Welcome to our How Climate Resolve Stays Cool series! We want to pull back the curtain and introduce you to some of the team behind Climate Resolve — the people who are dedicated to combating extreme heat, the projects they’re working on, and the ways they stay cool.
HOW GINA STAYS COOL
What do you do in your role at Climate Resolve?
I do project implementation — small-scale local interventions. When I say intervention, I mean a change in the physical environment that creates a better outcome related to community level climate resilience, and making ideas turn into reality in the physical world.
Why did you decide to work in climate change?
The urgency of the climate crisis and the need to change. I have always really liked doing things in a new way, using a new outlook. And climate gives so many opportunities to do that.
I’m really interested in changing the way people and infrastructure work together. We can use climate adaptation to right historic wrongs that have happened between people and infrastructure to create a more just and equitable future.
Can you tell us about Climate Resolve’s involvement in the Dodgers Dreamfields project at Gonzales Park?
There’s a lot of different components to the Dodgers Dreamfields project. Climate Resolve originated and developed the solar project with our partners GRID Alternatives, the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, and FivePoint, which donated the solar installation and EV chargers to the City of Compton in exchange for the project’s carbon credits. We have been working to register those credits and use that as a way to fund solar projects in disadvantaged communities that directly benefit the community while also offsetting fossil fuel usage and expanding the electrical grid. It benefits communities and also the climate.
Climate Resolve is a partner in the GAF Cool Community Project in Pacoima. What does the project entail?
The GAF Cool Community Project is highlighted by 10 blocks of cool pavement in Pacoima, a neighborhood in Los Angeles. It includes city streets, a school yard, parking lots, and a basketball court, so a lot of the asphalt is covered in a cool coating, not just public areas. That’s a bigger application than normal.
There’s also a research portion of the project. We’re going to be taking temperature readings at the surface level, at the human walking level, and the balcony level to see if the cool pavement is changing what temperatures are like in the community and in a reference community that doesn’t have the coating. We want to measure the differences in a bunch of different conditions and see how it impacts the environment and the human experience.
What has stood out to you about the GAF Cool Community Project in Pacoima?
What stood out to me most was the involvement of multiple stakeholders, the educational aspect, and the desire to understand how this project would impact the community. With a lot of infrastructure, people plop it in there and leave. They say, “this is great for you, but we’re not going to actually check and see.”
But the research component and community involvement component in the Cool Community Project is really great — trying to understand how this is going to make a difference and how it can be done elsewhere, as opposed to just putting down the coating and leaving.
Why is it important that we address the issue of extreme heat?
Extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather patterns, so there’s a really big need to address it. In addition, there’s a sort of shortcoming in laws and regulations. For example, for sea level rise, there’s a group at the federal and local level that’s working on sea level rise, but for extreme heat, it’s unclear who’s supposed to be addressing the issue, who has the authority to do what, and extreme heat falls in between the cracks a lot. Climate Resolve’s work helps to spotlight extreme heat as an important issue and make recommendations on how to address it — both legislatively and with individual projects. It’s really important because it’s needed, and it’s fallen through the cracks.
What do you do to stay cool on extreme heat days in Los Angeles?
When it starts to get hot outside, I close all my windows, turn off my lights to keep the cool air inside my home, and run my A/C in the morning to keep my home cool.
List the three things that are most important to you.
Going to live music shows is something that I need for my soul. I really like going to fiber art workshops. Lastly, I also enjoy food adventures in Los Angeles.