While Texas Politicians Ignore Climate Change, Black and Brown Families Suffer in Winter Storm

A recent photo of Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, allegedly boarding a plane to head to Cancun with his family while his state is enduring a brutal winter storm has begun to draw national outrage.  But for anyone who has been paying attention to the words and actions of Ted Cruz for several years now, the tone-deafness of him traveling to the tropical destination while Texas is in a moment of climate crisis is not surprising.

It’s not like morality or consideration of disenfranchised Texans ranks high on Ted Cruz’s list of priorities.

And while Cruz flies the friendly skies to escape his powerless, waterless home state, Texas Governor Rick Perry, from the coziness of a surely-powered governor’s mansion, is telling the media that Texans would rather endure blackouts than have the federal government in their business, so long as it keeps him from considering Democratic proposals of climate change regulations.

Cruz and Perry are two of the most well-known Republican politicians in the nation, and both have been belligerent and gross in their opposition to renewable energy sources. Despite the fact that studies show that an increased supply of renewable energy would replace carbon-intensive energy sources and significantly reduce US global warming emissions, Republican leaders of the oil-and-gas titan that is Texas has a vested interest in denouncing renewable energy as a credible alternative.

Probably because the oil and gas industry keeps its stained hands deep in the pockets of GOP Texas politicians.

But the social science of history-making weather events cannot be ignored when considering these politicians’ reluctance to addressing climate change regulations. Because in Texas, Black and Brown families are more than twice as likely as white households to live under the poverty line, per the U.S. Census.

An innumerable amount of folks in these communities are living in conditions with insufficient insulation, and when coupled with the devastation brought on by the coronavirus to Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in Texas, emergency response units are essentially gridlocked during the brutal winter storm.

“Texas thinks it’s some big, bad independent state, but we can’t get the power on. We need to rethink how we do things,” Chas Moore, founder of the Austin Justice Coalition, recently told the Washington Post.

“When disaster hits, it hits those communities that we historically disregard and don’t pay enough attention to,” Moore explained, a truth that has revealed itself multiple times over the past several years as global warming has brought on a series of historic weather events that have been most damaging to communities of color.

And as Black and Brown residents of some of the state’s largest cities like Houston, Dallas and Austin struggle to have their power and water restored, weather relief is coming as temperatures are forecasted to climb into the mid-60s and low-70s over the weekend.

Because thankfully Mother Nature is not as callous as some Texas politicians who are fine with citizens of the state dying as long as it does not disrupt their way of business. 

About the Author

Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be