Looking at the world’s biggest crisis through a decolonial lens.
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!
Four record-breaking hot days 🌿 Electricity shut offs 🌿 Health risks from air pollution
Last week, the Earth experienced the hottest day ever… until the next day. And then again the next day. And the next day. For four days in a row, our planet broke the all-time heat record, with temperatures only comparable to those of the last interglacial period, around 125.000 years ago, as reported by The Rational National.
The extreme heat waves, caused by–you guessed it–climate change, are already deadlier than hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes combined, according to Grist. And get ready, because scientists say they are only getting more severe, more frequent, and longer lasting.
If that weren’t enough, The Nation reports that climate disasters are also responsible for increasingly violent and cruel conflicts, both within and between countries.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the heat waves continue to cause power outages. According to Iowa Capital Dispatch, 31 states may experience electricity shut off during the summer. For millions of Americans who risk not being able to pay their bills, there’s a chance of losing access to utility service altogether. In fact, the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that 1 in 4 American households experience some level of energy insecurity.
And let’s not forget the ongoing effects of the recent wildfires across North America. Especially as almost 2.2 million Americans live within 3 miles of a large wildfire, according to Source NM. These fires are increasing health risks caused by air pollution, especially for historically excluded communities, according to Climate Signals. Worse, a Grist report notesthat for unhoused people, these dangers are a 24/7 issue, not a threat confined to air quality crises.
🛢️ “Hurricane forecaster now predicts more storms for Atlantic season”, by Louisiana Illuminator.
🛢️ “Drought conditions are already starting in CT despite rains earlier this week”, by CT Mirror.
🛢️ “How the Supreme Court Could Destroy Environmental Justice Efforts”, by The New Republic.
Decolonizing Climate Change
🌱 If you want to understand how updates to Canada’s cornerstone environmental law might prevent further environmental racism, check out this story by The Tyee.
🌱 If you want to understand how an Indigenous village in Alaska is dealing with the loss of billions of snow crabs, upon which their local economy is almost entirely dependent, check out this story published in partnership by Grist and Food and Environment Reporting Network.
🌱 If you want to learn about how Pueblo, NM, is creating its first large-scale solar farm to grant internet to its community, check out this story by Source NM.
To Lighten Your Heart
💚 “How To Build A Bank To Scale Up Local Food Ecosystems”, by Next City.
💚 “Be your own power plant: Rooftop solar brings real freedom”, by Daily Montanan.
💚 “Can mushrooms prevent megafires?”, by Food and Environment Reporting Network.
💚 “Minnesota will use $3M IRA grant to expand outreach on climate action plan” by Minnesota Reformer.
Global South Corner
As with most climate change related problems, when the planet broke new heat records this past week, people in the Global South were hit hardest. So I talked to Wesley Matheus, chief data advisor for the secretary of social development of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais and World Bank governance consultant to understand how these effects are taking shape.
He started by reminding me that, South of the Equator, it’s now winter – so many of us actually experienced some pretty cold days. “A lot of people questioned me if it was true”, Wesley told me. “People tend to validate or refute such news based on their local experience, which is a big challenge for the climate debate”, he added.
A few weeks ago, Wesley was on assignment for the World Bank in Bangladesh, and he also had something to say about how the country is being affected by climate change:
“As most of its lands are lower than the sea level, Bangladesh is one the most vulnerable countries to climate disasters. This configuration, which is beneficial for their rice farms, can become a curse under the climate crisis. Given that Bangladesh is in a monsoon region, the rainfall indexes are already really high, so floods only tend to become more frequent and deadlier."
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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