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

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Today’s increasingly intense hurricanes, made more powerful by climate change, can still shock us with their destructive energy.

Such was the case with Hurricane Ian, which battered Florida last month, shattering communities and leaving dozens of people dead. President Biden said Ian would likely rank among “the worst in the nation’s history.” Like other major storms, its impact will be felt for years to come as people assess the costs and try to rebuild.

“Hurricane Ian should make Florida’s politicians and Florida’s insurance companies rethink building on the coasts, the barrier islands, and the wetlands. It’s unaffordable. It’s unsustainable. It’s environmental suicide,” writes author Diane Roberts in a commentary for THE FLORIDA PHOENIX.

Hurricane Ian: This is climate change slapping us upside the head with a 2x4 - Florida Phoenix
Ian devastated Ft. Myers, reducing hundreds of buildings to filthy, soggy splinters, yanking houses off foundations, throwing trees around like match sticks. One woman, sheltering on the top floor of a resort said, “We saw everything get swept away.” Pine Island is in pieces. The Myakka and Peace Ri…
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GRIST reports that the storm may push the home insurance market to the point of collapse. Rebuilding after Hurricane Ian could cost between $30 and $60 billion, making it one of the most expensive weather-related calamities in U.S. history.

The ‘hurricane tax’: How Ian is pushing Florida’s home insurance market toward collapse
The storm is poised to be one of the largest insured loss events in U.S. history.
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Recovery from Ian will not only be expensive, but it may lead to greater disparities. In an interview in THE AMERICAN PROSPECT, sociologists Anna Rhodes and Max Besbris, the authors of Soaking the Middle Class: Suburban Inequality and Recovery From Disaster, speak about the pitfalls facing the rebuilding effort in Florida. “Inequality within communities is only going to grow in the wake of Ian,” Besbris says.

Q&A: Climate Change, Natural Disasters, and Growing Inequality
Recovery gets complicated by uneven insurance coverage, haphazard emergency programs, and a reluctance to admit that rebuilding in vulnerable places is too risky.
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Hurricane Ian wasn’t the only storm to have an impact so far this year. In Puerto Rico, Hurricane Fiona knocked out the island’s electricity for weeks and exposed the government’s inability to respond to even a mild storm. The painstaking recovery is being led by mutual aid and grassroots organizations, PRISM reports.

How to support Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona
Without proper resources from the government to recover from Hurricane Maria five years ago, many Puerto Ricans have turned to grassroots organizations for aid
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As proof that hurricanes have a lasting impact years after they make landfall, you only need to consider Hurricane Sandy. A decade after the storm caused billions of dollars in damage and left dozens dead, communities in New Jersey are still struggling to prepare for the next major storm, according to the NEW JERSEY MONITOR.

Storm relief, climate progress still elusive decade after Hurricane Sandy, lawmakers told - New Jersey Monitor
Advocates and storm survivors say much remains to be done to make New Jersey more resilient from storms like Hurricane Sandy.
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As the country marked Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, we were reading up on the concept of LANDBACK, a growing movement led by indigenous people to reclaim their stolen land in the United States and Canada. While the exact mechanism of how this works varies widely, some examples include recovering public lands by tribes or creating indigenous cultural spaces in urban communities where they once lived.

In a three-part series on LANDBACK, PRISM argues that the concept could serve as a solution for fighting the climate crisis. Journalist Ray Levy Uyeda writes that LANDBACK is “a blueprint of how to tackle the ecological disruption caused by the exploitative practices at the heart of capitalism and white settler colonialism.”

How to address the cause of climate change? With LANDBACK
Settler colonial governments accelerated the climate crisis through genocide and mass displacement. The solution lies with LANDBACK
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THE LEVER reveals how the actions of a major credit rating agency laid the foundation for the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, where residents lacked consistently safe water for more than a month beginning in August.

Wall Street Is Behind The Jackson, Mississippi, Water Crisis
A major credit rating agency jacked up interest rates in Jackson, Mississippi, curtailing infrastructure investments in the years leading up to the city’s recent disaster.
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The U.S. Supreme Court will take up a handful of cases that could have far-reaching consequences on the environment, DRILLED reports. One potentially major case, Sackett v. EPA, could decide the limits of the Clean Water Act.

SCOTUS Is Back in Session: Here Are the Climate Cases to Watch For
The Supreme Court is open for business again, what impacts for climate mitigation and adaptation are lurking on the docket this time around? I spoke with Kirti Datla and Sam Sankar from Earth Justice earlier this month; here’s a rundown of what they’re watching this month (plus a big threat
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CAPITAL & MAIN reports on a growing body of research showing that pregnant women and children who are exposed to toxins near oil drilling sites can suffer serious health problems.

Toxic Pollutants a Growing Concern for Pregnant Mothers and Babies
Links between environmental exposures and maternal health outcomes remain underexplored, despite recent efforts to catch up.
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National Association of Science Writers Conference - #SciWri22
October 21-25, Memphis, Tennessee
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Sustainable Innovation Forum
November 9-10,  Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
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November 7-18, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
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December 7-19, Montreal, Canada
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Thanks for reading OptOut’s climate newsletter! If you have questions, tips, or anything else about our climate program, feel free to email me at or message me via Instagram at @xtianpublic.

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The OptOut Media Foundation (EIN: 85-2348079) is a nonprofit charity with a mission to educate the public about current events and help sustain a diverse media ecosystem by promoting and assisting independent news outlets and, in doing so, advance democracy and social justice.

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