Laura Turner Seydel: Cofounder and Chair, Mothers & Others for Clean Air
Chip Comins: What is your climate passion?
Laura Turner Seydel: There is a Native American proverb, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Annually, we pump out ten billion tonnes of carbon pollution globally, primarily from burning fossil fuels. The dire consequences are playing out today from permanently compromising a child’s lung function to adversely affecting the world’s climate and weather patterns. The key to solving these problems is addressing issues centered on the relation between water, climate, and energy.
CC: How are you leading/advocating solutions to climate change?
LTS: As cofounder and chair of Mothers & Others for Clean Air, I work to raise awareness of the undeniable connection between asthma and dirty outdoor air. I have also been committed to working with faith-based leaders in Atlanta. I was the chair of Atlanta’s Zero Waste Zones, which has been acquired by the National Restaurant Association.
CC: How do you see imbalances in climate reflected in other realms of society, such as gender, governance, and race?
LTS: The poorest people living in the most environmentally degraded places are being disproportionately affected by global warming. Access to water and basic resources have become significantly more difficult. With the new weather extremes, crops have to be planted not once but twice, and sometimes even three or four times. Women are doing the majority of the farming, and young girls forgo attending school so they can make the long daily trek to search for water and fuel. Studies show that when the environment is degraded and resources are scarce, desperation ensues and violent crimes against women and girls escalate.