Engaging With Blacks In Green (BIG)

“There is a deep connective tissue between Argonne and communities in Chicago. This is not shake and bake” – Naomi Davis (paraphrased)

Blacks In Green in Woodlawn, Chicago.

I am writing this post from the Blacks In Green (BIG) green living room garden. I was asked to come here this week to help translate climate science for a coalition of groups fighting for climate energy justice. What is climate energy justice? To reduce our CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions requires change. As does building resiliency against the worst impacts of climate change. Change, at times, means picking winners and losers so when the United States Government, corporations and communities encourage a transition to a clean energy future it must be a just transition.

Readers of this blog will know I avoid politics. In fact I can not be involved in the crafting of policy or political advocacy in my official role due to the Hatch Act. There IS however the Justice40 initiative which directs agencies to ensure 40% of of benefits from clean energy transitions goes to underserved communities.

Shalanda Baker, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity, DOE.

Now, back to my role here. It is threefold: To give a presentation, in the clearest most understandable terms, of the science behind climate change (modeled in the style of Katharine Hayhoe), to make myself available to this community as a resource and, finally, to respectfully and quietly listen and learn the challenges of communities in Chicago when it comes to weather and climate. This is all part of a long term strategy: Argonne in Chicago.

The stunning garden at Blacks In Green’s The Green Living Room.

Furthermore our proposal to the Office Of Science’s Urban Integrated Field Laboratory call has BIG as well as other communities in Chicago as research partners. We have recognized you do not study communities. Communities do not want to be studied! Rather you work with communities as a trusted partner to empower them with the tools then need to understand the earth air and water where they live, how it will be impacted by a changing climate and equip them with the information they need to drive change and achieve a just energy transition.