The USA and climate change: Resource guide
After four years of Trump, the benchmark for action on the climate and ecological crisis was low. As a result, many have responded to Biden’s early climate announcements with a sense of wonder. This is perhaps underserving given the USA’s role in planetary breakdown.
This guide aims to highlight interesting resources about the USA’s role in climate change for progressive environmentalists.
The USA and climate change – Five books
- Our History Is the Future by Nick Estes. Both an account of Indigenous resistance to US settlers and the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Estes has created a comprehensive account of how far the US will go to attack Indigenous communities and defend fossil fuels.
- Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. A foundational work in the history of climate denial, this book traces how a significant number of US politicians and business figures enabled scepticism with dodgy science.
- Disasters and Social Reproduction by Peer Illner. An extensive account of how the US handled Hurricane Katrina and other disasters, this book explains how communities in America are being left to deal with the effects of climate change alone.
- Oilcraft by Robert Vitalis. This book attempts to disentangle the relationship between US foreign policy and oil resources, pointing to the common myths supporting US intervention.
- Amity and Prosperity by Eliza Griswold. America led a boom in natural gas production and this book follows the case of a family’s struggle against gas in their town.
The USA and climate change – Five articles
- Everything you need to know about Biden’s climate policy spree by Emily Pontecorvo for Grist. A comprehensive summary of Biden’s first actions on climate change.
- Pentagon Fuel Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War by Neta C. Craword. This article effectively assesses the climate costs of America’s extensive military.
- Climate Change Can’t Be an Excuse for More Militarization by Dharna Noor for Earther. A crucial intervention arguing against a militarised response to climate change from America.
- In its insatiable pursuit of power, Silicon Valley is fuelling the climate crisis by Rebecca Solnit for The Guardian. Solnit highlights the role Silicon Valley industries have in contributing to climate change, which cannot be ignored when assessing US climate action.
- Paris climate agreement: a terror attack on Africa by Patrick Bond for Climate and Capitalism. Whilst many have welcomed the US rejoining the Paris Agreement, this from 2015 rightly points out the harm the Agreement allows to happen in the Global South.
The USA and climate change – Five videos
- Biden announces plan to tackle ‘existential’ climate crisis: ‘We can’t wait any longer’ by The Guardian. A video of Biden’s speech on climate change and his new policies.
- Watch the US stall on climate change for 12 years by Vox. For years the US has failed to act on climate, now you can watch it in one go.
- Which countries have emitted the most CO2? by Carbon Brief. This short video demonstrates the massive emissions the US has created over its history.
- Biden rejoining the Paris Agreement, explained by Grist. A balanced summary of the importance of Biden rejoining Paris, and the practical importance of the agreement.
- If a Tree Falls. A documentary about the Earth Liberation Front and the extent to which the US pursues environmental activists it deems as having gone too far.
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