When President Obama and EPA administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled their new climate push last week, they didn’t talk about saving the polar bears and sparing the ice caps. Instead, Obama led his pitch by talking about the children: A set of proposed power plant regulations, he said, were aimed at “reducing the carbon pollution that hurts the health of our kids, and the health of the planet, while also giving us enormous opportunities to grow and improve the economy in all sorts of ways.”

In particular, Obama singled out African American kids, who “are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma, four times as likely to die from asthma,” as white kids, and Latinos, who “are 30 percent more likely to be hospitalized for asthma.”

Brentin Mock, who covers environmental justice for Grist in his Read, black, and green blog, explained this new frame in a post that got some wide attention from the national press. Mock talked to MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday.