We Don’t Have To Halt Climate Action To Fight Racism

Read the full story at Huffpost.

Late last month, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer lit a tinderbox of outrage that has been simmering for months, years, generations. That outrage has pulled Americans out of social isolation and into the streets in all 50 states, and inspired protests around the world. They show no sign of stopping. In fact, they show every sign of winning. 

This is different. This is big. And it’s everywhere.  

Even in the climate movement — which has long stuck to the sidelines in moments like this — advocates and organizations are publicly declaring that Black Lives Matter. They are finally standing up and speaking out in defense of Black people’s right to breathe. It’s about damn time.

There’s just one problem: This new commitment to Black people often seems to come with an assumption that the fight for climate justice has to halt. As a “Climate Person,” my social media feeds are awash in calls to pause climate activism for the sake of supporting Black people, as though the two are mutually exclusive. As a Black Climate Person, I can’t tell you how disorienting that is.

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