The recent UN Climate Report serves as a stark reminder for us all, especially for queer individuals around the globe. It has shown us the critical juncture our planet has reached, and it’s time we acknowledge the pressing reality: The climate crisis is intrinsically a queer issue.
Queer communities are already enduring the escalating effects of climate change. Statistically more likely to reside in locations prone to flooding, wildfires, and other climate calamities and often marginalized with limited access to resources, our community is exceptionally vulnerable. Clearly, this crisis threatens our health, safety, and existence. Immediate action is no longer optional; it’s a necessity.
The UN report leaves no room for doubt. The climate crisis, driven by human activity, is real. The Earth’s average temperature has significantly increased by 1 degree Celsius since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. While this might seem insignificant, it has been sufficient to instigate irreversible changes to the Earth’s climate system.
Already, these changes have resulted in an increased frequency of extreme weather events, causing widespread displacement and damage. More than the physical toll, these disasters bear heavy psychological consequences, affecting the mental health of survivors. For marginalized communities, including queer people, these impacts are disproportionately harsher.
Our health is under siege – extreme weather events trigger injuries and fatalities, air pollution from wildfires worsens respiratory conditions, and climbing temperatures hinder our body’s ability to regulate heat, inviting heat-related ailments.
The climate crisis also puts our safety at risk. From extreme weather events displacing people from homes, making them susceptible to violence and exploitation, to rising sea levels threatening coastal communities with flooding and storm surges, the threat is multi-faceted and imminent.
But amid this crisis, we see opportunity. The queer community has a rich history of leading social justice movements. As the climate crisis uniquely threatens us, we can leverage this strength to lead climate activism. We must act, not just for our survival but for future generations.
You can participate by adopting greener lifestyle choices like reducing meat consumption and driving less. Advocate for policies accelerating our transition to a clean energy economy and increasing your community’s resilience to climate change.
The future lies in our collective action. The climate crisis is a queer issue that prompts us to choose between destruction and a better, more equitable future. The choice, and the responsibility, is ours.
By: Harold Marrero
Chief Operating Officer
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