Climate change that takes place due to increases in carbon-dioxide concentration is largely irreversible for 1,000 years after emissions stop. That’s a pretty long time.
But time takes on an entirely different perspective when families of color are hit with the brutal effects of climate change. Every minute counts. When devastating storms occur, our people need better access to medical assistance, food and shelter.
Coastal communities already face sea-level rise, increased hurricane intensity and storm surge, among other climate-change impacts. Low-lying coastal communities that sit on subsiding land are especially sensitive.
Higher temperatures strain water resources, and they parallel increased asthma attacks in children and seniors, as well as incidences of death from heat exposure.
Increased temperatures and flooding will impact the health of all residents in those areas.
There isn’t an “on” or “off” button to accommodate political expediency. It’s happening right here in our state and throughout the country. People in communities of color, those who have the smallest carbon footprint of all, are impacted the most.
As Southeast coordinator of the National Council of Churches’ African American Climate Initiative, I would remind our political leaders that God’s word tells us, in Matthew 21:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The “least of these” are crying out. U.S. Sen. Tim Scott has a chance to show them how he followed in the footsteps of the Lord.
Rev. Michael McClain