This is the newsletter of OptOut Climate, a program of the OptOut Media Foundation led by Cristian Salazar. OptOut maintains a free news aggregation app for exclusively independent media that's available for Apple and Android devices. Find out more about the app at optout.news.
Thirty years after the first calls by the Global South for wealthy countries to cover the costs of the impacts of global warming, negotiators at the U.N.’s annual climate conference in Egypt agreed last week to establish a “loss and damage” fund.
While it was a substantial victory for countries that are most vulnerable to extreme weather patterns caused by human-induced climate change, it remained unclear where the financing for the fund will come from, CURRENTLY reported.
“Countries must now work together to ensure that the new fund can become fully operational and respond to the most vulnerable people and communities who are facing the brunt of the climate crisis,” said Tasneem Essop, executive director of Climate Action Network International.
The deal, which came in the final hours of the two-week summit held in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, emerged after the European Union put pressure on the U.S. and China, both of which had firmly opposed the idea of a “loss and damage” fund.
GRIST reported on a study that found that countries will need $2 trillion a year to address the effects of the crisis and to transition away from fossil fuels, and it examined some of the methods to raise that kind of financing.
António Guterres, Secretary General for the UN, welcomed the deal but said it was insufficient to meet the crisis at hand. “We need to drastically reduce emissions now—and this is an issue this COP did not address,” he said
COP27, as it is known, was overshadowed by the influence of corporations and fossil fuel companies, which sent hundreds of lobbyists to the conference to influence the outcome. The authoritarian government in Egypt also managed to limit access by civil society.
Indigenous Climate Action
While for many Americans Thanksgiving is a time to feast on the foods of the fall harvest, for Indigenous people it is a persistent reminder of the attempt to erase them from the continent. So this year, we celebrate the efforts of Indigenous activists in protecting the environment that they cherished long before colonists claimed it as their own.
ATMOS reports on an Indigenous-led effort to ensure that tribes can obtain feathers for ceremonies from birds whose populations are at risk due to climate change. “These ceremonies are held to practice presence, celebrate life, and heal. They are a means to connect to the land and listen to its needs—and feathers are an essential part of maintaining that connection,” writes Elizabeth Hlavinka.
As we previously highlighted, the LANDBACK movement has been successful in restoring Native lands to tribes. In THE NATION, Eve Reyes-Aguirre and Betty Lyons connect the movement to the climate crisis:
We are aware this movement takes place under the shadow of climate change and land degradation fueled by corporate greed and disregard for nature’s fragility that threatens the planet.
The Navajo Nation, meanwhile, is fighting in court to protect its future access to water from the Colorado River, HIGH COUNTRY NEWS and GRIST report. At stake is the equitable distribution of the life-sustaining resource. The Navajo Nation has rights to between 3.2 and 3.8 million acre-feet of the waterway and the system it feeds.
Elon Musk and Climate Twitter
Twitter has been essential for climate activists and scientists seeking to bring awareness to the human-driven destruction of the planet. Now that the platform appears to be on the verge of collapse thanks to the World’s Wealthiest Man, a lot of people are asking whether they need to find new spaces to congregate.
“It's unclear whether Twitter will stick around; if it does shut down, it will dramatically curtail the flow of climate information,” writes Amy Westervelt in DRILLED.
Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, is no climate champion despite being CEO of Tesla, HEATED reports in a thorough dissection of the billionaire’s environmental impact. In a rundown of Musk’s various projects and his mishandling of Twitter, journalist Emily Atkin concludes that his record on climate is mixed. Assessing Musk’s political leanings, she writes, “By advocating for Republicans, Musk is using his massive influence as the world’s richest man to empower a party owned by the fossil fuel industry.”
At THE LEVER, reporter Ricardo Gomez continues his excellent streak of election coverage, focusing on a little-known race for public service commissioner in Louisiana and how the outcome could affect the state’s climate strategy.
EARTH ISLAND JOURNAL Managing Editor Maureen Nandini Mitra talks with advocates about California’s new climate change strategy, which set an ambitious target of making the state carbon-neutral by 2045.
A milestone in supercomputing could mean that scientists may soon have more accurate climate models to predict future extreme weather, EOS reports.
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