It’s not clear whether credit can be given to Obama for making the environment a focal point in the Black community, but most African Americans say they are concerned about climate change and the role government is taking in tackling the problem.
A new national poll counters the long-held notion that thinking green is a White thing. A clear majority of African Americans (58 percent) now identify global warming as a “major problem,” and only about 10 percent said they did not deem it a problem at all, according to the survey by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based research and policy institution that focuses on African-American concerns.
Most of the respondents also agreed that government and individuals can do things to reduce global warming. One in three believe that federal and state government can play a major role in addressing the problem, and three in four believe government can at least do something. A large majority said they would be even more supportive with strong provisions for green jobs and incentives to buy more energy efficient cars and improve the energy efficiency of their homes, the Joint Center reports.
"While African Americans are underrepresented in the public debates on climate change and environmental issues generally, they are as aware of these issues as other groups in American society, and committed to action – both personal and governmental – to deal with the problems associated with climate change," said Ralph B. Everett, president and CEO of the Joint Center.