Do you know how climate change is changing our lives?

We’ve all realized that temperatures in the United States and around the world are getting warmer, but we know what that social impact is and how it affects our daily lives.

During the video conference “How Climate Change Is Changing Our Lives,” hosted by Ethnic Media Services, several experts spoke about its potential long-term impact on our lives and its social costs.

Hannah Hess from the non-profit Climate Impact Laboratorysaid his work is motivated by how expensive it is to cut emissions, so lawmakers have a responsibility to divert resources from other goals, such as housing or education systems, to address the social cost of carbon.

“We are a mixture of economists, climate scientists and computer engineers who combine large databases of temperature, precipitation and sea level with econometric tools to quantify the impact of climate change.”

So, he says, they want to see how the social cost of carbon can help address the challenge of developing the right policies to tackle the problem.

“The social cost of carbon emissions is defined as the total harm caused to society by one additional ton of carbon dioxide. A simple example is carbon dioxide emissions from the tailpipe of automobile gasoline, which increase the concentration of carbon dioxide and lead to an increase in average temperature. This has consequences in every corner of the globe.or”.

He noted that through research they measure the number of associated deaths and changes in the amount of food produced by farmers.

“We have launched a new platform that we call Climate horizons make the information that comes out more accessible by county, and the goal is to understand the physical impacts of climate change as a function of emissions.”

He cited the example of Orlando, where temperatures exceeded 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius, from 1986 to 2005, nearly two months of extreme heat per year.

“Both very high and low temperatures aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular diseases; and result in a mortality rate of 19 per 100,000 people compared to a future without climate change.”

He said it’s even more deadly than car accidents, which now have a fatality rate of 14 per 100,000 in the United States.

Climate change in communities

John Christensen, Associate Professor Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development and founder Laboratory of Environmental Narrative Strategies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) said that while most people believe climate change is real, there are those who doubt it and deny it.

“We know that doubt has been created by the PR campaigns of fossil fuel companies, which borrow their practices from the tobacco industry.”

He said that, in addition, the phrase “climate change,” like the word “environment,” is the most polarizing concept that exists in the US political lexicon.

“I want to suggest that we think of climate change not just as a problem to be solved, but as a resource to think about, tell stories about, and understand ourselves in the world.”

He said we can make a difference through the stories we tell about climate change if we use them as opportunities to understand them across the diverse cultures, histories and languages ​​we represent in California.

“You can think of climate change as a topic to watch and explore in stories about immigration, health care, and factors that can make a community more resilient to fewer heat days, like parks. vegetation and urban trees.”

And he cited the example of a recently released study from UCLA and the Department of Public Health that found the average number of trees and vegetation in all Los Angeles County communities is very low and below the park average.

“If we simply return these levels to the average, we will add almost a million years to the life expectancy of current residents of Los Angeles County, especially in places like South Los Angeles, where the life expectancy of a newborn is about ten years younger compared with a child born on the west side.”

A controversial issue

Megan Mullin Director of Teacher Services UCLA Innovation Centersaid the most important characteristic of climate change policy in the United States and around the world is division.

“There is no issue that divides Democrats and Republicans more than climate change, even as its impacts become increasingly visible and widely accepted.”

He noted that Democrats are increasingly concerned, but among Republicans concern is minimal.

“When Pew Research, one of our leading national research organizations, asks each year about government action priorities, climate change ranks dead last among Republicans year after year, and the gap between climate change and every other issue, be it poverty, is enormous. , welfare, defense or crime.”

However, he said there were three options to take action even if the rift persisted.

“The first possibility is that Democrats in government and the public are more united in their concern that climate change is a priority, and in Democratic-run states they are taking bold action; and at the federal level, the Inflation Relief Act has made historic investments to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

He noted that while Republican political leaders and officials continue to deny the seriousness of climate change, obstructing government action, clean energy adoption is concentrated in Republican-led states.

“38% of the nation’s operating clean energy capacity is located in just four traditionally Republican states—Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas—meaning the transition to a clean energy economy is already underway anyway.”

He noted that they found that states hardest hit by climate change and at risk of floods and fires have more Republicans.

“So we may start to see less resistance from Republicans to investments that protect communities from some of the impacts of climate change.”

Motivate to action

Miranda Massey, Director and Founder Climate Museum In New York, the first environmentally-focused museum in the United States said its mission is to motivate action on the climate crisis through exhibitions and cultural programming to deepen understanding, build connections and advance solutions.

“We’re not just talking about climate change, but focusing on the arts, humanities and social impacts in a way that brings more people into this important conversation.”

He said a statistic that is critical to how they interact with their visitors is that 66% of Americans are interested in and concerned about climate change, but since no one is talking about it, they don’t really know what to do.

“This created what researchers call a spiral of silence and causes a feedback loop that breeds inaction. We use art as a starting point to inspire them to take action.”

Author: Araceli Martinez Ortega
Source: La Opinion

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