Don't Wait Until It Becomes a Crisis

Don’t Wait Until It Becomes a Crisis

By Mary Annaïse Heglar

If you read this newsletter, I trust that you’re aware that American democracy is in deep shit. But even though there’s been article after article about how perilously close we are to authoritarianism and/or fascism, there’s this pesky theory running around that you can’t campaign on democracy because people “don’t understand it.”


There’s two huge underlying problems with this argument. First, it tells me that the people who want to be in charge of making the policies to guide this nation (which is, unfortunately, the most powerful in the world) are lazy as fuck. If preserving democracy is the most important issue facing this country, then you need to say that. If you think people don’t understand, then you need to do the work and MAKE THE MOTHERFUCKING CASE! Like it or not, this is part of the job, sweetie!

It’s not lost on me that just a couple of election cycles ago, these same Very Smart People said the same thing about climate change. Where exactly did that get us? To the crisis point. Please, just this once, can we NOT wait until it’s a crisis?

Here’s the other problem: the people who want to govern (and the people who advise them) clearly think the American public is stupid. As Rhiana Gunn Wright said on our post-election show in 2020, “People aren’t stupid, they’re busy.” I’d add that they’re misinformed and miseducated, and that’s because of the underinvestment in schools and the media industry, which is the result of policy decisions made by these very same people who think they can’t talk to their constituents like adults.

And these same people will sit around and wonder why someone like Joe Rogan is so popular. Look Joe Rogan might be a racist, sexist, transphonic, irresponsible shit, but he doesn’t talk down to his audience. He doesn’t tell them that an issue is too complicated for them to understand. Because, guess what? NO ONE LIKES THAT.

If you wanna lead people, the least you can do is respect them enough to tell them the truth. Otherwise, maybe it’s not that we’re stupid. Maybe you’re just not qualified for the job.

Climate Therapy and Reparations

By Mary Annaïse Heglar

My therapist and I experienced two very important and very different “firsts” at the same time: her first pregnancy and my first bout with climate grief. I saw how happy she was with her growing family and how comforted she was to know that I was working in the environmental field. I knew she didn’t know how bad it was.

I watched her belly get bigger and bigger while my nightmares of rising seas and gathering storms became more and more vivid. By the time she went on maternity leave, they weren’t nightmares anymore. They’d become more like visions, in which a normal New York City street was upended by a tornado and everyone just kept on walking, or where the subway car I rode in filled with water but no one looked up from their books and the breakdancers didn’t miss a beat.

Upgrade now to keep reading!

Climate Coverage Is Exploding (Fingers Crossed)

By Amy Westervelt

Dare we believe that the media is finally really going to treat climate like that thing they've been saying it is for years: the most important story of our time? I gotta tell you, the numbers look pretty good! In 2021, coverage didn't just surpass 2020's anemic numbers, it beat out all the years before it. And while January 2022 was a slight drop from December 2021 (probably at least partly due to all the "year-end, looking ahead" stories), it  delivered an 11 percent increase in coverage from January 2021.

Upgrade now to keep reading!


Your weekly roundup of climate coverage.

Rising Temperatures, Rising Tides

Americans Are in Total Denial About Flooding by Liza Featherstone for Earther

A third of Americans are already facing above-average warming | Climate crisis | The Guardian by Oliver Milman for the Guardian

Climate Change Is Stretching Mumbai to Its Limit by Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar for the Atlantic

Water Supplies From Glaciers May Peak Sooner Than Anticipated by Raymond Zhong for The New York Times

Climate change brings thinner, more unstable ice to the Great Lakes by Diana Kruzman for Grist

How the speed of climate change is unbalancing the insect world bWritten by Oliver Milman, read by Elinor Coleman and produced by Hattie Moir for the Guardian

The Climate Presidency?

The U.S. Army Has a New Dystopian Plan to Deal With Climate Catastrophe by Angely Mercado for Earther

Congress Would Rather Spend Money on China Anxiety Than Climate Change by Kate Aronoff for The New Republic

A Climate Opportunity - The New York Times by German Lopez for the New York Times

How Billions in Infrastructure Funding Could Worsen Global Warming by Brad Plumer for The New York Times

​​​​Biden's Biggest Idea on Climate Change Is Remarkably Cheap by Robinson Meyer for the Atlantic

Cleaning up after the toxic refuse of abandoned coal mines by Julia Kane

Judge blocks key Biden climate metric by Niina H. Farah for E&E News

'Decimation' of competitive seats could unleash climate primaries - E&E News by Adam Aton for E&E News

Climate Accountability

Fossil Fuel Companies Have the Nerve to Claim That Taxing Them Will Hurt the Climate by Kate Aronoff for The New Republic

The end of natural gas has to start with its name by Rebecca Leber for Vox

The US Has a Plan to Fix Puerto Rico's Dangerously Busted Energy Grid by Angely Mercado for Earther

Google, Walmart, and Other Big Companies Are Half-Assing Their Climate Plans by Molly Taft for Earther

The natural gas industry is ready for a net-zero future — as long as it still includes pipelines by Emily Pontecorvo for Grist

ALEC Is Driving Laws to Blacklist Companies That Boycott the Oil Industry | The Nation by Chris McGreal for the Nation

BP has ambitious plans to move beyond fossil fuels – but are they enough? by Jillian Ambrose for the Guardian

Manchin wants 'good things on climate.' What does that mean? - The Washington Post by Maxine Joselow for The Washington Post

Climate change: Top companies exaggerating their progress - study by Georgina Rannard for the BBC News

Justice Is Justice Is Justice

The Environmental Movement Isn't Ready for Transphobia by Molly Taft for Earther

Wet'suwet'en land defenders call on United Nations to visit proposed pipeline by Joseph Lee for Grist

Rihanna Drops $15 Million on Climate Justice by Angely Mercado for Earther

Germany Has a New Climate Envoy: an American Greenpeace Activist by Christopher F. Schuetze for The New York Times

Ecuador's Indigenous Groups Have New Power to Protect Their Lands from Destruction by Angely Mercado for Earther

The world's poorest bear the burden of heat — and it's getting worse by Lina Tran for Grist

Texas primaries test Green New Deal champions by Timothy Cama for E&E News

For Climate Justice In Africa, Rich Nations Must Admit To Past Wrongs, Climate Experts Hear by David Vetter for Forbes

Climate change will be expensive. Who should pay? - POLITICO by Lorraine Woellert for the Politico

Climate in Culture

How the view from space might be key to saving the planet by Kate Yoder

Don't Get Mad at Me When Don't Look Up Wins Best Picture, by Allison Wilmore for Vulture

Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room by Ellen Barry for The New York Times

Glimmers of Hope

Coal-Loving Australia Just Hit Wind and Solar Power Records by Moll Taft for Earther

This iron and water battery could power a more renewable grid by Jess Nichols for Grist

GM Will Invest $7 Billion in EV Batteries and Electric Trucks by Mack DeGeurin for Earther

Plus More

​​Can paying farmers to stop farming save the planet? Experts aren't so sure. by Lina Tran for Grist

Lessons from New York: What makes a community turn against climate adaptation? by Zoya Teirstein for Grist

Identify A-ha moments to trigger fast climate action, say UK scientists by Damian Carrington for the Guardian

Why outdated rainfall records are blocking cities' climate change preparations : NPR by Lauren Sommer for the NPR

Don't Sabotage the Climate Movement by Turning to Violence | The Nation by Paul Hockenos for the Nation


Only paid subscribers can comment.
Please subscribe or sign in to join the conversation.