than their surrounding suburban and rural areas, due to a lack of trees and other plants that provide shade and an abundance of asphalt and concrete – that both absorb heat. Latinos are 21% more likely to reside in these urban heat islands which can be up to 22°F hotter than the adjacent neighborhoods.

So what can be done?

Vote for the climate, our kids, and public health – in every election.

The Earth is running out of time, and America, as one of the biggest energy consumers can lead the charge towards cleaner alternatives.

We already have many of the solutions and 75% of all voters agree that America should work with other nations to combat extreme weather.

Now the good news.

Smarter energy choices will lead to:

Money in your pocket

Americans can cut their energy bills up to $500 a year. According to the Energy Information Agency, that’s over 30% of a typical American household’s annual energy bill.

Combatting extreme weather will also combat extreme gas prices and put more money into your wallet.

Longer, healthier lives

Existing in these extreme weather conditions leads to more unsafe workdays and a higher risk of premature death. Plus, our young children working on farms are especially vulnerable in these extra heated conditions. Changing this will lengthen our lives.

Controlling our futures

Investing in clean American energy will help us get off this rollercoaster of oil dependence.

It is essential that you vote in every election — not just the presidential ones.

Vote with your conscience.

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