Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Concern over Environment Greater Among Latinos and Asians than Whites

According to a recent Los Angeles Times/USC poll, Latino and Asian voters in California are more concerned about the environment, specifically over global warming, air pollution and contamination of soil and water than their white counterparts.

The survey which examined attitudes on several issues such as global warming, air pollution and tainted soil and water, found that in comparison to whites, about half of all Latino and Asian respondents consistently answered that they were concerned about these issues.

About 50% of Latinos and 46% of Asians in the poll said that they “personally worry a great deal about global warming,” in comparison to 27% of whites.  And two-thirds of Latinos and 51% of Asians polled said they “worry a great deal about air pollution,” compared with 31% of whites.

“Environmental hazards are a part of the everyday lives of Asian American and Latino voters who are disproportionately represented in locations with high levels of pollution and contaminants,” Jane Junn, a professor of political science at USC and research director of the poll, said.

One of the nation’s largest concentrations of minorities living near hazardous chemical wastes and air pollution produced by refineries, port operations, freeway traffic and railroads can be found in California.   Calculations show that 1.2 million people in the greater Los Angeles area, 91% of them minorities, live less than two miles from facilities handling hazardous materials such as chrome-plating businesses and battery recycling centers, according to an analysis of census data by researchers at four universities for the United Church of Christ

“The poll’s findings are a clear expression of the direct threat environmental carelessness presents to the health of these families and their communities,” Dan Taylor, director of public policy for California Audubon, said. “If we are going to get anywhere with an environmental or wildlife-focused agenda we have to partner with the Latino leadership in the Legislature, or we’re not going to win. It’s that simple.”

California has one of the largest populations of Latinos in the country with 37%. Asians make up 12.5% and whites 41.5%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We’re stepping up and saying, ‘Hey, we live, hike, camp, fish and play here too,’ ” Riverside resident, Jason Padilla, 26, said.  “We’re getting involved to help make changes that are morally and ethically right and benefit everybody.”

A total of 1,689 adults were surveyed by telephone for the poll.  The margin of error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.

LA Times


  1. We’re not going to standby anymore and be dump sites for others’ wastes while they profit and our childrens’ lives are endangered.