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!
Electricity shortage risks and fossil fuel lobbying across the U.S.
With summer closing in and weather officials expecting above-normal temperatures for most of the U.S., as much as two-thirds of the country could face electricity shortages, States Newsroom reports. While the increased deployment of solar, wind, and battery storage has made a positive impact on electric generation capacity across the country, spiking temperatures, combined with high outage rates from fossil plants and low output from renewables, could result in interrupting power service and other emergency actions.
Meanwhile, lobbying from oil and gas corporations remains as strong as ever, most notably in Pennsylvania, where the American Petroleum Institute reports spending more money on lobbying than in any other state last year, according to Eyes on the Ties.
Roughly 80% of board members at America’s top six banks are climate conflicted, as reported by DeSmog. While Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have all pledged to reach net zero emissions across their portfolios, they have collectively provided $1.7 trillion in fossil fuel financing since 2015.
In the meantime:
🛢️ The Biden administration has laid the groundwork for a financial firm to use the fragile Colorado River as a route for oil trains, as reported by The Lever;
🛢️ Tennessee Valley Authority is attempting to replace two coal power plants (fossil fuels) with natural gas (ALSO fossil fuels), according to Grist; and
🛢️ Montana is paying a climate denier to give expert testimony in an upcoming trial, as reported by DeSmog.
In a bit of good news, a new report released this week shows that overall greenhouse emissions in Georgia declined 5% from 2017 to 2021, due largely to the state’s largest electric utility moving away from coal, according to Georgia Recorder.
Decolonizing Climate Change
🌱 If you want to know more about how frontline communities are using the power of the law to fight climate injustices, listen to Your Call’s podcast episode, “The global struggle for environmental justice” and read Food and Environment Reporting Network’s piece, “As climate change erodes land and health, one Louisiana tribe fights back”.
🌱 If you want to understand the social-environmental impact of Indian military occupation in Kashmir, check out The Nation’s piece, “Holding G20 Meetings in Kashmir Fuels Ecocide and Advances India’s Occupation”.
🌱 If you want to understand the politics of the Amazon rainforest and the violence that seethes beneath its canopy, see The Nation’s conversation with Eliane Brum, an awarding-winning Brazilian writer and one of my favorite journalists.
To Lighten Your Heart
💚 “Work begins on archeological sites, historic preservation with help of federal grants” (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
💚 “Community gardens are good for more than fresh food” (Missouri Independent)
💚 “Dolly Parton’s new song is a climate anthem—if you want it to be” (Grist)
💚 “Traditional canoes return to the waters of the Pacific Northwest” (republished by Source NM)
Global South Corner
Over the past few weeks, our Global South Corner has been focusing a lot on the Amazon rainforest and the role of Indigenous peoples in protecting it.
But if the Amazon is the “lungs of the world,” for this week’s guest, Edgar Kanaykõ Xakriabá, the Cerrado is its heart—and they cannot survive without one another.
Considered to be the savanna with the most biodiverse flora in the world, Cerrado is the second largest biome in Brazil. Over the past years, it lost almost 50% of its original coverage, with annual losses greater than those of the Amazon.
Edgar is an Indigenous photographer and visual anthropologist from my state, Minas Gerais, who has been a part of the Indigenous movement since his teenage years.
🌎 “My journey as a photographer started as a way to protect the Cerrado and the peoples who live in it,” Edgar told me. “Our biome is still seen as ‘poor’ and receives little attention, making it easier for agribusiness to take over. 🌎
I see my photography as an instrument of fight and resistance to defend our territory, our environment, and who we are as Indigenous peoples of the Cerrado. My camera is my weapon, my modern-day bow and arrow.
You should definitely check out Edgar's powerful work.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Obrigada and have a great week!
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