Final projects for ENVI267 now available!
ABOUT ENVI267: Coastal Communities & Climate Justice
Climate change poses extraordinary challenges to our country’s coastal communities; the impacts of which will not be borne equally. Access to innovative technological, scientific, financial and legal resources is controlled by policy makers. Equal access is critical for the sustainability of our coastal communities. But fair decisions require vulnerable communities to have a voice in local climate change adaptation decisions. This seminar course will introduce you to basic concepts of climate justice in the context of our Nation’s coastal communities, guided by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The course will introduce you to fundamental coastal and ocean-based climate-induced impacts with a focus on sea level rise, ocean warming, ocean acidification and coastal infrastructure. We will examine these impacts, as well as local, state, regional and federal policy responses to them through the lens of climate justice. We will identify what’s working and what more needs to be done to advance climate equity and justice in the wake of formidable global and local change. Proficiency will be demonstrated through class participation, work conducted in small group strategy exercises, discussion board posts, short research assessment papers and a final written project. There are three goals in this course: first to broaden your understanding of the disproportionate effects of climate change to underrepresented, disempowered, poor, urban and indigenous populations living in American coastal communities; second to provide you with tools to identify inequity; third, to increase your own voice to promote avenues to seek climate justice.
ABOUT THE WEBSITES:
Hello! My name is Jinwoo Kang and I’m currently a freshman at Williams College, a liberal arts college in western Massachusetts. This blog is my final project for ENVI267: Coastal Communities and Climate Justice, which is a course in which we focused in on the wide array of issues facing frontline communities across the United States and beyond.
For the final project, we were tasked with identifying a frontline community somewhere in the country and exploring its issues and possible paths forward. The emphasis was on working with the community members and stakeholders, and on really listening to what they saw as best for their communities. This meant that the research was as much about reading journals and data as it was about reaching out to local experts and residents for input and guidance.
Throughout the entire process of putting together this project, I found myself shocked, saddened, inspired, and humbled, often simultaneously, at the disregard of human rights by powerful players and resilience of community members to remain standing. I hope that this project can share a little of what I have found.
Grassroots advocacy groups provide important resources to help combat climate injustice in the area. However, oftentimes, the dissemination of information can be confusing and lack immense details to the ordinary person.
I will work to address the lack of communication between industry leaders, environmental organizations, and government administrators to give peace of mind to environmental justice (EJ) areas.
In my first case study of Chelsea, MA, I reveal a series of potential recommendations to increase clear communication in the area. These include:
An updated media strategy
The creation of a working group
The working group will create a predetermined set of principles and techniques to disseminate information, study results, and project details promptly.