Episode

2/22 Climate Change Decimating Prisons And Russia’s First Step Into Ukraine w/ Alleen Brown & Jack Crosbie

February 22, 2022

Emma hosts Alleen Brown, reporter at The Intercept, to discuss her recent article series “Climate and Punishment”. Then, Emma is joined by the AMQuickie’s very own Jack Crosbie, currently stationed in Kyiv, to give us an update from the ground! Alleen begins by situating the research that led her to this series, with her work as a climate reporter consistently leading her to look at those most vulnerable, and find ways to tell their stories in a meaningful way, before she and Emma walk through the horrors that climate change (alongside a lack of infrastructural response) has wrought on the incarcerated members of society. They start in California with the Dixie Fire of last year still raging, encroaching on the Susanville detention center, with inmates having been locked in their cells with no electricity or lighting, and no knowledge of when the fire will reach their location, diving into the complete lack of care infrastructure that these facilities had to respond to even a generator failure, much less the wildfire that caused it. This lets them briefly touch on the exacerbation of these elements by the COVID-19 pandemic, from failures in the rollouts of vaccines, treatment, or even simple quarantine procedures, to the correlation between pandemics and climate change emphasizing how the imprisonment of these people forces their vulnerability to the climate. Next, they move from California’s fire crises, to DeSantis’ role in Florida’s flooding facilities, looking to the state as the leader in high-flood-risk detention centers, diving through stories of floods pushing water through the sewer systems and into inmates’ cells, leaving them living in human waste for hours until an eventual evacuation can be organized. They wrap up the interview by looking to Gov Abbott’s active push to deter the construction of air-conditioning in his prisons, largely in response to a collection of lawsuits from his time as Texas Attorney General that came in the wake of a multitude of deaths from heat exhaustion, before Alleen dives into why the state of the climate in these regions, as well as their expansive prison systems, served to make them apt study grounds for her research, but that by no means should suggest that this is anything by a problem of carceral states at large.

And in the Fun Half: Jack Crosbie joins Emma as they dive into the state of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, walking through the instances of both vehemently nationalist pro-Ukrainian groups and vastly pro-Russian separatist groups (both of whom receive lots of outside funding) as well as the more overwhelming desire to have any semblance of stability without bloodshed amongst Ukrainians. They also dive into the historical divide between the Donbas region, Russia, and Ukraine, stemming all the way back to 2014’s annexation of Crimea by Russia, before touching on NATO’s role in it all. Emma also touches on the difference between wanting a USSR 2.0 and wanting another Russian Empire, Kenyan Ambassador Martin Kimani calls for a response to imperialism that aims to build “something greater formed in peace,” Tucker fantasizes about running into AOC at Jackson Hole, and the EmMajority report goes full Emme Woods. They also cover Ben Shapiro running to the defense of Hitler jokes, plus, your calls and IMs!

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