Marginalized people, people of color, and the poor are disproportionately affected by the more intense hurricanes we are now experiencing in Florida. Upward revision of the Saffir-Simpson wind scale used to categorize hurricanes is being considered to accommodate the greater intensity of hurricanes we are now experiencing. Those who live in sub-standard and older housing are extremely vulnerable, as are the very young and very old; particularly the elderly, who may require a power source to run medical equipment.
Extreme precipitation overwhelms stormwater drainage systems. Old infrastructure, and poorly maintained infrastructure everywhere, but more commonly in blighted communities, and in low income communities, contributes to flooding. Undersized pipes, infrequently cleaned culverts, and stormwater drainage systems designed for a fraction of the current level of development contribute to flooding.
Homelessness is a justice issue exacerbated by climate change due to inadequate availability of temporary housing, and extremely limited affordable housing. Older homes were not built to today’s building codes. Roofs on homes built prior to 1992 are not likely to be tied into the foundations. Therefore, homes that appear to be strong, often lose their roofs in today’s more intense winds. Thus, those with older homes in need of repair are among the most vulnerable.
Low income communities of color have a disproportionate share of industrial polluters located near their homes. The motion of industrial pollutants in today’s more extensive flooding and high winds places residents in these communities at greater risk.
These and other environmental justice dimensions of Climate Change are referred to as Climate Justice. (Return to Environmental Justice)