- Emily Holden at Floodlight, a new non-profit climate news organization partnering with The Guardian, describes how gas industry lobbyists in Texas and other states are undermining legislators’ efforts to turn away from fossil fuels.
- The Rev. Jim Antal, a leading United Church of Christ minister, says people of faith must “advocate for the restoration of creation,” reports Brian Roewe.
- Roewe also writes that during a recent interreligious dialogue, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said the adoption of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home” has been hindered in part because some Catholics and other people of faith “have bought into a libertarian notion of the world and the economy as something that we are to dominate for our own profit.”
- California’s iconic coastal redwoods, some standing since before Julius Caesar ruled Rome, are increasingly threatened by wildfires that are larger and more intense because of human-caused climate change. Jeff Berardelli reports for CBS News as part of the Covering Climate Now consortium.
- The Biden administration is pulling back an environmental review that had cleared the way for a parcel of federal land held sacred by Apaches to be turned over for a massive copper mine in eastern Arizona, writes Felicia Fonseca for the Associated Press.
EarthBeat’s A Climate-Conscious Lent series continues, with Fr. Emmet Farrell reflecting this week on coral reefs and rising seas.
Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that Indigenous communities must be consulted before genetically modified crops can be planted nearby, and in 2017, the government revoked Monsanto’s permit to grow genetically modified soybeans in seven states, including Campeche and Yucatán. Nevertheless, the rule has not been effectively enforced as Pech recently told Bobby Bascomb of Living On Earth .
Farther south, in Ecuador, Nemonte Nenquimo grew up in an area where the government had opened up the tropical Amazonian forest for oil drilling. She recalls seeing both the environmental impacts and the social effects on her Waorani people.
In 2018, Nenquimo, a Waorani leader, played a key role in a battle against the auction of millions of acres of forest for oil drilling. A ruling by the Ecuadorian Supreme Court in 2019 blocked the oil leases and required the government to gain the consent of Indigenous communities about projects slated for their lands.
But while the case could set a precedent for other Amazonian peoples, Indigenous communities continue to face obstacles in their fight for control over their territories.
And in case you think that battles to protect the environment are only waged in distant forests, Lucie Pinson, a French environmental activist, launched a savvy and successful campaign that prodded major banks and insurance companies to stop financing and insuring coal projects and coal companies.
The list of women who stand up for environmental justice is long — and some have lost their lives in the struggle, like Berta Cáceres, whose fight to protect her Lenka people’s territory from a dam project led to her assassination. March is a good month to remember them, to stand with them and to ask what more we can do to support them.