The Gulf South and Appalachia have increasingly been the targets of environmental destruction by fossil fuel and other toxic industrial infrastructure – and the location of significant campaigns against that destruction. Over the past year-and-a-half the climate justice center Taproot Earth convened People’s Movement Assemblies to align grassroots organizers and regional efforts across the Gulf South and Appalachia. Along with the Climate and Community Project they have issued the “We Choose Now Climate Action Strategy” which highlights the deep connections between the Gulf South and Appalachia and calls for action to reject extractive economies and cultivate regional solutions that advance collective healing and climate justice.
The report notes that,
For many communities in the Gulf and Appalachia, the most lucrative financial paths are fossil fuels, military, or drugs. Future generations deserve more opportunities. We need solutions that move us away from labor that is extracted and exploited, to labor that is fulfilling and life-giving.
Proposed solutions include:
1. Repurpose fossil fuel infrastructure for renewable energy economy
2. Build a mine/well reclamation or fossil fuel transition workforce
3. Develop state Civilian Climate Corps and expand existing environmental job training programs
For Executive Summary: https://taproot.earth/wp-content/uploads/CAS_Executive_Summary_2023.pdf