Buried under scientific reports and overwhelming data, it is often hard to see the toll climate change has on individuals. Told that these problems exist in the long term, the average person does not consider that the damage happening now exists on a personal level.

Aurora Kennedy, a recent graduate of Yale College (2015) and former captain of the Yale Women’s Hockey Team, has experienced first-hand this damage. As an athlete, worsening air quality caused by warming temperature has affected her training, making her more aware than ever of the immediate consequences climate change has on health and wellness globally. For Aurora, it is not an abstract concept, but rather a factor that dramatically alters one’s quality of life and performance every day. Recalling the environmental costs of the Marshall Islands tests and the lack of transparency between leaders and citizens of the islands about the damage, Aurora’s interview asserts the need for individual awareness and the cost of ignoring this issue. Like her engagement with her teammates in sport and through the Mandi Schwartz Campaign—a bone-marrow drive dedicated to a Yale hockey player affected by Leukemia—her story stresses the importance of individual acknowledgement of one of the most important issues of our generation.

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Interview conducted by Liana Epstein, project manager, City Atlas: New Haven, Yale College ’14

Filmed & Edited by Travis Gonzalez, Yale College, ’16, President of Bulldog Productions

Interview conducted May 3, 2015 in Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect St., New Haven CT