More Ways to Fix Climate Coverage

Two More Points for Our Platform on Climate Coverage

By Mary Annaïse Heglar

As we mentioned a couple of newsletters back, Amy and I are doing a six-week guest column at The Nation. For our first column, we rounded up our top recommendations to fix the way climate change is covered in the mainstream press. Amy and I never wanted to imply that this platform was exhaustive, and as soon as it was published, I thought of at least two other things the media needs to do, post haste, to give the climate crisis the attention it demands.

  1. Think Local: The horrors of the climate crisis hit you where you live, so the mainstream media needs to get better at partnering with local media outlets to tell those stories. Our media is dangerously concentrated in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where extreme weather has not become as severe as it has for those of us who live on, say, the Gulf or West Coasts. In much of the country, local media has been devastated by disinvestment—a crisis in and of itself. At the same time, there have been great models for media partnerships. (Looking at you, ProPublica.)
  2. This Isn’t a Game: The same day that we published our piece, one of Politico’s newsletter’s published a blurb about the “winners and losers” of the Build Back Better bill. Manchin won; environmentalists lost…. BITCH THIS AIN’T NO GAME!!!! This ain’t a mess you can come back and clean up when you damn well feel like it. This is life on earth—not just as we know it, but period. If you live on this planet, if you need oxygen to live, this is a problem for you. A fatal fucking flaw, if you will. It’s not biased to act like it.

P.S. As a reminder, the Nation column is a lot of work! So we’ve decided to take the newsletter to a bi-monthly publication schedule until January. Make sure to follow our work over there, though. We've included the first couple of pieces in this week's newsletter as well!

Sami Grover on Ditching Climate Purity

By Amy Westervelt

In his new book We Are All Climate Hypocrites Now, Sami Grover argues for individual action that moves beyond consumerism and plugs into mass mobilization on climate. I can’t tell you how happy I am to hear that, to borrow a phrase, more and more people are saying this. So, I sat down with Sami to talk more about the book.

1. I know you talk about this in the book, but what prompted you to write this book?

The book started as an attempt to debunk the idea that individual action was central to tackling climate change. I had been writing about 'green living' for years—everything from composting to e-bikes to which way you should hang toilet paper to create the least amount of waste—and was profoundly disillusioned with the notion of 'lifestyle environmentalism.' Yet the more I dug in, the more I realized that I was wrong. Behavior change and individual action are crucially important. They just matter for entirely different reasons than we've been told. Rather than each of us obsessing over every aspect of our carbon footprints, we need to learn to see them as acts of mass mobilization—and be strategic about where we invest our time and energy. Not only does this lens help us to get the biggest impact for our efforts, but it also provides a pathway to going a little easier on ourselves—and each other.

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To Build a Better World, You First Have to Imagine It

By Mary Annaïse Heglar

It’s been a heavy week for those of us who want to preserve life on earth. Somehow, the latest, greatest hope for a livable future is in the hands of one man—a senator, not even a king! Given how few Americans voted for him, it’s absurd that Joe Manchin has so much national influence. But when you factor in the scale of US power and its historic and current responsibility for the climate crisis, it’s downright grotesque.

When Senator Ed Markey joined climate activists outside of the Capitol on October 7, he said, “There’s no middle ground between a livable and an unlivable world.”

But there is a world in between—and we’re in it now. It’s a world where everything feels tenuous, like if you touch anything, it might all crumble. It’s one where you feel uneasy making plans months in advance, because you can’t picture the future. Today, coming up with a 10-year plan feels ridiculous—like building a house on quicksand.

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There Can Be No Compromise on a Burning Planet

By Amy Westervelt

Earlier this month I spoke to a group of climate activists about what I call “information pollution”—the use of various PR tactics to shape the public’s understanding of everything from how the economy works to what can be done to fight climate change. The day before, at the TED Climate Countdown event in Glasgow, Scottish climate activist Lauren MacDonald had accused Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden of being personally responsible for the deaths of thousands. A video of the standoff had gone viral, and one of the activists I was speaking to wondered if, MacDonald’s bravery aside, this was really the best tactic. “Shouldn’t we think about bringing these companies into these discussions more?” she wondered.

It was not the first or even the 100th time I’ve been asked that question. Quick answer: Companies are not people; they do not have moral compasses. But also, these nonhuman entities have had a seat at the table on environmental and climate policy for a century or more, and what they’ve done with that seat is flip the table over and throw their chair at us (see, anthropomorphizing can work both ways). But there’s a longer answer here too, and it has everything to do with the subject of the talk I was giving: information pollution.

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Your weekly roundup of climate coverage, from Julianna Bradley & Georgia Wright, of Inherited.

Rising Temperatures, Rising Tides

How wildfires could unravel California's climate progress - Grist by Emily Pontecorvo & Shannon Osaka for Grist

Unchecked Oil and Gas Wastewater Threatens California Groundwater, by Liza Gross for Inside Climate News

The forests backing California's carbon offsets are burning up by Emily Pontecorvo & Shannon Osaka for Grist

Long Concerned About Air Pollution, Baltimore Experienced Elevated Levels on 43 Days in 2020, by Agya K. Aning for Inside Climate News

Climate Change Is Violent. Should the Fight Against It Be Too? By Devi Lockwood, Photos by Chris Trinh for Vice

45% of Americans Don't Believe Humans Cause Climate Change, by Natasha Grzincic and Anya Zoledziowski for Vice

The Climate Presidency?

White House unveils $1.85 trillion climate and social welfare package by Zoya Teirstein for Grist

Biden restores beloved national monuments, reversing Trump cuts, by Hallie Golden for The Guardian

Congress plans to cut emissions with no regulation. Will it work? by Shannon Osaka for Grist

Climate Change Became the Central Part of Biden Spending Bill by Coral Davenport for The New York Times

Biden plan pledges ‘largest effort to combat climate change in US history’, by Oliver Milman for The Guardian

Biden’s Plan B for the climate crisis, explained by  Rebecca Leber for Vox

Plagued by Daily Blackouts, Puerto Ricans Are Calling for an Energy Revolution. Will the Biden Administration Listen? By Kristoffer Tigue for Inside Climate News

Q&A: A Republican Congressman Hopes to Spread a New GOP Engagement on Climate from Washington, DC to Glasgow, by Judy Fahys for Inside Climate News

Climate Accountability

The dirty dozen: meet America’s top climate villains, by Georgia Wright, Liat Olenick, and Amy Westervelt for The Guardian

Even Republicans Can Be Convinced That Big Oil's to Blame for Climate Change, by Paul Blest for Vice

Democrats Are Coming After Big Oil Over the Industry's Endless Climate Bullshit, by Amy Westervelt for Rolling Stone

How a Small Blog Became a Thorn in the Side of Corporate Climate Denial, by Tristan Kennedy for Vice

Meet the Young Activist Suing the UK Government Over Climate Change, by Molly Lipson for Vice

Exxon CEO accused of lying about climate science to congressional panel, by Chris McGreal for The Guardian

Exxon Is Desperate to Keep People From Realizing It Lied About Climate, by Geoff Dembicki for Vice

Republicans Can't Stop Apologizing to Big Oil CEOs by Brian Kahn for Earther

Groups Urge the EPA to Do Its Duty: Regulate Factory Farm Emissions, by Liza Gross for Inside Climate News

Big Oil's Top Executives Strike a Common Theme in Testimony on Capitol Hill: It Never Happened, by Nicholas Kusnetz for Inside Climate News

Big Oil Uses Newsletter Ads to Spread Misinformation Ahead of Hearing by Molly Taft and Emily Atkin for Earther

Leaked Facebook Docs Show It Had Internal Climate Denial Problem by Brian Kahn for Earther

What You Need to Know About Thursday's Big Oil Hearing by Brian Kahn for Earther

Wealthy Countries Spend More on Border Security Than Climate Aid by Molly Taft for Earther

What climate denial? Oil executives play dumb at major congressional hearing. by Joseph Winters & Zoya Teirstein for Grist

COP26 president says Glasgow climate goals harder to achieve than Paris by John Woodside for Grist

China’s New Climate Pledge Changes Little, in Bad Omen for Global Talks by Somini Sengupta for The New York Times

Oil Executives Grilled Over Industry's Role in Climate Disinformation by Hiroko Tabuchi and Lisa Friedman for The New York Times

Total Accused of Campaign to Play Down Climate Risk From Fossil Fuels, by Tom Wilson for Inside Climate News

COP26: Earth's fate is at stake at a UN climate conference in Glasgow by Umair Irfan for Vox

What ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell won't say about climate change by  Rebecca Leber for Vox

Justice Is Justice Is Justice

Black and Latinx People Care More About the Planet Than White People, by Manish Krishnan for Vice

Indigenous Mapuche pay high price for Argentina's fracking dream, by Uki Goñi for The Guardian

Cover the COP26 Climate Summit Like Our Lives Depend on It by Andrew McCormick for the Nation

Bullet train leaves a trail of grief among the disadvantaged of the San Joaquin Valley, by Ralph Vartabedian for the LA Times

Diesel Emissions in Major US Cities Disproportionately Harm Communities of Color, New Studies Confirm, by Kristoffer Tigue for Inside Climate News

New York's 'Deliveristas' Are at the Forefront of Cities' Sustainable Transportation Shake-up, by Delgar Erdenesanaa for Inside Climate News

Video: Carolina Tribe Fighting Big Poultry Joined Activists Pushing Administration to Act on Climate and Justice, by Aman Azhar for Inside Climate News

I Need You to Care About the UN Climate Talks by Molly Taft for Earther

Study shows Indigenous lost 99% of land to colonization by Mark Armao for Grist

Why developing countries say net-zero is 'against climate justice' by Emily Pontecorvo for Grist

FEMA Says It’s Still Working to Fix Racial Disparities in Disaster Aid  by Christopher Flavelle for The New York Times

Forced Relocation Left Native Americans More Exposed to Climate Threats, Data Show by Christopher Flavelle for The New York Times

To Stop Line 3 Across Minnesota, an Indigenous Tribe Is Asserting the Legal Rights of Wild Rice, by Katie Surma for Inside Climate News

Glimmers of Hope

In Detroit, a push to help Black farmers purchase land by Jena Brooker for Grist

A Livable Future Is Possible: An Interview With Noam Chomsky by Stan Cox for the Nation

A City Without Cars Is Already Here, and It's Idyllic, by Alexis Ferenczi for Vice
Citing Climate, New York Nixes Two Natural Gas Power Plant Plans, by Joson Koebler for Vice

Climate in Culture

‘Nobody cares I have nowhere to live’: wildland firefighters struggle with homelessness, by Brian Osgood for The Guardian

Here's a Simple Solution to Climate Change: Talk About It, by Anya Zoledziowski for Vice

Net zero is not enough – we need to build a nature-positive future, by Frans Timmermans, Achim Steiner and Sandrine Dixson-Declève for The Guardian

The Biomass Industry Expands Across the South, Thanks in Part to UK Subsidies. Critics Say it's Not 'Carbon Neutral', by James Bruggers for Inside Climate News

Can We Still Ethically Vacation During a Climate Crisis? By Koh Ewe for Vice

Catholic Bishops in the US Largely Ignore the Pope's Concern About Climate Change, a New Study Finds, by James Bruggers for Inside Climate News

Humanitarians look for COP26 to deliver on existing climate crisis needs, by Paula Dupraz-Dobias for The New Humanitarian

Why COP26 is the time to pivot from war aid to climate aid, by Hugo Slim for The New Humanitarian

World's 'Greenest City' Will Be Totally Unaffordable Because of Climate Change, by Geoff Dembicki and Francesca Fionda for Vice

Edible Insects That Could Help Stop Climate Change Are Banned From Major Climate Summit, by Sophia Smith Galer for Vice

Plus more

What Is COP26 and Why Is It Important? by Molly Taft for Earther

How Much Did Ancient Land-Clearing Fires in New Zealand Affect the Climate? By Bob Berwyn for Inside Climate News

Inside Clean Energy: Electric Vehicles Are Having a Banner Year. Here Are the Numbers, by Dan gearino for Inside Climate News

Pope Francis Urges 'Radical' Action at COP26 Climate Summit  by Elisabetta Povoledo for Grist

World Leaders Failed to Bend the Emissions Curve for 30 Years. Some Climate Experts Say Bottom-Up Change May Work Better, by Bob Berwyn for Inside Climate news

Inside Clean Energy: Who's Ahead in the Race for Offshore Wind Jobs in the US?, by Dan Gearino for Inside Climate News

What's the aid sector's carbon footprint? By Léopold Salzenstein and Kylee Pedersen for The New Humanitarian

The UK Cut Taxes on Domestic Flights Just Before Hosting a Major Climate Summit, by Simon Childs and Ruby Lott-Lavigna for Vice

Aboard This Zero-Waste Sailboat, Your Poop is Used To Grow Food, by Ella Fassler for Vice


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