The increasingly rapid progress of global warming & climate change has created an emergency that demands dramatic action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [GHG]. Unfortunately, we have reached the point where the tsunami is already on its way, so we also need to develop measures to adapt to rapidly-changing conditions. We often hear the term ‘climate justice’ used by people who have little understanding of how local actions affect people thousands of miles away — and, perhaps more important, how they affect future generations.
We need to put an end to the deadly business-as-usual mindset!
Bethlehem is completing a comprehensive Climate Action Plan [CAP] that addresses strategies for mitigation and adaptation with an emphasis on climate and environmental justice. Easton is continuing earlier efforts and is engaging in a broad planning & community-engagement process this year; Allentown is exploring ways to develop and implement a CAP. In each case, the city’s EAC [Environmental Advisory Council] is a key part of the process. (All too often, Climate Action Plans are developed without engaging the community, and without much attention to how they impact low-income residents and BIPOC.)
- How can we engage the entire community and raise awareness and action on to reduce emissions and protect future generations?
- How will communities adapt to the coming changes? (While it is important to take aggressive action to reduce GHG emissions, we need to pay attention to how we will live with the changes that can no longer be avoided.)
- How can we integrate the most vulnerable populations? (It is harder for some people, especially those with limited income, to take recommended steps to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change?)
- What are the forces that create barriers to progress? – It has been obvious for at least 30 years that global warming would create unprecedented climate crises — but even today, there is far too little progress in reducing emissions.
Interns can expect to participate in some or all of the following activities.
- Research CAP developed by other communities and institutions, including colleges & universities, hospitals, and businesses.
- Explore ways to encourage county and regional CAP plans
- See if there are ways we can support existing planning efforts
- Develop a presentation for community & campus audiences to share your insights and raise awareness that we are in a climate emergency and need robust action
- Develop materials such as reports, opinion pieces, and/or blog posts on various aspects of global warming & the climate emergency.
We may accept more than one intern in this position.
Since all the summer internship areas have significant intersections, interns will be expected to work with other interns aaas needed.