A few months ago, we interviewed Matt Remle, the co-founder of the Native and Indigenous news site, Last Real Indians. They recently extended us the opportunity to feature teen writers of color on their website. Three writers connected with The Colorization Collective—Nour Gajial, Carolyn Davis, and Disha Cattamanchi—wrote articles about the impacts of climate change on marginalized communities. Here are excerpts from their pieces.
"Even The Most Connected With Nature Are Not Spared By Climate Change" - Nour Gajial
October 12th marked a day of acknowledgement for Indigenous groups.
In addition to celebrating the Indigenous population, we as Americans should use this moment as an opportunity to learn more about the people who roamed the land we now call home. Historically, Indigenous groups have been associated with having a strong connection to land and nature. Many Native American rituals and traditions are dependent on their natural resources, but in the 21st century, climate change has started impacting our environment which Native communities are dependent on.
"Indigenous, Low-income and Minority Communities Most Impacted by Climate Change" - Carolyn Davis
The way we treat our environment is the most important thing we can be conscious of as we consider our future. Many statistics indicate the severity of this issue. “The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.05 degrees Fahrenheit (1.14 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century”. “Nineteen of the 20 warmest years all have occurred since 2001, with the exception of 1998. The year 2016 ranks as the warmest on record”. “2020 has nearly a 75% chance of being the warmest year on record for the planet Earth”. These climate changes are primarily due to the rise of production of fossil fuels and the resulting increase of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere. All life on Earth is being affected by climate change, however, Indigenous, low-income and minority communities are most impacted by climate change today.
"Climate Change Endangers the Lives of People of Color First and Foremost" - Disha Cattamanchi
It is already established that climate change is a global issue. It is an issue that each country in the world is somehow fighting—fighting to combat or fighting to ignore. Nonetheless, countries in the world have resorted to debating over the differences regarding the responsibility of which country “caused” climate change, or their response to its mitigation and efforts to adapt to it. Because of this inter-country blame, race inequality has risen to the forefront of the climate justice conversation, as we continue to blame different races and cultures for climate change’s myriads of effects. This view of inter-country blame has begun to dominate the discussion of climate change, but it has made us forget the divide that climate change has strengthened within our own country, as it exacerbates racial inequalities.