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What can we learn from the experiences of people living on the frontlines of climate catastrophe? “There’s beautiful resistance out there,” says Colette Pichon Battle. She is a Louisiana native who began her work in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 when she and so many others lost their homes. A leading voice in climate justice and Black liberation movements, Pichon Battle founded the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) that focused on equitable climate resilience in the Gulf South. Now she has expanded her vision into Taproot Earth, to include work in Appalachia, the global Black diaspora and geographies across the world with a focus on climate migration and Taproot’s work around Global Climate Reparations. According to a 2022 report by the International Organization for Migration, in the US, anywhere from 4.2 to 13.1 million people could become victims of floods by the year 2100. It is the reality that Pichon Battle has been alerting us to for years — climate change isn’t looming, it’s here. With suffocating orange wildfire smoke, deadly heat waves and drenching rain; with hurricanes, floods and landslides — we have crossed what some call the change horizon. Can it also be a liberation horizon? Colette believes it can. Today’s program is devoted to her evolving understanding of how the crises of climate, migration, capitalism and over-policing are connected, and what is our work to do. Plus a commentary from Laura.
“If we choose to be our best selves in this moment, if we choose to work through fear in this moment, if we choose courage and each other, we can actually stop not just the oppression of my people, but the oppression of yours.” – Colette Pichon Battle
“What I need is white allies learning about whatever ethnicity, whatever cultural tradition they come from, and how did they live with the land and how do we put those things together? . . . Why aren’t we fighting together for the sake of this planet?” – Colette Pichon Battle
- Colette Pichon Battle, Esq.: Co-founder, Vision & Initiatives Partner for Taproot Earth
Related Episodes, Articles and More
Head to our Patreon for a list of related episodes and articles. And find more related episodes in our Climate, Environment, & Energy playlist on Youtube.
Show Notes: Related Episodes, Articles and More
“Winning the Green New Deal” by Varshini Prakash and Guido Girgenti, Get the Book Here
Note: “A Green New Deal for the Gulf South” is the title of Colette’s essay (*Bookshop is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. The LF Show is an affiliate of bookshop.org and will receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.)
Related Laura Flanders Show Episodes:
• Before the Ground Runs Dry: BIPOC Media on the US Water Crisis Watch / Download Podcast
• Saket Soni: How Trafficked Workers Pulled Off “The Great Escape” Watch / Download Podcast
• Jane Fonda on the Future of Climate Justice Watch
Related Articles and Resources:
• Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy learn more here
• Colette Pichon Battle, “Climate change will displace millions. Here’s how we prepare,” TED Talk-2019. watch here
• New Orleans declares emergency over saltwater intrusion in drinking water, by Sara Sneath, The Guardian, 09.22.2023, Read Here
• Climate Change and Future Human Mobility, evidence summary. UN Migration-Global Data Institute. read, download the brief here
• Press Release: Weather-related disasters led to 43.1 million displacements of children over six years – UNICEF, read here
Featured ‘Music in the Middle’ of the Podcast:
“Do You Actually Care by LifeIsOne. from the Climate Soundtrack Project, produced by DJ’s for Climate Action, a global initiative harnessing the power of dance music and DJ culture to power climate solutions and generate action. Listen & Learn More Here
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