by Jacqueline Patterson

As the United States lays out its climate plans, here’s 12 false climate solutions, faulty patterns, and harmful omissions to avoid.

Recently, I had the opportunity to advise a wealthy individual on their personal giving. I spent a considerable amount of time providing a written memo on how to support grassroots-led efforts to address climate change. But when the resulting plan was made public, I read it with horror. Evidently, in my extensive guidance on what to do, my recommendations lacked clarity on what not to do.

Now, I’ve fielded many requests to weigh in on the Biden-Harris administration’s climate…


by Abigail Hart

It’s now clear that we’re heading into another year of drought, though we’ve barely recovered from the last one. But we don’t need to repeat the water management mistakes of the past. Today, we can implement a new set of solutions that can help us manage our land and water sustainably into the future.

It’s clear that drought will be a recurring theme in that future. And each time a drought arrives, our water system is stretched to the breaking point. Historically, we’ve relied on aquifers to provide up to 60% of our water during drought years. But now even…


by Jennie Stephens and Kevin Surprise

As the Biden-Harris administration advances an all-of-government approach to the worsening climate crisis, we need to acknowledge that not all proposed climate solutions should be advanced. Solar geoengineering, a controversial proposed set of technologies that could potentially cool the planet by reflecting incoming sunlight back to space, used to be on the fringes of climate policy.

But with the recent release of a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) that recommends hundreds of millions of dollars be invested to establish a U.S. solar geoengineering research program, this dangerous approach is now being more seriously considered…


by Albert George

For more than a century, Gullah-Geechee people have held fast to their land at the water’s edge on the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Descendants of chattel slaves from West Africa, generations of Gullah-Geechee have not only survived, but thrived here — nurturing a distinctive culture with deep ties to the African homeland.

Today, the Gullah-Geechee’s hold on the land is loosening. Some threats have been brewing for decades, including the juggernaut of development and a system of property law that is cruelly stacked against them. Now, the rising seas and powerful storms of a warming planet…


by David Coursen

The Biden administration signaled its commitment to environmental justice in its Jan. 27 executive order on Tackling the Climate Crisis. Now the administration has taken two big steps toward funding that commitment.

First, its American Jobs Plan targets $111 billion to meet the water infrastructure needs of indigenous people, low-income communities and communities of color. Then, last week’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) budget outline announced a $936 million environmental justice initiative. That would represent a remarkable turnaround for an agency that currently spends just $11.8 …


by Laurie Mazur

Dr. Eric Anthony Johnson was up for a challenge when he stepped into his new job as chief of economic development and neighborhood services for Dallas, Texas. It was early March 2020 and — fresh from a stint as community development director in Bloomington, Minnesota — Johnson was eager to apply his skills in the nation’s ninth-largest city.

Needless to say, Johnson’s challenges soon multiplied. In the past year, Dallas — like other American cities — has reeled from multiple crises. First came the pandemic and, on its heels, a recession that cost the city 300,000 jobs over the course…


by Marriele Mango and Seth Mullendore

The crisis unfolding in Texas is tragic and familiar. News reports from the Lone Star state — widespread outages, deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, and stressed healthcare facilities — mirror those that followed Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In both instances, a crisis unfolded after an energy system dependent on large, centralized power plants was rendered inoperable after a climate disaster.

Some are casting blame on either natural gas plants or wind turbines as a cause of the devastating systemwide failure. Certainly a gas system ill-equipped to handle such frigid temperatures was a major problem when demand spiked. But, regardless…


by Laurie Mazur

Virginia Wasserberg is a lifelong Republican, a deeply conservative home-schooling mom from Southeast Virginia.

Once a month, she logs onto Zoom to join an unlikely crew: there’s a community organizer from Austin, Texas; a grandmother from rural Missouri; and an environmental justice activist from Port Arthur, Texas.

Wasserberg and her Zoom companions are members of Higher Ground, a national network of flood survivors. On paper, they don’t have much in common. They span the income spectrum from working class to relatively affluent. They are African-American, white and Latinx; Democrats and Republicans; conservatives, moderates, and progressives. …


by Lois DeBacker and Jacqueline Patterson

For years, we’ve heard the calls for more diversity in the environmental movement. It’s certainly true that the “big green” groups — and their boards — remain mostly white. But the fact is, there is plenty of diversity among those who are fighting for a cleaner, healthier environment.

Across the U.S., environmental justice groups are shutting down coal-fired power plants, getting the lead out of drinking water, advancing access to sustainable and healthy housing, and engaging in other actions to address a plethora of environmental injustices. This includes efforts to mitigate climate change while preparing for its impacts. …


by David Coursen

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Given all that we know about racial injustice and its devastating effects on the health of people and the planet, it is shocking how few resources the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has devoted to promoting environmental justice.

In 2019, the EPA budget was 1,500 times the size of its environmental justice budget, just one staff position in 650 was devoted to this issue and a mere $1 of every $2,000 in the EPA’s grants budget was earmarked for environmental justice. The Biden administration is moving aggressively to remedy this.

A first step in tackling environmental justice was the president’s January…

Urban Resilience Project

A changing climate means a changing society. The Island Press Urban Resilience Project (URP) is committed to a greener, fairer future. www.islandpress.org/URP

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