Among the much-needed silver linings of America’s latest collision of crises is the increased attention being paid to the ground shared by activists for a livable climate, racial justice, climate justice, and environmental justice. Here’s a sampling of informative new pieces.
Let’s begin with those who are already operating on this common ground:
- Elizabeth Yeampierre, co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance, interviewed by Beth Gardiner in Yale e360;
- the Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr., head of the Hip Hop Caucus, interviewed in climate activist Bill McKibben’s New Yorker blog;
- Three prominent activists writing in the New York Times;
- five more activists here in Grist;
- and this strong personal piece by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a climate scientist caught in the destructiveness of racism (Washington Post).
For an excellent example of connecting a lot of dots (structural racism, poverty, health care, COVID-19, wildfire smoke, protests and tear gas, polluted air), read or listen to this radio piece from San Francisco’s KQED. Then consider that perhaps we don’t often enough connect such dots because the links have been under-reported, as noted at the top of this page from the Climate Nexus daily newsletter (a good climate news aggregator to sign up for).
On how these issues fare in the current political circumstances, see this snapshot from E&E News by Nick Sobczyk.
To learn more about the links between racism and the environment, make use of this excellent reading list from Somini Sengupta in the New York Times. Or listen to these podcasts, collected by Alexis Plair for Medium.
Finally, racism and climate injustice are of course linked around the world, not just in the U.S. One expression of this reality is in this blog post from Australia’s 1 Million Women. Another is in this Q&A with Phillip Alston, a long-time United Nations human rights observer (Inside Climate News).
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.