Interview with Nicole Hammer
Sea Level Researcher, Union of Concerned Scientists and Moms Clean Air Force
- Tell us about the work that you do and how it is making a difference in your community.
I work with the Union of Concerned Scientists and Moms Clean Air Force to educate Latinos across the United States, folks in Florida and the US Southeast about climate change impacts, especially sea level rise. I go to schools and community events and organize meetings of key groups to discuss climate change issues. I've worked with groups ranging from local elected officials to faith leaders to business people. I'm lucky to be one voice among the many that are speaking out on climate change. Over the years we have been able to see the needle move in the right direction, including increased local adaption and mitigation efforts and the Clean Power Plan. But we still have a long way to go and not much time to get there. My hope is that the growing concern and efforts happening among parents, community leaders and elected officials will get us to the point where we will be able to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
- Why do you think that the Latino community should be engaged in this issue?
We are engaged on this issue! Poll after poll shows that we are concerned and want action on climate change, more than any other ethnic group. Some of the states that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including drought and sea level rise, are also the states with the largest Latino populations. This includes Texas, Florida, and California.
- What would be your vision for your work 10 years from now?
I hope that in 10 years we will be relying on clean energy to meet energy needs, not just in the US but globally. It's a tall order, but we don't have time to waste. So if we are not there I will be fighting, with many others, to get us there. Beyond that, there are climate change impacts that we know we can’t avoid. I hope to be working on efforts making sure that adaption is done in the most responsible way possible and that Latino communities are treated equitably in both climate change adaption and mitigation