Juan Declet-Barreto

Climate Vulnerability Social Scientist

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Dr. Juan Declet-Barreto is a climate vulnerability social scientist for the UCS Climate & Energy program and the Center for Science and Democracy. Dr. Declet-Barreto earned a Ph.D. in environmental social sciences, M.A. and B.S. degrees in geography, and an associate’s degree in geographic information systems from Arizona State University. At UCS, his research maps, analyzes, and finds solutions to the unequal human health and livelihood impacts of environmental hazards, particularly those exacerbated by climate change. See Juan's full bio.

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Insular Areas Climate Change Act: Cambios para fortalecer la respuesta a los desastres climáticos y proteger poblaciones vulnerables

La Dra. Adi Martínez-Román del Centro Legal de Desarrollo de Resiliencia de la Universidad de Puerto Rico es co-autora de este escrito.

Las islas y su gente son más vulnerables a los impactos climáticos que las jurisdicciones continentales y se encuentran más desprotegidas de los estragos climáticos que cada vez son más feroces.  El porqué de su vulnerabilidad está relacionado al cambio climático, pero más directamente al efecto de decisiones humanas.  Es por esto urgente que se atiendan sus problemas de forma decisiva y efectiva, y que no escatimemos en recursos y estrategias para lograr proteger sus entornos ambientales y socio-económicos. Read more >

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Insular Areas Climate Change Act: Strengthen Territories’ Response to Climate Disasters and Protect the Most Vulnerable

This blog post was co-authored by Dr. Adi Martínez-Román with the University of Puerto Rico Resiliency Law Center.

Islands and their people are more vulnerable to climate impacts than continental jurisdictions. They are more unprotected from climate ravages that are becoming more ferocious. Their vulnerability is related to climate change, but more directly to the effect of human decisions. For this reason it is urgent that their problems be addressed decisively and effectively, and that we do not skimp on resources or strategies to protect their lives and infrastructure. Read more >

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123 Years Later, the Unfinished Business of Self-Determination for Puerto Ricans

In October 2020, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) introduced the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2020. The bill’s purpose was “[t]o recognize the right of the People of Puerto Rico to call a Status Convention through which the people would exercise their natural right to self-determination, and to establish a mechanism for congressional consideration of such decision, and for other purposes”. This bill would go a long way towards creating a decolonizing, democratic self-determination process for Puerto Rico to resolve the territory’s colonial status. Read more >

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Yvette Arellano/TEJAS

Superfund Site Cleanups Ignore Communities of Color

Superfund sites deleted from the list during 2008-2016 are clustered in urban areas in the Midwest and the Northeast, and two sites were deleted in Puerto Rico and St Thomas (US Virgin Islands). Census tracts hosting these facilities have large percentages of people of color. In contrast, sites deleted since 2017 are located in communities with low percentages of people of color. Read more >

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Tanisha Belvin (left) holds the hand of neighbor and friend “Mama Nita” LaGarde (right), while they are evacuated from the New Orleans Morial Convention Center to the Reliant Center in Houston. LaGarde, Belvin, and Belvin’s grandmother managed to escape the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina without being separated. Eric Gay/AP

Hurricane Laura and the Inequities of Evacuating to Safety

For decades—if not longer—people in the United States have found themselves on one side or another of a widening equity chasm. The vast majority of people are on the side of that chasm that is also crumbling beneath our feet, yet somehow the chasm remains invisible in the list of the nation’s priorities. But sometimes there are events that lay our vulnerability so bare, so crystal clear that they serve as clarion calls for change. COVID-19 is that event. Hurricane Laura, forecast to make landfall somewhere along the Texas/Louisiana coast this week as a Category 3 or higher hurricane, could be the next.  Read more >

Eric Gay/AP
Lauren Bauer. 2020. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/05/06/the-covid-19-crisis-has-already-left-too-many-children-hungry-in-america/.
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