Hope, Frustration, Fear, and Gratitude
I recently graduated from Manchester University, in May 2023, with degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Natural History. I am inspired by scientists who work to make the planet a better world and safer place, where justice prevails and the world is green. I am angry at the fossil fuel executives, plastic tycoons and world leaders that have put us in this precarious situation. Yes – I am scared about our future, but I am also energized, and hungry for change.
We have solutions available now to change the world. We can have a 90% carbon-neutral energy grid by 2035. With the technology we have now, we can be almost all the way to a renewable energy world. One example of technology we can use to remove toxic pollutants from the ecosystems, reclaim waste and marginal lands, saline soils and water bodies, is the use of bioremediation and biodegradation.I am extremely passionate about this field of work. These techniques involve the use of biological systems such as microorganisms or their products and plants, as sustainable, cost effective options to reclaim contaminated soil/ water and transform them into less hazardous or non hazardous forms.
Climate change, pollution and a host of other environmental risks disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income communities. Although these effects are not exclusive to the poor, they have limited access to help deal and cope with them. To achieve environmental justice, environmental laws and policies need to be developed, implemented and enforced to protect everyone-regardless of race or income. The federal government must do more to support and uplift the efforts of climate resiliency. One way to do this is improving environmental equity mapping, which is approximately what I am doing in my role as Climate Justice Advocate at California Interfaith Power & Light.
The EPA currently maps communities based on basic environmental and demographic indicators, but more can be done on the federal government to identify at risk communities. This data can be used to adjust rules under the Clean Air and Clean Water Act. If we can better understand the impact of pollution, we can make this data publicly available online to help communities measure their own health and safety.
This relates to the work I am doing at California Interfaith Power & Light as I am researching congregations in underserved areas that could be good candidates for solar and/ or climate resiliency resources. As a Climate Justice Advocacy Associate, I work with California Interfaith Power & Light to expand our work with faith communities in underserved and disadvantaged communities, assist with events and webinars, create educational materials, and research to inform our policy advocacy and congregational outreach.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work here at California Interfaith Power & Light as a Climate Justice Advocate.