[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”welcome” el_id=”welcome”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Welcome” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Sharyn Main, Community Environmental Council: All right. Well, good morning, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us for our Climate Resilience Roundtable this morning and my name is Sharyn Main. I’m the Director of Climate Resilience at the Community Environmental Council.
So just a little bit of housekeeping here. We are recording our session here, it’s going to be the main room, including the chat, but not the breakout rooms. So when you go into the breakout rooms and have those conversations, those will not be recorded other than what we document in our documents. Please mute your sound when you’re not speaking, and particularly with the presentations, any comments or questions, you can certainly put those in the chat. We’ll also be putting instructions in any sort of prompts that you might need in the chat.
But today, we’re actually using a Google Doc, which we have a link to in the chat. And we ask that all of you go to that now. It’s got the agenda in it and it’s going to be an important document for the day. It’s got the agenda in it right at the top. But if you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see a place for the roll call. And please put your name and your affiliation and pronoun if you’d like to use that. And any gratitude you’re feeling for today. We will use this document in the breakout rooms. Also this is where you can put questions of the speakers, and then we’ll try to get back to you through that way. Again, you can also use the chat. So feel you can work either way on that.
If you have any questions or needs myself, or Iris Kelly, can really help you. You can actually ask us specifically in the chat. You can click on our photo and get to us that way to send us a chat. So feel free to direct any questions or needs to us.
I want to just prime us for a little bit for the day. Kind of give us an overview of what we’re going to be talking about. Today is our third in a series of Climate Resilience Roundtables. We started these last year with our wildfire and smoke event in November. We had a sea level rise and flooding event in March right before the COVID-19 shut down. Our goals for these roundtables were really to connect those folks working in climate planning resilience so there could be some better collaboration. We’re working together and we really wanted to build trust and see if we could garner some more collaborative efforts. Ultimately, we wanted to help frame a collaborative vision for what Santa Barbara County climate and disaster resilience would look like and some actionable steps that could be taken up and incorporated in many of the planning efforts that are happening.
And while many of the great agencies and nonprofit efforts are working on key pieces of the resilience puzzle – from mitigation to adaptation, emergency response, and even climate justice – a lot of times these efforts were outside of maybe somebody’s normal field of thinking. If you’re working with homelessness, for instance, or if you’re working in social areas, you might not know that these efforts were happening. And so we recognize certainly a need to expand the conversation and bring more stakeholders into the conversation. Oftentimes, there were only a few representatives that were tapped to participate and it wasn’t getting the breadth of input that was needed to create a real community resilience plan.
The key goals have been, as I mentioned, to go deeper and to try to understand a broader perspective of what it means and what we need to have a truly resilient community. Recognizing this need and that we were missing some very important voices from more vulnerable populations – those from underserved or underrepresented communities. They’re often the most impacted by climate disasters and crises and often last to recover. These voices are often also missing from the planning and resilience design process. That was really our purpose today: to help try to lift up some of those voices and perspectives.
So today, we’re going to hear from Dr. Linda Rudolph, who’s our keynote speaker who will frame some of this conversation. She’s looking particularly at climate change as a health emergency. And we’ll hear some personal stories that will help kind of route us and connect us to the why of this work.
We have the expert piece of Carl Palmer and Carrie Kappel of Legacy Works who will be our facilitators today and will help us through the breakout sessions and really help us as we contribute our voices and stories and ideas to potential solutions.
Again, the agenda for today is in the Google Docs. We will have a five minute break. We are going to go through this all pretty quickly.
So I want to take just one brief moment before we start for an acknowledgment. We are of course, on the lands that were historically Chumash lands. And I want to pay respect to the Chumash elders, past, present and future who have called this place home, and ask that we follow in that tradition of coming together and growing as a community. I’d like to thank the Chumash community for their stewardship, and welcome their wisdom as we seek a healing path for all people and the earth.
All right. So I want to run through just a quick little exercise. We don’t have time to go around doing introductions, but I think here’s a nice quick way for us to do that. Now, if you would, I’d like everybody to go ahead and go to gallery view, which is that little corner square up in the upper right hand corner of your Zoom. Everybody just click onto that. We can see everyone see the pictures. And if you see on the right arrow there, you can click to the other pages. So you can really start to see everybody who’s joining us today. Great. I know it’s scary. Everybody go to your bottom left, where your mute is. You’ll use that occasionally. But also stop video right now, everybody just turn your video off. So we have completely blank screens.
Great. Great, great.
Okay, so now what I’d like us to do is, I am going to read off various areas of sectors that we might work with or identify closely. And as you hear yours, turn your camera on. And that will allow us to really see who’s in the room and give us a better sense of the day. So if you’re involved with climate crises, or environmental sustainability work, whether government or nonprofit, turn on your screen for us. Let’s see you. Right, great, great. Good number of folks. All right, if you’re involved with disaster planning and resilience, turn your screen on. Let’s see you.
Right, certainly see some folks. Yes. If you’re involved with homelessness, unsheltered folks, housing issues, turn on your screen. Right. And if you’re involved in education, maybe either in the education field or a student. Okay. Fantastic. Youth and families or family well being – how many folks are working in that realm?
Right. Public and mental health?
Right. And social justice, working with indigenous rights or racial equity issues? And our last couple— critical infrastructure and planning, maybe you’re with government or nonprofit. And then finally, last, we usually do this first, but we’ll say our elected officials, I know we have a few, or foundations or even some of the NGO or government leadership that might be here today.
Right, so everybody should have their screen on now. Fantastic. Okay. All right. We will give you that. Thank you. Okay, great. Well, thanks. I hope that gave you a nice sense of who’s in the room and how our conversations are going today.
So with that, I’m going to jump into the program and I’d like to introduce Sigrid Wright. She’s the CEO of the Community Environmental Council, and I’m just going to leave it at that. So, Sigrid?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-resilience-intersectionality” el_id=”climate-resilience-intersectionality”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Resilience & Intersectionality” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Sigrid Wright, Community Environmental Council: All right. Well, welcome everyone. Happy to see you all. I’ve been scrolling through and looking at little boxes and trying to readjust and welcome you.
I want to provide a little context to this moment that we’re in. This very strange moment. Sharyn mentioned that we’ve already done a couple of in-person resilience roundtables but more than that, it was interesting when we did the wildfire and smoke roundtable in November, we did that against the backdrop of skies that were filled with smoke from the Maria Fire and Aeron Arlin Genet and many of the county leaders will recall that they were dealing with air quality warnings at that time. And then our second resilience roundtable in March was held in the wake of the Winter King Tides, which gave us a sneak preview of what’s to come in terms of flooding.
And now here we are just five months later. And honestly, it feels like five years since we last were together in person. And we’re gathering to look specifically at how climate change unequally affects vulnerable communities, particularly the health of these communities. And once again, we’re living that experience while we gather.
For example, we know that of the six climate threats that have been identified for our region, that one is an increase in extreme heat, which Sharyn also mentioned. And on the Central Coast, extreme heat is defined as five days in a row over 85 degrees. And the reason that number is kind of low for our region is we just don’t have the infrastructure in place for cooling systems the way you might in the Inland Empire. And this is more than an academic discussion. If you were to check – I checked this morning about an hour ago – for the weather forecast for North County and Santa Maria showing extreme heat for the next seven days. Some of you may recall a Washington Post article that came out late last year which went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. And it reported that in the last 125 years, Santa Barbara County has warmed an average of 2.3 degrees and Ventura County an average of 2.6 degrees, making this the fastest warming region in the lower 48.
With extreme heat, maybe more so than other climate threats, we know there are significant inequities, and it particularly impacts the very young, very old frail populations, people of color, homeless, low income communities and people with underlying health conditions. So I’m guessing that might sound familiar to something that we’re going through right now as those are many of the same patterns that we see in the inequities of COVID.
And that’s one of the purposes of doing these roundtables is to explore how the climate crisis creates overlapping and cascading effects. These are not siloed events, or siloed situations. And of course, we’re dealing not just with the climate crisis, and not just with those six threats for our region, but we’re dealing with multiple intersecting crises at this moment in time. Some of these have obviously been around for a while, but their recent naming is a significant step towards action.
In fact, we are now navigating for named crises, not just in our world, but in our region, the first to be named locally this year, or in December, it was the climate emergency which was declared as an emergency by the county of Santa Barbara, thanks to the advocacy of groups like Climate Localization and the Standing Rock Coalition. There have been almost 1500 governments around the world that have taken similar action and named a climate emergency. And the next of course to be named this year was the global pandemic officially recognized as a public health emergency by the county in March. And then roll forward to an economic recession, which has been obvious for several months by double digit unemployment and other plummeting economic indicators, but was officially named recession in early June. And then racism, which has been around in this country for at least 400 years since the beginning of colonization of the US. And I’m personally very heartened to see racism named as a public health emergency. It was recognized as such by many local governments this summer.
So if that gets your heart rate going, that means you’re in the right room. And that’s what we’re going to be digging into today. For anyone who’s worked in the environmental movement for any length of time, we’ll come to the realization that the roots of the climate crisis can be found in our social and economic systems, which have historically been based on the extraction of resources and the exploitation of people.
So I jumped right into it this morning, and I will say there’s no simple fix, there’s no technological silver bullet to what we’re dealing with. Systems change is messy and difficult. Perhaps you’ve heard that phrase: to change everything we need everyone, including the voices who haven’t always been in the room or have in some cases been deliberately kept out of the room. We need all voices to design the response that’s more than just bouncing back but actually bouncing forward.
So that’s my context for the morning. But I do want to kind of leave you with a nice image that’s been helping me in the last few months.
At the beginning of the quarantine, I wrote a short piece for my board and staff leadership called “Think Like a Tree.” And if ever there was a metaphor for the human condition right now, it would be how on the surface trees may seem like solitary creatures, but they’re actually deeply connected. Telegraphing can be slow pulsing electric signals under their vast underground root systems, and communicating through the air using pheromones and other scent signals, which I had no idea about. They signal each other about pest invasions, drought and other threats. And so in short, the trees help each other and they even act as good parents and good neighbors, if for no other reason then self preservation. Trees have a much greater chance of survival when they stand together in a forest and protect each other from heat and storm and diseases.
This feels like an apt metaphor for what the human community is being called to explore. And I’m looking forward to doing that with you today.
So it is my great pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker Linda Rudolph. Linda is the director of the Center of Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute. And she provides consultation to jurisdictions to implement a health and all policy collaborative framework to integrate and articulate health consideration into policy making across all sectors. I’m really excited to hear about that. She participates internationally in training and consulting related to climate change in health, she received her MD from the University of California, San Francisco, and is on the board of Occupational Medicine at UC Berkeley. Linda is really leading the conversation in climate change health and equity. And I’m honored to have her join us today. So I’m going to turn it over now to Linda.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-change-health-equity” el_id=”climate-change-healthy-equity”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Change, Health, and Equity” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute: Thanks so much, Sharyn and Sigrid and all the others that were involved in organizing this roundtable and for the privilege of participating.
I want to acknowledge Van Do-Reynoso also and the other staff from the Santa Barbara County Health Department that have really been doing yeoman work in trying to address the current COVID pandemic crisis. And I think it’s incumbent on everybody that’s participating in this forum and the community to really not just support what the public health department is trying to do, but also to support whatever efforts there are to increase the resources and capacity of our public health infrastructure, which has really been decimated. And I think that’s showing in the challenges that we’re having facing the COVID epidemic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”what-is-healthy-community” el_id=”what-is-healthy-community”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”What is a Healthy Community?” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Sigrid already gave you a forecast of what I’m going to talk about. But I want to start by just asking you to take about 10 seconds to take off your professional hats and think for a moment about your children, your partner or your parents, your friends, yourself and think about what are the attributes of a community that is healthy? And what does a community that’s healthy look like for you and your loved ones?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”a-healthy-community-provides” el_id=”a-healthy-community-provides”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”A Healthy Community Provides:” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]I know you probably can’t see this very well. But a number of years ago, the Strategic Growth Council at the State of California adopted the definition of a healthy community that basically said, “a healthy community is a community where everyone across all stages of life has access to safe and affordable healthy food, drinking water, transportation, housing, high quality education, high quality health care, clean air, water, soil, energy, parks, green space, family supporting jobs, safety from violence, and civic engagement and the power to influence decisions that impact each individual’s life.”
Unfortunately, we all know that many of the systems that we’ve become accustomed to don’t do a very good job of providing that healthy community or energy system, which spews out air pollution, our transportation system which pollutes the air and pushes people into spending hours a day, sitting sedentary in a car, our land use system, our food and agriculture system that that contaminates the soil in water and feeds us unhealthy foods, our building and housing systems. They all conspire against providing the healthy environments that we need in a healthy community
But we also know that access to the resources for health that healthy community affords aren’t equally distributed in our society. And that’s why we in public health can forecast your life expectancy by looking at your zip code. And that’s largely because of structural issues such as racism and discrimination, the power imbalances between the wealthy and the less wealthy, and a legacy of historic injustices such as the theft of lands of indigenous peoples that have created systems and differential environments for different groups that lead to better or worse health.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”healthy-places-index” el_id=”healthy-places-index”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Healthy Places Index” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And that’s just as true in Santa Barbara as it is anyplace else in the country. You can see this is from something called the Healthy Places Index, I encourage you to go online and look at it. And it shows areas that have more access to the resources we need for health in green, or areas that have less access to the resources we need for health in different shades of blue.
When I was the health officer for the city of Berkeley, which was a long time ago, the mayor asked me to speak to a public forum about climate change and health. This was about 15 years ago and I knew nothing about climate change. And as I started to prepare to fulfill the mayor’s request, I was stunned. First, I was stunned because I thought: How can I have been working in public health for so long and not have understood about climate change and that it really is the greatest challenge to health of this century? COVID notwithstanding. And then I was stunned to learn that the same systems that are contributing to the poor health outcomes that I was trying to address, particularly in South Berkeley’s African American community, were also responsible for carbon dioxide emissions and methane emissions. And I started to realize that climate change really is a threat multiplier for all of the other non-health outcomes and health inequities that I had devoted my career to. But it was also a revelation to me that smart climate solutions would address the health inequities that I was seeing in my community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-action-urgent” el_id=”climate-action-urgent”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Action is Urgent” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Unfortunately, partly due to the millions of dollars the oil industry has devoted to obfuscating the truth. Too many of our leaders have failed to heed the warnings of nearly all of the world’s scientists that we are running out of time to avert catastrophic climate change. CO2 levels are higher now than they were last year or the year before that, or the year before that. In fact, they’re the highest that they’ve been in millions of years. We’re on track to far exceed the 1.5 degrees centigrade warming that the Paris Agreement seeks to stay within. And every day of delay makes it harder to avert climate chaos.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-crisis-health-crisis” el_id=”climate-crisis-health-crisis”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Crisis = Health Crisis” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]We’re clearly seeing the impacts of climate change here. And now on our health, wildfires, extreme precipitation, coastal flooding, extreme heat. There have been five major reports national and international in the last couple of years, that document a wide array of impacts of climate change on health, and also how these health impacts disproportionately affect people of color and low-income communities and disproportionately impact the global south versus the global north. These reports demonstrate that the warmer it gets, the worse it will get. And they also talk to the fact that climate actions potentially have massive health benefits. But most importantly, if we don’t take transformative action in these key systems with great urgency that we risk catastrophic effects on human health and well being and possibly on the survival of human civilization. So in essence, these reports are telling us that climate change is not just a global health emergency. It’s literally an existential threat, because it threatens our air, our food, our water, our shelter.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-vulnerability” el_id=”climate-vulnerability”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Vulnerability” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So I want to look a little bit at what makes people and communities more vulnerable or more resilient in the face of the threats of climate change to help them well being. Obviously, there’s differences in exposure to climate threats. People that live on the coast are more at risk of sea level rise than people that live in the mountains. People that work outdoors are more at risk from extreme heat.
But there’s also differences in sensitivity and susceptibility to climate threats. So individual characteristics Sigrid mentioned, some of them being very young being very old, having pre-existing health conditions, the baseline status of Environmental Quality in the neighborhood, these all intersect with climate impacts and in the subsequent health outcomes. So if you live in an area that has very poor air quality, because you’re next to a refinery or next to a busy freeway, you’re more likely to have asthma or respiratory disease or heart disease, and that places you at higher risk for the impacts of wildfire, smoke, or heat.
Next, we also see a lot of differences in the ability of individuals and communities to adapt to and respond to climate threats. People have differential access to resources. So low income people are less likely to have insurance, it makes it harder for them to rebuild after a catastrophe conditions of the built environment, people that live in very crowded, poor quality housing that isn’t weatherized or where they have very old appliances that aren’t energy efficient. They’re not going to be able to spend as much money on fixing their houses, making them more climate resilient, or putting in an air conditioner if it’s necessary to address the extreme heat increases that Sigrid also mentioned. We see socially mediated capacity to reduce risk and prepare effectively. And I’ll talk about that a little bit more. We’ve also learned that social cohesion, the ability of communities to really come together and work together, has a big impact on what happens after a disaster. So both in Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, we see documented differences in the ability of communities to function and restore themselves after those disasters that were even in communities that have the same impacts of the hurricane itself had really different levels of social cohesion, and those with better social cohesion did much better. And finally, what kind of safety net resources, what kind of public health and emergency response infrastructure we have, can really make a difference to what happens in a disaster next.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-gap” el_id=”climate-gap”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The “Climate Gap”” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]It can hardly come as a surprise to you that these vulnerability factors are not equally distributed across neighborhoods and communities, resulting in what my colleague Rachel Morello-Frosch has termed the “Climate Gap”. I mentioned that those that live in areas that have poor air quality are at higher risk. If people live in areas like much of the Central Valley where they don’t have good access to clean drinking water and there’s a drought, they’re at higher risk. Neighborhoods that don’t have good tree canopy are at higher risk, because they have urban heat island effects. And again, people with underlying chronic illness.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”vulnerabilities-santa-barbara” el_id=”vulnerabilities-santa-barbara”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Population Climate Vulnerabilities in Santa Barbara” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And I certainly don’t need to tell this audience that significant proportions of Santa Barbara’s residents have characteristics that increase vulnerability to the health impacts of climate change, chronic disease, food insecurity, poverty.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”extreme-heat-health-equity” el_id=”extreme-heat-health-equity”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Extreme Heat & Health Equity” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]I’m going to just very quickly run through how some of these climate health impacts look in different communities. Extreme heat kills more people than any other climate health impact. Santa Barbara may not seem that vulnerable but most people in Santa Barbara don’t have air conditioning, even in the more inland areas of the county. People aren’t acclimatized to help heat and in the last really bad extreme heat episode that California had where we have good data on deaths, we actually found that the relative risk of death was greater in coastal areas because of this lack of acclimatization. Outdoor workers, particularly agricultural workers, are at extremely high risk for extreme heat, as are those people that live in urban heat islands. And there was just a study that came out recently showing that urban heat islands map to areas of historical residential segregation and redlining. Homeless people are also at very high risk of extreme heat because they can’t often find shelter in cold environments.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”extreme-weather-drought-slr-health-inequities” el_id=”extreme-weather-drought-slr-health-inequities”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Extreme Weather, Drought, SLR, and Health Inequities” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Low income households are often at risk in extreme weather events. Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible for FEMA disaster assistance. Tribal communities are very vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, on fisheries and farming. And again, the homeless are at risk. And I just want to make a note here that the other group that’s really at higher risk – not innately but because of the way we do emergency preparedness and response – is people who are English only speaking. Outdoor workers, again, are at high risk from mosquito or tick borne diseases.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”infectious-disease-health-inequities” el_id=”infectious-disease-health-inequities”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Infectious Disease and Health Inequities” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And people with poor housing quality are also at risk of vector borne diseases, because they may not have screening on their houses, for example.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”covid-climate” el_id=”covid-climate”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”COVID – Climate” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]I’m speaking of infectious disease. I just want to note that many of these exact same risks that we see for climate vulnerability, increase the risk of either getting COVID, or having bad outcomes for COVID. So we’ve heard a lot about, you know, severe clusters of COVID. In workplaces, we’re seeing this, again, in agricultural workers, people who are essential to putting food on our table, but who aren’t working in conditions that protect them more – forced to get to work in crowded vans, and so on. And people who have underlying illness, which, as we’ve talked about occurs more frequently in low income communities of color, because of their exposure to these other factors that lead to poor health outcomes. People with obesity, people with respiratory and cardiovascular disease have worse outcomes from COVID. So whether you’re looking at COVID, or you’re looking at climate, we see the same underlying systems and living conditions contributing to poor outcomes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”framework” el_id=”framework”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Change, Health, and Equity: A Framework for Action” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Just to recap, and that’s really the recap, the same systems that are driving for health outcomes and health inequities are driving climate change, and the climate gap.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”policy-responses” el_id=”policy-responses”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Policy Responses for Health” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]In a way, that’s also the good news, and that’s why health experts around the world see the climate crisis as one of our greatest health opportunities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”health-benefits” el_id=”health-benefits”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Health Benefits of Clean Energy, Energy Efficiency” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]If we fix the energy transportations, the food and agriculture systems, we will yield these huge health benefits. If we clean up our energy system and transition to clean, safe, renewable energy and energy efficiency, we’ll see a big reduction in respiratory and cardiovascular disease and also in some adverse birth outcomes associated with air pollution.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”zev” el_id=”zev”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Zero Emission Vehicles and Fuel Efficiency” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Same thing for transitioning to zero emission vehicles.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”active-transportation-transit” el_id=”active-transportation-transit”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Active Transportation and Transit” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Active Transportation I see is one of the most important things we can do to reduce our transportation greenhouse gas emissions, which are now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California. And that’s because if we can get people out of their cars, and using transit and and biking and walking more, and creating the infrastructure we need to make that easy for people. We will see huge reductions in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, cancers, because we’ll increase the integration of physical activity into our daily life.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”urban-greening” el_id=”urban-greening”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Urban Greening and Green Infrastructure” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Changing our cities so that every neighborhood has access to parks, has tree canopy. Changing our infrastructure so that instead of using concrete to divert rain, we start thinking about how to use green infrastructure, these interventions yield protection against heat illness, reduce our flood risk, help clean the air, provide healthier places for people to be physically active and come together as community members.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”regenerative-agriculture” el_id=”regenerative-agriculture”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Regenerative Agriculture” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And finally, changing our food systems so that we eat more plants and vegetables, reduce meat consumption, which would reduce the production of livestock methane, and also would reduce our water contamination from large, concentrated animal feeding operations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-change-health-equity-framework-for-action” el_id=”climate-change-health-equity-framework-for-action”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Change, Health, and Equity: A Framework for Action” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So just again, to recap, addressing climate change by changing our energy, transportation, and Food and Ag and Land use systems. And that’s only going to happen by addressing underlying social, economic, legal and political power structures that have created and perpetuate those systems that exploit people and our planet. If we address those things, we can address the climate crisis and achieve huge improvements in health and create the kinds of healthy communities that I hope you were thinking about the very beginning of this discussion.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”climate-resilience” el_id=”climate-resilience”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Resilience” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So that really underlies my view of what it means to build climate resilience, which is the capacity of a community to anticipate, plan for, and mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities associated with environmental and social change. A healthy community is a climate resilient community[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”build-back-better” el_id=”build-back-better”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Build Back Better” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]We used to think about resilience as building, as bouncing back. How do we bounce back to our prior status after some kind of a disaster? And that also often meant making marginal changes that didn’t fundamentally reduce vulnerabilities, particularly vulnerabilities in the most impacted and least empowered communities. Now we think of resilience much more as bouncing forward. And that requires more openness, it requires really being willing to see climate change as an opportunity to change the social, economic and political structures that have promoted inequalities and climate change, and to invest in systems change that promotes health and well being and favors the health of communities and people over the profits of large corporations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”power-and-voice” el_id=”power-and-voice”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Power and Voice” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]I want to close with a few things that I think we should have learned from COVID. We should have learned that science matters. And we knew for years that a pandemic was coming, just as we know, have known for years, that the climate crisis is upon us. We should have learned that early action matters. Had we taken the steps that were really necessary to get a handle on COVID early, we wouldn’t still be locked down all these months later. The same is true for climate change. Every day that we delay really taking robust climate action, the harder it becomes to be able to avert catastrophic climate change. And we should have learned that equity is central to addressing these problems that impact our entire community. As long as we have workers who don’t have paid family leave, or who don’t have conditions at work in which they can avoid getting sick, we’re going to continue having COVID outbreaks in our communities. If we don’t address equity as a central component of climate action, we are not going to be able to really fully address the climate crisis. And as long as we don’t provide the power and voice to all members of our community, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge we need for climate solutions.
We have to build community power as a component of the system’s transformation that’s required to foster health and climate resilience. So I just want to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to participate today and I look forward to hearing the rest of the conversation. Thank you. For more information, visit www.climatehealthaction.org.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”true-roundtable” el_id=”true-roundtable”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”A True Roundtable
I’m sure people have questions or reflections, please add those to the chat. We don’t have time in our schedule today, unfortunately, for a Q & A session, but Dr. Rudolf has those questions and she’s able, either in the time we have today or hereafter to look at those, and we’re grateful for that. Thank you again.
My name is Carl Palmer, with Legacy Works Group and part of your facilitation team for today along with the CEC team, and our steering committee. I want to just touch again on the fact that our goals for today are to elevate voices, form relationships, and generate potential solutions that address this intersectionality. And the opportunities that are right at that overlap between the climate crisis and the economic crisis. All those are crises that we’re facing right now.
I mentioned the economic crisis, which requires a principle based approach. And I wanted to touch on our principles for today. But first I wanted to say that it really requires building trust relationships and strong networks, being able to move from the organizational space into this collective space. That’s a core tenet of these resilience roundtables. Linda said this well, we invite you really to take off your hat to be here as your whole self, to bring your personal perspective and experience, not just your professional expertise and role.
Want to recognize that we have a group of 60 community leaders gathered here today, from all walks and all levels, all sorts of different sectors and fields. And that’s incredibly promising. None of us have the answer. None of us could. This is incredibly complex. And we need to come together, we all need to bring what we have in order to craft the solutions that we need.
In that spirit, we’re going to gather everything that you bring to the table today and offer it back as we have with the other resilience roundtables and an opportunity matrix. It’s an open source, living, breathing resource for everyone in the community. And I think this is an opportunity for us to move towards that shared vision that Linda painted, so well, a jumping off point right now. So our principles for today are to be present, give yourself the gift of being present, even though we’re all in different spaces.
And then we’re convening electronically over zoom, be present, do your best to show up, give yourself the gift of that presence. Put away your phone, close your email, just focus on being here. As Linda said, take off your hat, show up as who you really are with your emotional reality as well as your professional self. Bring that, bring your whole self, your heart in your head, stay open, curious and committed to learning. And let’s ensure that all voices are heard and welcomed. I’d like to put those principles into action right now we’re going to do a short breakout group.
Now, Iris in a moment will invite you into a breakout group in triads. And as you go into this breakout group, you have a simple role – one of two roles. You’ll get to do both. The first is to share your personal reflections, just to be open and share your reflections on a prompt that I’ll give you in just a moment. When you’re not sharing, your role is very simple. It’s just to listen, to be fully present for the person who is sharing, listen to them deeply and really honor what they have to share. It’s not a time for comments or questions or affirmations.
So the simple prompt I’ll give you now – and then Iris will invite us all into breakout groups – is just to think through, reflect, and begin to speak to what resonated with you. From what Dr. Rudolph shared, what resonated with your personal “why”? The “why” behind the reason you’re here today, the “why” behind your work in the world in this arena. Reflect on what resonated from Linda’s talk most powerfully with your personal “why”. Iris, please invite us into breakout groups now.
To ensure participants feel free to discuss openly, breakout groups are not recorded.
Michelle Sevilla, Assemblymember Monique Limón’s Office: Magandang umaga everyone, my name is Michelle Sevilla and I’m a field representative for Assemblymember Monique Limón and I also am very honored to serve on the steering committee for the Climate Resilience Roundtable series.
As we just engaged with hearing the personal stories and experiences of people who have lived through a disaster or crisis, it helps us better understand what is needed to support the people on the front lines of climate disasters and crises. They know what is needed for them, and others like them to be better prepared, and more resilient for the next disaster. These people are the true experts. And we can learn from their experiences as we consider community resilience.
We’d like to share three perspectives on climate related vulnerabilities each just a few minutes long, up to three minutes, just enough to give you a window into their challenges. One story is a personal experience from a disaster. And the other two will share stories from the frontline community members that they serve. First is Emily Allen, director of the homeless and veteran’s impact initiatives within the Northern Santa Barbara County, United Way Home for good. Take it away, Emily.
Emily Allen, Northern Santa Barbara County United Way: Hello, all. Okay. So I’m going to tell you about a woman named Mary. I’ll call her Mary. She’s who I thought of when I was given this assignment. And she’s not quite a senior, she’s very quiet, and she keeps to herself. She’s soft spoken. But when you get to know her, you know that she’s intelligent. I remember her sister actually reaching out to me at one point to try to help her. And she told me that she was a really successful writer. And she got in her car one day and just left home and never came back. And that was because of untreated mental health issues.
So Mary’s been living on the streets of Santa Barbara since 2013. When I look at my notes, occasionally she goes to different shelters, but because of her mental health needs, she doesn’t stay there for very long. In the nighttime, she sleeps on a bench on State Street under a streetlight because that’s where she feels the most safe. During the daytime, she goes to the library where she reads books and looks at the computer, and just is able to rest and take a break.
Particularly during the fires with the smoke in the air, she was able to go to the library also to get away from the smoke and to breathe easier and to access drinking water. Now during the global pandemic that we’re all experiencing, with so many public spaces closed, she doesn’t have anywhere to go. And when you see her, you can see the stress on her face.
And I just remember, you know, I’ve been working in homeless issues in Santa Barbara for a little more than 15 years, when I first moved back here and started doing this work. Ken Williams, who was a social worker for the county, and who wrote books and articles about homelessness would tell people stories. And he told me that when he started, it was really rare to see a woman experiencing homelessness on the street. That was really an emergency situation. But I think sadly, it’s become normal for all of us now.
And we see women experiencing homelessness, we see seniors, we see other very vulnerable people out there. And during these times of pandemics and, you know, heat waves and fires, it really is hard for them and finding that safe place for people to be is really at the top of my list and you know the reason I do the work that I do. Thank you.
Michelle Sevilla: Thank you, Emily for sharing your constituent’s story. Next we have Marcus Lopez who will share a personal family experience from a recent disaster.
Marcus Lopez, Barbareño Chumash Tribal Council: Aku aku. Good morning. Buenos dias. Yes. My name is Marcus Lopez. I am from the Barbareño Chumash Tribal Council.
And I used to live on 1267 East Valley Road in Montecito and had the experience of living through the debris flow, seeing it firsthand and dealing with the aftermath of making sure my family was okay. In getting ourselves to safety and working with, at that moment, the local CHP, it’s a story that I wish to share in greater detail in a further discussion.
But in this forum here is definitely important that we talk about the environment, how we talk about the policies that are to be in place that affect the environment, and how we talk to our elders, our consultants, because we know some proper management and proper styles in which we can prevent disasters in the future that affect not just those of lower incomes, but all of us. And I look forward to having that discussion and dialogue with everyone and sharing my personal story of the mudslide.
Thank you very much.
Michelle Sevilla: Thank you so much, Marcus.
And finally, Alhan Diaz-Correa, Community Ambassador at the Community Environmental Council, who has been working with frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alhan Diaz-Correa, Community Environmental Council: Morning, everyone.
Me and Ana Rico are both Community Ambassadors with CEC. And through CARE, we’ve been able to do a lot of outreach to these frontline communities.
One of the things that has been made pretty obvious today is just the intersection of health and climate change, and how it really affects their day to day lives and kind of makes it harder. These are just three voices that we’ve talked to the past couple weeks, and we just want to share a little bit of their stories with you guys today. Thank you.
Araceli Reyes, Farmworker: In Los Alamos, it is hotter. Very hot. I’ve heard a lot of stories of fainting. I’ve heard of a lot of people getting dehydrated. It is difficult to work in the field. Like I said, the climate is already a bit hot and often workers are pregnant or have some medical condition that affects them. That’s why they had put in these little houses. If you feel bad, you’re supposed to take a rest for five minutes. They don’t allow it… they don’t do it. They keep working.
Apart from climate – overpopulation in housing. It’s stressful – overpopulation in a single home. And, unfortunately, we have to be like this because that’s all we can pay.
Keihla Rivera, Retail Worker: I’m Kiehla Rivera. My mother has systemic lupus which is an autoimmune disease which makes her one of the incredibly susceptible people who more than likely would not be able to recover from COVID. She also has issues with her lungs and breathing and she has fibromyalgia and all these things. It was definitely scary knowing that I have autoimmune compromised individuals in my family that very likely could lose their lives based on my exposure to people.
Maria Delgado, Full-time Mother and Caregiver to Adult Child with Disabilities: My name is Maria Delgado. My experience was very difficult, because as a mother with an incapacitated son, they didn’t help me at all. And the second time – the landslide – the new fires came after the rain. There was a lot of ash falling. The police knocked and said, “You have to get out of here.” But I said, “I don’t have anywhere to go with my kid,” “No, you have to get out,” he said. For thirty minutes I waited outside. With my child, risking that I get sick. I had pneumonia and my son has diabetes. There was a lot of ash that fell on us. Then waiting for transportation from EasyLift. “Where are you headed?” they asked. “We don’t have anywhere to go.” So they took us to Isla Vista. But it was very ugly there. They did give us food. But I had a lot of issues with my son because I couldn’t change his diaper. Because, since he’s grown, they couldn’t share anything to help me change my son. That was exceedingly difficult for me. Having to carry him all the time, sit him down, and take him to the bathroom.
Ana Rico, Community Environmental Council: Your son, how old is he?
Maria Delgado: He is 24 years old.
Michelle Sevilla: Thank you, Emily, Marcus, Alhan and Ana Rico for sharing those powerful stories with us.
I would now like to introduce Garrett Wong, Climate Program Manager for the County of Santa Barbara. One of our goals with the roundtable series is to connect and align with the climate-related efforts underway. Garrett will highlight some of these opportunities to influence planning activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”opportunities-to-influence-planning” el_id=”opportunities-to-influence-planning”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Opportunities to Influence Planning” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Garrett Wong, County of Santa Barbara: Thank you, Michelle. And thank you to the Community Environmental Council for giving us the opportunity to briefly discuss what the County of Santa Barbara is up to – the latest climate change and health and safety of the region.
My name is Garrett Wong. I’m the Climate Program Manager for the County of Santa Barbara, and I’ve been here just a year. But I’ve really gotten involved with a lot of people who are involved on this call, and other efforts to really expand the County’s leadership and advancing both our climate mitigation efforts as well as our climate adaptation efforts. We’d like to briefly touch on a few of them to let you know what we’re up to this year and will be involved in the coming years, as we are seeking to get your input and feedback on these critical plans that will really set the tone for the decade to come.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”county-climate-action-adaptation-planning” el_id=”county-climate-action-adaptation-planning”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”County Climate Action & Adaptation Planning” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]So this year, we’re launching three large planning efforts across the County.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”2030-climate-action-plan” el_id=”2030-climate-action-plan”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”2030 Climate Action Plan” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]The first one is the 2030 Climate Action Plan. The County has established a target to reduce carbon emissions from the Unincorporated County Area by 50%, below baseline levels by the year 2030. It’s an ambitious goal given that in recent years, our carbon emissions have actually increased, since we’ve last taken an inventory. But we’re seeking to really ramp up our scale and pace of production, as well as increasing community resilience and addressing environmental pollution. So later this summer, you’ll likely be getting information coming out of the County, for opportunities for you to get involved and learn more.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”safety-element-update” el_id=”safety-element-update”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Safety Element Update” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]It was also mentioned in the chat by Whitney Wilkinson. She’s the Project Manager of this project, which is updating the safety element. And the safety element, as some of you may know, is really meant to capture: What are the hazards that may affect the community? And what kinds of policies and programs can jurisdiction put in place to protect the community? And now climate change is one of those complicating factors that a safety element must consider as it goes forth. And so one aspect of updating the safety element requires us to better understand the climate vulnerabilities that Santa Barbara County experiences and the vulnerable populations that it may put at greater risk in terms of the impacts. And ultimately, once we better understand that, we can develop policies, programs, and projects to help better ensure that we’re a more resilient and more prepared community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”active-transportation-plan” el_id=”active-transportation-plan”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Active Transportation Plan” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And starting later this year as well, led by the Long Range Planning Division and the Transportation Division of the Public Works Department is the Active Transportation Plan. And this is really an effort to help identify projects, public works projects, that can help increase the safety and comfort of biking and walking and getting out of alternative modes of transportation. So that way, we’re not using fossil fuel vehicles to get around for our daily needs and our recreation. Excellent. Trying to tie all this together and present to the community it can be challenging. We understand that, so we’ve created a new initiative called One Climate and One Climate is meant to be an all-encompassing brand marketing platform to really promote to the community that the County is leading on several fronts to address climate change issues and reduce its climate impact. So as more information comes out, we really invite you to get involved, just sign up for updates. And there’ll be lots of opportunities to engage with a variety of these projects.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”one-climate-initiative” el_id=”one-climate-initiative”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”One Climate Initiative” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Lastly, I know I’m running short on time, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the City of Santa Barbara, who I don’t believe has a slide, or opportunity to speak, the City of Santa Barbara is also leading a Climate Action Plan effort. And they have a goal to reduce their carbon emissions – essentially become carbon neutral – by 2035. And that was recently recommended by their sustainability subcommittee. So the staff people from the Sustainability and Resilience Department are leading that effort. And so all jurisdictions who are engaged in these efforts are going to try and dovetail and collaborate as much as possible to try and reduce the kind of engagement and planning fatigue that the community might experience. But we’re really hoping to make all of our planning processes as robust and involved as possible, for particularly populations that have not been heard in previous planning efforts. Thanks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”resilience-building-priorities” el_id=”resilience-building-priorities”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Resilience Building Priorities” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Carrie Kappel, LegacyWorks Group: So much good stuff. I’m Carrie Kappel, a member of the Legacy Works Group team. and I would like to set us up now for some deeper conversation about these issues. Thank you so much to each of our speakers and panelists for sharing their pieces of this complex puzzle.
We know that you will also hold pieces of the wisdom that we need to solve this as a community. So the conversation that we’d like to have now is really about what you see as most important for building resilience in the face of these complex and compounding challenges, especially for those that are most vulnerable to these threats, those you represent, those you work with, those whose voices maybe aren’t represented in this room.
So given all that you’ve heard this morning that summarized the challenge ahead of us, and the big opportunity to both improve health and equity while addressing the climate crisis, we want to ask you what you see as most important to prioritize for our county. What should we be focused on investing in what should be elevated in the planning processes that Garrett just laid out for us? And what should be on the agenda of all the nonprofits, networks and collaboratives that you all represent here today?
So if you are in the shared Google Doc, we’re on page 10, and there are a few questions that I’m going to ask you to take a minute to reflect on silently before we go into breakout groups. And these next breakout groups will be a little longer, you’ll have more time, and there’ll be a little bit bigger. So you’ll have five or six people – a chance to chat with more folks from our community.
So the questions to reflect on: What must we pay attention to? What can we not ignore in order to build climate resilience with the communities that you work with and represent? What are your best ideas for enhancing resilience and addressing vulnerabilities? What do you see as the top priorities for investment? And where do you see opportunities for collaboration?
It may be that one of these questions resonates with you more than another. Just go where it takes you. You don’t have to have to have an answer to all of them. But take a minute now to just silently reflect on those.
Okay, as we go into the breakout groups take note of the number of the groups If you’re being asked to join, and when you get in your group, you will have a facilitator from the community Environmental Council or from our steering committee. And you’ll be invited to click on the link for your group number. So if you’re in group four, you would go down here and click on the link, and it’ll take you to a section of this document further down, it won’t take you out of this document, it’ll just take you further down to an area where your group will work on answering those questions together. And your facilitators will tell you more when you get into your, into your group. I think that’s all you need to know.
Now, Iris, are you ready with the breakout groups? Ready to go. Okay, please click the blue “join breakout room” group and button and note your number.
Carl Palmer, LG: All right, as you’re arriving back in the main room, take a moment to scan through the Google Doc not just of your own breakout group, but the other groups as well. As people all arrive back here. Take a moment, just a few more minutes.
Everybody was really doing beautiful work there. We’re so reluctant to pull you back to the main room. You’re welcome to keep adding to your breakout group. But I’d also invite you if you are done in there, plus wanting, highlighting, or adding more ideas that this will be a nice opportunity to scan through the full Google Doc and see what other groups are highlighting. See where there’s quite a few affirmations or plus ones. So everybody just take a little moment to be with this. This is a beautiful co-creation. There are 60 co-authors to this document right now.
So there are a number of themes that are rising up through here, I imagine you’re doing your own assessment of that. There’s quite a bit about including voices, about engaging people who may not be in the conversation or at the heart of the conversation like growers, developers, business owners, to problem solve around housing, overpopulated housing, as we heard earlier, working at the regulation and legislation level, voter empowerment, education advocacy, using COVID-19 as an opportunity point, a leverage point to advancing those ideas about shifting funds and attention, partnering with policing agencies, shifting the focus to social service programs that build community and support.
The importance of trust and transition for impacted workers as we shift from one economy, an old economy, to a new economy. The importance of schools and incorporating planning and climate concerns into education efforts, some groups took a little liberty with their highlighting. I’ll have to say it’s almost impossible to pick this one, isn’t it? Again, housing is rising up quite a lot at the heart of the matter here. Resilience hubs, facilities that can take care of people when they’re in need, and that really have what they need.
With that, I would love to take a moment and just introduce David Pellow. David is familiar to many of you, he’s a partner and ally of many of the groups that are represented here today. He’s also the Dalston Chair, Professor of Environmental Studies, and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at UCSB. And he’s going to offer some reflections on what he sees in the work we’ve done today. David?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”synthesis-reflection” el_id=”synthesis-reflection”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Synthesis & Reflection” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]David Pellow, UC Santa Barbara: Thank you so much, Carl. Yeah, I think reflections or synthesis may be in the agenda in the document but I think I’m less of a synthesizer and more of a reflector. Thanks so much for that. I’ve learned so much today. I want to say thank you to CEC for organizing this event. And thanks to all of the speakers for sharing their experience, their expertise, and their wisdom.
So when we talk about vulnerable communities, health and equity in the context of climate change and climate resilience, one of the concepts that I’ve been working with that comes to mind, and I think we’re all talking about this and certainly Dr. Rudolph talked about this, isn’t just resilience, but it’s “just resilience”. That is a resilience that’s marked by social and environmental justice and equity.
And so just resilience for me, is an important concept because there are forms of resilience out there, too many of them that are unjust, and I want to distinguish between them. So for example, one of the defining features of many governments of capital markets and dominant social institutions, is that these are systems and infrastructures that are often forced to display resilience, but not the kind that I like. They frequently deflect, they displace, they absorb, they incorporate, and they assimilate myriad challenges from various corners of society, whether it be the entry of new ethnic and racial groups, the emergence of revolutionary social movements, or the growth of political ideologies that might challenge their dominance.
So states, corporations, markets, and their constituent institutions often seek to maintain their dominance through various forms of again, what I would call unjust resilience, on a routine basis. It’s unjust because it maintains socially and ecologically unequal, oppressive and discriminatory and unsustainable practices and relationships.
So just resilience, which I think is what we’re talking about, is a set of practices when we’re in relationships characterized by deeper commitments to equity, to social and environmental justice. And so there’s so many examples that are bound around our communities that reflect just resilience, meaning I consider the work that CEC, CAUSE, MICOP, The Bucket Brigade, and so many other groups have done in the face of the Thomas fires, the debris flows, ensuring that people have access to to language justice, to financial resources to get them to safety, and help them recover in the aftermath of these these disasters. And I’m pleased that, of course, these groups have pushed to get new policy, new legislation to address this very need.
Dr. Rudolph argued that we can only address the climate crisis if we change the underlying political, economic and social structures in this country. And I really want to lift that point up. And so she argues that in her keynote address, that resilience isn’t just about the ability to to bounce back, but also to bounce forward, which again, means a focus on changing those underlying structures that really produce and enable either healthy or unhealthy communities. And that requires, as she noted, building community power.
There was one note of caution I want to raise that others have raised and that is, I’m pleased that many, many governments and policy makers have declared the climate crisis and certainly the crisis of racism as public health emergencies. I think that’s really important and it’s a good start. But there is a concern among some folks that a state of emergency, declarations of emergency, can also be something that we want to be cautious about, since these declarations can give governments a carte blanche to suspend civil liberties and human rights. So I just want to call that we should never allow states of emergencies to act as hindrances or obstacles to deepening democracy and grassroots power.
I also heard themes of listening and learning and we’re seeing that in the group note-taking from the last breakout, and something that many folks have lifted up as the importance of listening and learning to other communities that have successfully practiced resilience currently are in the past. I’m drawn to legal scholar Sarah Krakoff at the University of Colorado Boulder, who’s an Indigenous Studies scholar who discusses the ways in which, just to take one example, the Cherokee Nation practiced and is living resilience in the wake of displacement and dispossession and genocide associated with the forced marches, the Trail of Tears. Listening, seeking out and learning from other populations and communities’ experiences is really critical. I’m pleased that many Chumash leaders are working with those of us who are settlers to rebuild relationships of trust, respect, and learning.
Sigrid discussed the importance of really understanding the overlapping and cascading effect of multiple intersecting climate related events. And that’s really, really scary. I’ve heard Sharyn Main talk about that previously, as well, and how that makes some populations almost exponentially vulnerable. How do we then respond to this and what I’m getting from the conversation today is one really important way to articulate ways in which overlapping and cascading and intersecting harm can occur and to push back against this against that is to articulate ways in which overlapping cascading and intersecting relationships, social networks, and community leadership efforts can build resilience and strength to prevent or minimize the impacts of the next disaster.
Again, I think a really powerful and productive way to achieve these goals, as Dr. Rudolph discussed, is to strengthen social cohesion, to build community. That’s what we’re doing today. In other words, we need each other in order to achieve resilience in order to bounce forward. The stories of struggle that Emily that Marcus, Alhan, Ana Rico, and others shared with us today reveal how real people are surviving in these intersecting crises. And I think what they’ve done is so important in terms of centering the stories and the experience and the expertise of real people who live through these crises, and struggle and survive and thrive. So we need to keep them in mind when we imagine and enact policymaking for climate resilience.
To close, I would say that I’m really pleased to see the One Climate Initiative, the Climate Action Plan, and so many other initiatives that are moving forward coming out of this group here, today and our networks. I’m also proud to be on the board of directors of CEC and a part of groups like the Climate Justice Network. We’re really working to to build a foundation for a Green New Deal in the Central Coast, because in this country, we’ve had centuries of disenfranchisement, and race-based violence that have really led into a built environment that is not only compromised, but is also, as the the wonderful critic and author Ta-Nehisi Coates says, this built environment argues against the truth of who you are.
I’m going to repeat that: He says, the built environment in which we live argues against the truth of who you are.
And so I would say in response to that, what we’re doing today, and what we should continue to do tomorrow and every day afterwards, is work to create a built environment, a community and a society that instead reflects the truth of who we are. So I’ll end there. Thank you so much.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”next-steps-resources” el_id=”next-steps-resources”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Next Steps, Resources & Closing” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Sharyn Main, CEC: Well, David, thank you so much for those closing remarks. That was absolutely perfect. I’m still choked up about, you know, arguing against the truth of who we are – the built environment. It feels like we struggle to live in the built environment and we’re always trying to make sense of it. And we’re trying to make it work. But there’s something just inherently wrong about it. Thank you for that comment. That resonated very deeply. We’re going to close out today. And I want to thank you all for just a beautiful reflection. I think of where many of us have been, what we’re thinking about.
I want to let you know, all the materials from today – we will have the video of all the talks you heard will have slides from our speakers, we will have the matrix all available on CEC’s website, Carl had mentioned the matrix earlier. All that work you did in those documents will be put into a matrix and it’s a resource document, we can all use it to start organizing our thoughts and starting to look at those intersections and opportunities to work together.
We’ve done this with the last two climate resilience roundtables. Those are available on our website, on the climate resilience part of our website.
And already, there’s some really interesting ideas that have floated to the top and are starting to get legs. And one of them was again mentioned today: looking at resilience hubs and networks is really a key element of routing back into communities. And really sharing that leadership with those communities that will determine what they need and what they are, how they’re going to prepare.
I think it’s, again, these powerful ideas do get legs in this forum. And we’re going to look at where those opportunities intersect. I do want to let us know it was brought up by Marcus in his talk for a moment. But I want to let you know that in this effort to really broaden the conversation to bring in more voices, part of our climate resilience roundtables are also in working with some partners. Of course, David, you just mentioned them as well through the Central Coast Climate Justice Network. And we’re doing another roundtable that’s coming up. But I want to bring on Jen Hernandez, who’s going to tell us about that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”crr-sor” el_id=”crr-sor”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Climate Resilience Roundtable: Stories of Resilience
So we would like to invite you to join us at a second virtual Climate Resilience Roundtable. And this is entitled “Stories of Resilience From the Frontlines of Climate Change”.
And this webinar will help deepen our understanding of the compounding impacts of climate change and other vulnerabilities that we discussed today on frontline and essential workers and indigenous communities. And we’ll hear community members, as the expert speakers, share their lived experience in their native language and illustrate the links between climate change health, racial justice and indigenous knowledge. And through their stories we’ll be able to hear about what resilience is like for different populations and what else is needed for to build that cohesive equitable, community-led response to ongoing threats.
The roundtable is being hosted in partnership with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network, Community Environmental Council, the Mexico Indigenous Community Organizing Project, CAUSE and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. And it’s going to be, write down September 2nd. We’ll start with the webinar. And we’ll have an extended roundtable discussion after a lunch break. And we’ll hope you’ll join us there as well. Thanks for being here in collaborating with us.
Sharyn Main, CEC: Right, thank you, Jen.
Yeah, so we will be sending out an invitation and broadcasting this more broadly next week. As Jen mentioned, the webinar is free to anyone. So we encourage, you know, a broad range of participation. Discussion groups like these will be a little more focused, but people can sign up for both as they sign up for the event. So thank you for that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row local_scroll_id=”steering-committee” el_id=”steering-committee”][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Steering Committee
” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]And of course, we have great supporters of the County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Foundation, Coastal Conservancy, the James S. Bower Foundation and Sea Forward Foundation who have supported the roundtable series throughout. And I want to thank you for that. Their work is also going to be sought supporting the next roundtable that Jen mentioned.
I also have to, and everybody has started to mention in the chat, I really want to give a shout out to Legacy Works to Carrie Kappel and Carl Palmer, their facilitation and design is absolutely flawless and beautiful. And it’s really become the signature of this roundtable series. So I just thank you so much for your co-creation of this work and the continued opportunity to work with you.
And if you haven’t seen, Carrie has been doing a live capture during this as well as facilitating so this woman is quite the multitasker. And it’s been popped up a few times on the screen. But it’s a beautiful piece of artwork. We’ve done this with the other events. And we’ll make this available on our website so you can see it because it’s really a beautiful, beautiful summation of our events in our day.
Finally, I would like to, I think it’s the next slide or maybe not, maybe we’re at the end of the slides, but we’ll put in the chat. And Lisa asked you to put in the chat, we would like you to take a survey. It’s as quick and easy as the one you took when you registered. It’s just an opportunity for us to reflect back on, you know, what were the highlights for you? But more specifically, if we were to go deeper on some subject matter or two, what ones would you like to see us do? Lisa, can you pop that in the chat for us? The link to the survey as well. It is on our website and we will make sure you get it out immediately if you don’t get it today. So it’s in the chat now. We would appreciate it if you would before while it’s still fresh. Go ahead and take that survey, it’s really important for us and it shouldn’t take you more than a minute to do. It’s very, very easy – designed to make it easy.
With that I’ll close this out for the day. I again, thank you and honor all of you for your time and your energy and your really, really deep thought here. I do believe that this is our life’s work and we have nothing better to do. We have this – this is all we have to do. So thank you again.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]