Upending agriculture: Advances in vertical farming turn crops sideways for protection from the elements, and better yields

I’ve written before that agriculture is likely to be our biggest challenge as the planet warms. This is not because of the size of our population, but rather because while we currently grow more food than is needed to sustain a larger population than currently exists, the vast majority of agriculture depends on historical weather patterns that are increasingly unreliable. Humanity now lives on a planet whose seasonal patterns and multi-year climate trends are increasingly alien to us, which means that our food production is going to have to change. Some of that can be through the kinds of food production envisioned in various works of dystopian fiction. Algae, bacterial cultures, and fungus can all be grown in conditions unlike those used for conventional forms of agriculture, and are likely to be an important source of base nutrients like carbohydrates and protein.

That said, the goal is not merely survival. My goal is for humanity to thrive, and to have free time and free energy to pursue those things that fill our lives with meaning, and that can improve life for future generations. That means not just the bare minimum of food bricks or “meal replacement” drinks, but also things like fruit and vegetables that provide other nutrients, and more importantly, that allow food to continue to be an active part of our cultures. Food and drink are central to human socialization, celebration, and ritual, and while it’s certainly possible for us to exist without that, it’s a poorer existence. Even in a world that has little to no capacity for reliable agriculture exposed to the elements, I think it’s important that we have, if not conventional farms, at least conventional crops. Vegetables, fruits, spices, and drugs – both recreational and medicinal – are part of what makes life worth living.

So it’s nice to see advances being made in the field of indoor farming.

Plenty takes the flat farm and performs an Inception transformation on it: ripping up horizontal rows of plants and hanging them vertically from the ceilings. Sunlight from above is replaced by full-spectrum LED lights from all sides. Huge robots grab large hanging racks of growing vegetables and moves them where they’re needed. Artificial intelligence manages all the variables of heat and light and water, continually optimizing and learning how to grow faster, bigger, better crops. Water lost by transpiration is recaptured and reused. And all of it happens not 1,000 miles away from a city, but inside or right next to the place where the food is actually needed.

It turns out that growing, while natural, is also hard. At least at scale.


400X greater yield per acre of ground is not just an incremental improvement, and using almost two orders of magnitude less water is also critical in time of increasing ecological stress and climate uncertainty. All of these are truly game-changers, but they’re not the only goals, Storey says.

The key goal: great produce that tastes amazing.

The startup is fairly early in its mission to reinvent how produce is grown. It has a farm in San Francisco, dubbed Tigris, and another under construction in Compton, California. (Just think about that statement: a farm under construction.) Plus, the company has plans for much more expansion, using $400 million in capital injected by investors including Softbank, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and former Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

It should surprise nobody reading this that I don’t believe work like this should be dependent on the voluntary whims of wealth hoarders like Bezos, but as long as we’re stuck with the system we have, it’s good to see these advances happening. Because a farm like this could be built virtually anywhere, it means that, combined with the algal and bacterial food production I mentioned earlier, cities could begin to come close to being able to feed themselves. I’d love to see a lot of current farmland either returned to wilderness, or used for carbon capture and sequestration, and vertical farming could not only move us in that direction, it could do it in a way that increases our resilience, as a species, to a global climate that makes conventional crop failures increasingly likely.

Despite everything happening in the world right now, life goes on, and I’m still required to spend money in order to live. My work is supported by a group of wonderful people over at patreon.com/oceanoxia, and I would be immeasurably grateful if you would consider joining their ranks. How much you give, and for how long are entirely under your control, and every little bit helps a great deal, as my household is very short on money right now. Thank you for reading, and take care of yourselves.

Artist spotlight: Shantilly Spins Shimmering Sounds

Shantilly is a musician and abolitionist with whom I’ve enjoyed interacting with on twitter. They’re a working musician who makes haunting and evocative songs. My current favourite of theirs is “Deicide”:

We all benefit from having people working to decorate time for us, and our society undervalues musicians – and other artists – to a criminal degree.  Check out their work, and support them if you can!

This is probably too late, but cancel your plans. Do not travel for the holidays. Do it last minute. Lose the money you’ve already spent, and deal with hurt feelings. I’m not kidding.

I feel like a lot of people are having trouble grasping what’s going on right now. The United States has had over 260,000 people die from COVID-19. At the current rate, we’ll pass 300,000 before Midwinter. That’s literally 100 times more dead people than the attack on 9/11/2001 that served as pretext for the United States to destabilize the whole fucking planet with seemingly endless war and radically increased security and surveillance.

And that’s assuming the rate doesn’t increase.

The situation in the US is far, far worse than it was when the first half-assed “lockdown” went into effect this past spring.

Not only are resources stretched thin, but as this disease has sickened and killed healthcare workers, we are literally running out of them. We have more space for sick people than we have workers to care for them.

The governor of North Dakota has asked healthcare workers to keep working even though they have COVID-19.

Holiday travel will increase the death rate.

Holiday travel will kill thousands of people.

Don’t do it.

Stay home.

Use the internet to talk to your loved ones.

Take just one year off from your traditional celebrations so you don’t kill people.



A thorough dismantling of The Bell Curve

It would be nice to live in a world in which long-standing bigoted views of race and society no longer held sway, but I think it should be clear to most people in 2020 that this is not the case. The same vicious psuedoscience that provided moral “justification” for slavery, apartheid, and a million other atrocities continue to be popular, and continue to fuel white nationalist movements around the world. As such, I think there is merit in understanding the basics of The Bell Curve, one of the most popular bits of modern racist propaganda, and going through the problems with that book, its claims, and its conclusions. It’s a piece of work that gives a superficial impression of caring about honesty and accuracy, to provide cover for ignorance and misinformation.

This video is long, but worth watching in is entirety, even if you can’t do it in one sitting. Shaun does an excellent job of demonstrating how this book – and its authors – are fractally wrong.


Democrats vs. Republicans: Why even an empty difference in rhetoric can matter

Shows two images of a B-52 bomber dropping bombs. The top one is labeled "Republicans". The bottom one is labeled "Democrats. The only difference between the two is the "Democrats" bomber has Black Lives Matter, and Yes We Can stickers on its side, and a rainbow painted on the dorsal tail fin.

When discussing the two major parties in the United States, people on the far left tend to make the case that there’s little difference between the two. They’re both fairly right-wing parties whose primary disagreements are on how to maintain a global capitalist hegemony, and on how capitalism should be maintained and mitigated within the borders of the United States. This B-52 bomber meme sums up this perspective pretty well – when bombs are falling on you, it’s unlikely to matter how much the ruling party of the country dropping them pays lip service to human rights, equality, and so on. While the U.S. has not been the only regime in the last few decades that’s had a harmful influence, it’s unquestionably the biggest single actor against democracy and human wellbeing on a global scale.

The reason I wanted Bernie Sanders to be president is that while he’s far from perfect, he was the most likely, of the available Democratic candidates, to start working to reduce the activities of the American war machine, and move us further in the direction of a world that stands in solidarity to deal with the issues that affect all of us. It’s frustrating that as the planet continues to warm, and time to deal with that continues to run out, the U.S. is continuing its 20th century project of trying to micro-manage the world, and the global south in particular, for U.S. power and profit. I’m sure there’s a degree to which leaders of both parties believe that American intervention makes the world better, and that the U.S. is, as the saying goes, “doing well by doing good”, but I think that’s a delusion. Decades of intervention around the world have resulted in death, destruction, and chaos, and even assuming the very best of intentions – which I do not believe is warranted – there is zero question that on both environmental and political issues, the world has been getting worse.

At this point, I think it’s worth revisiting Noam Chomsky’s case that, if we were to apply the standards used at Nuremburg, every US president since WW2 would be indicted:

I’m laying all of this out as a preface to making the case that the superficial, absurd “difference” shown in the B-52 meme is actually a difference that matters, when it comes to trying to change this global pattern of U.S.-sponsored destruction in the long term. One of the big lessons of history is that propaganda works, and that it can be used for good or for evil. It’s a slow, system-level tool, and while it can be accelerated by linking it to pre-existing cultural concepts, it requires patience. Engaging in propaganda is the act of adding a concept or narrative into the public consciousness. For the purposes of this discussion, propaganda is the process of mainstreaming.

There are a number of examples of this in American politics (though it’s obviously not limited to that country). As it stands, there’s a default acceptance within most groups of people that racism is bad. This is why we see people – including racists – put so much effort into fighting against the claim that something they’ve said or done is, in fact, racist. That was not always the case, and the change did not happen by itself. It was the process of generations of hard work by non-white activists, with gradually increasing support from members of the majority. Another example is the normalization of the idea that greed is a good thing, and a society organized around individual greed is one that will naturally result in the best possible world for everyone.

Another example is the idea that all humans should have a certain minimum set of rights, that even the powerful are supposed to respect.

And that’s where we get back to the differences between the Democrats and the Republicans. Even if you only focus on the ways in which their policies are similar – or even identical – the language they use matters. Rhetoric is insufficient by itself, but if we lose the mainstream expectation of human rights and democracy, we have lost ground in a major way.  Those of us working to build a more just and peaceful world are playing a long game. We need to have people on board ideologically, and losing even a performative consensus that certain things are good means that we have to spend the time and effort to get that back. Even though the need for change is incredibly urgent, if we don’t take the time to build our new world properly from the beginning, the whole thing is likely to come crashing down around our ears, and at this point that could doom humanity. That does not mean I think we should take an incrementalist approach. Recent history has shown how slow and often ineffective that is. It does mean, however, that I think there’s benefit in paying attention to rhetoric and propaganda, and there are benefits to having even the feeble performance of decency we get from some of the Democrats.

Because even if the people spreading the messages of coexistence, sustainability, peace, and justice don’t actually believe in what they’re saying, many others do. Over time, as those concepts and expectations become normalized, it gets harder for the dishonest politicians to justify their inaction, or maintain their air of piety, in the face of what they’ve actually done with the power we give them.

What we’re seeing from the Republican party right now is this exact process. They’ve spent decades rallying support by vilifying the government, othering non-white people and non-Christians, and treating kindness and fairness as weak, or even evil. And while the degree to which the politicians and pundits actually believed their rhetoric may have waxed and waned over time, it seems clear that belief among those in the base has solidified. With the “Tea Party” movement in response to the election of Barack Obama, it seems that the true believers actually entered the halls of Republican power in a new way. It doesn’t really matter whether the Tea Party politicians themselves believed their message, what mattered is that they seemed willing to actually follow through on the things that conservatives had been saying for generations. The expectation became that America would be “fixed” by moving beyond rhetoric to drastic action.

The same is true of Trump. He promised to move from just implying, or even saying that the problem is “bad people”, and we should just get rid of them, to actually doing it. The base and conservative politicians had to go along with that, or expose themselves as not really believing what they had said. A Republican who tries to hit the brakes on the current momentum of the Republican party is is someone who will soon find themselves ousted from the party, and without any power. The propaganda has overtaken them, and it has moved from being a tool of the powerful, to being an imperative that they must follow. This shift didn’t happen by itself – it’s the result of decades of messaging work funded by those FDR once referred to as “economic royalists”.

The shift towards fascism includes the process of losing even the pretense that democracy, equality, and justice are what we want from society.

As it stands, we have not fully lost that battle. While some Democrats have increasingly embraced “tough” rhetoric in their efforts to appeal to right-wing voters, the party still officially holds good values. It’s unlikely that pushing current office-holders to live up to their stated ideals will be very effective. People have been trying that for longer than I’ve been alive with little success. What we can do is push the general population to replace the disingenuous politicians with representatives who actually care about changing how things are run. As long as we’re dealing with the system that currently exists, we can constantly primary politicians from the left, and work to build collective power to force the changes we need. For that to work, we need people to believe in the goals and standards that aren’t being met.

Because we don’t have the resources of the ultra-rich, we have to bring collective power to bear, and use that to push back against right-wing propaganda, take direct action, and use the electoral system to make what progress we can. The democrats do not live up to their own claimed ideals, and because they still want credit for having them, that discrepancy is a pressure point that we can use to motivate the general public.

Despite everything happening in the world right now, life goes on, and I’m still required to spend money in order to live. My work is supported by a group of wonderful people over at patreon.com/oceanoxia, and I would be immeasurably grateful if you would consider joining their ranks. How much you give, and for how long are entirely under your control, and every little bit helps a great deal, as my household is very short on money right now. Thank you for reading, and take care of yourselves.

A useful video on why Trump’s not going to be able to use the military to seize power

Since I posted recently about Trump’s reshuffling of personnel in his administration, I think I should also post this as a follow-up. Trump doesn’t have what he needs to use the military to keep power, and here’s why:

As the video says, and as I will keep saying, the best way to oppose something like that in the unlikely event that it were to happen is organizing and coordinating collective power. It’s past time to stop relying on electoral campaigns and voting to maintain our democracy – that’s not sufficient. We need to be taking direct action, both for the trend towards authoritarianism, and to deal with climate change.

Climate change is increasing the longevity of hurricanes

It turns out that not only can climate change increase the strength of hurricanes, but it is also allowing them to last longer after making landfall.

“The implications are very important, especially when considering policies that are put in place to cope with global warming,” said Professor Pinaki Chakraborty, senior author of the study and head of the Fluid Mechanics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST). “We know that coastal areas need to ready themselves for more intense hurricanes, but inland communities, who may not have the know-how or infrastructure to cope with such intense winds or heavy rainfall, also need to be prepared.”

Many studies have shown that climate change can intensify hurricanes — known as cyclones or typhoons in other regions of the world — over the open ocean. But this is the first study to establish a clear link between a warming climate and the smaller subset of hurricanes that have made landfall.

The scientists analyzed North Atlantic hurricanes that made landfall over the past half a century. They found that during the course of the first day after landfall, hurricanes weakened almost twice as slowly now than they did 50 years ago.

“When we plotted the data, we could clearly see that the amount of time it took for a hurricane to weaken was increasing with the years. But it wasn’t a straight line — it was undulating — and we found that these ups and downs matched the same ups and downs seen in sea surface temperature,” said Lin Li, first author and PhD student in the OIST Fluid Mechanics Unit.

The scientists tested the link between warmer sea surface temperature and slower weakening past landfall by creating computer simulations of four different hurricanes and setting different temperatures for the surface of the sea.

Once each virtual hurricane reached category 4 strength, the scientists simulated landfall by cutting off the supply of moisture from beneath.

Li explained: “Hurricanes are heat engines, just like engines in cars. In car engines, fuel is combusted, and that heat energy is converted into mechanical work. For hurricanes, the moisture taken up from the surface of the ocean is the “fuel” that intensifies and sustains a hurricane’s destructive power, with heat energy from the moisture converted into powerful winds.

“Making landfall is equivalent to stopping the fuel supply to the engine of a car. Without fuel, the car will decelerate, and without its moisture source, the hurricane will decay.”

The researchers found that even though each simulated hurricane made landfall at the same intensity, the ones that developed over warmer waters took more time to weaken.

“These simulations proved what our analysis of past hurricanes had suggested: warmer oceans significantly impact the rate that hurricanes decay, even when their connection with the ocean’s surface is severed. The question is — why?” said Prof. Chakraborty.

Using additional simulations, the scientists found that “stored moisture” was the missing link.

The researchers explained that when hurricanes make landfall, even though they can no longer access the ocean’s supply of moisture, they still carry a stock of moisture that slowly depletes.

When the scientists created virtual hurricanes that lacked this stored moisture after hitting land, they found that the sea surface temperature no longer had any impact on the rate of decay.

“This shows that stored moisture is the key factor that gives each hurricane in the simulation its own unique identity,” said Li. “Hurricanes that develop over warmer oceans can take up and store more moisture, which sustains them for longer and prevents them from weakening as quickly.”

The increased level of stored moisture also makes hurricanes “wetter” — an outcome already being felt as recent hurricanes have unleashed devastatingly high volumes of rainfall on coastal and inland communities.

This research highlights the importance for climate models to carefully account for stored moisture when predicting the impact of warmer oceans on hurricanes.

The study also pinpoints issues with the simple theoretical models widely used to understand how hurricanes decay.

“Current models of hurricane decay don’t consider moisture — they just view hurricanes that have made landfall as a dry vortex that rubs against the land and is slowed down by friction. Our work shows these models are incomplete, which is why this clear signature of climate change wasn’t previously captured,” said Li.

A couple years back, I was working on a lesson plan that discussed the water cycle less as a way to move water around, and more as something that moved heat around, using water as a vehicle. That perspective can be useful in considering how ecosystems affect things like wind patterns, with the humidity shifts acting to also move energy around, causing air to expand and contract, generating wind.

While I knew that higher sea surface temperatures meant stronger hurricanes, for some reason it never occurred to me to think of the water in a hurricane as literal fuel for the storm, but that really does seem to be how it works. Evaporated water is basically stored heat, and as it condenses out of the storm, it releases that heat, pushing the winds along one molecule at a time. So we don’t just have to think about stronger or more frequent storms affecting coastal regions, we also have to assume that those storms will increasingly reach places that rarely if ever had to deal with them in the past.

What fun.

A worrying appointment by the Trump administration

The Trump administration just put a Q-anon fanatic in charge of Pentagon intelligence. This is a worrying development.

As with so much else right now, it’s hard to know what the future holds. This could turn out to be nothing, or it could turn out to be something big and dangerous. I think the following twitter thread says it well:


People keep asking whether Trump and the Republicans attempt to steal the election is legitimate, if it’s a coup, if it’s a fundraising scheme, if it’s posturing, if it’s actually all that dangerous.

The answer is yes. All of these things and so much more.

The first thing we have to establish is that Trump is erratic. He flails and rages. But that flailing and raging, paired with his shamelessness, exposes weaknesses in our system.

When Trump finds a weakness, he exploits it until he breaks through.

Right now Trump is defeated. He has no legitimate means of winning this election and so he’s throwing everything at it in hopes something will stick. At times, it’s laughable, but all he needs is ONE THING to work.

And yes, Trump is using this crisis as a means of fundraising. Sending out alarming emails and messages raises money from angry supporters desperate for hope, but it also continues to establish an escalating crisis.

It does multiple things at once.

Trump is a gambler playing multiple hands. He’s a terrible gambler, but his entire life he’s just trying so many angles at so many times that he waits until he finds something that even halfway works.

This? Right now? This is multiple hands of badly played poker.

So what are the possible outcomes?

Trump loses but saves face.

Trump loses but raises money.

Trump manages to break through, subvert democracy, and steals the election.

These are all “wins” for him even if it means radicalizing people and a coup.

This is how Trump sees the world. He’s not worried about inspiring violence, destroying democracy, hurting the nation or anyone in it.

He’s looking for his best possible outcome and doesn’t care what he does in the process.

It’s a COUP AND A SCAM. Both things at once.

Meanwhile, and this is important, the Republicans are playing their own games.

Some are true believers, nuts who believe the election was stolen. But most understand Trump lost and are playing their own game.

We have to understand why they’re doing it.

People like McConnell and Graham are giving voice to Trump for multiple reasons. They need to keep Trumpists active in the GOP, they need to win the special elections in GA, the controversy creates passion, and it leads to fundraising.

But…they’re also fine with a coup.

If Trump manages to break through and actually steals the election, the Republicans would be fine with it. That would mean power, and that’s their only concern.

This willingness to harness a fascist strongman is why they cannot be trusted with power.

As I mentioned in my article this morning, Fox News is now vying to keep its audience as Trumpists reject it for actually reporting Biden’s win.

They’ll cover these conspiracy theories to keep viewers loyal if at all possible.

The whole point is this: Trump and the GOP are playing a dangerous game. The coup might not work, but they see an advantage at flirting with a coup.

The coup might work and they see an advantage with grasping power for themselves.

It’s a win-win for them while we lose.

I don’t think Trump or the GOP truly believe they’re going to manage to overturn the election, but peddling these conspiracy theories help them regardless.

But the frightening thing? If it does work and they carry out a coup? They’re more than happy to accept that.

This has been theater from the very beginning. Trump played an authoritarian on TV until he BECAME ONE.

You play the role until you are the role. In this case, they’re posturing for power and profit until they gain power and profit, one way or another.

Again, this doesn’t mean the coup will work. It’s haphazard, lazy, and stupid.

But…it COULD work. That’s the danger here we have to take seriously.

Not to mention the fact that these people are more than willing to endanger lives and threaten democracy.

If the coup works, we’re in a whole world of trouble.

If it doesn’t, Trump and the GOP have turned the temperature up, radicalized numbers of supporters, and possibly inspired terroristic acts by their supporters.

It’s unconscionable and dangerous on a whole other level.

People are going to tell you there’s nothing to worry about. That’s absolutely wrong and irresponsible.

You can recognize there’s no legal ground here while understanding these people are bad faith actors who rage until they find weakness in the law and systems.

This thing isn’t a joke. Trump and the GOP are playing a game, but there’s nothing funny about it. We’re all in incredible danger right now and pretending like it isn’t dangerous, win or lose, only empowers and enables them to continue destroying democracy.

Mutual aid, 5th edition

Updated on the 7th of November, 2020

With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, joblessness is increasing, and people are in need of help. This is particularly a problem in the US, but many others in other countries are also struggling, and it’s likely the number of people needing help will be increasing as the crisis continues. This isn’t going to be over any time soon, and the economic impacts are going to last even after vaccines have been widely distributed.

To that end, I’ve put together a list of different resources for people who are struggling to make ends meet. This is a mix of both ways to seek help, and ways to give help to those in need. I will update and re-post this at least once a week while the pandemic and associated economic fallout continue. This is currently mostly focused on the U.S., with some UK resources, but I want to expand it to cover anyone needing help anywhere if possible. There’s a lot here, and it’s currently not particularly organized, because I don’t currently have a system for doing so. I also haven’t included much about things like PPE crafting or distribution – this is mostly focused on aid relating to  food, housing, and other things that currently require money.

Because of the duration of the pandemic, and the lack of help from the US government, many of these may be running out of resources, so please help if you can! Supporting each other in times of need is how humanity has gotten this far, and for those who have more than they need, now’s the time to give back to the society that made that wealth possible. If you want to start a mutual aid network in your area, here’s a guide on how to do that.

If anyone has resources I’ve missed, please include them in the comments and I’ll add them in to the next round. 

  • From Bigdoorbrigade.com, who have done a great job pulling this stuff together. Look at this stuff, but check them out too, because they’ve got more on how to help, how to organize, and so on:

https://www.mutualaidhub.org/ – a map of mutual aid projects and requests around the United States. FYI, McAffee flagged this site as somehow worrisome. I’m not sure why.

https://mutualaiddisasterrelief.org/ – Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – solidarity, not charity. This is an opportunity to help, for now. If I find a way to ask them for aid, I’ll update.

It’s Going Down  is a digital community center for anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. They have a list of mutual aid efforts focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic across the United States as well as some in Canada.

This is a US-based google doc with a huge amount of resources linked, from guides, to counter-propaganda, to existing aid efforts. Tactics and info are relevant across the board, most of the linked aid efforts are centered in the US.

Coronavirus resource list “This kit is a collectivized document that will be updated as more mutual aid projects and resources appear online. Recognizing that not everyone will have access to great internet to access some of these, I encourage you to apply these offline as well as online.”

COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK – Mutual aid resources in the United Kingdom

For those interested, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now did an interview with Dean Spade, who created Big Door Brigade.

The Human Network Initiative is a collaboration between Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They have put together this collation of local and state resources

Likewise, the Massachusetts Jobs With Justice group has put together  of resources and mutual aid groups

The Asian American Resource Workshop has created a wider ranging sheet of resources and mutual aid groups. It includes a lot of information on how to combat prejudice and xenophobia in this unprecedented situation

A Facebook group titled “COVID-19 Greater Boston (mutual aid and resources)” has been set up

The folks behind the news site Boston.org have set up the Boston Helps network

A neighborhood group has been organized for Jamaica Plain and Roxbury, with similar groups in many Boston neighborhoods

The staff, faculty, and students of Tufts have created their own mutual aid group for their community, as have other schools

Just outside of the city, communities like Cambridge have also seen mutual aid groups being set up

Wildcats want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported us so far! With your solidarity, we have raised just enough to take care of the basic needs of all 80 graduate student workers who were recently fired for grade withholding. Thanks to you, we have been able to rest assured that our rent, food, and other needs will be covered. Your donations also fed thousands of strikers and our allies on our month-long picket line and covered medical and legal expenses of those who were violently arrested by University of California police. This fund continues to be the foundation for our ongoing fight for a cost of living adjustment (COLA).

MAP staff are already doing all we can to support local medical services who are serving Palestinian communities living under occupation and as refugees. We have already provided emergency hygiene supplies to 1,200 vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza. We anticipate further need for an emergency medical response in the weeks and months ahead. Please help us be there for Palestinians during this crisis with a donation today.

Your donation can help pay for:

  • Hygiene Kits
  • Antiseptics
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Medicines and medical supplies

The chancellor’s announcement now helps millions of hospitality workers, but sadly still so many are not protected by this as they don’t have contracts, were paid off pay roll or dismissed by employers before the announcement. We decided to take action to help those that are still hurting. We have the technology, contacts & understanding to make a difference quickly.

We have created ‘The Hospitality Workers Emergency Fund’ to allow the kind hearted, altruistic & caring UK public to donate to an emergency fund to help the most vulnerable & in need in our sector during this time. Our mission was always to champion hourly paid tipped workers, we never imagined in this way…

Here are just a few other places to donate that I’ve seen floating around. There are likely more local efforts where you live.
Nationwide: Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund
Nationwide: UNITE HERE’s fund for impacted workers
Nationwide: Coronavirus Care Fund for domestic workers
NYC: Emergency COVID Relief for Sex Workers in New York

  • The resources below are from The Majority Report’s “Plugs and Notices” series toward the beginning of the pandemic:

And some of the resources from this and other videos:

Thai Farm Kitchen is providing free meals for those who need it in Brooklyn

The Valley Labor Report is putting together a left-wing show on a right-wing radio channel – needed info in a needed location! Help them if you can!

UPS workers organizing to protect themselves (since the corporation apparently doesn’t give a shit) Also check here.

Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless (NJ) Covid-19 relief fund

Renaissance Economic Relief Corporation: Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Fund (NYC only)

Chicago-based remote mental health services on a sliding scale with some pro-bono options. 

Inclusive Action for the City has a relief fund for street vendors in LA

Asian Americans for Housing and Environmental Justice has a mutual aid fund focused on LA

Ayuda Mutua: Support families in Milkwaulkee – Support for Latinx families in Milwaulkee

Mutual Aid NYC

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has a fund to help restaurant workers

Co-op store was broken into and robbed, and needs help recovering

Tele-health services

Chester County COVID assistance network (Facebook)



NYC DSA mutual aid/relief fund

Mutual aid efforts in Australia

Michigan City mutual aid

Fund to help housekeepers and day laborers

Thinklab list of gofundme efforts

Career Onestop on finding government help in the U.S. 

AFL-CIO federal and state resources for workers (U.S.)

Info on applying for Medicaid and CHIP (U.S. healthcare assistance)

COVID-19 Collections PPE mutual aid effort

I’ll keep updating this as I find new stuff, and as always, let me know if you come across things I’ve missed, and please consider donating to my patreon, as I’m barely making ends meet myself!

Update and a video

I allowed myself a couple days to wallow in the chaos of the American election, but it’s time to get back to work. I’m currently updating my mutual aid and direct action posts, and working on a couple other piece that’ll be out soon, but in the meantime, here’s a useful video from Thought Slime about the state of democracy under capitalism: