Talent Citizen is starting off 2024 by learning about recent climate justice news and trends. As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15th, we are reminded of Dr. King’s words “that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.”
Inspired by Dr. King’s words and legacy, this month’s articles and resources invite us to think critically about our understanding of climate change, its connection and intersection with other social justice issues, and the ways that individuals and organizations can mobilize and contribute to climate justice. The Talent Citizen team engaged in dialogue and reflections on these topics, helping to inform our work and practice as we partner with mission-driven organizations across systems and networks.
Resources we are finding especially relevant and informative this month are:
The Solutions Project | Environmental & Climate Justice Issues
The Solutions Project is an organization addressing environmental justice by organizing, uplifting leaders, and promoting self-care within the climate justice movement. This page on the organization’s website emphasizes the importance of climate justice, highlighting its integration into national discussions and the recognition of its impact on diverse communities. The webpage traces the evolution of the environmental justice movement, underscoring the need for inclusive decision-making processes and support for marginalized communities. Through case studies focused on Hurricane Katrina, wildfires, and rising sea levels, The Solutions Project also illustrates the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on minority populations.
This article resonated with our team since some of our team members live in areas that have suffered from annual wildfires. The authors, Claire Carlson, John Upton, and Kaitlyn Trudeau, highlight the impact of wildfire smoke on mental health in rural communities, specifically, including increased stress, anxiety, and a potential connection to higher suicide rates. The long-term consequences of exposure to smoke, particularly for wildfire survivors, emphasizes the need for mental health support and clean air initiatives in affected regions.
PBS NewsHour YouTube | Latest climate assessment reveals how much climate change is costing Americans
We found this news clip about the National Climate Assessment crucially insightful, outlining how the U.S. is experiencing a faster rate of warming than the global average and how climate change is affecting various aspects of our lives. Katharine Hayhoe, the chief scientist of the Nature Conservancy and a distinguished professor at Texas Tech University, discussed the findings with Amna Nawaz. The report reveals that extreme weather events are now causing an annual cost of approximately $150 billion in the United States, underscoring the need for the mobilization of resources, organizations, and people to combat climate change.
U.S. Council on Environmental Quality | Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool
This interactive tool from the U.S. President’s Council on Environmental Quality highlights underserved and overburdened tracts and areas in every part of the United States, including Alaska, Hawai‘i, and Federally Recognized Tribes. It’s a practical tool that illustrates concrete information on the intersection of climate and economic injustices and their connection to our local communities.