Documentary Explores Climate Action in Detroit

Jake Neher/WDET

Kimberly Hill Knott (left) and Kirsten Ussery (right)

When we talk about climate change, we often approach it as a problem for all humanity to address. It’s one of those issues that’s so big it’s kind of hard to wrap our minds around it. A real solution to the problem requires a global response. But some people here in Detroit are looking at climate change as a local issue. 

The Detroit Climate Action Collaborative is a group that wants to help Detroiters cope with the impacts of climate change. The group is featured in a documentary titled “From the Bottom Up: Climate Action in Detroit.” 

The film documents the challenges and opportunities of developing a plan to mitigate greenhouse gas in the city.

And it shows the collaborative’s efforts to improve residents’ health across the city as the landscape is affected by climate change. 

Kimberly Hill Knott, director of policy at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, was involved in putting the film together. She speaks with Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson about climate change in Detroit. 

There are all sorts of attacks on protecting the most vulnerable communities from climate change,” says Knott. “What we have realized is that we have to address climate change from the bottom up.”

We don’t have time to wait on the federal government. We do not have time to wait on state government. And neither do we have time to wait on local government,” she says.

Kirsten Ussery, the co-owner and general manager of Detroit Vegan Soul, also joins the conversation. 

As a restaurant owners, Ussery thinks it’s important to be mindful of how much waste is being generated. 

Restaurants create a lot of waste,” Ussery says. “One of the things that we really try to look at is what we can do to minimize that waste. We try to use biodegradable materials.” 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 

The Charles H. Wright Museum is hosting a free screening of the film on Tuesday, October 24th at 6 p.m. 

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.  

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