Esquire (USA) : 2020-06-01

20 LIVES, 20 PERSPECTIV­ES : 62 : 62


THE CLIMATE SCIENTIST My colleagues and I filed THE PRISON REFORMER We heard from GAVIN SCHMIDT ALEXA VAN BRUNT New York City It’s not for Chicago GLOBAL CHANGES CAUSED BY COVID-19: ROAD TRANSPORT: AIR TRAFFIC: GREENHOUSE-GAS EMISSIONS: –50% –60% Approximat­e number of inmates in Cook County Jail Number of confirmed cases at the jail, including staff One of the nation’s largest known clusters of COVID-19 infections 4,500: Because Cook County –8% 919: The only way WHICH MAKES IT: we haven’t done a good job preparing for climate change is the same as why we weren’t prepared for a pandemic: People don’t see things unless it’s under their nose. IF you rush to the ER. That’s an acute problem in need of immediate attention. Climate change is more like high cholestero­l. “I’ll start that THE REASON “FOR SOMEONE WHO’S ‘NOT I SURE MANAGED TO BRING You want to Just like this I heard that On March 24, The concentrat­ion of nitrogen dioxide, a by-product of burning fossil fuels, over New York City in March 2019 and in March 2020 The remarkable drop in emissions reflects human inactivity because of quarantine. (top) (bottom). THE WHISTLEBLO­WER CHRISTIAN SMALLS diet on Monday.” We’re less attuned to the chronic problems that are just as serious. FORMER PROCESS ASSISTANT, AMAZON FULFILLMEN­T CENTER Staten Island, New York Amazon general counsel David Zapolsky on Smalls, in leaked notes from a meeting of senior leadership that included Jeff Bezos “HE’S NOT SMART, OR ARTICULATE”: that theory to pieces. When it came down to this acute problem, people hesitated. SOME it isn’t as bad as they say, or that the silver bullet will arrive soon. comfortabl­e with the status quo. They can’t even imagine deviating from it until it’s too late. THE PANDEMIC HAS BLOWN really How New York attorney general Letitia James described Smalls’s firing “DISGRACEFU­L,” “IMMORAL AND INHUMANE”: The front-liners, STILL CLAIM After a coworker at JFK8, an Amazon Fulfillmen­t Center on Staten Island, tested positive for COVID-19, Smalls led a protest on March 30 for stronger safety measures. He was fired the same day. PEOPLE ARE SO —As told to D. H. 62 SUMMER 2020