Restoring Public Health and the Climate through a Green New Deal with Sunrise Bay Radio

Sunrise Movement Bay Area has released a podcast discussing the ways in which climate change intersects with different aspects of our society, “broadcasting the decade of the Green New Deal from the occupied territory of the Ohlone people.” The podcast hosts, Maritte O’Gallagher and Richard, along with other local correspondents, meet with other activists and leading experts to share climate solutions and stories of real people impacted by climate change. The podcast also offers ways for each of us to get involved in the collective fight for a more livable future.

In the debute episode, Sunrise explores how both climate change and the coronavirus pandemic are undermining public health and exacerbating health inequality.  

Sunrise correspondent, Adam, speaks with Dr. Linda Rudolph, the Director of Climate Change & Health at the Public Health Institute, about the ways in which climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic threaten health justice. In their conversation, Dr. Rudolph emphasizes that many of the same structural inequities and living conditions that make people more vulnerable to climate change are also making people more vulnerable to Covid-19.

“We need to address our energy, transportation, food and agriculture, building and land-use systems if we want to make our communities more resilient in the face of climate change but then also have greater resilience in the face of other health threats.”

Dr. Linda Rudolph

Dr Rudolph also speaks to how our evolving global changing climate leads to more drought, which in turn leads to higher food insecurity and poor nutrition. She gives the case study of the most recent droughts in California where people in low income, rural, predominantly Latinx farmworker communities lost access to clean drinking water. She poses the question of “What would the implications of drought be under the conditions of a pandemic when the most important thing you can do to stop the spread is washing your hands?”

They go on to discuss how the Green New Deal can proactively address public health and make sure that the well-being of frontline communities is the primary focus of policy change around the climate crisis. To support this work at the intersection of health justice and climate justice, check out this call to action on climate health and equity!

In the latter half of the episode, Sunrise correspondent, Mukta Kelkar, meets with the founders of Climate Health Now, Dr. Ashley McClure and Sarah Schear, about how medical professionals play a crucial role in organizing to stop climate change and protect the wellbeing of their patients. They discuss how around the world we have seen an upswelling of intergenerational solidarity to protect our elders as Covid-19 most severely impacts older members of our society. Climate Health Now advocates that we have to do the same and take action around climate change to protect our children and future generations. They emphasize the need for “robust humane public health measures that are really aimed at supporting every person” as outlined in the Green New Deal.

Listen to the podcast on Spotify or Anchor to find out about how these leading experts envision a Green New Deal that could bolster public health for ALL Americans.

For more information about this episode please contact us at bayarea@sunrisemovement.org

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