Meghan Wise hosted our first Community and Climate Well Being Workshop in conjunction with GECCO (Global Empowerment Coalition of the Central Okanagan) with 20 attendees. Below Meghan summarizes the outcomes of the first workshop:
Climate Through a Systems Lens: Climate change continues to subtly and dramatically impact community food, water, land, transportation, housing, power, and medical systems amid other community systems and infrastructure. These networks uphold, inform, move, supply, nourish, and sustain our communities. When these systems are ruptured, strained, or shocked, so are the communities who rely upon them. Ruptured and vulnerable systems influence a community’s ability to be resilient in the face of climate change.
Climate Through a Social Lens: Though everyone is experiencing the impacts of climate change, the impacts of climate change are not equally or equitably experienced depending on how one situates amid systems of patriarchy, colonialism, white supremacy, cultural and heteronormative expectations of gender, race, age, ability, income, power hierarchies and more.
Social determinants of health like poverty, access to safe housing, healthcare, safe drug supply, clean water, safe air and green spaces directly influence who is placed in the path of the most intense and damaging aspects of climate change. Social determinants of health shape our daily lived experiences of climate change and the level of risk we are systemically exposed to.
Climate Through an Economic Lens: Climate-related events and processes are causing economic losses and precarity in some of the Okanagan’s biggest sectors like tourism and agricultural production. Flooding, forest fires, smoke-filled skies, and extreme heat events increasingly equate to lost wages and revenue and increased health costs, home and business expenses.
Climate Through a Political Lens: Though the cause of Climate Change has been soundly determined as human-caused, HOW to go about stopping or adapting to climate change and what types of climate policies are required can be highly polarizing.
Finding shared community values, like protecting and upholding public health and wellbeing amid climate change impacts and insulating community systems from specific climate shocks, can help bring folks together to agree on urgently needed climate mitigating and adapting policies.
Climate Through a Climate Justice Lens: Climate change is increasingly being situated as an issue of justice that recognizes what is right, fair, appropriate and deserved. The Lancet acknowledges how inequitable and disproportionate impacts of climate change reveal deeper questions of justice that intersect with social and economic inequalities between different populations and nations.
In a general sense, advocates of climate justice understand the systemic and disproportional impacts of global climate change and that those most harmed and at risk have contributed least to global emissions and the driving forces and systems causing climate change.
Helpful Links and Resources: I have curated and attached an Okanagan-focused climate resource “toolkit” to further explore how climate change is impacting the Okanagan region. Click the ‘Download Okanagan Climate Resources’ Button below.
The next Workshop in this series is Wednesday, November 17th from 6:30 – 7:30.
Registration link here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/x/community-climate-wellbeing-workshop-series-tickets-170470608178