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Photo by Peter Pryharski on Unsplash

Hey there!

So if you follow me only on Medium, it might look like I’ve been pretty quiet lately, but I promise you, I have not. I’ve just been publishing in other places. Sowing my “royal oats,” so to speak. So, I thought I’d drop a note in here about where to find my work off-Medium.

Hot Take

Last year, I teamed up with Amy Westervelt to create the Hot Take podcast, which we’re bringing back for Season 2 in July 2020! …

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Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

The first time I met what I have come to not-so-affectionately know as a “doomer dude” was in 2007. I was volunteering with a New York City-based lefty newspaper and still trying to fit my voice into a mold as a “real journalist” (in retrospect, I’m glad I never succeeded). The major news outlets were still covering their ears and mouths when it came to “global warming” as it was then derisively, controversially, dubiously known. But my little paper, The Indypendent, bravely decided to break the silence by dedicating its entire April issue to the crisis on the horizon.


We cannot assess the damage without looking at the impact on people of color

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Illustration: Fei Fei

It’s been a hot summer. I’m talking Do the Right Thing–type heat. The type of heat where you can’t tell what’s coming next — a thunderstorm or a riot.

In times like this, I think about the many, many communities around the country that don’t have clean drinking water. Multiply that by the millions around the world that never had it, and recognize who those people are and how much they look like me. Then I remember that it’s not an accident.

Climate change itself is not racist, but it is the product of racism.

I think about the communities…

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Photo by Finding Dan | Dan Grinwis on Unsplash

Back in May, The Guardian, one of the world’s leading news outlets, boldly changed its style guides to give preference to “climate crisis” over “climate change.”

Governments all over the world are finally declaring “climate emergencies.” Granted these declarations are all too often go no further than the paper they’re written on, but they still matter. Children all over the globe are skipping school, eschewing education to fight for their right to a future.

Climate change has risen to the top of the priority list for voters in the much-awaited Democratic Primary and one of the most talked about pieces…

People of color know all about building movements, courage, and survival

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Photo: Library of Congress/Interim Archives/Getty Images

Dear Climate Movement:

I’m with you when you say that climate change is the most important issue facing humankind. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s the most important one ever. But when I hear folks say — and I have heard it — that the environmental movement is the first in history to stare down an existential threat, I have to get off the train.

This game of what I call “existential exceptionalism” is a losing one. It is not only inaccurate, shortsighted, and arrogant — it’s also dangerous. …

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Photo by Trisha Downing on Unsplash

Like my grandfather and his father, I was born in Alabama. I grew up between Birmingham and rural southwest Mississippi — the Miss-Lou, those of you who are familiar. My childhood was punctuated by frequent road trips all over the South — Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas.

It has been said that “The South is every Negro’s old country.” When Stokely Carmichael first laid eyes on Mississippi in the 1960s, he was overwhelmed by a “nostalgic sense of recognition and homecoming,” despite his Trinidadian roots.

I can trace my family’s roots deep in that rich soil. But it’s haunted.

The Scene…

About two weeks ago, I wrote about my personal journey through climate grief and mourning. The response to that piece, including its subsequent publication in Vox, has been overwhelming to say the very least. Humbling in all truth. I’ve heard from more people than I can count that my words resonated with them and liberated them.

Several folks have reached out to ask “what do I do now?” And while I’m honored to be asked, the truth is that I don’t have the answer. I know what I did. …

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Photo by Anton Repponen on Unsplash

This week, the world-revered International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a damning report — more like a prognosis — on our impending climate crisis.

It’s bleak, y’all. The planet has already warmed by 1 degree Celsius. We’d actually passed that threshold right around the time of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The Paris Agreement was meant to keep us from surpassing 2 degrees, and to make best efforts to keep it below 1.5 degrees. Between every single piece of a degree lies untold levels of death and disease and generalized destruction.

Things are already bad. They are already getting…

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Photo by Nitish Meena on Unsplash

A baby ripped from her mother’s breast. A desperate father resorting to suicide after being separated from his son. A 20-year-old college student—in search of work to pay for her education—shot in the head at the border.

If you’re not heartbroken, you’re not paying attention.

No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” For the Central Americans at our borders, we starved the shark and sharpened his teeth into knives. We made the monster.

The consequences of U.S. intervention in Central America have been well-documented. Through a series of coups and other foolhardy or cold-blooded policies…

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Photo by Michael Dam on Unsplash

We don’t know how to talk about climate change.

Our current attempt is a battlefield of mangled syllables. Agreements and Accords. Degrees and Emissions. Parts Per Billion and Gigatons. Fossil Fuels. Sea Level Rise. El Nino and La Nina. It’s like we’ve boobytrapped our own tongues. Hell, even the word “climate change” is clinical AF.

But it’s anything but clinical. It’s deeply, deeply personal. Climate change is watching not just your childhood home, but your ancestral home, surrender to the sea. It’s being sold on an open slave market as you desperately cross borders to escape drought. Much more than…

Mary Annaïse Heglar

Climate justice writer. Co-creator and co-host of the Hot Take podcast and newsletter. Southern girl and NYC woman. James Baldwin is my personal hero.

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