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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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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U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Matkin

Heat Wave and COVID-19 Clash: Tens of Millions of People at Risk in States Seeing COVID Spikes

A major, long-lasting heat wave is spreading through the country over the next week. Many of these states are also in the throes of a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases. Read more >

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Mapas mostrando dónde los más vulnerables están azotados por COVID-19 en EEUU señalan una injusticia creciente

Publicado en inglés el 20 de abril, 2020 a 17:08 horas EDT

Los peligros ambientales amenazan a las personas en todo el mundo. Entre estos están la contaminación del aire y del agua que proviene de riesgos industriales y tóxicos, los fenómenos meteorológicos extremos (exacerbados por el cambio climático), y las amenazas a la salud pública como el nuevo coronavirus que causa el COVID-19. Los impactos de estos peligros no se distribuyen con equidad en la población, y las pérdidas de vidas y de propiedad suelen ser mayores entre los integrantes de las comunidades vulnerables. Read more >

Photo: pexels
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