Decolonizing Climate Change with Amanda Magnani
I’m Amanda Magnani, a Brazilian (photo)journalist and OptOut News’ climate editor. Every other week, I bring you the most important climate news from our network—with an extra serving of decolonial perspectives. ✨🌿
So let’s get started!
U.S. Steps Toward Big Oil Accountability and Environmental Justice
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court made the right call as it denied requests from Big Oil to intervene in lawsuits that would hold companies accountable for climate damages and disinformation campaigns. That means that these lawsuits can now advance in state courts and companies like ExxonMobil and Shell could face trial, DeSmog reports.
According to Drilled, what scares companies the most—and is now likely to happen—is getting to the discovery phase of litigation, when they will be asked to hand over documents and make their executives available for depositions.
The week also brought another win: The U.S. Interior Department announced a fund of $125 million that will support 240 local climate resiliency and conservation projects throughout the country, according to States Newsroom via Wisconsin Examiner.
In the same breath, President Biden signed a new executive order that changes the way pollution is assessed in contaminated neighborhoods. From now on, the government will consider current and previous exposure to pollution and climate change when weighing approval of new industrial projects in or near residential areas, Grist reports. Looks like we’re one step closer to environmental justice.
The Climate Impacts of What You Eat
Your diet can have a big impact on climate change; no news there. With agriculture accounting for about 15% of the current global warming trend, as reported by Eos, you, like me, might be looking for changes in your consumption patterns.
But beware of traps! As DeSmog reports, “Meat companies are using slick PR and industry-funded science to convince the public that beef and dairy are good for the planet.” With growing public awareness of animal agriculture’s harms, the industry has been overstating its potential for transformation.
Decolonizing Climate Change
🌱 If you want to know more about how Indigenous people are fighting for their lands, check The Narwhal’s story about ten First Nations suing Ontario and Canada over resource extraction and Grist’s piece about the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s fight to protect their land from a copper mine.
🌱 If you want to understand the intricacies between capitalism and climate change, check out Behind the News’ interview with economist Josh Mason of John Jay College on how we can save the climate before we get to overthrowing capitalism.
🌱 Don’t forget this reminder from Brown Girl Green: don't leave people with disabilities out of the climate conversation!
To Lighten Your Heart
💚 “Foresters speak for the trees—in Boise, the city of trees, and beyond. Here’s how you can, too,” a commentary in Idaho Capital Sun.
💚 “Meals on Wheels Is a Climate-Relief Model,” a story in City Limits (originally published by Nexus Media News).
💚 “Ensuring Green Lending Reaches the Communities Who Need it the Most,” an interview by Next City.
💚 “Natural climate solutions are a win-win,” a commentary in Oregon Capital Chronicle.
Global South Corner
Last week, Brasília hosted the Free Land Camp (ATL in Portuguese), the largest Indigenous movement nationwide. Every year, thousands of Indigenous people from all over the country gather in the nation’s capital to demonstrate for their rights.
Over the past four years, the same happens in Roraima, the most Indigenous state in the country (and where I’m currently based to develop a reporting project sponsored by the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Journalism Fund).
I talked to Raquel Wapichana, state coordinator in Roraima for Indigenous youth, about the role of young people in the Indigenous movement.
🌎 “Our role on the ground is to articulate and rally the youth to strengthen them in the communities, helping those youths who have no prospect of life but do want to be around the leaders and get to know more about our movement and our causes,” Raquel told me. “When we talk to them, we open their horizons to what is happening in the territories and sensitize them to our fight.”
“We feel a special responsibility to give continuity to the achievements of our Indigenous leaders and to show them we are also part of this fight—particularly as they fear the constant threat of losing our territories.” 🌎
🌵 If you’re interested in knowing more about how the youth is fighting climate change, check out Atmos’s piece, “The New Era of Social Media Is Shaking Up Climate Activism.”
That’s all for now, folks! If you’re a climate journalist and want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Discord group. Over there, I will share new opportunities and resources every week, and you can let me know who—or what—you want to see next on the Global South Corner.
If you have any questions or suggestions, hit me up at email@example.com.
Kaimen manauan (thank you very much in Wapichana language), and see you next time!
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