"The climate crisis is not amendable through “technological fixes” or “green consumerism,” because the climate crisis is deeply rooted in a particular type of settler colonialism and capitalism that prevents, and even erases, the sustainable livelihoods of Chicana/o and Latinx people and communities. The National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies recognizes that while the climate crisis becomes more perilous by the day, Chicanas/os and Latinx peoples have always been engaged in struggles to improve our environments."
The NACCS Climate Crisis Statement
The climate change crisis is affecting all living organisms and ecosystems on the planet but the enduring effects of decades of environmental racism are resulting in disparate impacts. Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), including Chicanx/Latinx populations, are already suffering major deleterious effects from this global process of environmental violence. It is important to understand first of all that climate chaos is not simply driven by anthropogenic (human-caused) forces but by the type of ravenous destruction of the planet’s life support systems of the global capitalist economy. The combination of extreme heat and cold weather events illustrates for us how so-called “global warming” and even “climate change” are inadequate terms to describe what is occurring and that the concept of climate chaos illustrates how the entire climate system is characterized by unpredictable disruptions with cumulative effects that scientists are only now recognizing and understanding. It is also important to understand how the effects of climate chaos are destroying ecological systems that we depend on to produce our food, medicine, clothing, and shelter. Climate chaos destroys the natural conditions of material cultures.
We are facing a crisis in which Native communities from the Arctic to the Andes and the Pacific Rim island nations are already being devastated by the chaos of climate change. We are facing a crisis in which BIPOC and low income persons are already being killed or displaced by the effects of climate change.
Source: Deborah Mills, et al., La Frontera: Mi Viaje con Papa. Barefoot Books.
5. Displacement of ‘cultures of habitat’. Indigenous peoples are recognized for their deep traditions of resilient inhabitation of ancestral territories and are renowned for providing ecosystem services to the Earth. This is why ethnoecologists the world over have long defended “ecosystem peoples” or “cultures of habitat” and their resilient and regenerative livelihood traditions and practices. The same corporate and settler colonial nation state agencies that are underlying forces of climate chaos are actively engaged in the forced relocation of Indigenous communities. In the Southwest, Native American/Chicanx acequia communities are facing the prospect of extinction and displacement due to declining mountain snowpack that serves as the water source for these celebrated community irrigation systems. The cultural landscape and ecological services of the acequia systems are being damaged by the effects of drought, past and ongoing deforestation, and extreme fluctuations in weather patterns. In Alaska, the Iñupiat village of Kivalina is being relocated due to rising sea levels and it is only one of many dozens of such Arctic communities directly affected by climate chaos.
Source: Just Seeds.
Source: Hootenanny. Indiemade.
The NACCS Board of Directors specifically calls for the following actions in support of the vital climate justice movement:
NACCS endorses the climate strike actions that youth across the U.S. and the rest of the planet have launched and call for continued widespread activism by BIPOC youth and their allies in these campaigns for climate justice.
- We call on U.S. universities and colleges to divest themselves of stocks in fossil fuel and other extractive industries that are the principal drivers of this environmental violence.
- We further call on higher education institutions to end their participation in the global “land grabs” that are displacing Indigenous and other land- and water-based communities because this robs the first peoples of their ancestral lands while the world as a whole suffers the consequences of the loss of these sustainable, resilient, and equitable cultures of habitat that protect the planet.
- We resolve that the Green New Deal is an essential tool for education and civic engagement and especially call on the shapers of this initiative to include community-based and grassroots-led projects for ecological restoration of our wounded watersheds and ecosystems.
- We call for legal recognition of access to safe water and culturally appropriate food as basic universal human rights.
- We support reparations associated with climate chaos and the harm this has caused to Indigenous and other land and water-based communities in the U.S. and the world. The primary reparations must involve investments to return Native lands to rightful Indigenous care-giver heirs and to heal the colonial wounds suffered by the land, water, air, and people.
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 Goldman Sachs. 2019. Sustainable Growth: Taking a Deep Dive into Water. URL: https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/clean-technology-and- renewables/cohen/report.pdf. Accessed October 10, 2019.
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