Tangible Ideas for Climate Justice

Submitted by Lola Conopio-Mora on Sun, 10/27/2019 - 14:52 - 0 Comments
The world is feeling the impacts and consequences of climate change with constantly growing and record levels of global emissions. Arctic winter temperatures have risen and the past four years are the hottest years on record. Many are starting to be affected by the influence of climate change on health with current air pollution, heatwaves, and more. Solutions to this are costing tremendous amounts but there has been a rising recognition of affordable ways to build cleaner economies. According to an article in The Guardian written by Nicholas Stern, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change set the world a clear target that says, “We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to net zero by the middle of this century to have a reasonable chance of limiting global warming to 1.5.”
How is the climate crisis affecting people?
The climate crisis is creating issues in people’s everyday lives. Multiple widespead health impacts are beginning to be noticed by many. This is causing people to get sicker with illnesses that are varying from basic allergies to a more serious heart and lung disease. According to an article on the Scientific American website written by Emily Holden, health issues being caused and affected by climate change include:
- Worsening allergies
- Heart and lung disease
- Dehydration and kidney problems
- Skin disease
- Digestive illnesses
- Infectious diseases
- Mental health conditions
- Neurologic disease
- Nutritional value in grown food
- Trauma
This list doesn’t include it all. There are still other cases of health defects being discovered and learned about that are a side effect of climate change.
What do government officials and presidential candidates think?
As said on multiple occasions and in many different ways, President Trump does not believe the reports from the government that prove the seriousness of the climate crisis. This is extremely worrying coming from the person who is supposed to be leading our country to a better future and his views on this crisis are unreasonable and unethical. On September 5, 2019, CNN held a Democratic presidential town hall with this election’s presidential candidates that put a spotlight on the current climate crisis. These are the key takeaways from some of the top presidential candidates:
- Bernie Sanders: “was asked whether he would roll back Trump administration plans to overturn requirements on energy-saving light bulbs. He delivered an empathetic answer, ‘Duh!’”
- Elizabeth Warren: “said that conversations around regulating light bulbs, banning plastic straws and cutting down on red meat are exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants people focused on as a way to distract from their impact on climate change.”
- Kamala Harris: “said that, as president, she would direct the Department of Justice to go after oil and gas companies who have directly impacted global warming. ‘They are causing harm and death in communities. And there has been no accountability,’ she said.”
- Pete Buttigieg: during the Town Hall Buttigieg said, “successfully combating climate change might be more challenging than winning World War II.” He added, “This is the hardest thing we will have done in my lifetime as a country.”
What have others been doing to make a change/spread awareness?
On Friday, September 20, millions of people kicked off the Global Climate Strikes. Also, many young people have woken up much of the world with the “Fridays for Future” strikes at their schools. Currently, people in 150 countries are putting together global climate strikes for the month of September. Sriya Chinnam is a senior at Lincoln High School and is the head of the Environmental Justice Club. I interviewed her asking what she has been doing to make a change in her community, to which she said, “I really [push] myself to organize and be with other students that care about the same things as me. I’ve been going to a lot of meetings that have been addressing climate change. I’ve been planning climate strikes, I’ve been doing a lot of direct action.” She also told me that over the summer she, “planned a camp with [young people and adults]. This camp was meant to empower students in PPS and give them the tools they need to be student leaders at their school.” Lots of people are organizing events and some will take the strike days as opportunities to try and raise awareness and finding solutions in their community.
What can you do to make a change?
Here is a list of some things you
can do to help make a change:
1. Get informed!!! The more you know, the better.
2. Hold yourself accountable for your choices and the impacts they have on the planet.
3. Unplug. Don’t keep some things plugged in when they don’t need to be.
4. Travel smarter. Traveling using sources such as cars and planes heavily impact our carbon footprint.
5. Take climate action one step at a time.
6. Shop smarter. Try to support and buy from companies that aim for sustainability and clarity throughout their organization.
7. Vote Earth. Stay informed on the climate crisis at all levels: global, national and local.
8. Try to organize events to spread awareness.
Our house is on fire. Climate change is an issue that will not be easily resolved. Do your best to help out and make a change.

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