"Climate Change from the Streets" by Michael Mendez

Climate Change from the Streets How Conflict and Collaboration Strengthen the Environmental Justice Movement Michael Mendez

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
11 Feb 2020
ISBN:
9780300232158
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
256 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
20 b-w illus.

Although the science of climate change is clear, policy decisions about how to respond to its effects remain contentious. Even when such decisions claim to be guided by objective knowledge, they are made and implemented through political institutions and relationships— and all the competing interests and power struggles that this implies.

Michael Méndez tells a timely story of people, place, and power in the context of climate change and inequality. He explores the perspectives and influence low-income people of color bring to their advocacy work on climate change. In California, activist groups have galvanized behind issues such as air pollution, poverty alleviation, and green jobs to advance equitable climate solutions at the local, state, and global levels. Arguing that environmental protection and improving public health are inextricably linked, Mendez contends that we must incorporate local knowledge, culture, and history into policymaking to fully address the global complexities of climate change and the real threats facing our local communities.

Michael Méndez is the James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow and associate research scientist at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He previously served in California as a senior consultant, lobbyist, and gubernatorial appointee during the passage of the state’s internationally acclaimed climate change legislation.

“This timely book tracks the narratives and actions of multiple stakeholders in their responses to climate change in California. Amplifying the voices of environmental justice activists, Mendez skillfully interrogates their strategies to ensure climate solutions tackle both the global problem and local needs."—Julian Agyeman, author of Introducing Just Sustainabilities


Mendez's argument is both urgent and fascinating: at the scale of the places where most people live, global warming can only be addressed as part of a broader public-health crisis."—Mike Davis, author of Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster


"Focusing on environmental justice, Mendez vividly illustrates the need to link environmental protection with poverty and health. In the process, local climate action is shown to be critical to a multi-level approach. I highly recommended this book."—Frank Fischer, author of Climate Crisis and the Democratic Prospect