Along with pandemic fears and political tensions, this month is bringing extreme weather to the United States. The impacts of the climate emergency are clear, terrifying, and intensifying. Our hearts are heavy for those affected, and our dedication to our mission is stronger than ever. We must have a national transformation that rapidly restores a safe climate and creates a just and democratic society.
Iowa is still recovering from a devastating derecho wind storm that hit the region without warning on August 10, tearing through farmland and urban areas with category 2 hurricane-force winds. Little national media coverage or government response has followed.
More than 1.4 million acres of California have burned in the past week of wildfires. The scale of this destruction is truly staggering, with over 600 separate fires burning around the state. And as an example of our cascading crises and injustices, California is facing a lack of firefighting capacity due to the state’s reliance on prison labor, which is less available due to pandemic-related prison lockdowns and early release programs to spare prisoners from the virus that is ravaging incarcerated people across the country. Air quality in Northern California has been extremely poor and wildfire smoke has reached across the West as far as Kansas.
Hurricane Laura has become a category four storm and is poised to hit the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast late this evening with risk of devastating storm surge.
Protests began this week around the nation, after the police shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin of Jacob Blake, a father of three, who was shot seven times in the back by police in front of his children. Blake was unarmed and is now paralyzed from the waist down due to the shooting.
Protests range from ongoing marches in Wisconsin and Los Angeles to practice and game boycotts begun by players and coaches in the N.B.A., and followed by players in the W.N.B.A., M.L.B. and Major League Soccer, and members of the Detroit Lions NFL team.
In Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, areas where indigenous groups are given full property rights have much lower deforestation rates, preserving the biodiversity of the rainforest and it’s critical function as a vital storage sink for carbon, at a time when fires and deforestation threaten the region. Over 2 million hectares of land may be turned over to indigenous groups in Brazil, making it more difficult for development and other encroachment to destroy the forest.
Organizers from many groups, including The Climate Mobilization, Hoboken, are protesting the planned construction of a fracked gas plant in Kearny, New Jersey. Activists are taking to the water in kayaks and marching to protest the air pollution and climate impacts of the project, set to begin in 2021.
New public opinion polling has demonstrated that 68% of the public believes that the government should do more to address climate change. Despite the multiple crises facing the country at this time, the climate crisis is not being eclipsed by other issues as a top concern. This new research suggests that climate will be an important voting issue for a growing sector of the US electorate come November.
Senate Democrats have called out dark money used to prop up fossil fuels, deceive the public and spread climate denial. Their plan calls for an end to the influence of the fossil fuel industry over policy and public opinion.
T-Shirts are Back!
We’re happy to announce the opening of our new online store! Our t-shirts, mugs and stickers will start conversations and help you tell the world about the Climate Mobilization we desperately need to create a just economy and a stable climate.
“What Climate Alarm Has Already Accomplished” — David Wallace Wells for New York Magazine
“Disasters are Driving a Mental Health Crisis” — Dean Russell and Jamie Smith Hopkins for The Center for Public Integrity
“How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering” — Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich for The New York Times
“The Climate Crisis is an Emergency, Not an Issue” — Mark Hertsgaard for the Columbia Journalism Review