This piece is part of our 2022 Year in Review, a reflection on some of the most urgent issues and causes that mattered most this year that we’ll face in the next – and the tangible ways you can take action.
The U.S. military, one of the largest polluters in the world (Yahoo), started 2022 with a fuel leak that threatened a primary water source in Hawaii, only to close out the year with another toxic spill (Hawaii News Now). Their solution to fix each leak only amounted to further harm to a precious resource and the communities who rely on it the most. They are one entity, albeit a large one, within a system of global institutions and governments fueling an environmental crisis on track to upend our continued survival.
“The great tragedy of the climate crisis is that seven and a half billion people must pay the price – in the form of a degraded planet – so that a couple of dozen polluting interests can continue to make record profits,” climate scientist Michael Mann said (The Guardian). “It is a great moral failing of our political system that we have allowed this to happen.”
The silver lining is that, in response to this assault on our planet and the most marginalized communities, we have seen the best of humanity come together in mass. From water drives across the country and protests from scientists to our ARD community fundraising to bring AC units into 11 classrooms amid heat waves, we have shown the importance of being a solution—even if we are not directly impacted today.
• Supports organizations like Digdeep, Shut Down Red Hill Mutual Aid, Cooperation Jackson, South River Watershed Alliance, and Navajo Water Project providing safe, drinkable water to communities in need.
• Donate to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund to support Stop Cop City activists. You can also call a Brasfield & Gorrie office and demand that the company withdraws from the Cop City project in the Atlanta forest immediately.
• Donate to infrastructure and recovery efforts for communities rebuilding from climate disasters. And demand your state representatives support the Environmental Justice for All Act.
How the Rich Fuel the Climate Crisis
Since shifting from predominantly glass to plastic packaging, corporations have put the onus on individual consumers to follow sustainable practices instead of on companies manufacturing single-use, nonbiodegradable products. While not littering and recycling, when possible, is just a decent practice to follow, shouldering the total weight of the current climate and ecological crisis is not our responsibility…unless that is, you are in the wealthiest 10%. In that case, consider replacing your private jet with something more environmentally friendly, like a bike or public transit. Read More >>
The Community Fight to Save a Forest and Stop Cop City
The number of green spaces like forests is shrinking. This is especially true in Black and Brown communities in metropolitan areas. This has ripple effects as these areas help mitigate the impact of urbanization and provide health and social benefits to the surrounding communities. So it’s especially insidious to transform such a vital green space into a militarized training zone for cops, who will be sent to suppress and harm those same communities. This is what defenders of the forest are trying to prevent. Read More >>
A Water Emergency Downstream from a National Crisis
If you were to type “water crisis in” into your search engine, you might be caught off guard by the autofill suggestions that populate. While recent water crises in Flint or Jackson might appear, suggestions for lesser-known or underreported regions will also pop up. Now, search “water crisis” and your state/county. Stories, reports, and ordinances of a water shortage, contamination, drought, or hazardous wastewater might alert you to a recent or current worsening water crisis in or around your area. The reality is our access to clean drinkable water is constantly under threat, whether we acknowledge it or not. And it’s not some issue that only occurs in “undeveloped” nations, but in the wealthiest country in the world. Read More >>
Why Some People Don’t Follow Evacuation Orders
Stories of people refusing to evacuate and dying in their homes will be hard to escape as the devastating effects of climate change become increasingly unavoidable. So will reductive remarks condemning their decisions, attributing their deaths to their own negligence and not the consequence of the racial, economic, and societal barriers that hinder one’s ability to leave. An indolent government uninterested in taking the environmental and climate crisis seriously has locked in the deaths of millions in the states and globally. Read More >>