This newsletter often highlights one or two people who’ve displayed courage in speaking the truth about climate change and showing us a better world is possible. Today, we’ve got 50 of them.
Our annual Grist 50 list is back, and this year it comes at the perfect moment: The entire country is suddenly super interested in climate. And this blossoming of concern for the future of humanity is arriving in exactly the way it needs to in order to create systematic change. The movement is led by people of color, rooted at the community level, and aware of all the ways that our desire for climate justice is tied to all forms of justice.
Of all the profiles, I think Rhiana Gunn-Wright stood out the most to me. (Our own Zoya Teirstein has an in-depth feature on her work as a key architect of the Green New Deal.) Gunn-Wright is a Rhodes scholar and former intern for Michelle Obama, and she’s also a relative newcomer to work on climate change — a perfect example of why fresh voices are so necessary, especially right now.
With the Grist 50, we’re matching the big ideas of what it’s going to take to (re-)build a sustainable society with the people who are going to be doing that necessary work. That’s what this moment is about. That’s what this list is all about.
Most of this new crop of “Fixers,” as we like to call them, are probably not that different from you. They care about their families and want to do whatever it takes to change the world. Even if I didn’t work for Grist, this is the kind of thing I’d be super into. After reading through this year’s honorees, I’m convinced this list has at least one person you’ve never heard of whose story will change how you think about the world and how we just might still change it for the better.
This is the perfect time for inspiration and the knowledge that we’re all in this together.