It is easy to think climate change is not a big deal. Most people tend to worry less when it comes to climate change but it is actually affecting us every second. Why is action needed? There is flooding along the coast and rivers. Climate change also causes health problems like asthma and the increase of strokes. What can we do to help stop climate change? From my experience at a recent climate change roundtable, everyone can take action and do something. Whether its something big or small.
Looking to learn more about climate change I joined Racial equality and climate change roundtable at, Boston MA. The organizers there were pushing for people to start taking action on climate change. Their goal is for people to learn more about climate change and to come up with ideas to stop climate change.
We started with brainstorming ideas for the following questions, Question 1) What can we do in vulnerable communities to wade off the Urban Heat Island Effect? Question 2) How do we increase active transportation in vulnerable communities, less single-passenger vehicle use? Question 3) How can we increase recycling literacy in vulnerable communities? Question 4) How do you think energy injustice and predatory practices could best be addressed? We were in small groups for brainstorming ideas and we wrote it on a big piece of paper then we shared the ideas with everyone else.
One of the organizers claimed that by 2060, heavy precipitation events could drop more than 6 inches of water within 24 hours, which is the height of an average city curb, and 20% more than what we get now and by 2100 it will increase by 5.5-6+ inches. This might sound pretty far away but it is actually not. If we don’t start doing something it might be worse. They also said that right now Boston’s summers may be as hot as Washington, D.C’s in 50 years, and like Birmingham Alabama’s in 80. Boston’s temperature is barely up to 90 degrees but by 2070 there will be 25-90 days that Boston’s temperature is going to reach 90 degrees and it will continue to grow. Not only will the temperature increase the sea level will also rise. Without reducing emissions, at least 3 feet of sea-level rise is likely during the second half of the century. By 2100 sea-level will rise up to 7.4’ which is taller than Keven Garnett. This is really scary and dangerous. It will cause a lot of floods and natural disasters in Boston and the world.
Climate change can also cause health problems. Bostonians depend on clean air, water, and a stable climate to be healthy. The health impacts of climate change include prolonged and extreme allergies to seasonal change, reduced access to medication due to flooding evacuation scenarios, reduced water availability, and the increased likelihood of asthma attacks heat and strokes.
The stuff that we can do in vulnerable communities to wade off the Urban Heat Island Effect is to promote roof-top gardens, upkeep, and inventory of trees, not cutting trees down for development, make sure all schools have air conditioning, plant more trees in vulnerable communities, and ban on single-occupant vehicles. We can increase active transportation in vulnerable communities, less single-passenger vehicle use by decreasing speed limits, electrics vans for 8-10 people, safer and more bike lanes, carpooling network, and prioritize bike parking. We can increase recycling literacy in vulnerable communities by increase and promote use of “Trash Day” app, large complexes having “block captains” for accountability, use clear trash bags so people can see what is in the trash, and putting waste bins in parks and lack of recycling bins in others. Energy injustice and predatory practices could best be addressed by educating people how to get out of contracts if that is what they are interested in, making sure energy suppliers are legitimate, provide energy education in schools, have energy companies come to universities, Truthful marketing on mailers/phone calls, training for elderly/vulnerable populations on energy bill and scams, city-level registration for these energy companies, and public information mailers on the pro and cons of these programs. We can also have a carbon tax at the city level per building.
The experience of Racial and climate change roundtable gave us a lot to think about. The organizers showed us how climate change is affecting everyone and how fast it is changing the world. They also provided us some ideas that can help stop climate change. There is always something you can do even if its a really small thing.