Climate change directly affects human health — and it affects some people’s health more than others.
Heat waves are becoming more frequent around the world, and are proven to be gravely dangerous to people without housing, elderly people, people who work labour jobs outdoors, and low-income communities in the Global South. Poor air quality affects communities of colour more deeply, as systematic marginalization means they’re more likely to live near sites of pollution — and more likely to have pre-existing health conditions like respiratory disease. Changing weather and air quality mean crop shortages and less nutritious food, exacerbating the massive rates of hunger and malnutrition in communities around the world — even right here in Canada.
And so much more.
That’s why Future of Good, supported by Manulife, is launching an editorial fellowship on the intersection between the climate crisis and human health.
For the next 10 months, Maia Wikler will report important stories about the ways communities are experiencing the effects of climate change, and the innovative solutions that will help communities adapt to and fight the crisis.
“For too many years, climate reporting has focused on what might happen in the future, instead of zeroing in on exactly how people are hurting as a result of climate change — right now,” says Kylie Adair, editor of Future of Good. “I’m looking forward to stories that humanize the crisis, as well as spotlight the important ways communities are fighting for our future.”
“Manulife is quite literally invested in the health and wellness of our customers,” said Sarah Chapman, Global Chief Sustainability Officer, Manulife. “Investing in a greener, low carbon economy will have a positive impact on our customers’ lives, and ultimately benefit our business. One of the commitments we made in our Climate Action Plan was to dedicate significant resources to further analyze the impact of climate on morbidity and mortality. We’re certain the research uncovered by Maia and the Future of Good team will benefit not only our team, but also the industry more broadly.”
Maia Wikler is a freelance journalist, film director, and PhD candidate in political ecology at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on wielding memory as a tool for justice in the face of corporate abuse and the climate crisis. Her work has been published in Vogue, High Country News, and Canada’s National Observer, among many others.
Stay tuned for Maia’s first story in the coming weeks.