by Katie Lan, Paloma Hernandez, Tuheen Murali Manika, and Lauren McLaughlin
Students for a Sustainable Stanford's Environmental Justice project group has created the following series of posters to bring attention to issues of environmental justice that are often missing from the mainstream.
It’s no news that greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are contributing to anthropogenic climate change now, but you might not know that climate change doesn’t affect us all equally. Research suggests that poor communities, which have historically emitted lower levels of GHGs, will suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change. East Palo Alto is one example.
In 2015, 196 countries came together to negotiate the Paris Agreement, an international agreement concerning climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance. While two of the three top GHG emitters--China and India--are on track to surpass their emissions reduction commitment under this agreement, the second largest polluter is not. That's us.
￼Shifting global trends toward a market of more sustainable and organically-produced coffee seems promising. In many primary coffee-producing countries, such as Guatemala, sustainability certifications are helping farmers establish economic resilience and independence.
However, farmers in over 50 countries are still paid less than $3 a day for picking over 100 pounds of coffee. Farmer’s yearly incomes of around $600 are equivalent to the cost a ticket to a Beyoncé concert!
Take the time to be an informed consumer. Look for sustainability labels before purchasing that cup of joe that fuels your day. Help promote sustainable farming practices and fair treatment of the farmers that work so hard to produce these ‘magic’ beans!
LEARN THE STORY OF YOUR COFFEE
How would you feel to know that you were unknowingly living within walking distance from one of the most toxic waste sites in the nation? And how would you feel to realize that the federal government recognizes the toxicity of the waste site, yet has failed to take action to clean up the area in a timely manner?
Superfund Sites are areas that represent some of the highest concentrations of hazardous waste in the nation, are are designated by Congress for funded waste cleanup. Superfund sites carry one of the four following labels: Proposed, Active, Construction, and Deleted. In many higher-income areas, Superfund Sites will be either Construction, Completed, or Deleted, meaning that either all facilities for waste cleanup efforts have been built or all cleanup efforts have been completed. In lower-income areas, however, it is not uncommon to see a high concentration of Superfund Sites started nearly 30 years ago that still carry the Active label, meaning that the appropriate facilities to clean up the hazardous waste have not yet been built.
45% of people of color live within three miles of a Superfund Site, a staggering statistic that we must bring down in the future.
Toxic Air in Richmond
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This is a forum for students to share their writing on intersectional environmental topics, curated by Students for a Sustainable Stanford. Writers of all backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives are welcome.