Climate Roundup: Rising waters

Climate disasters

How Florida’s leadership is failing Florida:
The climate idiocy of Ron DeSantis (Heated, October 1, 2022)

How the US is failing Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico’s electricity problems go beyond Maria and Fiona (Washington Post, September 28, 2022)
Puerto Rico’s grid failure is a climate justice story. National TV news failed to cover it as one. (Media Matters, September 29, 2022)

How 1% of the world’s population* is failing the other 99%:
Death toll in Pakistan floods nears 1,500; hundreds of thousands sleep in open (Reuters, September 15, 2022)
Nigeria floods: ‘Overwhelming’ disaster leaves more than 600 people dead (BBC News, October 17, 2022)
World rocked by 29 billion-dollar weather disasters in 2022 (Yale Climate Connections, October 19, 2022)

How the Supreme Court is maybe about to fail clean water laws:
The Supreme Court case that’s likely to handcuff the Clean Water Act (Vox, September 27, 2022)

*It’s us, North Americans. We are the 1%.
‘Top 1%’ of emitters caused almost a quarter of growth in global emissions since 1990. (Carbon Brief, September 29, 2022)


Palm trees in Florida weathered Hurricane Ian’s wrath just fine (NPR, October 16, 2022)

Greece runs entirely on renewables for the first time in its history (PV Tech, October 10, 2022)

Why Harvesting Solar Energy Is a Win for America’s Farmers (Mother Jones, November-December 2022)

Academia rarely gives me hope, but this is a fascinating interview with the author of a book envisioning how academia can respond to the climate crisis.
“Academia Gives Me Hope”: A futurist counternarrative from Bryan Alexander (Culture Study, October 16, 2022)

Consumer culture

Patagonia’s billionaire owner gives away company to fight climate crisis (The Guardian, September 14, 2022)

The Market Won’t Save Us, Unless We Radically Change It (Hot Take, October 2, 2022)

Do you know where your essential oils come from? (Heated, October 6, 2022)

A beautifully filmed 15-minute video showing a garment-recycling warehouse in India. The women who sort the discarded clothes theorize about who wore them and why they threw them away (content note for a bit of fatphobia around the 8 minute mark, on that subject). There’s also a glimpse into how some of the garments can be repurposed into yarn, which I appreciated…. I wish I knew more about what happened to these bales and bales of clothes we sent overseas as if the East is the wastebasket of the West. (Aeon, April 2, 2015.)

Climate storytelling

In honor of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s 2022 MacArthur Fellowship, here’s an evocative long essay weaving together botany, indigenous medicine and culture, pedagogy, theological/philosophical ideas like animism, and of course environmentalism.
Speaking of Nature (Orion Magazine, June 12, 2017)

Fix, Grist’s Solutions Lab, has released the winners and finalists from their 2022 fiction contest:
Imagine 2022: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors

Scientists Can No Longer Ignore Ancient Flooding Tales (The Atlantic, October 10, 2022)

I always love Mary Annaïse Heglar’s analysis of climate media. In this article, she explains how the dearth of climate reportage in the past has made it challenging to address climate emergencies in the present.
Hurricanes Are Pummeling Us. The Media Is Partially To Blame. (NBCU Academy, October 4, 2022)

Art and esprit du temps

I loved the cooperative game Pandemic–at least, I used to! haven’t replayed since living through an actual pandemic!–so I contributed to the fundraiser for the creator’s new game about climate change. They are still fundraising for their stretch goals, so jump in if that interests you.
Couldn’t decide which piece to link:
Pandemic creator’s new board game, Daybreak, is about climate change (Polygon, April 13, 2021)
Pandemic’s creator is making a board game about climate change (Wired, March 30 2021)

Remember when someone threw cake on Mona Lisa in ostensible climate protest and someone else glued themselves to a Botticelli and we all wondered, is this going to be a thing? It’s a thing.

I’m with her ↓

So far the art hasn’t been harmed by these protests (the paintings have been under glass) and the actions have indeed made headlines, but…. mostly as “weird news,” right? I’m all for a multi-prong approach to raising awareness via protest but I imagine there are other demonstrations, just a splashy but more on-message, that would be a better use of time and resources.

And now, for your obligatory note of hope: the newsletter Dirt looks at a recent TikTok trend and connects it to solarpunk and eco-poetics.
The Indomitable Human Spirit (Dirt, October 21, 2022)

It’s a weird form of optimism—in philosopher Tim Morton’s sense of weird as “a turn or twist or loop”—where we return to hope through despair, not by denying the conditions that brought it about, but precisely by recognizing them. 


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