On October 29th, our week 10 class was to attend an event and talk held at the Tishmen Auditorium, focusing on a variety of topics such as climate citizenship, history of environmental justice, a clean power plant system, climate change and mitigation policies, carbon emissions reduction and more. There were five speakers at the event, who all successfully covered these topics in their own unique way, yet still providing a well-rounded in-depth and informative analysis of their particular field.
The first speaker, Cecilia Martinez, introduced the topic of a clean power plant system, which relates directly to the excessive usage and consumption of Carbon dioxide, through a variety of satellite images. The images depicted the world at night time and therefore, demonstrating the light and electricity usage during this time. It portrayed areas with higher usage, with a higher density, and others in more remote areas that simply do not have the luxury to waste emissions like we unfortunately do. These areas existed predominately in the South, where more remote cities and farmland have a more restricted access to electricity supplies. She then proceeded to highlight the terrifying statistics surrounding the carbon dioxide usage, which has increased to 1474 gigatons, while our budget is at 825. Dr. Martinez suggested this idea of having a world with a severe lack of equality regarding carbon and it’s distribution. While I acknowledge this issue relates heavily to the obsessive mass production and consumerism, especially in major cities like New York, the ideal resolution isn’t to increase carbon emissions for the isolated states, but perhaps hardening the restrictions on these larger cities, and doing so in an effective way. I believe that matters concerning the issues of carbon emissions always lead back to the notion of having conflicted interests within societies, especially in a city like New York that prospers off growth, infrastructure, development and profitability.
The next speaker was Cecil Corbin-Mark, who discussed the fundamental assets of the environmental justice movement. The movement suggests a basis of equality, particularly in the formation and action of different races and nationalities. Rather than focuses on the physical effects of climate change on the environment, the movement acknowledges the effects on its people and how that’s further contributing to divisions in societies. This is an issue that has unfortunately been overlooked in government policy, nevertheless a matter in need of attention.
Another speaker, Nicky Sheats. Further discussed Climate Change in relation to mitigation policies and environmental justice, particularly emission reductions. Climate change mitigation policy essentially allow emission production for environment justice and communities, with guaranteed emission reductions in and near these particular areas. Similarly addressed by speaker, Ana Bapista, who discussed issues of Garbage power in relation to environmental justice, noted that these incinerators are continuously being misplaced in environmental justice communities, which draws back to this widening gap in society. These incinerators are not only harmful to the civilians situated in their proximity, but also produce an ash so toxic it’s significantly contributing to the pollution of our air, even more than coal plants.