Watched Not Today – the television program which tackles the big questions, but not today | 7.30 from YouTube

During this week’s bushfire crisis, many politicians were hesitant to answer questions from journalists about climate change. But now thanks to satirist Mark Humphries and his co-writer Evan Williams, there’s a new program more willing to accommodate their unwillingness to address the issue.

Mark Humphries’ responds to Scott Morrison’s unwillingness to get involved in any sort of discussion around the current bushfire disaster grappling Australia with a satire of the Today Show. I especially liked the question cancelling headphones from Denial Direct.

Pat Campbell has added his perspective:

The right time to discuss Climate Impact

While Katherine Murphy explains that Morrison’s avoidance is because of the current governments record is one of unmitigated shame and failure.

With Morrison’s silence, Harold Holt, the prime minister who went missing, has started trending again:

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Liked Climate crisis stories must be human centered by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

We live in a consumerist society where everything is presented in terms of products. So, let’s talk products. Tim Burton’s Batman was released 30 years ago. So was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. And, yes, Star Trek: The Next Generation is thirty-two years old. In less time than that, it could all be over.

Liked Facing unbearable heat, Qatar has begun to air-condition the outdoors (Washington Post)

To survive the summer heat, Qatar not only air-conditions its soccer stadiums, but also the outdoors — in markets, along sidewalks, even at outdoor malls so people can window shop with a cool breeze. “If you turn off air conditioners, it will be unbearable. You cannot function effectively,” says Yousef al-Horr, founder of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development.

via Clive Thompson
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Bookmarked 90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers (World Economic Forum)

Eight of them are in Asia: the Yangtze; Indus; Yellow; Hai He; Ganges; Pearl; Amur; Mekong; and two in Africa – the Nile and the Niger.

Alex Gray explains that there are two common factors which lead a river to be a leader in plastic pollutants: a generally high population living in the surrounding region and a less than ideal waste management process.
Liked Naomi Klein’s Advice for the Next Generation of Climate Activists (Literary Hub)

The hard truth is that the answer to the question “What can I, as an individual, do to stop climate change?” is: nothing. You can’t do anything. In fact, the very idea that we, as atomized individuals, even lots of atomized individuals, could play a significant part in stabilizing the planet’s climate system or changing the global economy is objectively nuts. We can only meet this tremendous challenge together, as part of a massive and organized global movement.

A speech given in 2015 published in On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein
Bookmarked Do plastic bag taxes or bans curb waste? 400 cities and states tried it out. (Vox)

According to Homonoff’s research in both Chicago and Montgomery County, Maryland, “very small financial incentives can lead to big behavioral change,” she said. The fact that small fees, 5 or 7 cents, can lead to a big reduction in disposable bag use suggests that a sizable portion of the population is perfectly happy to use a reusable bag or not use a bag at all, and need just the smallest push to get there. Homonoff said that in her surveys, people would tell her, “I have a reusable bag in my car. Now I bring it into the store and actually use it.”

Matthew Zeitlin compares the different approaches used in US to curb the use of plastic. In regards to changing habits, it has been found that taxes work more effectively. This is something touched upon by the RN Future Tense podcast.
Bookmarked Misogyny, male rage and the words men use to describe Greta Thunberg (The Conversation)

Detractors have dismissed Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg – a Nobel Prize nominee – as mentally ill, hysterical and a millennial weirdo after she pleaded with world officials last week to address the climate crisis.

Here, two researchers explain the stereotypical labels deployed by critics to undermine Thunberg’s call to action, which the activist herself has described as “too loud for people to handle”.

Both of these responses provides a useful survey of the way in which males have responded to Greta Thunberg. I really like how Camilla Nelson explains the situation, suggesting that it is a challenge to man’s conquest of nature:

At a deep level, the language of climate denialism is tied up with a form of masculine identity predicated on modern industrial capitalism – specifically, the Promethean idea of the conquest of nature by man, in a world especially made for men.

By attacking industrial capitalism, and its ethos of politics as usual, Thunberg is not only attacking the core beliefs and world view of certain sorts of men, but also their sense of masculine self-worth. Male rage is their knee-jerk response.

Bookmarked The Anthropocene Is a Joke (The Atlantic)

On geological timescales, human civilization is an event, not an epoch.

Peter Brannen looks at our current impact on the world and where it sits with the history of the earth. Very stoic.

Marginalia

For context, let’s compare the eventual geological legacy of humanity (somewhat unfairly) to that of the dinosaurs, whose reign spanned many epochs and lasted a functionally eternal 180 million years—36,000 times as long as recorded human history so far. But you would never know this near-endless age was so thoroughly dominated by the terrible reptiles by looking to the rock record of the entire eastern half of North America. Here, dinosaurs scarcely left behind a record at all. And not because they weren’t here the entire time—with millions of generations of untold dinosaurs living, hunting, mating, dying, foraging, migrating, evolving, and enduring throughout, up and down the continent, in great herds and in solitary ambushes. But the number of sites within that entire yawning span, and over these thousands of square miles, where they could have been preserved—or that weren’t destroyed by later erosion, or that happen to be exposed at the surface today—was vanishingly small.

If, in the final 7,000 years of their reign, dinosaurs became hyperintelligent, built a civilization, started asteroid mining, and did so for centuries before forgetting to carry the one on an orbital calculation, thereby sending that famous valedictory six-mile space rock hurtling senselessly toward the Earth themselves—it would be virtually impossible to tell. All we do know is that an asteroid did hit, and that the fossils in the millions of years afterward look very different than in the millions of years prior.

via Jeremy Keith

Listened IRL Podcast: The Internet’s Carbon Footprint from irlpodcast.org

Manoush Zomorodi explores the surprising environmental impact of the internet in this episode of IRL. Because while it’s easy to think of the internet as living only on your screen, energy demand for the internet is indeed powered by massive server farms, running around the clock, all over the world. What exactly is the internet’s carbon footprint? And, what can we do about it?

This all makes me wonder what impact 5G might have in regards to ‘carbon footprint’? Will it just make it easier to waste the world away? This is something that James Bridle touches upon in the New Dark Age.