UNDERSTORY

Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action

How time flies.  It is hard to believe it has already been ten years since Hurricane Katrina made devastating landfall on the Gulf Coast. When Katrina hit and devastated the region, New Orleans’ poorly maintained levees broke and flooded the city. The privileged few were able to flee the disaster while thousands more were left in flooded streets and on the rooftops of their homes.  As soon as the storm hit, my friend, mentor and longtime organizing comrade scott crow traveled to New Orleans to rescue a friend who’d lost contact during the storm. Out of that rescue mission emerged...

Sara Lee and the Problem with Palm Oil

This month, palm oil activists around the country brought their communities together to make a statement to Hillshire Brands (creators of Sara Lee packaged pies and cakes) that the Conflict Palm Oil in its products has got to go now.

What Climate Justice Means to Me

“With the support of good people and the resilience of brave people, it seems like anything can be accomplished. Sustain the Nine.” — the late Pamela Dashiell, climate justice leader based in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward With the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina around the corner — August 29th — I’ve been thinking about justice. What do environmental justice, and climate justice, mean to me? Who are my environmental justice and climate justice (s)heroes?    When I think about justice, I think about communities living on...

Shutting down a coal mine on the road through Paris

By Morten Thaysen. Cross-posted from the Global Justice Now blog. Pictures by 350.org.  The view is breath-taking and strangely beautiful as we reach the edge of the giant open cast coal mine. The surrounding landscape has turned from fertile cabbage fields to a gaping wound in the ground with no signs of life. In that moment as hundreds of my fellow activists dressed in white boiler suits storm down the slopes towards the giant machines carving out the mine, I know we are achieving something great. We’re shutting down one of the biggest coal mines on Earth. Last weekend I took time off work to blockade a giant coal mine along with...

Chicago Activists call on Hillshire Brands to Cut Conflict Palm Oil.

For over 2 years, RAN has exposed Hillshire Brands, and 19 other snack food giants, as companies at risk of using Conflict Palm Oil in their products. Hillshire Brands is one of the companies lagging farthest behind in the Snack Food 20 group of companies and has refused to take action while its peers have begun reforming their palm oil supply chains. Despite thousands of phone calls and emails, we’ve gotten little-to-no response from Hillshire (which has recently been acquired by Tyson Foods) representatives. Hillshire Brands is the producer of Sara Lee cakes and pies, products that are laden with Conflict Palm Oil, yet it is clear that the company is not yet taking the rainforest destruction and violations of human rights in its products seriously. Activists held a banner and images of destroyed rainforests...

I didn’t used to think about the future

Image: Youth of Oceti Sakowin calling on President Barrack Obama to reject the Keystone Pipeline in March 2015.   August 29th marks 10 years since Hurricane Katrina's first landfall. Change the Course is dedicating the month of August to climate justice, highlighting the disproportionate impacts climate change has on front line communities. To learn about Change the Course and learn how you can envision a just and climate stable future, visit ChangeTheCourse.org   Honestly, I didn’t used to think about the future much. The future seemed like a luxury afforded only to those who could survive the present. It’s not that I was especially pessimistic, but when faced with the cold...

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