Take Charge of Your Health Today. Climate change

CARLOS T. CARTER

How do you see climate change impacting your community’s health? 

I see it impacting the quality of life of our children and families in many ways.  It impacts our physical health when our children have asthma at higher rates and are exposed to greater heat and anguish living in environments that don’t have adequate tree cover.  It impacts our mental health when we have to deal with higher levels of discomfort and air pollution at higher rates as a result of redlining and other systemic racist policies.  Further, our children and families are negatively impacted by not having access to beautiful green space where they can relax and play and this creates higher stress levels. Our families deserve to have the basic comforts and quality of life shared by more privileged populations.

What are some changes that the Urban League may be able to lead? 

First and foremost, we can hold ourselves accountable and try to be good role models when it comes to protecting natural resources, reduction of consumerism and waste, and reduction of energy consumption where and when possible. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh continues to advocate for policy change that leads to a better quality of life for African Americans and other marginalized communities in Southwestern PA. Whenever possible, we make sure our voice is at the table when health and policy issues are discussed. We continue to advocate for issues that affect the Black Community. However, we cannot lead every issue impacting Black people. Whenever possible we will continue to collaborate and partner with organizations in the region who are focused on this charge. 

How do we make climate change a priority for all of us?   

We start by saying that climate change is having an impact on our planet Earth and its people. Specifically, we need to acknowledge the dire impacts it is having on children, especially those in marginalized communities around the globe. Those who are living in flood plains and barren and arid geographic areas are the first to suffer from increasingly volatile weather conditions.  We need to advocate and support responsible policy change that protects the health and wellbeing of all people and of our planet.  We must single out and support organizations that are doing the work to protect us and that are committed to sustainable practices that safeguard our most vulnerable communities. We need to vote and to hold government officials accountable. We must use our voices to demand better for our local community and for our global community.

Carlos Carter is President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh

 

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