For vulnerable urban communities, displaced wildfire survivors, and many other residents of California, climate change isn’t something that we can put off worrying about for a few years — it is their reality, today. These are just some of the most visible our front line communities. Changing how we approach housing construction, urban infrastructure, and utility management are going to all be key to addressing climate change here in California, and ensuring a just transition toward environmental justice.
“The latest research projects the Los Angeles region to be 3°F to 4°F warmer by mid-century, creating more frequent and intense heat waves that pose particular risk to Los Angeles’s most vulnerable communities.”
– Union of Concerned Scientists, Preparing for Climate Change Impacts in Los Angeles
In the summer of 2018 we had some of the most intense heat that Los Angeles has ever experienced. And extreme heat kills more people annually across our country than hurricanes, lightning, earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, combined.
Last year’s heat wave wasn’t an aberration — it’s the new normal:
“The 10 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998, and the four warmest years on record have all occurred since 2014.”
– Rebecca Lindsey and LuAnn Dahlman, Climate Change: Global Temperature
And it is our most vulnerable communities that bear the brunt of these impacts.
In 2017, California was the 4th largest producer of crude oil in the United States. We must take immediate steps to end this damaging extractive process, across the state. Not only does this industry contribute to global climate change, it has immediate impacts on local communities who have had to live with pumping stations in their backyard for decades.
AD53 is home to multiple oil and gas drill sites, including 28 active wells located at 1328 S Hill St, just 2 blocks from the Dignity Health California Hospital Medical Center. The ongoing impact of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak demonstrates how the petroleum industry continues to threaten the health and safety of our community.
California is the largest economy in the United States — larger than all but 4 nations. Our state has been at the vanguard of environmental protection and technological innovation for decades. Our vehicle emission standards set the bar for cars sold all across this country. We must continue to lead the country in combating the effects of climate change.
We cannot continue to conduct business as usual. Addressing the needs of every Californian as we move forward is key to providing true environmental justice, and absolutely fundamental in not simply surviving but thriving as we wrestle with a changing climate.