The New York Times reports on Native communities facing displacement as a result of climate change: “From Alaska to Florida, Native Americans are facing severe climate challenges, the newest threat in a history marked by centuries of distress and dislocation. While other communities struggle on a warming planet, Native tribes are experiencing an environmental peril exacerbated by policies — first imposed by white settlers and later the United States government — that forced them onto the country’s least desirable lands. And now, climate change is quickly making that marginal land uninhabitable. The first Americans face the loss of home once again.”
The New York Times reports on tree cover and wealth (with infographics): “Access to clean air and outdoor activities seems like a basic right. But in cities across the country, lower-income communities and communities of color more often live in neighborhoods with a higher share of concrete surfaces such as roads, buildings and parking lots, and a very limited number of trees and parks. Neighborhoods with a majority of people in poverty have 25 percent less tree canopy on average than those with a minority of people in poverty, according to an analysis of income, employment, age, ethnicity, health and surface temperature with tree canopy data in 486 metro areas. American Forests, a conservation organization, produced the analysis, which is called the Tree Equity Score. In the most extreme cases, wealthy areas have 65 percent more tree canopy than communities where nine out of 10 people live below the poverty line.”
The Othering and Belonging Institute released a new report on residential segregation by race. Key findings include that 81 percent (169 out of 209) of US metro areas were more segregated as of 2019 than they were in 1990, with rustbelt cities disproportionately represented; that neighborhood poverty rates are highest in segregated communities of color (21 percent), which is three times higher than in segregated white neighborhoods (7 percent); and that regions with higher levels of racial residential segregation have higher levels of political polarization, an important implication in the context of gerrymandering and voter suppression.
The Washington Post zeroes in on the risk of COVID-19 to unvaccinated populations in the US, which in many areas is approaching or exceeding January 2021 infection rates. “As more people receive vaccines, covid-19 cases are occurring mostly in the increasingly narrow slice of the unprotected population. So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that — and found that in some places, the virus continues to rage among those who haven’t received a shot… Unvaccinated people are getting the wrong message, experts said. “They think it’s safe to take off the mask. It’s not,” said Lynn Goldman, dean of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “It looks like fewer numbers, looks like it’s getting better, but it’s not necessarily better for those who aren’t vaccinated.”