Did you know that the global richest 10% are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions? Did you know that only $ 7,500 (USD) in monthly income puts you in the global 10%? 2 Climate change is caused, not just by millionaires in mansions, but also a significant number of Indy Star readers.
Ironically, those of us in the global top 10% are the least likely to suffer the consequences. It is people who are less privileged, socioeconomically and racially, who suffer the consequences. For example, fine particulate matter pollution is attributed to 3% of deaths in the United States, but the exposure of African Americans to fine particulate matter pollution is 21% greater than the overall US population average. Privilege, socioeconomic and racial, are significant determinants in both your contribution to climate change and the magnitude of its impact on you.
Next week, on April 22nd, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. This marks 50 years of complacency. Although we are required to stay home, we shouldn’t stay silent.
We have a moral responsibility to listen, learn, and act. Watch an Earth Day Webinar. Join a youth-led Earth Day digital strike. Call your elected officials. Provide resources, not answers. Be a change maker. The 50 years of inaction must end now.
Claire Kaneshiro is a Japanese-American social activist and high school student from Indianapolis.
1. https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2019/jul/04/just-1-in-10-workers-earn-ha lf-of-all-global-wages-survey-finds
2. https://www-cdn.oxfam.org/s3fs-public/file_attachments/mb-extreme-carbon-ine quality-021215-en.pdf