Save Burger King! Data Bring Global Warming Forecasts to Life in East Boston - Katherine Friedrich - Scientific American Blog Network
Environmental justice health risks and global warming go hand in hand....Near the beach, storm surges – estimated conservatively at 1 meter – could cover public transit tracks and reach houses and businesses that are hundreds of feet from the water now. The businesses near Constitution Beach include a Latino supermarket, a tool lending store, and a Burger King.Scientific American Blog Network
The tour leaders didn’t discuss what might happen to these neighborhoods if they are flooded. I’m concerned that these seafront properties, which developers eye with acquisitive interest today, could become tomorrow’s slums. If homeowners abandon the houses they cannot repair and buildings are sitting vacant, crime might increase. Given the stories that came from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, this idea is not farfetched.
Although few environmentalists might support the slogan “Save Burger King!,” it may be time to rethink how we talk about the resources low-income areas could lose. Global warming could wipe out our beaches, seaside restaurants, low-lying urban neighborhoods, and international grocery stores.
Although Chelsea and East Boston may never become high-crime ghost towns, curbing our appetite for the activities that cause global warming could help ensure those supermarkets will still be there for immigrants who may be escaping global warming elsewhere in the world.
Katherine Friedrich has a graduate degree from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Half of her coursework was in journalism.