Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is now releasing Spanish versions of our newly created, state specific, global warming fact sheets. Through these translated materials, SACE is continuing its effort to educate the Latino community on the current and future impacts of global warming in the Southeast and the United States as a whole. For far too long, Hispanics have been marginalized in the political process due to simple language barriers; an astounding fact given that over 15% of our country self-identifies as being of this ethnicity.
In addition to the latest factsheets, SACE translated its “Treasured Places in Peril: Florida Everglades” and “Sea Level Rise in Florida” educational videos in early 2010, both of which can be accessed via our blog on the topic explaining the importance of educating Latino communities in Florida.
Unfortunately, minority communities are often not involved in climate and energy issues primarily due to language and cultural barriers. Yet the Hispanic population is growing in the Southeast, and we believe it is becoming more and more crucial to increase their participation in the climate debate, if not because many of these communities will face the brunt of global warming impacts, then for the simple fact that equal access and participation among all people is the very cornerstone of democracy.
The “Treasured Places in Peril: Florida Everglades” and “Sea Level Rise in Florida” educational videos have been seen by thousands of people and show what we have to lose if we don’t curb global warming pollution. These videos respectively take viewers on a journey through the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park, interviewing concerned citizens and scientists who are already seeing and feeling the effects of global warming as well as visually depicting the sea level rise scenarios anticipated to affect Florida’s coastal cities in the coming years.
Global warming will affect everyone, yet studies show that it will affect some more than others. For example, there are nearly 4 million Hispanics in the state of Florida, comprising almost a quarter of the population. Furthermore, Hispanics in the state earn on average $7,000 less a year than the average non-Hispanic white person. This disparity in income is important because a recent Oxfam America report highlighted that race and economic status play a key role in how much a person will be impacted by global warming. The only way we can protect Latinos living in vulnerable areas is through education and encouraging increased participation to demand strong state and federal climate and energy policies from their legislators.
While the factsheets and educational videos won’t solve the problem, SACE hopes that through these tools, we are supporting the advancement of an important step to help educate millions of Spanish-speaking people in the Southeast about critical global warming issues. SACE is proud to continue our work toward including minorities in the climate debate.