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Future Human
Life at the edge of science. A new publication from Medium.

Racism

In Future Human. More on Medium.

People walk through MLK Park near Santa Fe and Nystrom Village neighborhoods in Richmond, California, March 23, 2021. Photos by Sarahbeth Maney for OneZero.

Black in the Time of Climate Change

Wind blows oily black dust onto cars, windowsills, and lawns as a 100-car train loaded with coal rolls past Parchester Village, a historically Black neighborhood in Richmond, California. This happens a couple of times a week. The train’s cargo, mined from the mountains of Utah by the coal giant Wolverine Fuels, will join the towering piles of coal at the Levin-Richmond Terminal, a privately owned coal shipping port seven miles away. The terminal is responsible for a quarter of the coal the United States ships from the West Coast to Asia.

The coal dust gets so thick that some say…


Words of Warming

Words of Warming is a series from Future Human defining the language of climate change and environmental and climate justice.

Definition of just transition

1. A concept that originated with trade unions in North America in the 1990s as “a program of support for workers who lost their jobs due to environmental protection policies,” dismantling the carbon-based economy and replacing it with a new climate-resilient and a low- or zero-carbon economy while minimizing harm to workers in carbon-intensive industries.

This term was used recently in a CNBC article about President Joe Biden’s climate change plan:

“Labor groups and climate policymakers around the globe call…


Words of Warming

Words of Warming is a new series from Future Human defining the language of climate change and environmental and climate justice.

Definition of environmental racism

A type of systemic racism in which people of color are forced to live in close proximity to hazardous sites and bear the negative health effects because of racist policies; the lack of action taken to address known health hazards in communities of color; the exclusion of people of color from leadership roles in environmental movements. Communities of color experience environmental racism in many forms, including polluted air, contaminated water, and frontline exposure to the effects of climate change.


The Phoenix

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Future Human is partnering with The Phoenix, a newsletter by climate reporter and meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Every two weeks, we’ll feature new stories about climate science, justice, and radical change. As Eric says, we were born at just the right time to change everything. Subscribe here.

We all watched in horror this week as hate-filled people marched into the core of our country’s most sacred spaces.

This seditious act wasn’t a spontaneous lapse of security or the flailing throes of a defeated president. It was a calculated attack on our shared future.

2020 was the hottest year in recorded history…


Chinese American physicist Xiaoxing Xi with symbols of the U.S. and Chinese flags, formulas, and prison bars over his photo.
Chinese American physicist Xiaoxing Xi with symbols of the U.S. and Chinese flags, formulas, and prison bars over his photo.
Photo illustration, sources: Hans Neleman, Robert Brook/Science Photo Library, Gualtiero Boffi/EyeEm via Getty Images

Shortly after dawn on May 21, 2015, FBI agents came to physicist Xiaoxing Xi’s front door with guns drawn and a battering ram for backup. They arrested him on charges of wire fraud and released him only after he put his house up as collateral against a $100,000 bond.

Xi, who lived in a quiet suburb of Philadelphia, attracted attention as a world-renowned expert in thin films, substances used for building superconductors. The 57-year-old had just been named interim chair of Temple University’s physics department. …


The Color of Climate

Oil and chemical refinery plants cover the landscape next to Black communities along the Mississippi River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photo illustration. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News/Getty Images

This is The Color of Climate, a weekly column from OneZero exploring how climate change and other environmental issues uniquely impact the future of communities of color.

Last week, Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. The bill, which was passed by Congress with bipartisan support, will fully and permanently fund the conservation of the country’s land and water and provide $9.5 billion over five years to national parks for repairs and upgrades. It’s a pretty major piece of legislation, as far as conservation is concerned.

Environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council…

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