“Data divergence” describes different ways of characterizing a problem… Quiz/exam question:
In Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, petrochemical company representative say that there is no connection between their operations and high rates of COVID-19 in the region. Scientists and activists say that there is a connection. This is an example of
Black communities experience more extreme heat events in cities due to redlining--systemic denial of services --in Portland and elsewhere in the US. The visual is from The Gristlist of resources for understanding the effect of redlining on how Black communities experience heat.
Construction of freeways, including much of state-sanctioned public infrastructure in South California, is rooted in racism. Freeways destroyed unsegregated and Black neighborhoods just so white and affluent people could commute between city centers and burgeoning suburbs of Los Angeles and Portland, for example.
This visual is from a Harvard-led (Wu et al. 2020), investigating the relationship between exposure to PM. 2.5 and COVID-19 mortality in the US. After the onset of the pandemic in spring, St. John Parish, Louisiana saw one of the COVID-19 highest death rates in the country (Kasakove 2020); in August, the Louisiana Department of Health reported 1,1442 cases and 92 deaths.
Kimberly Terrell, Outreach Director at the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, further analyzed the data on request of the environmental justice group Concerned Citizens of St. John. Terrell particularly looked into the significance of underlying conditions. In her final report, Terrell notes low diabetes and high obesity rates. However, she emphasizes that the number of COVID-19 deaths in St. John is much higher than in parishes with similar obesity rates (Terrell 2020).
The visual was altered by Terell, adding geographic information (location of the Parish) and adjusted transparency to identify air pollution "hotspots" for fenceline communities along the river.
Witnesses were Mustafa Santiago Ali (Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization, National Advocacy Center at the National Wildlife Federation), Jacqueline Patterson (Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP), and Shay Hawkins (Opportunity Funds Association).