Yes, America’s green movement is often seen as white. And there are plenty of reasons for that, including the fact that environmental organization staffers are predomnantly white and that a small fraction of environmental grant funding goes toward environmental justice. But when you ask Americans what they care about, nonwhites are the ones who give a damn.
According to data from the Pew Research Center, organized and prettified by FiveThirtyEight’s DataLab, nonwhite Americans are significantly more likely than whites to think global warming should be a top priority for the U.S. government. The gap is now over 20 percent.
What FiveThirtyEight notes, however, is that even when you control for political party (sure, Democrats are going to be more likely to favor government action, and more minorities are Democrats), the numbers still skew in favor of nonwhites.
As many media outlets have noted, if the People’s Climate March was any indication, this movement is getting visibly more diverse. But events like the Americas Latino Eco Festival and this kind of polling data are bringing more attention to the idea that, if we’re talking beliefs, it already was diverse. Ninety percent of Latinos, for example, believe that the government should take action on climate change. According to a 2010 poll from Yale University, people of color “were often the strongest supporters of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” And a recent Green For All survey shows similar results.
People talk about “inclusivity” in the environmental movement. Maybe what they should be pointing to is “reality.”