Climate Changes Your Everyday Life — Here Are 5 Ways

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Climate and Energy

by Yonit Friedman

Many of us are lucky to have never faced the climate crises that make the news, like hurricanes or wildfires. Even so, climate change changes all of our lives in both large and small ways. As we continue organizing for a livable future, everyday climate impacts can remind us what we’re working for.

Here are five ways climate change affects us every day:

Shifting Seasons Will Cause
Headaches For Allergy Sufferers

Ahhhh-choo! Have you noticed that you’ve been sneezing more? You’re not imagining things–allergy season has gotten longer, and many people are reporting worse symptoms. Climate change means that spring is starting earlier and that there’s more pollen in the air. For some people, this can go beyond an inconvenience and seriously threaten their health. For example, asthma rates are higher in neighborhoods with more pollution. The United States’ racist past and present means that historically redlined neighborhoods now have lower air quality

Changing Climate is Sending
Utility Bills Through the Roof

It seems pretty straightforward: hotter summers mean more people turning on the air conditioning, which raises utility bills alongside temperatures. It gets worse, though. When these prices plunge people into debt, companies can shut off customers’ utilities. Over the past few years, utilities have shut off heat during winter storms and water during the pandemic. Restricting warmth and access to hand washing during these times can have disastrous consequences, even more so for low-income Americans.

Climate Disruptions Are
Supply Chain Disruptions

Is shopping becoming more of a struggle? If you’re having a hard time finding products that used to be commonplace, climate change might be to blame. Transportation infrastructure is vulnerable to disruptions from fires, storms, and other extreme weather events traced back to climate change. This translates to emptier shelves and longer waits for delivery, even after the news moves on. For those who need necessities delivered (think medicines and baby formula), these delays can put their health at risk. Meanwhile, workers who keep the supply chain moving are forced to labor under dangerous conditions during climate crises. Worsening climate change threatens consumers and workers alike.

Higher Temperatures
Will Spark More Pandemics

We’ve entered into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve been exhausting, stressful, infuriating, and grief-filled years, and we’re ready for COVID-19 to be over. Unfortunately, climate change is linked to a higher likelihood of new viral pandemics. What’s behind this connection? As temperatures rise, animals migrate, sometimes bringing them into closer proximity to people. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of a “viral jump,” when a pathogen moves from one species to another. Viral risks associated with places like wildlife markets could become more widespread, putting more people at risk. Fighting climate change is key to preventing more pandemic-induced misery.

Climate Change Will Lower Birth Rates

This one goes out to everyone who’s hoping for grandchildren one day. Lots of millennials and zoomers cite the climate crisis as one reason why they might have fewer or no children. To be clear, everyone should have the right to make their own choices whether or not to have children. It’s also true that everyone should have the right to raise their children in safe environments. Climate change directly violates that right. We must continue fighting climate change so current and future generations can live and thrive on this planet.

These everyday occurrences might be less noteworthy than massive hurricanes or wildfires. However, they all cause ongoing and corrosive damage to people’s lives. We all deserve the opportunity to build safe, fulfilling lives, without paying the price of fossil fuel corporations’ destructive practices.

Our loved ones need to know the stakes.

The Climate Crisis Is An Emergency. It’s Time For Biden To Act Like It.

Categories

Climate and Energy

by Yonit Friedman

When President Biden visited Queens communities who had been devastated by recent flooding, we met him there with calls for him to declare a climate emergency. We’re not just asking Biden to change his language — we want him to back it up with action. And while we push Congress to support climate progress, there are plenty of actions that Biden can take himself, via executive action. 

Thanks to concerted efforts from activists, Biden campaigned on big climate promises. But disappointingly, his administration has been conceding to the main contributors of the climate crisis at every step, from fracking to fossil fuel subsidies. If we are to have any hope of a livable future, he must do better. There are obstacles in his way (such as a senator whose last name starts with M and rhymes with ‘anchin,’) but that’s not an acceptable excuse.

Biden Can Take Action on Climate, Even Without Congressional Approval

The President’s executive power is more significant than many Democrats are willing to admit. Biden can take executive action to protect communities who have borne the brunt of the climate crisis, block new fossil fuel projects and reduce the strength of preexisting ones, and launch efforts to Build Back Fossil Free — to rebuild our economy in a way that moves money away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy and other efforts towards future where we all can thrive. These actions can all be launched via executive order, resistant senators or not.

President Biden has so many options for executive orders on climate! Here are some of the top ones that come to mind:  

  1. Fossil fuel infrastructure is often built in under-resourced communities and/or communities of color. He can stop this by issuing a moratorium on new fossil fuel operations in environmental justice communities. 
  2. He could make his pause on fracking on federal lands a permanent ban. 
  3. He could revoke permits for Line 3, Dakota Access, and all major fossil fuel projects. 

The president also has legal options to improve how the federal government researches and develops climate policy: 

  1. Federal actions — activities taken or supported by any department or agency of the federal government — are not contingent upon the climate impact of their projects, and departments aren’t required to share their findings even if those impacts are studied. Biden could change this by requiring cumulative pollution impact assessments of all applicable federal policies, regulations, and actions. 
  2. We know that climate change harms Indigenous communities; it is within Biden’s authority to establish a committee to investigate federal responsibility for starting to repair this legacy of violence and environmental degradation. 

President Biden can — and must — shift our climate legacy, during and beyond his administration.

Biden Has Opportunities to Be Bold on Climate. He Must Take Them.

No one is pretending that it is easy for a Democratic president to single-handedly steer this planet away from the worsening climate crisis. However, climate deniers in the Senate are not an excuse not to act at all. President Biden has taken some steps in the right direction, but he can and must do much more.  

We know the President can do more for climate — and we’re going to hold him accountable to make sure he does it. Will you join us in Washington, DC, October 11th-15th, for the People vs. Fossil Fuels week of action? Thousands of people will be joining together to make sure that our government works for US and helps deliver the livable future we need. 

Sign up for any or all days in the

People vs. Fossil Fuels week of action!