By Perry Beeman

This country’s struggle to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and racial justice shows the need for a multi-trillion-dollar “green recovery,” speakers told the Society of Environmental Journalists Wednesday.

“If you talk about how systemic racism is built into America’s DNA, then you see how no matter if you talk about housing, health care, transportation, energy, land use planning or education, you can see that the disparities that are created by the built-in system that generates inequality have always been known and have always been recognized, but have never been dealt with,” said Robert Bullard, an environmental sociologist at Texas Southern University.

Michael Greenstone, an economics professor at the University of Chicago and a former adviser to President Barack Obama, said the pandemic has been “kind of breathtaking” in its ability to show how interconnected the world’s nations are. And despite Trump’s “America first” approach and backtracking from some international efforts, the pandemic has shown how important the alliances around the globe are, Greenstone added.

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