Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Survey Shows Latino Community Strongly Supports Environmental Issues

Climate
Survey Shows Latino Community Strongly Supports Environmental Issues

Michael Brune

You're probably already aware that Latinos are the fastest growing segment of American society. Latino influence on our economy, our culture and our politics will only increase in the coming years.

But what about the environment? Where do Hispanics in the U.S. stand on issues like clean energy, protection for wilderness and climate change?

New information shows Latino support for environmental issues is stronger than ever.

Together with the National Council of La Raza, the Sierra Club recently led a nationwide survey of Latino voters and their environmental concerns and priorities. This was a follow-up to a Sierra Club 2008 survey of Latino voters, which was the first of its kind. This project included focus groups with registered Latino voters in Houston and Los Angeles, followed by a bilingual phone poll of 1,131 registered Latino voters across the country.

Here are five key takeaways from the survey:

  1. Overall, Latinos are strongly pro-environment. In both the focus groups and phone poll, Latino voters consistently expressed a strong desire to protect the environment and move toward a clean energy future.
  2. Nearly all Latino voters (91 percent) view outdoor activities as important to their way of life and support environmental safeguards that protect their family, community and culture. Substantial numbers take advantage of public outdoor spaces, and nearly 7 in 10 Latino voters favor designating more existing public lands as national monuments.
  3. Many Latinos have firsthand reasons to distrust polluters—they report that they live or work near toxic sites. Many also have family members whose health was affected by environmental pollution. Nearly half of respondents (47 percent) reported that they or someone in their family has faced asthma, and 41 percent reported the same thing about cancer. Since 2008, their concern over the pollution of air and water has grown by 10 points.
  4. Latinos are as concerned about jobs and the economy as any other group, but they overwhelmingly believe that conservation and clean-energy solutions will function as job creators. A hefty 86 percent of Latino voters report that they would prefer the U.S. to invest in clean, renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels. Further, Latino voters almost unanimously said they would prefer to work in the clean energy industry over the fossil fuel industry, provided salary and benefits are equal.
  5. Global climate change? Nine in 10 Latino voters believe that global climate change is already happening or will happen in the future. That may help explain why nearly 6 in 10 Latino voters are willing to pay more each month on their electricity bill to have their home’s electricity come from clean sources.
  6. We learned a lot more, of course, and you can get the details here.

Of course, for anyone who's been paying attention, this survey confirms something that should have been obvious all along. After all, Latinos led the defense of California's climate legislation (Proposition 23), and Latino communities have been among those leading the fight against incinerators and toxic dumps for decades. For those who haven't been paying attention, though, seeing just how deep and broad the support for environmental issues runs among Latino voters ought to be a wake-up call.

LumiNola / E+ / Getty Images

By Gwen Ranniger

Fertility issues are on the rise, and new literature points to ways that your environment may be part of the problem. We've rounded up some changes you can make in your life to promote a healthy reproductive system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Seattle-based Community Loaves uses home bakers to help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic. Sol de Zuasnabar Brebbia / Getty Images

By Lynn Freehill-Maye

The irony hit Katherine Kehrli, the associate dean of Seattle Culinary Academy, when one of the COVID-19 pandemic's successive waves of closures flattened restaurants: Many of her culinary students were themselves food insecure. She saw cooks, bakers, and chefs-in-training lose the often-multiple jobs that they needed simply to eat.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Storks in a nest near a construction crane. In the past 50 years, America's bird populations have fallen by a third. Maria Urban / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

What does a biodiversity crisis sound like? You may need to strain your ears to hear it.

Read More Show Less
The Biden administration is temporarily using Obama-era calculations of the "social cost" of three greenhouse gas pollutants while calculating a more accurate estimate. Bloomberg Creative / Getty Images

The Biden administration announced it will use Obama-era calculations of the "social cost" of three greenhouse gas pollutants while an interagency working group calculates a more complete estimate, the White House announced Friday.

Read More Show Less
Posts about climate change will now automatically be labelled with an information banner that directs people to accurate climate science data at Facebook's Climate Science Information Center. Facebook

By Anne-Sophie Brändlin

Facebook has started tackling dangerous climate change myths and anti-environment propaganda that circulates among the platform's almost 3 billion monthly users.

Read More Show Less