Yesterday afternoon, I was in my apartment, when suddenly I heard a “BANG” and a “WHOOSH.” I ran to my bathroom and saw that the framed photo hanging over the toilet had fallen down, severing a pipe between the toilet and the wall.
Water burst out like a fire hydrant for at least 10 minutes before anyone could figure out where the main shutoff valve was. (It was in the ceiling of the washing machine closet). Let this be a lesson to you: check where your water shutoff valve is now, so your apartment doesn’t end up like mine in the future.
Anyway, I’m fine and everything’s fine! Whatever concern you have for my floorboards, please consider converting into concern for Black lives. Here’s a list of ways to contribute to the movement for anti-racism in your own time. If you’re interested in reforming the organization you work for to make it anti-racist, here’s a list of resources for that. And, in case you missed it in last Tuesday’s newsletter, here’s a great explanation from Sunrise Movement’s Mattias Lehman about why anti-racism work is essential work for the climate movement.
I share the news of my apartment’s untimely drowning only to let you know that there won’t be a real newsletter today. Just some quick updates from a few past newsletters to keep you up to speed.
I should be back in your inbox with regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, if everything goes to plan. I’ll keep you posted if that changes. In the meantime, stay hydrated—but don’t overdo it.
An update on green groups and George Floyd protests
Last Monday—the morning of June 1—this newsletter called out a few high-profile climate activists and groups that hadn’t yet made public statements about George Floyd and the protests of systemic racism sweeping the country: Al Gore, Bill Nye, Leonardo DiCaprio, Citizens Climate Lobby, and NRDC.
Since then, all five have broken their silence.
Three of the five also reached out directly to HEATED to address the call-out and defend themselves.
Shortly after publication, Citizens Climate Lobby said: “We are finalizing our communications around this in a couple of internal meetings today and will be putting out both a statement of support for our volunteers of color and a message directly for our white membership to educate them further about these issues.” Those statements are here and here.
The next day, Al Gore said: “I have been speaking out quite a bit over the last two months on the nexus between racism and climate and COVID-19, and I guess that gave me a feeling that I was addressing these systemic racism issues. But you were quite right that the depth of the tragedy and horror of Mr. Floyd’s execution warranted a special comment, for sure. And so I wasted no time in putting that out.”
NRDC also responded on Monday to note that its president, Gina McCarthy, had made a statement in the form of a Twitter thread. “Additionally, after our initial posts, we have been amplifying other groups rather than center our own voice on Twitter and IG,” NRDC’s Josh Mogerman said. “We will continue to elevate other voices on our channels as the situation evolves.” On June 2, NRDC also released a formal statement. Gina and NRDC have been speaking out more aggressively since.Predominantly white organizations have a responsibility to actively, consistently, and loudly stand up against hatred and violence toward Black people. I am committed to learning, growing, and fighting for justice—and so is . We can and must do better. Thread:
NRDC 🌎🏡 @NRDCRecent weeks have brought one horrific reminder after another of the systemic racism that is killing Black people. As a predominantly white organization, @NRDC recognizes the ways in which we benefit from systemic racism and acknowledge that we have made mistakes. ⬇️ 1/6
I’m still working on a more detailed look at how green groups and environmentalists have responded to the protests sparked by George Floyd’s death.
An update on oil companies and George Floyd protests
On Thursday, this newsletter called attention to the silence of Big Oil companies on systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Shortly thereafter, Chevron made a statement in support of “the black community and all those seeking systemic change.”
Their statement, however, wasn’t exactly met with cheers. Indigenous climate activist Pennie Opal Plant responded on Instagram:
Does this mean you will move every single black and brown person away from oil extraction sites, pipelines and refineries? Because you've been killing us for decades with your environmental racism. Better yet, it's really past time for a just transition. Ready to begin the retraining process for your employees to transition into safe jobs that pay as well with the same or better benefits? So glad you're finally on board with those of us you've been killing.
Indeed, just like with climate change, Chevron’s talk is a great deal louder than its walk.
From green groups to oil companies, HEATED’s accountability journalism is impactful, and doesn’t discriminate. It’s also 100-percent independent and reader-funded. Support it today:
An update on book club
Just a reminder for paid subscribers that we’re still reading “Doughnut Economics” for the HEATED book club, which is still scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 24.
I’m happy to postpone it, however, if people have been distracted by the protests. I know I have been! Just let me know. E-mail me at email@example.com. Otherwise, we’ll proceed as planned.
An update on James Bennet
In February, this newsletter argued that the Washington Post and New York Times editorial boards were failing on climate. We specifically called out New York Times editorial director James Bennet for his poor editorial choices on climate:
Indeed, the first decision Bennet made as editor was to hire Bret Stephens as a columnist; and the first thing Stephens published was soft climate denial. The piece, which questioned established climate science, contained only one line containing reference to actual science, and Bennet was forced to correct that line three days later.
On Sunday, Bennet resigned. That had nothing to do with this newsletter; I just thought you’d like to know. The venn diagram of racism and climate denial continues to overlap.
OK, that’s all for today—thanks for reading HEATED!
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