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!
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Health emergency from extreme heat 🌿 Fossil fuel donations for climate denialism 🌿 Ease of power connection backlogs
Last July was the hottest month in 120.000 years. In case you’re wondering just how hot it’s been, in Florida, the ocean’s temperature was recorded above 101 degrees–the same as the average hot tub. The human race hasn’t experienced such heat since the end of the ice age, The New Republic reports.
All across the U.S. people have been suffering the effects of the heat. Source NM reported about life-threatening burns from falls on hot pavement in Arizona and cooling systems failing in California’s prison system. Nevada Current reported that there have been numerous deaths and more than twice as many heat-related emergency visits in the South of the state, when compared to July 2022.
Meanwhile, the droughts that come with the rapidly changing climate are leading to even more fossil fuel emissions, especially in areas where hydropower is lost, Eos reports. As dry periods become more frequent and extreme, it gets harder for renewable energy sources to meet electricity demands–and the situation snowballs.
As all these calamities happen, climate-denying Republican lawmakers have received millions of dollars from the Fossil Fuel Industry. So far this year, just three fossil fuel firms were responsible for donating $2.8 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, as reported by Jacobin.
On some good news, new rules approved by federal regulators will ease backlogs in wind, solar and battery storage plants across the country, finally allowing states to get one step closer to their renewable power goals. Virginia Mercury reported that the amount of power generation waiting to be connected is twice the amount of that currently on the grid. Easing the backlog will also reduce the rising costs and power outages havocking the country.
🛢️ “Carbon offsets are ‘riddled with fraud.’ Can new voluntary guidelines fix that?” by Grist.
🛢️ “Climate change has hit CT hard this year. Are we ready for more?” by CT Mirror.
🛢️ “National officials should spark prescribed burns on federal lands to mitigate extreme fire seasons," by Idaho Capital Sun.
Decolonizing Climate Change
🌱 If you want to know more about how global race for lithium is affecting one of the poorest regions of Brazil, the Jequitinhonha Valley (where I come from!), check out this story by The Real News Network.
🌱 If you want to understand why a national cooling standard could help vulnerable populations as extreme heat becomes more frequent, check out this story by New Hampshire Bulletin.
To Lighten Your Heart
💚 “Virtual Power Plants Offer A Climate-Forward Response To Increasingly Hot Summers," by Next City, written by our former Climate Editor, Cristian Salazar.
💚 “How New York Could Help Save Forests Around the World," by The New Republic.
Global South Corner
This week, our Global South Corner is a bit different, as today, Wednesday the 9th, is the last day of the Amazon Rainforest Summit, an event in Belém do Pará, in Brazil.
The event gathered officials from the eight countries of the Pan-Amazonia as well as other countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia, countries that are home to the other two largest rainforest basins in the world.
It has been decades since the Pan-Amazonic countries got together. This time, the goal was to come up with unified policies for the region to combat deforestation, and to write a letter leaders will bring together to COP 28, the UN Conference on Climate Change, which will take place between November 30th and December 12th in Dubai.
The event received mixed assessments. Government authorities in attendance were optimistic, but Indigenous leaders felt let down by their lack of participation in key decision spaces.
Discussions about ending oil exploration in the Amazon basin were also not as fruitful as many hoped they would be. While the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, was very keen on halting it completely, Brazil avoided the topic as much as possible.
Isai Victorino, leader of the Community Based Conservation program at The Nature Conservancy in Colombia, suggested that if discussions and actions in the region remain as disconnected as they currently are, the results will be incoherent.
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.
Obrigada and have a great week!
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