Where’s the Black Political Conversation on Climate Change?

Without clean air to breathe or unflooded land to live on, eventually not much else will matter. For that reason alone, it’s time for black folks to get invested in the climate debate.

Host Neil deGrasse Tyson attends the premiere of Fox’s Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles March 4, 2014.
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson attends the premiere of Fox’s Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles March 4, 2014. Jason Kempin/Getty Images

What’s understood is that a ragged economy, along with high unemployment and underemployment, looms large as the great American political and economic concern. Still, not much else matters if we don’t have life-sustaining basics like air to breathe and unflooded land to live on.

Even better, we could lead the charge for a vibrant, job-building economic model based on climate-fixing innovations and course corrections. We can’t be most likely to be affected by climate change and yet least interested in making noise about it. The opportunity is there. Let’s stop missing it.

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and regular contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

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