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Prof. Gregory Jenkins on the Link Between Slavery and the Climate Crisis

By NowThis Earth Published on February 20, 2021

‘There’s no way we can push all of these policies forward … without looking at it through the lens of justice’ — Penn State Prof. Gregory Jenkins explains how the climate crisis began in slavery and why we can’t ignore its impact on BIPOC communities today.
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Gregory Jenkins is a professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Penn State University, where he teaches a course called ‘Climate Change, Climate Justice, and Frontline Communities.’ He says there’s a direct link between slavery and the climate crisis through the Industrial Revolution.

‘It bankrupted all the enslaved people, and at the same time, it created the machinery for the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately is responsible for all the greenhouse gases that we have today,’ Jenkins explains.

Jenkins believes that environmental justice can’t be achieved until social justice is.