Climate justice means studying the ethics surrounding climate change. As climate change progresses, some people will feel its effects more than others. One impact of climate change is sea level rise. For our project, we decided to examine how sea level rise will change lifestyles in East Boston, a neighborhood close to Logan Airport.
The biggest consequences we noted concerned transportation and property damage. Not only are scientists expecting water levels to increase, but the frequency of big storms is also a concern. Because it is a low-lying area, East Boston is especially susceptible to increased flooding in the next century. Already, residents have seen how their neighbors in Revere have suffered from water damage. This flooding will become a problem for the East Boston community as water levels rise. We also saw that low-lying MBTA stations are vulnerable to flooding, especially during severe storms. Furthermore, we were concerned that the current emergency evacuation routes will become inadequate with increased and more severe flooding.
Our goal was to create a video documenting the current situation in East Boston and what could be done about it. In speaking to residents, we noticed a lack of knowledge about the consequences of climate change. All of the East Boston residents we interviewed acknowledged climate change as a process, but they weren’t sure how it would affect them. We wanted to educate voting age adults about how climate change will affect their neighborhood.
In researching our topic, we worked with The Boston Harbor Association and NOAH, the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing office, in East Boston. We interviewed Dr. Paul Kirshen, a climate change expert who has studied the area, and Kim Foltz, the director of community building and environment at NOAH. We also spoke with a staff member of the Massachusetts state legislature. We attempted to gather a large range of perspectives on the issue of rising sea levels in order to assess what needs to be done.
We hope that after viewing this video, our audience will become more engaged with the issue of climate justice in East Boston. This video is an overview of the problem and simplifies many issues. However, citizens looking to become more involved can find plenty of sources to educate themselves more about it.