Not only is Los Angeles still deep into Big Oil, the environmental impact of so many oil wells close to an urban center falls massively disproportionately to certain areas. According to Youth Climate Strike LA, neighborhoods like Wilmington and South Los Angeles, where low-income communities of color are already overburdened by pollution from freeways and other dirty industries, “children and families experience disproportionately high rates of asthma and suffer from severe nosebleeds, headaches, reproductive harm, and headaches associated with a long list of toxic chemicals used in oil extraction.”
For these reasons Greta and the other youth activists from Youth Climate Strike LA are calling upon California Governor Gavin Newsom and California’s elected leadership to act immediately to roll out a 2,500-foot health and safety buffer from existing oil wells to protect local communities. They are also demanding that California stop all new fossil fuel project permits, and drop existing oil production through a just and equitable transition. Hopefully, California’s leadership will be receptive and choose to speed up the pivot to renewable and sustainable resources. However, it is clearly the case that despite the number of electric vehicles and organic food options, California is still very much living on a carbon rich lifestyle.
You can watch Greta Thunberg speak live at City Hall around 1 pm on Nov. 1 on a Facebook live feed via the pages of Unify and Good Money, who are supporting the event with their livestreaming and social media resources.