In Autumn 2020, the UK NHS released ‘Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service’, a strategy to decarbonise. Attempting such a major document in the midst of the pandemic was a powerful symbol.
Healthcare provision is often treated as somehow too fragile and too important to necessitate changing. How could we criticise the mounds of plastic waste leaving our hospitals every day when they are in service of saving lives?
But it is precisely because healthcare provision is so fragile and important that we must think seriously about how it intersects with climate change. In this new issue of It’s Freezing in LA!, part-funded by the Wellcome Collection, we explore what climate change means for health, and what greener forms of care could mean for those living in crisis.
We dig into the toxic materials and systems in our daily lives, with Owen Hatherley reflecting on the future of the concrete outskirts of London; Aja Barber grappling with fast-fashion, Dr Arianne Shavisi tearing down waste colonialism and Forensic Architecture member Imani Jacqueline Brown outlining the racially charged history and present impacts of chemical weapons.
We dissect healthcare provision itself: activists and writers Abi Deivanayagam and Rhiannon Osbourne unearth the colonial roots and symptoms of a struggling system, Esther Kaner explores alternative forms of well-being provision and Nadia Whittome, MP and former care worker, explains the vital links between care work and a Green New Deal to Joe Duffy.
And finally, we present some new routes forward. Possible co-director and writer Alice Bell hears how citizen scientists are cleaning up our polluted air, Elspeth Wilson finds that disabled experiences can give us new ways to access nature, and Kayla Cohen looks to forms of collective and traditional knowledge to revitalise our struggling soils.
- 54 pgs, 27.5 × 21 cm, Softcover, 2022, 9772517725011