Climate Change in Peru

A couple of summers ago, I spent ten weeks in Pullcapa, Peru. I was a mere time zone away from everything I knew; at the same time, I was in a completely different world. I worked at a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of the indigenous Shipibo-Conibo population. In this space, I was ready to delve into global health, improve my Spanish, and appreciate Peruvian culture through meeting people and exploring my environment.

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How Flooded Basements and Pandemic Times Opened My Eyes to the Climate Justice Movement

Nine years ago, when moving into our current home, the neighbors warned us: “This street gets water. But don’t worry, it only floods during the ‘100-year rainfalls!’” Looking back, it appears “100-year” is an understatement, given the three flooded basements we’ve navigated in under a decade! Thankfully, our basement stays dry since we have replaced multiple sump pumps and added a generator. But, what if we couldn’t afford to spend thousands on this?

I was forever awakened to the impact of climate change on lives and homes. 

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No Frost on the Pumpkins

We have lived along the shoreline of Lake Erie for thirty years, and in that time our climate has noticeably changed.

When we first moved here, we had to bring our outdoor potted plants indoors in mid-September, to protect them from frost. It’s now November, and many of our potted plants are still outside. My canna lilies are still in the ground, still blooming red, with no frost damage on the leaves. Today it is snowing for the first time this year,  weeks later than usual, and we still we haven’t had a frost.

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Asking Permission

When our children were young, my husband and I taught them about the need to ask permission before performing actions that could have consequences. As part of our strategy, we highlighted whenever a poorly thought out choice triggered a positive or negative outcome.

To my bemusement, even into their early adolescence, our kids would ask if they could have a snack or dessert or watch an extra show. I would bring great ceremony to my reply, in the hopes of perpetuating their impression that asking for permission was still necessary.

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Community for Change

I confess that I am guilty of the sin of silence. I watched my neighbors spend every Sunday holding Black Lives Matter signs to remind drivers of the racism that pervades the country, but I never joined in. The largest mass killing of Jewish Americans occurred in my city’s synagogue, yet the night after the shooting, when residents of all faiths gathered to remember the fallen and protest anti-Semitism, I remained in my apartment.

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An Editor’s Invitation: Code Red–Our Changing Climate

Dear Pulse readers,
Early this past month, more than 200 medical journals collaborated in publishing an editorial that cited a rise in global temperatures as the “greatest threat to global public health.” It called on governments to cooperate and to combat climate change with the same urgency and vigor that they’ve used to fight COVID.
Pulse would like to lend our voices–yours and mine–to this critical conversation.
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