Elizabeth Yeampierre has been an important voice on these issues for more than two decades. Carbon Sequestration; Climate Change and Climate Science; Ecosystem Science; Soil … By Amy Brady | Friday, January 15, 2021. For us, as part of the climate justice movement, to separate those things is impossible. “This report provides policymakers, health professionals, advocates and the general public with the information they need to take timely action to protect public health.”. Anthony Leiserowitz, the founder and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC), has been named the recipient of Climate One’s Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communicationfor his scientific contributions and effective communication on the issue of climate change. The same thing in terms of the disruption and the stealing of indigenous land. Immigration and refugees are no exception. They’re struggling because of how Covid-19 has affected the economy. There has to be a fundamental change in the culture of these institutions. As World’s Deltas Sink, Rising Seas Are Far from Only Culprit. So it’s really exciting. All of that is connected, and I don’t know how people don’t see the connection between the extraction and how black and indigenous people suffered as a result of that and continue to suffer, because all of those decisions were made along that historical continuum, all those decisions also came with Jim Crow. And it’s not surprising that they’re the ones that are targeted for racial violence. Populations disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change include those with low income, communities of color, immigrant groups (including those with limited English proficiency), Indigenous people, children and pregnant women, older adults, vulnerable occupational groups, people with disabilities and people with preexisting or chronic medical conditions. were among the coldest years of the recent millennia in the Northern Hemisphere at the start of one of the coldest decades. Connecticut has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions below 2001 levels by 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. We also engage the public in climate change science and solutions, in partnership with governments, media organizations, companies, and civil society, and with a daily, national radio program, Yale Climate … Connecting the dots between environmental injustice and the coronavirus. Why low-income households needs to be part of the clean energy revolution. While growing up in the Midwest, Kenton Gewecke did not think climate change was a pressing concern. By Beth Gardiner Salvatore Laporta / KONTROLAB / LightRocket via Getty Images . Those are different economies of scale that include not just renewable energy but healthy food and all of the things that people need in order to thrive. In the survey, published Friday by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, 53 … And that’s evident even in the rebuilding. Can you describe the links you see connecting these two issues? Stefan Rahmstorf, an oceanographer at the University of Potsdam and a co-author of the new analysis, told e360: “The AMOC stands at the center of tipping-point cascades because of its large-scale heat transport.” It is, he says, the main reason why the Northern Hemisphere is warmer than the … People of color. Submitted by Colin Poitras on September 15, 2020, https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17621/internet-explorer-downloads, The average annual temperature increased by 3.0. Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images. Let’s do this together.”. Nationally, we need to be looking at stopping pipelines — reducing carbon but also reducing other pollutants. Yale Environment 360: You’ve spoken about the big-picture idea that climate change and racial injustice share the same roots and have to be addressed together, and that there is no climate action that is not also about racial justice. We were in our 20s and this is how we started. Climate change is not just an environmental issue: it is an ‘everything’ issue. “Everywhere you look, you can see climate change undermining or threatening to undermine the foundations of health,” says Doctor Nick Watts, the chief sustainability officer of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, known as the NHS. Yale’s climate-change and environmental research is a clear case in point. On March 20, 2019, the Rule of Law Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of former U.S. diplomats and government officials in City of Oakland v.BP p.l.c., a case currently pending before the Ninth Circuit.The cities of Oakland and San Francisco sued a group of Carbon Majors for the climate change harms caused by their deceptive marketing and promotion of fossil fuels. Discussion Leader: TBD for Fall 2020. Please update your browser or switch to Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Connecticut must also expand its work to prepare for and adapt to the climate change impacts that have begun and will worsen in the future. Climate change also affects many threatened species dependent on tropical forests. For example, in Sunset Park [Brooklyn, where Yeampierre runs the Latino community group UPROSE], we just launched the first community-owned solar cooperative in the state. Read more. ENV 602a Ecosystems and Landscapes; ENV 709b Lectures, Discussions and Applications of Soil Science; Expertise. While we’re doing that, we also need to look at how we create the market instead of following the market — wind turbines that are built in the United States so we don’t have to bring the parts in from Europe. Demonstrators march in Sunset Park, Brooklyn last September in support of community-led climate justice initiatives. The truth is that the climate justice movement, people of color, indigenous people, have always worked multi-dimensionally because we have to be able to fight on so many different planes. They came with literally doing everything necessary to control and squash black people from having any kind of power. e360: Can you more explicitly draw the connection between climate change and the history of slavery and colonialism? Yeampierre: With the arrival of slavery comes a repurposing of the land, chopping down of trees, disrupting water systems and other ecological systems that comes with supporting the effort to build a capitalist society and to provide resources for the privileged, using the bodies of black people to facilitate that. Climate Change: An Ethical and Equitable Approach Valedictory Remarks by Ernesto Zedillo Yale University, former President of Mexico.Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2009 Excellencies, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very honored to again be part of this unique forum which has become a guidepost for the analysis and debate of some of the crucial challenges faced by humanity … Yale University Professor William Nordhaus has been named winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics for his research on models that integrate climate change into long-term economic analysis. Yale School of Public Health Climate Change and Health A Public Health Response to a Changing Climate The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health (CCCH) utilizes Yale's multidisciplinary expertise and global reach to train future leaders, provide a comprehensive educational program, and catalyze innovative research, all to address one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century. In New York, for example, we passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which is aggressive legislation that looks at how you move resources to frontline communities and how you invest in those communities. In this all-new sequel to the 2005 volume Climate Change and Biodiversity, leading experts in the field summarize observed changes, assess what the future holds, and offer suggested responses. Discover the research and experience of distinguished professors and alumni on the issues facing our planet. Mosquito abundance is a key factor that influences the capacity of a mosquito to transmit a virus and the rate at which infections spread. You can’t say that with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans the loss of lives was simply because there was an extreme weather event. Flooding events and storm surge have been associated with climate change. It looks at all those different kinds of things. With the cooperative, the community actually owns the utility, owns the energy source. The idea of killing black people or indigenous people, all of that has a long, long history that is centered on capitalism and the extraction of our land and our labor in this country. It’s comfortable for people to separate them, because remember that the environmental movement, the conservation movement, a lot of those institutions were built by people who cared about conservation, who cared about wildlife, who cared about trees and open space and wanted those privileges while also living in the city, but didn’t care about black people. Sign up for the E360 Newsletter →. From extinction risk to ocean acidification, from the future of the Amazon to changes in ecosystem services, and from geoengineering to the power of ecosystem restoration, this book captures the … A just transition looks at the process of how we get there, and so it looks at not just the outcomes, which is something that the environmentalists look at, but it looks at the process — workers’ rights, land use, how people are treated, whether the process of creating materials that take us to a carbon-neutral environment is toxic and whether it affects the host community where it’s being built. ’20. Yeampierre: It has to be at the center. I think about people who got the worst food, the worst health care, the worst treatment, and then when freed, were given lands that were eventually surrounded by things like petrochemical industries. But these models become a real benefit in moments like this where you don’t know where your next paycheck is coming from. e360: With the pandemic and its racially disparate impact, and then the killing of George Floyd and the protests that have followed, we’re at this moment where these longstanding racial disparities and racism are on vivid display. June 9, 2020. Activist Elizabeth Yeampierre has long focused on the connections between racial injustice and the environment and climate change. The country has been hit hard by the coronavirus. From public health to food prices, rising global average temperatures impact almost every aspect of modern society. Can Geothermal Power Play a Key Role in the Energy Transition? If they were thinking strategically, they would be saying, “Hey, let me see. Professor Robert Dubrow, M.D., Ph.D., faculty director of the Yale Center on Climate Change and Health, was the report’s co-author. Now, we’re is reaching out to small businesses. It has to matter to white folks because when our communities succeed and get what they need, everyone benefits from that. One of the things that we learned is that in order for that to happen, the pieces have to come from Europe and be assembled in New York and they would be coming in these huge container ships. • When it comes to setting climate change policy, science can only tell us so much. Yeampierre: A just transition is a process that moves us away from a fossil fuel economy to local livable economies, to regenerative economies. The report concludes that to protect human health now and in the future, Connecticut decision makers and residents alike must undertake strong action to confront the challenges identified in the report. The 100-page report tracks 19 indicators grouped into four categories—temperature, extreme events, infectious diseases and air quality—that were developed using publicly available data. When the Covid-19 pandemic is past, societies may … A revelatory study of how climate change will affect individual economic decisions, and the broad impact of those choices Selected by Publishers Weekly as one of its Top Ten books in Business and Economics for Spring 2021 It is all but certain that the next century will be hotter than any we’ve experienced before. Yeampierre: With the Green New Deal, for example, we said that it wasn’t a Green New Deal unless it was centered on frontline solutions and on ensuring that frontline leadership would be able to move resources to their communities to deal with things like infrastructure and food security. Course Director: Robert Dubrow, Faculty Director Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative . Read more. A residential street alongside a major oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, a city that is more than two-thirds African American and Latino. The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans have cast stark new light on the racism that remains deeply embedded in U.S. society. We need to start focusing on regenerative economies, creating community cooperatives and different kinds of economic systems that make it possible for people to thrive economically while at the same time taking us off the grid. Overview: Transforming Land and Sea for a More Sustainable World, In Boost for Renewables, Grid-Scale Battery Storage Is on the Rise, Filthy Water: A Basic Sanitation Problem Persists in Rural America, How Non-Native Plants Are Contributing to a Global Insect Decline, How Biden Can Put the U.S. on a Path to Carbon-Free Electricity, Amid Tensions in Myanmar, An Indigenous Park of Peace Is Born, As South Africa Clings to Coal, A Struggle for the Right to Breathe. Seven of Connecticut’s 16 Superfund sites are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including flooding and hurricane storm surge. Together, these actions also provide the opportunity to create clean energy jobs and to prioritize investment in environmental justice communities. Okay, we want renewable energy. And you can’t treat one part of the problem without the other, because it’s so systemic. The Climate Change Student Interest Group was initiated in 2005 with the aim to foster personal, campus, and political awareness of climate change, and its broader environmental and social implications. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Yeampierre draws a direct line from slavery and the rapacious exploitation of natural resources to current issues of environmental justice. This is not the ‘60s or the ‘70s or the ‘80s where we follow one iconic leader. Discover how climate change is felt through water, the attitudes and politics surrounding climate change, health ramifications, religious and ethical responses, the effects of climate change on the economy, and more. Forest Defenders: A Panamanian Tribe Regains Control of Its Lands. In our communities, people are suffering from asthma and upper respiratory disease, and we’ve been fighting for the right to breathe for generations. “I think about people who got the worst food, the worst health care, the worst treatment, and then when freed, were given lands that were eventually surrounded by things like petrochemical industries,” says Yeampierre. Since 1990, the annual number of days on which ground-level ozone exceeded safe levels decreased in all counties, but more improvements are needed to fully protect human health. These are the kinds of things that we think about when we’re thinking about a just transition. During 2001 to 2019, of 28 mosquito species found in Connecticut to carry viruses that cause human disease, 10 showed trends of increasing abundance, while three showed trends of decreasing abundance. Yet these impacts to health are still not well recognized. It’s really interesting to see what happens to the land after people have been displaced, how land speculation and land grabs and investments are made in communities that, when there were black people living there, had endured not having the things people need to have livable good lives. It was only a few years after that I realized that if we couldn’t breathe, we couldn’t fight for justice and that’s how I got into the environmental justice movement. e360: Can you talk a little bit about the idea of a just transition to a low-carbon future and how that dovetails with anti-racism efforts? If you understand that, then you know that climate change is the child of all that destruction, of all of that extraction, of all of those decisions that were made and how those ended up, not just in terms of our freedom and taking away freedom from black people, but hurting us along the way. Democratic senators have sights set on climate change rules Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and an outspoken proponent for climate change action, says he is confident the Biden team will swiftly swap out critical rules – though many such as auto emissions standards and mileage rollbacks fall outside CRA parameters. When that happens, we’ll be able to move the dial much more efficiently. A climate activist will be like, “Okay, we need offshore wind” — right, that’s it. The communities that are most impacted by Covid, or by pollution, it’s not surprising that they’re the ones that are going to be most impacted by extreme weather events. You have access to energy that is both renewable — which means it has a health benefit — and also benefits your pocketbook. The word justice here is important because for a long time people would talk about sustainability, that you could have sustainability without justice, and the climate movement focused on reducing carbon but didn’t really care about other pollutants. In fact, the American Lung Association gave all eight Connecticut counties an F grade for ozone pollution in its 2019, Monitor current conditions and project trends for Connecticut, Invest in the social determinants of health, Tackle the upstream drivers of climate change and health disparities, Pursue actions that integrate mitigation, adaptation and immediate health benefits, Build the capacity of health professionals and other decision makers to address climate and health, Incorporate climate change into decision making across sectors, Incorporate public health into climate change decision making. Energy Equity: Bringing solar power to low-income communities. Climate Change The local consequences of global warming will lead to adverse economic, social and political effects that irremediably will spill across borders. On U.S. Public Lands, Can Biden Undo What Trump Has Wrought? To access the full report and learn more about The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health visit their website. It’s all there. Your browser is antiquated and no longer supported on this website. Climate models give insight into how these climate-forcing relationships play out in different forest environments; however, it is difficult to apply generalizations from models to specific ecosystems to determine the effects of climate change. Yale’s investment policy regarding climate change reduces portfolio risk and supports our fiduciary responsibility – to provide substantial, stable financial support for current and future scholars through the prudent management of Yale’s Endowment. The Yale Climate Change and Health Initiative was created at the Yale School of Public Health in 2015 in response to growing concerns about how climate change was affecting the health of populations in developed and developing countries around the world. Board of Permanent Officers Mark Bradford Professor, Soils and Ecosystem Ecology. Paul Romer of New York University was also named for his work on endogenous growth theory. Who’s doing this and how can we support them?” We’ve had groups of white young people who have contacted us and have said to us, “How can we support you? HIST 459J (Yale College course) Climate Change and the Humanities Practicums and Seminar Classes. A residential street alongside a major oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, a city that is more than two-thirds African American and Latino. There was a taking of land, not just for expansion, but to search for gold, to take down mountains and extract fossil fuels out of mountains. Low-income communities. This is a time where we need to have numerous people really taking on the charge of directing something that’s big and complex. As co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance, she leads a coalition of more than 70 organizations focused on addressing racial and economic inequities together with climate change. The loss of life comes out of a legacy of neglect and racism. As Big Energy Gains, Can Europe’s Community Renewables Compete? The climate solution is we reduce carbon, but the environmental justice problem is we dump tons of nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides and PM2.5 [particles] into the lungs of the host community. e360: So how do you have a fight for climate action that is intertwined with a fight for racial justice? There is a long history of racism in those movements. It’s all related. e360: Racial justice would presumably have to be at the heart of that. We’re hoping this model will birth more projects like this. As co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance, she leads a coalition of more than 70 organizations focused on addressing racial and economic inequities together with climate change. It’s ironic that those are the signs you’re seeing in these protests — “I can’t breathe.” When the police are using chokeholds, literally people who suffer from a history of asthma and respiratory disease, their breath is taken away. Globally, temperatures are likely to rise faster in polar regions than in tropical regions, affecting vulnerable species such as polar bears. From 2010 to 2019, there were nine federal disaster declarations for weather-related events in Connecticut, compared with only 13 in the previous 56 years. Climate change is sometimes called a “risk amplifier,” meaning that many existing risks to health—whether environmental, economic, demographic, social, or genetic factors—are intensified by climate change impacts. What would you hope the climate movement and the environmental justice movement take away from this moment and apply going forward? We need the climate solution, but then we need to talk about how we electrify the industrial waterfront and how these ships can plug in so they’re not burning diesel. Beth Gardiner is a journalist and the author of Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution (University of Chicago Press). It is as present in matters of the environment as in other aspects of life: Both historical and present-day injustices have left people of color exposed to far greater environmental health hazards than whites. AP Photo/David Goldman. Interview dates: April 7 – 17, 2020. I’m in New York. The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health utilizes research, education, and public health practice to help safeguard the health of human populations from adverse impacts of climate change and human activities that cause climate change. These things, to me, are connected. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. When I first came into this work, I was fighting police brutality at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund. Climate change is making coastal storms more intense and extreme precipitation events and coastal and inland flooding more frequent, which may further damage Superfund sites and potentially release contaminants into ground or surface water, the air or the soil. When we started this project, we were thinking it would provide resilience to disruptions of the grid and other systems from extreme weather events. How can we best use our resources and our skills to support the work that you’re doing?” And, we’ve been like, “You know what? The instrument will be deposited with the United Nations today, and the United States will officially become a Party again 30 days later. The report concludes with the following seven recommendations to protect human health: The Yale Center on Climate Change and Health utilizes research, education, and public health practice to help safeguard the health of human populations from adverse impacts of climate change and human activities that cause climate change. I think it’s a moment for introspection and a moment to start thinking about how they contribute to a system that makes a police officer think it’s okay to put his knee on somebody’s neck and kill them, or a woman to call the police on an African-American man who was bird-watching in the park. This report is based on findings from a nationally representative survey – Climate Change in the American Mind – conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (climatecommunication.yale.edu) and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication (climatechangecommunication.org). This interview has been edited for length and clarity. What are the steps, the policies, that we should be thinking about looking forward? This means swift action to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate Change Science and Solutions; Ecosystem Management and Conservation Specialization; Energy and the Environment Specialization; Environmental Policy Analysis Specialization; Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry Specialization; People, Equity, and the Environment; Urban Specialization; Water Resource Science and Management Specialization Read more. But a climate justice activist will be like, “Okay, let’s look at it a little closer and let’s figure out what the process looks like and how we can engage in remediation to make sure we are not only reducing carbon but we’re also reducing co-pollutants, and let’s make sure that the people that are hired are hired locally.” So there are all of these other pieces that are involved in a just transition. 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