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Big Greens

Responding To Protests, Green Groups Reckon With A Racist Past

Already stressed by the threat of coronavirus and widespread unemployment, the United States has erupted into protests after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Now, prominent groups in the environmental movement — which has long struggled with a dark, racist past — are speaking out against institutional prejudice and calling for the movement to better prioritize social justice. “For too long conservation and environmental movements have not spoken up to address the long-standing challenges that non-white communities face,” Fred Krupp, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement. “Environmental organizations should work to bring down the barriers that affect Black, people of color, and Indigenous communities.” The League of Conservation Voters, Earthjustice,, and the Sierra Club also issued statements.

Gulf Coast Activists Tell ‘Big Green’ To Quit Exploiting Their Disasters

By Yessenia Funes for Colorlines - In a new open letter, a group of 11 Gulf Coast environmental justice activists are demanding "respect and solidarity" from national "Big Green" organizations that they accuse of exploiting their local disasters for financial gain and treating poor people of color as "poster children for environmental injustice." The activists, who hail from EJ groups including 350 Louisiana, Houstonians Against Tar Sands and Radical Arts & Healing Collective, published the letter on a New Orleans website June 27 and sent it to Colorlines yesterday.

What Will It Take To Create Climate Justice?

All of the elements required to create climate justice seem to be in place. The climate movement can put hundreds of thousands on the streets, organize creative civil resistance, get thousands to risk arrest and mobilize blockades of tar sands, fracking, oil pipelines and mountain top removal. Polls show high levels of public support for taking action on climate change. A 2014 Gallup Poll shows 65% of Americans support emissions controls and a 2014 George Mason-Yale study found Americans were twice as likely to support a congressional or presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming. Yet, despite all of this, the climate change movement is unable to move U.S. or UN policy or force the economic system to respond adequately to the climate crisis.
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