Importance of Natural Resources

Extreme Cities: Ground Zero for Climate Change


>>CITIES, THEY’RE OUR BIGGEST PROBLEM ON THE CLIMATE FRONT, BUT THEY MAY ALSO HAVE THE CLUES TO OUR BEST SOLUTIONS. IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW WE TACKLE THE CRISIS. CITIES ARE KEY. THAT’S THIS WEEK ON THE LAURA FLANDERS SHOW, THE PLACE WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO SAY IT CAN’T BE DONE TAKE A BACK SEAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING IT. WELCOME. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>NEW YORK CITY RECENTLY BECAME THE LARGEST CITY ON EARTH TO PASS A CLIMATE EMERGENCY MEASURE. JOINING LONDON, SYDNEY, AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER LOCALITIES AND 15 COUNTRIES IN CALLING FOR AN IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY MOBILIZATION TO RESTORE A SAFE CLIMATE. AND NO WONDER. CITIES HOUSE THE MAJORITY OF HUMANITY. THEY CONTRIBUTE THE LION’S SHARE OF CARBON TO THE ATMOSPHERE. AND THEY ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHAOS IN PART, BECAUSE THEY’RE SO UNEQUAL. WHAT HAPPENS HERE IN NEW YORK, BUT ALSO IN ALL OF THE WORLD’S BIG COASTAL CITIES MATTERS, AND IT BETTER GO BEYOND WORDS ON PAPER. SO WHAT NEXT? HERE TO DISCUSS THAT IS CUNY PROFESSOR ASHLEY DAWSON, THE AUTHOR OF, EXTREME CITIES, THE PERIL AND PROMISE OF URBAN LIFE IN THE AGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, WHICH IS OUT NOW IN PAPERBACK FROM VERSO. MYCHAL JOHNSON, COFOUNDER OF THE COMMUNITY COALITION, SOUTH BRONX UNITE. AND AURASH KHAWARZAD, AN URBAN PLANNER, AN ARTIST AND AUTHOR OF, THE UPPER MANHATTAN PROJECT BOOK. WELCOME, ALL. GLAD TO HAVE YOU. LET’S START WITH THE CITIES THESIS. REALLY WHAT I JUST READ WAS CRIBBED FROM YOUR BOOK. YOU SAY CITIES ARE THE EPICENTER BOTH AS THE CREATOR AND THE VICTIM OF CLIMATE CHANGE. TALK ABOUT THAT.>>RIGHT. WELL, THE MAJORITY OF HUMANITY NOW LIVES IN CITIES AROUND THE PLANET. CITIES IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH ARE THE FASTEST GROWING CITIES. AND CITIES ALSO PRODUCE MORE CARBON THAN MOST OTHER FORMS OF HUMAN SETTLEMENT. BUT BECAUSE THEY CONCENTRATE SO MUCH INFRASTRUCTURE, THEY’RE ALSO HIGHLY, HIGHLY VULNERABLE. THINK FOR INSTANCE ABOUT THE HEAT WAVES OVER THE SUMMER. JUNE AND JULY WERE SOME OF THE HOTTEST MONTHS ON RECORD AND THERE WERE MASSIVE HEAT WAVES IN NORTH AMERICA AND EUROPE. AND IN CITIES THOSE HEATWAVES ARE EXPERIENCED IN AN EVEN MORE INTENSE WAY BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH CONCRETE, RIGHT? SO FEW PLACES THAT PEOPLE CAN ESCAPE THE HEAT. >>I GUESS I HADN’T REALIZED THAT MAYBE OTHER PEOPLE HAVEN’T THAT CITIES AND BUILDINGS ARE SUCH EMITTERS OF CO2 OF CARBON.>>THAT’S RIGHT. YEAH. IT TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY TO KEEP THOSE BUILDINGS COOL. RIGHT? SO IN NEW YORK CITY BUILDINGS CONTRIBUTE ABOUT 70% OF THE CITY’S CARBON EMISSIONS. SO IN ADDITION TO WITH TRANSPORTATION THOSE ARE THE MAJOR FACTORS IN CITIES, AND WE’VE GOT MASSIVE CITIES GROWING AROUND THE PLANET. SO THAT PERCENTAGE IS LIKELY TO INCREASE AS IS THE VULNERABILITY OF PEOPLE LIVING IN THOSE CITIES.>>SO CITIES ALSO A PLACES OF A LOT OF ENTREPRENEURIAL THINKING AND SORT OF PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND BIG BANKERS WHO THINK THAT THEY CAN STRATEGIZE AND MAKE MONEY OFF CHANGE. THE DECLARATION THAT YOU HEARD, GOOD, BAD THUMBS UP, THUMBS DOWN? WHAT ARE YOUR CONCERNS? START WITH YOU.>>OKAY. DECLARATION BY THE CITY COUNCIL WAS A PRODUCT OF MOBILIZATION BY EXTINCTION, REBELLION. AND A WHOLE SERIES OF OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IN THE CITY. SO IT’S A TRIUMPH THAT THE CITY COUNCIL PASSED IT. BUT THE QUESTION IS, WHAT KINDS OF CONCRETE POLICIES ARE GOING TO BE PASSED THAT ARE GOING TO AMELIORATE THE CONDITIONS THAT ARE BEING PRODUCED IN CITIES?>>AND WILL THOSE BE ABOUT CONCRETE OR WILL THEY ABOUT BE ABOUT COMMUNITIES? MYCHAL? >>YES, I THINK IS, I AGREE WITH ASHLEY THAT IT SEEMS TO BE A GOOD PATH FORWARD. BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE’S REALLY TEETH, AND THERE IS POLICY THAT’S GOING TO COME OUT OF IT. THERE’S GOING TO BE REALLY EQUITABLE, LIKE RESILIENT PLANS AROUND THE CITY AND NOT JUST IN MORE ECONOMICALLY AFFLUENT COMMUNITIES BUT COMMUNITIES LIKE MINE IN THE SOUTH BRONX. WHERE THE MOST EFFECTIVE POTENTIALLY FOR SEA LEVEL RISE AND ANY TYPES OF CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION THAT’S NOT OCCURRING IN OUR COMMUNITY.>>SO DESCRIBE THAT A LITTLE BIT FOR PEOPLE THAT DON’T LIVE IN NEW YORK. WHAT’S SO SIGNIFICANT ABOUT THE SOUTH BRONX? >>WELL, WE HAD ONE OF THE LARGEST SIGNIFICANT MARITIME INDUSTRIAL AREAS ON OUR PENINSULA. WHERE THERE’S NO HUMAN ACCESS, BUT IT’S ONLY HEAVY INDUSTRIAL FACILITIES THAT LIE IN THE PENINSULA. WHERE THERE’S HEAVY INDUSTRIAL DIESEL TRUCK TRAFFIC OR DIESEL TRUCK INTENSIVE BUSINESSES AND FOSSIL FUELED POWER PLANTS. SO WE DO HAVE THE LARGE HUNTS POINT PRODUCE MARKET AS WELL, WHICH BRINGS ABOUT 16,000 TRUCK TRIPS PER DAY THROUGH OUR COMMUNITY. SO I’M IN MONT HAVEN AND PORT MORRIS, WHICH SHARES THAT SOUTH BRONX PENINSULA WITH A HUNTS POINT. AND THERE IS NO MITIGATION PLAN FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD. THERE’S ONE PROPOSED THROUGH THE REBUILD BY DESIGN PROJECT FOR HUNTS POINT, BUT DOESN’T TAKE CARE OF THE ENTIRE PENINSULA, WHICH SOME 90,000 PEOPLE LIVE IN MY COMMUNITY. >>ALL RIGHT. SO LET’S DIG DOWN TO THAT FOR JUST A SECOND. BEFORE WE COME TO YOU ARASH, IF I MAY. AFTER SANDY, HURRICANE SANDY, WE GOT THIS REBUILD BY DESIGN IDEA COMING FROM THE CITY. “WE ARE GOING TO REBUILD, BUT WE’LL BE VERY CAREFUL.”>>RIGHT. >>AND THERE WAS ATTENTION PAID TO THE FACT THAT HUNTS POINT MARKET AND THE ERA THAT YOU’RE DESCRIBING IN THE SOUTH BRONX IS CRITICAL TO THE SURVIVAL OF THE CITY ECONOMY. IT’S WHERE THE FOOD COMES IN, IT’S WHERE THE FOOD GETS DISTRIBUTED. THERE’S THE ENERGY PLANT. THERE’S SANITATION PLANTS UP THERE. IT COULD BE CRITICAL. AND THEREFORE IT WAS IDENTIFIED FOR A SPECIAL PLAN CALLED, I THINK LIFELINES. >>CORRECT. >>HUNTS POINT LIFELINES, SOMETHING LIKE THAT. WHAT WAS YOUR TAKE ON THAT AND HOW WOULD YOUR PLAN->>WELL, I THINK IT’S NECESSARY TO PROTECT VITAL RESOURCES, BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO LOOK AT HOW WE PROTECT PEOPLE. SO WE’RE LOOKING AT HOW WE PROTECT INDUSTRY WITH THE BIG U DOWNTOWN, RIGHT, WITH PROTECTING WALL STREET. BUT OUR COMMUNITY WITH 90,000 PEOPLE, RIGHT?, THAT’S ALWAYS SHOULDERED THE BURDEN FOR THE CITIES WASTE. OR LIKE YOU MENTIONED, FOSSIL FUEL POWER GENERATION, PEAKER STATIONS AND HEAVY DIESEL TRUCK INTENSIVE BUSINESSES. BUT WE’RE NOT GETTING ANY KIND OF EQUITABLE ACCESS OR RESILIENCY MEASURES. SO THE COMMUNITY HAD TO CREATE ITS OWN WATER FRONT PLAN TO CREATE RESILIENCY. WHERE IS THE CITY DOING THAT, LOOKING AT THE ENTIRE PENINSULA, LOOKING AT ALL NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ESPECIALLY- >>WHAT DID YOUR PLAN LOOK LIKE?>>PARDON ME? >>WHAT DID YOUR PLAN LOOK LIKE?>>OUR PLAN CREATED SEVEN DIFFERENT ACCESS POINTS ALONG THE PENINSULA THAT WOULD BE ACTUALLY PERMEABLE SURFACES THAT WILL ABSORB STORM SURGE. WE WORK WITH CERTAIN INSTITUTIONS LIKE MIT AND RUTGERS AND SYRACUSE ON LOOKING AT DIFFERENT WAYS WE CAN BE SMART ABOUT, AND NEW PENN, HOW WE CAN BE SMARTER ABOUT MITIGATION MEASURES, BUT ALSO ACCESSIBLE RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AS WELL. AND WE TALK ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, A LOT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING ON OUR PENINSULA AND THE REASON WHY A LOT OF IT, THERE IS NO FLOOD MITIGATION PLANS FOR THAT IS BECAUSE IT WAS ALL ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, BUT IT NEVER TRICKLED DOWN. SO WE’RE LOOKING AT HOW WE ALSO CAN CREATE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES WITH GREEN SPACE AND MITIGATION AND RESILIENCY AND IT IS SOMEWHERE WE CAN ACTUALLY OFFSET SOME OF THE REALLY HARMFUL THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED TO THE SOUTH BRONX WITH HIGH ASTHMA RATES. WHAT EIGHT TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. HIGH LEVELS OF OBESITY AND DIABETES. THESE ARE HEALTH DIRECT HEALTH ISSUES OCCURRING RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE OF WHAT WE’RE BREATHING EVERY DAY FROM THESE THOUSANDS OF DIESEL TRUCKS RUNNING THROUGH OUR COMMUNITIES EVERY DAY, AND THE HIGHWAYS THAT ARE ENCIRCLING US. >>SO YOU WOULD AGREE THAT THIS GREEN NEW DEAL IDEA, WHATEVER IT TURNS OUT TO BE, IS A POTENTIAL FOR INTERESTING CHANGE. IT’S JUST A MATTER OF HOW IT PANS OUT. >>DEFINITELY. I THINK YOU HAVE TO START WITH A DREAM AND THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX. AND CREATING POLICY THAT ACTUALLY DIRECTLY AFFECTS CHANGE. AND THAT COMES FROM THE GROUND UP. IT DOESN’T COME FROM THE TOP DOWN. >>COMING TO YOU AND YOUR MANHATTAN PROJECT, THERE’S A LOT OF DATA OUT THERE IN THE WORLD ALREADY AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE. YOU HAVE A LOT OF IT IN YOUR BOOK. WHY? WHY A MANHATTAN PROJECT? WHY LAY OUT THE WAY THAT YOU DO? WHAT WILL YOU TRYING TO DO DIFFERENT THAN ALL THESE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE REPORTS HAVEN’T DONE? >>THANK YOU FOR THE QUESTION AND WE’LL GET BACK TO THE REPORTS IN A SECOND. THE OLDER STYLE OF DOING REPORTS, BUT I THINK WE’RE RIGHT TO TALK ABOUT A CRISIS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. BUT IT’S NOT ONLY AN ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, IT’S ALSO A CRISIS OF GOVERNANCE, RIGHT? A LOT OF WHAT WE’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IS GOVERNMENT. WE KNOW A LOT OF THE SOLUTIONS. WE KNOW A LOT OF THE DATA, WE KNOW A LOT OF WHAT THE IMPACTS ARE. BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE A MASSIVE BARRIER BETWEEN ACTUALLY EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTION AROUND THAT INFORMATION AND TO CREATE CHANGE IN THEIR OWN COMMUNITY, RIGHT? RATHER THAN HAVE IT HOISTED ON THEM. THERE’S WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO BE INVOLVED. THERE’S WAYS TO MAKE A STATEMENT FOR SURE. BUT WHAT THE UPPER MANHATTAN PROJECT DOES, OR THE UPPER MANHATOP PROJECT, WHICH IS LIKE THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, BUT TO SAVE THE WORLD INSTEAD DESTROY IT. IS MEANT TO KIND OF TURN THIS DYNAMIC ON ITS HEAD AND SAY, “WHAT IF WE TOOK A GROUND UP APPROACH AND WE PROVIDED A PLATFORM FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE ACTION?” RATHER THAN SAY, “THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET CHANGE IS IF THE GREEN NEW DEAL HAPPENS. THAT’S THE ONLY THING THAT IS GOING TO SAVE US.” WHEN WE CAN’T AFFORD THAT. RIGHT? WE CAN’T AFFORD THAT GIVEN WHAT’S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON AND GIVEN WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ALBANY, GIVEN WHAT’S HAPPENING IN GRACIE MANSION AND ALL OF THESE PLACES. SO, THE UPPER MANHATTAN PROJECT, IT TAKES A LOT OF DATA THAT THAT IS AVAILABLE. AND WHEN YOU SAY AVAILABLE, IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT IT’S, IT’S WAITING FOR YOU IN YOUR INBOX EVERY DAY IN A WAY THAT YOU CAN UNDERSTAND, RIGHT? IT MEANS THAT THE DATA EXISTS IN THE WORLD. SO WE STILL, THIS IS A COLLABORATION, IT’S STILL A MATTER OF BRINGING TOGETHER EXPERTS. IT’S STILL A MATTER OF BRINGING TOGETHER SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS OR PEOPLE WHO CAN FACILITATE. AND WORKING WITH COMMUNITIES TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE KNOW, “OKAY, WHAT ARE THE IMPACTS? AND NOT ONLY THAT, BUT WHAT’S THE PROCESS FOR WHICH YOU TO ARTICULATE YOUR VISION FOR WHAT YOU WANT YOUR COMMUNITY TO BE.” THAT SEEMS TO BE WHAT’S MISSING AND A LOT OF THE DISCOURSE IS ACTUALLY CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE WANT ON THEIR BLOCK. WHAT PEOPLE WANT IN THEIR COMMUNITY, WHAT SERVICES THEY WANT, WHAT KIND OF AESTHETICS THEY WANT, RIGHT? WHAT KIND OF LIFE THEY WANT FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR THEIR CHILDREN. AND IF WE CAN CONNECT THAT WITH ALL OF THESE BIG ASPIRATIONS TO BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS, LIKE THAT ARE STATED IN THE GREEN NEW DEAL, THEN I THINK WE CAN TRANSFORM SOCIETY. BUT IF WE ONLY DO ONE OR THE OTHER THEN IT SEEMS LIKE WE’RE MISSING A SIGNIFICANT CONNECTION THERE.>>SO HOW ARE YOU USING THIS BOOK? HOW IS IT BEING USED IN COMMUNITIES? >>THERE AREN’T TOOLS AVAILABLE FOR PEOPLE TO PICK UP AND KIND OF SAY, “OKAY, HERE’S WHERE I’M AT IN MY LIFE. HERE’S MY LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE, HERE’S MY INTEREST. WHAT CAN I DO?” YOU HAVE TO REALLY EITHER GIVE EVERYTHING UP AND SAY, “OKAY, I’M GOING TO DO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO AND I’M JUST A BODY HERE TO HELP.” OR YOU HAVE TO HAVE A REALLY HIGH LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE AND TAKE MANY OTHER STEPS. SO THE BOOK IS REALLY MEANT FOR ANYONE WHO I KIND OF JOKE AROUND AND SAY, “WE HAVE TO GIVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTROVERTED PEOPLE, RIGHT? WE CAN’T JUST HAVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE GREAT AND IN DIVERSE SOCIAL SETTINGS.” AND SO THIS, IT’S BROKEN UP INTO ELEVEN SECTIONS OF DIFFERENT PLANS THAT WERE GENERATED THROUGH WORKSHOPS AND GENERATED THROUGH CONVERSATION. SO, THERE’S THAT CONNECTION THERE BETWEEN WHAT PEOPLE WOULD WANT. AND THERE’S LAYERS OF SCIENTIFIC DATA THAT ARE PUT OVER IT THAT, SO THAT YOU CAN LOOK AT ANY OF THOSE SECTIONS AND YOU CAN SAY, “OKAY, HERE’S WHERE I LIVE, HERE’S MY INTEREST, HERE’S MY LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE. WHAT CAN I DO?” AND IT MIGHT MEAN TAKING AN INDEPENDENT ACTION, SOMETHING YOU CAN DO YOURSELF. IT MIGHT MEAN JOINING A SOCIAL NETWORK. IT MIGHT MEAN GETTING MORE INVOLVED IN THAT. IT MIGHT MEAN YOU HAVE TO LEARN A LOT, RIGHT? YOU MIGHT HAVE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT A PARTICULAR SUBJECT. AND THAT’S THERE IN THE REFERENCE MATERIAL. IT’S LIKE ONE OF THE OLD TRAPPER KEEPERS. LIKE IF YOU REMEMBER THE OLD TRAPPER KEEPERS AND THEY HAD THE CONVERSION CHARTS IN THE BACK. AND WHEN YOU WERE A KID YOU FELT LIKE WHEN YOU HAD THAT INFORMATION YOU COULD DO ANYTHING RIGHT. YOU SAID, “OKAY, I HAD THESE TOOLS, LET ME GO SEE WHAT I CAN DO.” AND THAT’S KIND OF WHAT THIS IS. IT’S MEANT TO INSPIRE THAT CREATIVITY AND THAT ACTIVISM AND PEOPLE TO SAY, “OKAY, WHAT CAN I DO?” RATHER THAN, “LET ME JUST MAKE A MESSAGE AND HOPEFULLY THEY’LL FIGURE IT OUT UP THERE.”>>YOU’RE MAKING ROOM FOR INTROVERTS. WE’VE MADE ROOM FOR MEN TO DISCUSS THIS. BECAUSE I HAVE TO SAY EVERY PANEL THAT WE HAVE HAD ABOUT COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CRISIS ON THIS SHOW IN THE PAST HAS BEEN DOMINATED BY WOMEN. AND IT HAS SEEMED TO ME THAT FROM THE TOP, WHETHER IT’S AOC, TO THE GRASSROOTS, LIKE ELIZABETH YEAMPIERRE AT UPROSE . THIS IS AN AREA WHERE WOMEN AND WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS ARE RESPONDING FIRST AND QUICKEST TO THE CRISIS. PERHAPS BECAUSE THEY SEE IT AT A CLOSEUP LEVEL OR THEY HAVE VISCERAL SENSE OF, WAIT A MINUTE WE, WHETHER IT’S BIOLOGICAL OR NOT, HAVE THE JOB OF RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION. THEREFORE WE BETTER GET INVOLVED AND MAKING SURE THERE’S A PLANET FOR THEM. TO PUT YOU OFF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, MAYBE FOR A MINUTE WHAT ROLE DO YOU THINK PATRIARCHY IS PLAYING IN THESE TOP DOWN DECISIONS AND TECHNICAL LOGICAL SOLUTIONS? WHO WANTS TO SPEAK TO THAT? MYCHALL? [LAUGHTER]>>WHO WANTS TO GO? MYCHALL? WHAT ROLE DO THEY PLAY? I THINK- >>I MEAN I THINK ABOUT WHO LED THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLLUTION IN THE SOUTH BRONX. MAJORA CARTER AND OTHERS. IT’S BEEN A KIND OF GENDER THING IN LOTS OF WAYS.>>WELL, I DISAGREE. I THINK IT’S A COMMUNITY COALITION COMING TOGETHER BECAUSE WE’RE… SPEAKING FOR OUR EXPERIENCE, RIGHT? IT’S A NUMBER OF REALLY CARING PEOPLE WHO JUST LIVE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD WHO WANT TO SEE SOMETHING DIFFERENT HAPPEN. IT’S NOT SOMEONE WHO HASN’T LIVED THERE COMING AND DROPPING IN, PARACHUTING IN TO HELP. WE’RE THERE, WE RAISING FAMILIES. AND WE SAW A PROBLEM THAT’S BEEN REOCCURRING. AND AT SOME POINT YOU STAND UP AND SAY, “NO MORE.” AND SO IT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT- >>BUT YOU DON’T SEE GENDER THING? >>NO, I SEE, WE HAVE STRONG WOMEN AS WELL AS STRONG MEN. >>ALL RIGHT. FAIL ON THAT ANSWER. AURASH, YOU. [LAUGHTER]>>I’LL START BY SAYING THAT I THINK THERE’S A VERY STRONG GENDER COMPONENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE. CLIMATE CHANGE HAS DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACTS ON CERTAIN GROUPS, RIGHT? THAT’S ONE OF THE THEMES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE THAT YOU HEAR US TALKING ABOUT AND THAT’S IN THE PUBLICATION. SO FROM THERE I THINK WE CAN SAY THAT IF YOU LOOK AT ALL THESE CRISES. IF YOU LOOK AT SANDY, IF YOU LOOK AT THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD, IN CITIES AROUND THE WORLD, NOT JUST IN NEW YORK CITY. BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF RESOURCES HERE, WE HAVE A LOT OF GREAT PERSONALITIES HERE WHO CAN REPRESENT THEMSELVES. BUT AROUND THE WORLD, WOMEN ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY AFFECTED IN A LOT OF INSTANCES, RIGHT? WHETHER IT’S FROM THE PHYSICAL IMPACT OF A FLOOD, OR FROM THE AFTERMATH OF HAVING TO CARE FOR PEOPLE AND HAVING TO PROVIDE RESOURCES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE. >>OR DISPLACEMENT AS YOUR OWN FAMILY’S GONE THROUGH.>>EXACTLY. EXACTLY. >>AFGHANISTAN. >>EXACTLY. AND FROM THERE WE KNOW THAT WHEN YOU BECOME A REFUGEE, SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCES. SO A LOT OF THE DYNAMICS THAT APPLY TO WOMEN BEING DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED BY THEIR REFUGEE STATUS APPLY TO BEING A CLIMATE CHANGE REFUGEE. RIGHT? AND WE HAVE TO START MAKING THAT CONNECTION. AND SO FROM HERE I THINK YOU CAN SEE THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MOST EFFECTED ARE THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE LEADING. AND if THAT’S WOMeN IN THIS CASE THEN THEY SHOULD BE LEADING AND THERE SHOULD BE SPACE AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO LEAD. AND THE SAME WITH CHILDREN, YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE’S NOT CHILDREN, BUT YOUNGER PEOPLE WHO SEE THIS AS AFFECTING THEIR FUTURE MORE THAN IT DOES OTHER PEOPLE. SO WE CAN SAY, “OKAY, THEY’RE BEING AFFECTED BY THIS MORE. AND THAT’S WHERE THIS REBELLION OR THAT’S WHERE THIS LEADERSHIP IS COMING FROM.” SO IT DOES — EVERYTHING I THINK HAS A RACE AND A GENDER AND AN AGE DYNAMIC THAT WE HAVE TO BE VERY COGNIZANT OF. AND WE HAVE TO SAY, “HOW ARE WE CORRECTING FOR HOW THIS IS DISPROPORTIONATELY PLAYING OUT IN THIS ISSUE?”>>YOU, I MEAN YOU’D WRITE ABOUT THIS IN THE BOOK. BUT YOUR RESPONSE TO THIS PART OF IT? >>I THINK YOU’RE TOTALLY RIGHT, BUT I GUESS I WOULD ADD TO GENDER ISSUES, CAPITALISM AND COLONIALISM, RIGHT? SO TO GIVE YOU A CONCRETE EXAMPLE, THE CITY OF CHENNAI, THE SIXTH BIGGEST CITY IN INDIA HAS BEEN GOING THROUGH A WATER CRISIS IN THE SUMMER. FOR MONTHS PEOPLE DIDN’T HAVE ACCESS TO WATER. THE PUBLIC PIPES WOULD PROVIDE WATER FOR AN HOUR OR TWO EVERY WEEK, RIGHT? SO IT WAS A MASSIVE CRISIS. AND IN PICTURES THAT THE NEWS MEDIA HAS PRODUCED ABOUT THE CRISIS, THE TYPICAL IMAGE YOU SEE IS A WOMAN WITH A WATER JUG ON HER HEAD. AND I THINK THAT REALLY ILLUSTRATES THE KIND OF RESPONSIBILITY WOMEN HAVE AROUND THE WORLD FOR SOCIAL REPRODUCTION AND WHY THEY’RE ON THE FRONT LINES. ANOTHER GOOD EXAMPLE IS, I LIVE IN QUEENS, WE PROVIDE OVER 50% OF THE ELECTRICITY FOR NEW YORK CITY. I WAS JUST AT A PUBLIC HEARING ABOUT PUBLIC POWER AND THE FAILURES OF CON ED DURING THE SUMMER WHEN IT WAS REALLY HOT, THERE WAS A BLACKOUT AROUND THE CITY. AND A MOTHER CAME WITH HER CHILD TO TESTIFY ABOUT WHAT IT MEANT FOR HER TO BE LIVING IN ASTHMA ALLEY AS A RESULT OF THESE FOSSIL FUEL PLANTS THAT ARE BURNING THE DIRTIEST OIL BECAUSE CON ED AND OTHER BIG CORPORATIONS WANT TO MAKE LOTS OF MONEY, RIGHT? SO IT’S ABOUT CAPITALISM, HOW IT IMPACTS WOMEN, AND ALSO ABOUT COLONIALISM, RIGHT? BECAUSE THE REASON CITIES ARE OFTEN UNSUSTAINABLE IS BECAUSE THEY WERE CREATED ESSENTIALLY TO EXTRACT RESOURCES AND THEY KIND OF BULLDOZED OVER MUCH MORE SUSTAINABLE AND RESILIENT ECOSYSTEMS, INCLUDING MARSHLANDS, THAT’S HERE IN NEW YORK, BUT ALSO IN PLACES LIKE CHENNAI. >>SO YOU RAISE A VERY GOOD POINT AND THANK YOU ALL FOR GOING DOWN THAT CHANNEL WITH ME. CAPITALISM. >>YEAH. >>YOU, LIKE I, LIKE ALL OF US I THINK TELL TWO STORIES. WE TALK ABOUT THE CRISIS. WE ALSO TALK ABOUT THE EXTRAORDINARY COMMUNITY THAT EMERGES IN A TIME OF CRISIS AND FRANKLY I THINK THOSE PICTURES OF WOMEN WITH POTS ON THEIR HEADS SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED WITH THE PICTURES OF THE WOMEN WITH THE PITCH FORK OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT BUILDING, OR THE DIGGING UP THE GROUND TO MAKE A NEW ALTERNATIVE.>>YEAH, YEAH. >>WE’VE COVERED SOME OF THOSE ALTERNATIVES TOO. YOU CALL IT DISASTER COMMUNISM. I’VE CALLED IT SURVIVAL SOCIALISM. THERE’S GREAT STORIES OUT THERE. AND AFTER SANDY, WE DID A WHOLE REPORT ON THE COOPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT THAT WAS HAPPENING AT FAR ROCKAWAY, IN THE ROCKAWAYS, AND OCCUPATION SANDY AND SO ON. WHEN WE BROUGHT THOSE PEOPLE BACK FIVE YEARS LATER TO SAY, HOW WERE THOSE INITIATIVES FARING KIND OF WITHOUT EXCEPTION, IT HAD CHANGED INDIVIDUAL LIVES, THEIR ENGAGEMENT BUT DEVELOPMENT WAS GOING ON ALONG NORMAL PATTERNS. HUGE CORPORATIONS COMING IN. SUBSIDIES BEING GIVEN TOO FAR OFF MULTINATIONALS, LOW INCOME JOBS, I MEAN LOW PAID JOBS, DISPLACEMENT, ALL THE REST. TO WHAT EXTENT CAN WE MAKE THE KIND OF CHANGE THAT YOU’RE ALL TALKING ABOUT? BOTTOM UP, ACTUALLY AFFECTIVE WITH PEOPLE AT THE CENTER, NOT PROFIT, WITHIN THE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE? WHEREVER THESE CLIMATE FIX IS KIND OF LOOKED AT AS A WAY TO MAKE A BUCK. >>WE LOOK AT AS HOW LAND HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF ALL OF THAT. AND THAT’S WHY I WAS TALKING TO ASHLEY EARLIER ABOUT HOW WE CREATED A COMMUNITY LAND TRUST. SO WE COULD, THE COMMUNITY COULD OWN — BE STAKE HOLDERS OR THE GUARDIAN OF THEIR OWN PUBLIC TRUST IN OUR OWN COMMUNITY. WHERE WE SEE PUBLIC LAND, HOW IT’S BEEN USED DECADES AFTER DECADES TO CAUSE ALL KINDS OF HARM TO US. SO WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO OWNERS AT A LAND.>>SO THEN WE GOT LAND OUT OF THE MARKET. >>SPECULATIVE MARKET, THE BEING THE NATURAL POSING FORCE TO REAL ESTATE SPECULATION. AND MAKE SURE IT’S PERMANENTLY AND PERPETUITY OWNED BY THE COMMUNITY TO CREATE ITS OWN SOLUTIONS. >>AND WHAT HELP CAN GOVERNMENT GIVE YOU TO THAT? OR DO YOU HAVE TO JUST DO IT ALL ON YOUR OWN?>>WELL, I MEAN THERE’S A PLACE FOR GOVERNMENT TO HELP, BUT THEY CAN’T BE IN CONTROL. AND THAT’S A FINE LINE. AND ONCE THEY BECOME IN CONTROL THEN YOU’RE NO LONGER STEWARDING THE SPACE YOURSELF. YOU’RE ACTUALLY JUST BEING ANOTHER TENANT. SO WE WANT TO BE THE LAND OWNERS, MEANING THE COMMUNITY IS THE LAND OWNERS OF THE LAND AND MAKE SURE THAT WE CREATE THE GREEN SPACE WE NEED. THE MITIGATION IS NECESSARY, AND POTENTIALLY CREATING SOLUTIONS THAT THE COMMUNITY HAS WITH OUR UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES. AND YOU LOOK AT ALL THE MULTIPLE NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND NEW YORK CITY, THERE’S GOING TO BE DIFFERENT IDEAS OF WHAT THEY NEED. SO WE WANT TO START THAT FROM THE GROUND UP, RIGHT? AND MAKING SURE COMMITTEES CONTROL THEIR DESTINY, A LITTLE BIT MORE SO THAN YOU WOULD IF YOU WERE JUST TRYING TO BE ANOTHER DEVELOPER. >>ASHLEY, THE SORT OF PLACE WHERE THE BUCK STOPS KIND OF QUESTION. IT’S LIKE, REALLY HOW FAR CAN WE GO WITH THESE? >>I THINK WHAT WE NEED TO HAVE IS MOVEMENTS THAT ARE OUTSIDE, ALONGSIDE AND ALSO INSIDE THE STATE IN ITS VARIOUS DIFFERENT SCALES. AND I’LL GIVE YOU A CONCRETE EXAMPLE OF THIS. SO A LOT OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE MOVEMENTS IN NEW YORK AND IN OTHER PARTS OF THIS COUNTRY ARE TRYING TO SET UP SOLAR CO-OPS RIGHT. UPROSE HAS JUST ESTABLISHED THE FIRST ONE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK. RIGHT? THE FIRST ONE, PRETTY AMAZING. WHAT THAT SHOWS IS HOW LITTLE RENEWABLE POWER WE HAVE. LESS THAN 5% RENEWABLE ENERGY IN NEW YORK STATE, DESPITE ALL THE POWER WE GET FROM NIAGARA. WHY IS THAT? WELL, IT’S BECAUSE WE HAVE CON ED, WHICH HAS ALL THE SUNK FOSSIL FUEL ASSETS AND IS SITTING ON CONTROL. SO WE REALLY NEED TO MAKE GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBLE TO THE PEOPLE, MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY CO-OPS AND GET THROUGH ALL OF THE RED TAPE AND BUREAUCRACY. BUT ALSO MAKE THE MAJOR PROVIDER OF POWER FOR PEOPLE PUBLIC. >>YOU MEAN PUBLICLY OWNED?>>YEAH, EXACTLY. AND MAKE IT ANSWERABLE TO THE PEOPLE, MAKE IT DEMOCRATIC AND NOT FOR PROFIT. WHEREAS RIGHT NOW IT’S ANSWERABLE TO INVESTORS, WHICH IS WHY IT CUTS POWER OUT TO MAJORITY WORKING CLASS COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. LIKE IT DID IN BROOKLYN DURING THE HEAT WAVE THIS SUMMER. >>COULD COMMUNITY BOARDS BE AN AGENCY FOR SOME OF THIS KIND OF CHANGE? DO WE HAVE INSTITUTIONS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL THAT COULD PLAY A ROLE? >>THEY’RE ADVISORY. THEY HAVE NO REAL TEETH. >>YEAH. WELL I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT AS YOU’RE DOING TO CONNECT THE DESIRE TO HAVE MONEY, WITH PREVENTING COMMUNITIES FROM DOING WHAT THEY WANT. BUT TO ALSO RECOGNIZE IT’S A CAUSE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE, RIGHT? IT’S WHAT’S DRIVING THE CONSUMPTION OF RESOURCES. IT’S WHAT’S DRIVING THE DESTRUCTION OF NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS. AND SO IT’S A PROBLEM ON MULTIPLE LEVELS. AND WE HAVE TO IDENTIFY THAT AS LONG AS WE ALLOW THIS TO BE A PRIORITY, NOT JUST IN YEARS, WE CAN TALK ABOUT THE ENTIRE ECONOMY. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT SOMETHING LIKE URBAN PLANNING, IT’S RUN AS IF IT’S LIKE ANY CORPORATION OR ANY BUSINESS, RIGHT? WE CAN’T DO THIS DEVELOPMENT UNLESS IT SATISFIES THIS PROFIT MOTIVE. AND THE WAY THAT’S DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER CORPORATION IS THAT IT’S AFFECTING ALL OF US, RIGHT? IT’S OUR PUBLIC ENVIRONMENT, IT’S OUR PUBLIC SPACES, IT’S OUR CITY. AND IF WE THINK THAT WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE CITY, WE HAVE TO ACTUALLY VERIFY THAT WE HAVE SOME AGENCY OVER WHAT HAPPENS. AND RIGHT NOW WE DON’T. AS MYCHAL JUST SAID, THE COMMUNITY BOARD IS AN ADVISORY BODY. IF IT WASN’T AN ADVISORY BODY, IT’S SO STEEPED IN LEGALESE. I CHALLENGE ANYBODY HERE IN THIS WHOLE BUILDING TO READ THROUGH THIS AND SAY, “OKAY, HOW CAN I ACTUALLY GO AND WORK WITH MY NEIGHBORS WHO MIGHT NOT EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH THAT WELL, TO ARTICULATE WHAT OUR VISION IS?” RIGHT? BUT THEY HAVE OTHER SKILLS. IT’S JUST NOT RECOGNIZED WITHIN THE SYSTEM. SO THERE’S A LOT OF JARGON, THERE’S A LOT OF LEGALESE AND THERE’S A LOT OF INTENTIONAL PROCESS THAT I THINK TAKES AWAY AGENCY FOR PEOPLE. AND ACTUALLY OBFUSCATES HOW THEY CAN ENGAGE WITH THE SYSTEM. AND WE HAVE TO PEEL ALL OF THAT BACK. WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THE POLICIES THAT ARE BEING PUT IN PLACE AND TOPICS LIKE THE GREEN NEW DEAL HAVE SOMEWHAT OF A POISON PILL IN THEM, WHICH IS THIS PROFIT MOTIVE. AND UNLESS THE DEVELOPMENTS THAT THEY’RE PROMOTING ARE BETTER AT GETTING PEOPLE FROM THEIR HOME TO THEIR JOBS SO THEY CAN BE MORE EFFICIENT AT THEIR JOB. THEY’RE NOT REALLY HAPPENING. AND THAT’S AN ABSTRACT WAY OF SAYING THAT IT’S A JUSTIFICATION THAT’S BEING USED FOR INFRASTRUCTURE IS TO SAY, OKAY, WE NEED TO GET FROM HERE FASTER TO HERE FASTER. AND THAT’S NOT ALWAYS THE SAME AS WHAT MAKES YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE BETTER. SO I THINK THIS IS WHAT MY ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS, IS THAT UNTIL WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT QUALITY OF LIFE, UNTIL WE STARTED TALKING ABOUT WHAT MAKES US HEALTHIER, WHAT MAKES US HAPPIER, RIGHT? WHAT MAKES US MORE FULFILLED HUMAN BEINGS AND BETTER COMMUNITIES, BETTER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES. THEN YES, WE MIGHT DELAY SOME OF THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE UNTIL WEALTHY GO TO OTHER PLANETS AND THEN THEY FORGET ABOUT EARTH. BUT WE’RE NOT ANSWERING THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION, WHICH IS WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE US HAPPY? WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE US FULFILLED? AND WHAT’S GOING TO MAKE US HAVE BETTER COMMUNITIES? >>YOU SAID NOBODY COULD EXPLAIN IT IN THIS BUILDING. BUT WE HAPPEN TO BE AT THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK GRAD CENTER WHERE THERE ARE SMART PEOPLE LIKE ASHLEY WHO PROBABLY COULD UNDERSTAND IT. THAT’S JUST A SEGUE TO SAY HOW IMPORTANT IS NEW YORK AND THE WORK THAT IS DONE HERE? >>I THINK IT’S VERY IMPORTANT. WE’RE THE CENTER OF CAPITAL, AND WE’RE A CITY WHERE WE CAN SEE THE IRRATIONALITIES OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT DRIVEN BY CAPITALISM, IN THE KIND OF CLEAREST POSSIBLE WAY. BUT WE’VE ALSO HAD EXPERIMENTS LIKE, REBUILD BY DESIGN THAT ARE TRYING TO PROVIDE A KIND OF UTOPIAN IMAGINARY WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CAPITALISM. SO IF WE LOOK AT THOSE FAILURES, I THINK THEY’RE PRETTY RELEVANT. BUT I WOULD WANT TO SAY THAT AS I EMPHASIZE AT THE OUTSET, WE’RE ALSO ON A GLOBALIZING PLANET. AND IT’S THE PEOPLE IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH WHO ARE AT LEAST RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY, BUT WHO REALLY ARE IN THE FRONT LINES. AS WELL AS PEOPLE KIND OF OF THE GLOBAL MAJORITY IN NEW YORK CITY, WHO ARE ON THOSE FRONT LINES. AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE AND YOU HAVE CAPITAL AND PATRIARCHY AND COLONIALISM RUNNING ROUGH SHOT OVER POPULATIONS. FOR A WHILE THEY’LL SIT TIGHT AND STAY OPPRESSED, BUT EVENTUALLY THERE’S GOING TO BE A REVOLUTION. THERE’S GOING TO BE REBELLING OF VARIOUS DIFFERENT KINDS. AND AS YOU MENTIONED, WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO WATER, YOU’RE GOING TO GRAB YOUR PITCHFORK AND HEAD FOR THE GOVERNORS HOUSE. [LAUGHTER]>>THAT’S THE REVOLUTIONARY CITIES PART OF YOUR PROJECT. >>EXACTLY. SO GOVERNANCE IN SOME WAYS WAS A WAY TO KIND OF, AT LEAST IN NEW YORK, IN THE 20TH CENTURY, IT WAS A WAY TO KIND OF DIFFUSE POPULAR MOVEMENTS TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. BUT WE’RE NOW IN A PERIOD WHERE THERE’S GOING TO BE A LOT OF PUSHBACK, JUST BECAUSE OF THE CRISES IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM, WHICH LEADS TO SOCIAL CRISES. >>WE ASK THE QUESTION OFTEN, WHAT WILL BE THE STORY THE FUTURE TELLS OF THIS MOMENT? WHAT DO YOU THINK? >>I THINK THE FUTURE, IF WE DON’T TREAT THE MOST AFFECTED AND THE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE LEFT BEHIND. HOW DO WE TREAT THEM, IS GOING TO BE THE EXAMPLE OF WHAT WE CAN SEE IN THE FUTURE AS TO WHAT WE DID TODAY. IF WE LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY AND IT HAS THIS GREAT DISPARITY BETWEEN RICH AND POOR AND HOW THEY’RE TREATED AND HOW THEY’RE PROTECTED, THAT’S GOING TO BE THE STORY THAT’S GOING TO BE TOLD.>>MYCHAL, AURASH, ASHLEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH. GREAT TALKING WITH YOU BOTH. THERE’S MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BOTH OF THE BOOKS THAT WE’VE DISCUSSED AT OUR WEBSITE. CHECK IT OUT, LAURAFLANDERS.ORG, AND THANKS. ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪


Reader Comments

  1. Crapitalism ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿค‘ seen it all my life and the sad part is
    They treat me as if im the one….
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8gbqHi0fRw

    She lied to me its not my daughter
    Red pill MgtowToo!
    ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿฆฐ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ™„Byepergamy!

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