Disproportionate effects of global warming and pollution on disadvantaged communities
Global warming, pollution, and the environmental consequences of energy production impose a greater burden on low-income, disadvantaged communities, and strategies to prevent these inequities are urgently needed. A provocative collection of articles on climate justice presents the global implications of climate change and its effects on human health and the environment in a special issue of Environmental Justice, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
This important series of articles emerged from a conference on climate justice held earlier this year in New York City, co-hosted by West Harlem Environmental Action (WE ACT) and the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change. WE ACT, an active participant in the climate debate and the environmental justice movement, compiled the special issue under the leadership of Guest Editor Peggy Shepard.
The articles explore a range of topics, including "The Environmental Injustice of 'Clean Coal'," by Stephanie Tyree and Maron Greenleaf and "Climate Change, Heat Waves, and Environmental Justice," by Jalonne White-Newsome and colleagues. The issue offers both a global perspective in "The International Dimension of Climate Justice and the Need for International Adaptation Funding," by J. Timmons Roberts, and a focus on more local concerns, including "Minding the Climate Gap: Environmental Health and Equity Implications of Climate Change Mitigation Policies in California," by Seth Shonkoff and coauthors, and "Best in Show? Climate and Environmental Justice Policy in California," by Julie Sze et al.
"Facilitating Climate Justice Through Community-Based Adaptation in the Health Sector," by Kristie Ebi and "U.S. Childhood Obesity and Climate Change," by Perry Sheffield and Maida Galvez discuss the implications of global warming on human health and on healthcare utilization.
"During the last days of December 2009 the global community has waited with anticipation for the decisions among government leaders during the World Climate Change Meeting in Copenhagen," said Sylvia Hood Washington, PhD MSE, ND, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Justice, and Research Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health. "This rapt world attention about what is going to be done about the climate change problem exists because many understand that the problems that we face now and will face in the future from rising temperatures on our planet are inexorably tied to the equity of global health and not just global political/economics in a rapidly increasing industrialized world community. Readers will be immersed in the complexities of the imbalanced economy of human health in the context of recognized climate change in this first special issue of the Journal."