Also, if community leaders and policymakers take a closer look at why some communities are historically left out of the conversation, he said, they might identify institutional or structural systems that are creating these barriers — sometimes intentionally.
“If the people who are going to be most impacted are not in the room, it’s a problem,” Easley said. “Maybe they have ideas around solutions we can implement. Because they also can speak better to what they’re dealing with.”
Easley and Zimmerman were joined on the panel by two other contributors to “A Better Planet,” Derry Allen
, formerly of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Greg Gershuny
, who leads the Energy and Environment Program at The Aspen Institute. Allen made the case that the nation’s “environmental protection enterprise” — the network of public and private organizations and individuals focused on sustainability-related goals — must achieve a more focused approach built on shared principles and goals. Gershuny, meanwhile, discussed strategies by which the farming community and food supply chain — from growers to consumers — can more sustainably steward the land.
The Washington event was the latest in a series of national events hosted by Yale as part of the YED initiative to promote important discussions on environmental issues. Upcoming events will be held in Houston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Learn more about the Yale Environmental Dialogue