IN THIS ISSUE:
FREE VIRTUAL COURSE: Public Health Impacts of Climate Change and Steps Toward Protecting Our Communities - Tuesdays in July
With temps on the rise, we’re fired up for these California climate bills: AB 585 and AB 897
Michael Jerrett and Yifang Zhu honored at 2021 UCLA Green Gala for research linking COVID-19 deaths and air pollution
BOOK RELEASE: Planetary Health: Safeguarding Human Health and the Environment in the Anthropocene - Howard Frumkin and Andy Haines
COFFEE CHAT: Louis Blumberg of Climate Resolve discusses AB 585
PLUS: What we’re reading… and trivia!
FREE VIRTUAL COURSE
Public Health Impacts of Climate Change and Steps Toward Protecting Our Communities - Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Fielding, with guest speakers
C-Solutions, in partnership with UCLA Extension, invites you to join us this summer to learn about how climate change affects your health and solutions that can help protect your community. This course will be taught online in real-time with class meetings held via Zoom on Tuesdays in July from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PDT. Course materials can be accessed any time through an online learning platform. Space is limited.
Temps are rising and we’re fired up for these California climate bills
One great thing about working in climate is that you never have to feel like you’re working alone. Wherever you are, whatever your climate fight, there are very cool people and organizations working on important projects and trying to make a difference. At C-Solutions, we tackle the climate problem from many different angles. We research its effects on health, and we also invest a lot of time into bringing positive, solutions-oriented climate conversations and learning into K-12 classrooms. We have public education projects in the works. And we bring awareness to policies and government initiatives that we believe will help communities better deal with the worsening health effects of climate change. In fact, today we’re highlighting two bills in California’s legislative session that, if passed, could help communities do just that. These bills can affect our health and climate in a big way. We believe they can help communities respond to the climate crisis while improving health equity, and they both appear to have a high likelihood of success in the legislature. If you support them, you can contact your California representative* and make your voice heard.
*To find your California representative, click here. For tips on how to communicate your position effectively to your legislator and ask for their support, check out the California citizen’s guide to participation (with sample letter).
AB 585: Extreme Heat Resilience Program
California, like many other states, is seeing a trend toward more frequent and more intense heatwaves, with serious implications for health. Between 2005 and 2015, heat-related emergency room visits increased by 35% across the state, “with disproportionate increases among African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinx residents due to the inequitable impacts of extreme heat,” according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. California State Assembly Bill 585 (AB 585) establishes the Extreme Heat and Community Resilience Program, to be administered by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR). Under this bill, the OPR would help communities throughout California to implement climate plans at the local, regional, and state levels. The bill also establishes a specific fund in the state treasury that would be used to award grants for implementing projects focused on responding to adverse effects of extreme heat. AB 585 has already passed in the Assembly and as of June 29, it passed through the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. C-Solutions Deputy Director for Community Partnerships David Eisenman was invited to testify at the Senate Committee hearing. You can click here to read his testimony.
AB 897: Regional Resiliency Planning
If our experience working in the field has taught us one thing, it’s that we need strong networks to be effective. AB 897 embodies this principle, allowing for the establishment of regional climate adaptation networks and establishing a role for the OPR to provide the networks with guidelines for creating region-specific climate adaptation plans. Guidelines would focus on evidence-based solutions that show promise in engaging the entire community, improving equity, and promoting health and other benefits. The OPR would also provide technical assistance as well as make recommendations to budget committees on funding opportunities and ways to distribute state funds for implementing adaptation action plans. As we see it, the best part of establishing regional networks is that it can help accelerate actions that improve climate resilience by encouraging the sharing of best practices and better coordination within and across regions. On June 28, AB 897 passed through the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
C-Solutions researchers take home 2021 UCLA Green Gala Awards
Dr. Michael Jerrett and Dr. Yifang Zhu were awarded Faculty of the Year at the 2021 UCLA Green Gala Awards Ceremony. Their recent study “Spatial analysis of COVID-19 and traffic-related air pollution in Los Angeles,” co-authored by C-Solutions graduate students Jonah Lipsitt and Jonathan Liu, among others, investigates the relationship between air pollution and COVID-19 incidences and mortality in Los Angeles County neighborhoods. Their research findings imply a potentially large association between exposure to air pollution and population-level rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths. In fact, Los Angeles neighborhoods with the worst air pollution saw a 60% increase in deaths from COVID-19, compared with communities with the best air quality. Higher levels of air pollution in neighborhoods with high proportions of Latinx and Black people may help explain why these groups suffered disproportionately from the pandemic. This research helps advance UCLA’s goal of developing sustainable interventions that center on improving equity, diversity and inclusion in the Los Angeles region.
New Book Release: Planetary Health
Planetary Health: Safeguarding Human Health and the Environment in the Anthropocene will be published by Cambridge University Press on July 22. The book, written by C-Solutions affiliate Howard Frumkin (University of Washington) along with Andy Haines (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), explores how climate change threatens to undermine progress in human health and shows how people can adapt to those changes that are now unavoidable. Explaining how specific policies and interventions can be implemented to improve health and safeguard the environment, the book aims to build hope and motivate action by everyone.
FROM THE BLOG
How a Movement Led by Moms is Fighting for Clean School Transportation
Our friends at Mothers Out Front contributed a guest blog post that tells the story of how their team in Virginia has fought to replace diesel-powered school buses with electric models. In the U.S., 24 million school children ride buses to school each day, with the majority of buses powered by diesel. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has estimated that school bus diesel exposures in children pose as much as 23 to 46 times the cancer risk considered significant under federal guidelines. There are many takeaways from Mothers Out Front’s experiences that can inform our own advocacy efforts.
In this edition of the C-Solutions Coffee Chat, we speak with Louis Blumberg of the Climate Resolve policy team about AB 585. We discuss the need for extreme heat adaptation policy, how AB 585 will make a difference in California communities, and how folks can get involved.
WHAT WE’RE READING
How Severe is the Western drought? See for yourself. - New York Times
The World Needs Better Climate Pledges - GlobalEcoGuy.org
🔥THE THIRD DEGREE🔥
Lightning trivia for non-trivial times
Temperatures are above 100° in many places around the U.S. this week. (You can check out NPR’s guide to stay safe and cool during heat waves.)
What intervention could help save 1 in 4 lives that would otherwise be lost in heat waves?