Starting off with an odd one: Big Oil apparently funded climate science since the early 1950s. And it was Keeling himself at the centre. Think Keeling curves and long-term CO2 measurements. But it sounds like a different time. Less evil still, so that Keeling could use this funding for the good. Part of this story is that differences between air pollution and CO2 emissions were much less clear.
Newly discovered documents affirm that the automobile and petroleum industries funded early climate science Keeling conducted at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) between 1954 and 1956. Records show that “oil and auto companies” sponsored the scientist’s research via an organization called the Southern California Air Pollution Foundation, formed in 1953 to tackle Los Angeles’s infamous smog. American Motors, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors were among 18 automotive companies that gave money to the foundation.
Fast forward to the future of the present. Here is a sweet summary of climate disasters and tipping points on different levels:
And if you crave Solarpunk alternative futures, follow this recent link list:
Talking academic reflections, check out the videos of the ADM+S Electronics < > Ecologies series:
5 events, 4 cities, and so many excellent speakers. My thanks to all of the presenters for joining and sharing expertise.
Many things are happening, it seems. Also, on the regulatory side. My current prime example of semiconductor manufacturing gets hotter every year, with tighter climate rules approaching. There’s yet another one:
But, as Gerry McGovern notes, how much does it count?
Podcast of the week
I happen to share one podcast per week, and here is an episode of Drilled that you surely should not miss, featuring a “messy conversation” on the climate movement w/ Rhiana Gunn-Wright. Slightly tilted towards the American culture war, but quickly turning global. It also fits to the link mentioned before. Why are companies sending powerful signals to care for global emissions, but ignore to take into consideration affected communities next door?
Rhiana Gunn-Wright was one of the architects of the Green New Deal, and today works as the climate policy director for the Roosevelt Institute. In this episode we get into the nuances of the IRA, how to handle climate being a “culture war” issue, what’s going on with anti-renewables, and what the climate movement loses when it turns its back on justice issues and particularly when it turns its back on the Black community.
The new web of scams
I’ve recently framed the turn toward non-commercial web applications as a turn toward the lovely new web. Let’s not forget that it’s full of scams, too.
A phenomenal example is propaganda in India made by and for Modi.
In moments of political tension, stars with huge followings put out nearly copy-and-paste messages of support. And as the election nears, cabinet ministers have turned to podcasts and online broadcasts with influencers to reach a generation that gets its information outside the traditional channels that Mr. Modi has co-opted.
Cory Doctorow covers the more individual side of scams. Scams, basically. Reaching out when you’re most vulnerable.
I find the inner workings of scams to be fascinating, and it’s also important to remind people that everyone is vulnerable sometimes, and scammers are willing to try endless variations until an attack lands at just the right place, at just the right time, in just the right way. If you think you can’t get scammed, that makes you especially vulnerable.
Cory nailed it once again with another post this day, calling out Apple for its corruption, and blatantly misreading EU regulation.
There’s a strain of anti-anti-monopolist that insists that they’re not pro-monopoly – they’re just realists who understand that global gigacorporations are too big to fail, too big to jail, and that governments can’t hope to rein them in. Trying to regulate a tech giant, they say, is like trying to regulate the weather.
This ploy is cousins with Jay Rosen’s idea of “savvying,” defined as: “dismissing valid questions with the insider’s, ‘and this surprises you?’”
The reason this foolish nonsense flies is that we are living in an age of rampant corruption and utter impunity. Companies really do get away with both literal and figurative murder. Governments really do ignore horrible crimes by the rich and powerful, and fumble what rare, few enforcement efforts they assay.
And then we get the details.
I rather keep working on the lovely new old web. So here is one more of the encouraging examples, cherishing the open and un-commodifiable nature of RSS.
Vietnam welcoming the Dragon
Lunar new year is very close, and as you can see with the image attached, it’s colourful and vibrant. Yet it’s a hectic time. The new year will be the year of the dragon (we’re leaving the cat behind). Everyone on the streets felt tense. Better getting things sorted before you leave to the family events. I also saw some and heard about more road accidents.
Meanwhile, local police officers get tough on drunk driving. Considering the high number of fatalities…this sounds like a good idea. But perhaps do it less random?
Tourists pouring in still complain about the “lacklustre” nightlife in Vietnam. Perhaps not a bad sign after all?
Lunar new year is like Christmas and New Year packed into one (maybe more on top), basically shutting down the urban centres. This is also the reason I will keep a low profile for a week. Cheers.