A Matter of Degrees

Changing Woman: One Navajo’s Fight for a Just Transition

Episode Summary

A story about a woman, a nation, and an energy system in a moment of immense change.

Episode Notes

This week, we have a special episode about the long and winding energy transition in an often overlooked place: the Navajo Nation—the largest Indian reservation in the United States.

Journalist and climate policy expert Julian Brave NoiseCat is our guide.

Ten percent of Navajos lack access to electricity. Some spend up to $700 per month on fuels to travel to places with electricity, or charge electronics in their cars and trucks.

But the Navajo Nation isn’t exactly an energy-poor place. In fact, until recently, the reservation was home to two of the largest coal strip mines in the world. In recent decades as many as five coal-burning power plants surrounded Navajo lands. For many Navajo, power lines connecting coal to major cities like Phoenix and Los Angeles, have come to symbolize this vastly unequal system.

We’ll look at the deep history of energy extraction and colonialism that led to the current clean-energy transition for the Navajo people.

Featured in this episode: Wahleah Johns and Andrew Curley.

Follow our co-hosts and production team:

A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. 

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