One among a multitude.

Till Lindemann of Rammstein is in the hospital with COVID-19. It seems that he’s on the mend, and I hope that’s the case. It seems like this disease has a nasty way of getting worse after it looks like it’s getting better.


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Corvid-19 cartoon and an update: Organizing/strike post will go up Friday evening

I’m still working on the piece about strikes and organizing, but in the meantime here’s a link to a relevant story,

Garbage collectors from the Department of Environmental Services walked off the job on strike Wednesday morning, announcing their demands for improved protective equipment and hazard pay in response to the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

and a CORVID-19 cartoon Tegan made a couple days ago:

Image shows 18 crows perched on power lines, with another approaching, trying to land. One of the perched crows is saying to that one, "Sorry, Frank, we can only fit 18  here"


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Jonathan Frakes provides some much-needed diversion, through the magic of 0.5 playback speed

I heartily recommend trying this out on the following video:


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Research help for a post about strikes

So there’s been a surprising amount of interest in my post about the claimed Domino’s strike, and that post is… very thin on useful information.

As such, tomorrow I’m pulling together a post on strike history, tactics, and resources.

The goal is to have a basic overview of how and why strikes work, what makes them fail when they fail, and what efforts are currently underway for rent strikes, labor strikes, and a general strike.

This is a topic I’m still learning about, so I’m going to be drawing heavily on the knowledge and experience of other people.

If anyone reading this has resources they think would be useful, or news stories they think are relevant, I’d be grateful for the help with research; please post them in the comments below.

Image is a poster from Industrial Workers of the World. It's a red poster with white block text and a sillhouette of a black cat with white eyes. The text reads


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Christopher Walken reads Where the Wild Things Are, and it’s glorious

For those seeking distraction and entertainment:


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

A Young People’s History of the United States: Free e-book for a limited time only!

Something to add to your quarantine reading list:

To provide access to people’s history materials for students while school buildings are closed, Seven Stories Press is making the e-book version of A Young People’s History of the United States available for free download for 48 hours — on Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26.

This is the young adult edition of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492 – Present, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff for a middle-school reading level.

Invite students and colleagues to download the e-book to an e-reader during the 48-hour window from Wednesday March 25 to Thursday, March 26.

Find lessons for teaching people’s history on this website and in the Rethinking Schools publication, A People’s History for the Classroom. Find close to two dozen young readers’ editions of social justice and people’s history classic texts at Social Justice Books.


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Domino’s franchise goes on strike. This is what America needs right now.

Update: Go here for more info on direct action!

Update: This is the original post, from what I can tell. It’s a bit unclear whether this is an actual strike or aspirational, and I can’t find info on the exact location.

A tip if you engage in a strike- Tell the local press – don’t wait for them to find out secondhand.

[Image is a post from r/Dominos:

It finally happened. All employees are sitting outside our store on strike.

This morning our GM announced he would no longer continue working unless offered paid sick leave and store shutdown for 14 days, as our entire store has been confirmed to have been exposed to COVID-19.

He then told us “good luck!” and walked outside. Every single driver on shift right now followed him outside. The other two insiders did as well. The store is fucking empty.

Every employee is sitting outside the store on the curb, turning away anyone who tries to come inside.

I peeked inside a few mins ago and we’re like 85 orders down and you can see tags just pouring out of the printer.

Franchise owners have become aware of this and are apparently on their way to talk to us in person.

Hopefully local news comes here as well, as word about this is spreading pretty quick.

I urge you guys to do the same.]

 


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Research furthers our understanding of the potential to tweak Earth’s climate using sulfur dioxide aerosols

In 2016, back before I moved to Freethoughtblogs, I wrote a blog post titled “Geoengineering is dangerous, irresponsible, and unavoidable“.  My basic conclusion was this:

It’s tempting to simply wave away geoengineering as a bad idea that we should bury and be done with. There are countless ways that it could go horribly wrong, especially when enacted by billionaires like Gates and his ilk, who have little to no understanding of the ecosystems with which they want to tamper. With the possible exception of planting more trees and creating more wild spaces (which would, without question, work), pretty much every proposal for geoengineering has the potential to have devastating side effects that could make life on Earth much more difficult.

There’s one compelling reason not to throw it away altogether. The reality is that we are already engaged in geoengineering, and there is no question that the path we’re currently on will end badly. Like it or not, humanity has become a force of nature. The size of our population and the scale of our technology mean that we exert a global influence of the chemical makeup of our planet’s oceans, atmosphere, land masses. Currently, we are engaged in the kind of geoengineering that Svante Arrhenius calculated was possible over a century ago – raising the planet’s temperature by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

For the sake of our own long-term survival, not to mention the rest of life on Earth, we need to come to terms with the fact that our species exerts a global influence, and we need to take deliberate control of that influence. We are already geoengineers, we’re just not taking responsibility for it. It’s past time to do more than simply work on reducing our fossil fuel use – we need to think about how we manage the surface of the planet we live on, and how we can manage it for the benefit of all life on Earth – ourselves included.

Because right now, we still seem to be pretending that we can just stop having a planetary impact, and with our population headed for 10 billion in just a couple decades, that is the one option that is no longer available to us.

I think that geoengineering still presents a great deal of danger, particularly if it’s left up to despots or oligarchs with little concern for human life and a massive, wealth-induced case of Dunning-Kruger syndrome, where they think their wealth means they know better than people who spent their lives studying an issue, rather than hoarding money.

Still, it’s good that research continues into the various ways to make our interference in the planet’s climate deliberate and constructive.

The team found that halving warming by adding aerosols to the stratosphere could moderate important climate hazards in almost all regions. They saw an exacerbation of the effects of climate change in only a very small fraction of land areas.

Lead author, Professor Peter Irvine (UCL Earth Sciences), said: “Most studies focus on a scenario where solar geoengineering offsets all future warming. While this reduces overall climate change substantially, we show that in these simulations, it goes too far in some respects leading to about 9% of the land area experiencing greater climate change, i.e. seeing the effects of climate change exacerbated.

“However, if instead only half the warming is offset, then we find that stratospheric aerosol geoengineering could still reduce climate change overall but would only exacerbate change over 1.3% of the land area.”

The team emphasise that solar geoengineering only treats the symptoms of climate change and not the underlying cause, which is the build-up of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It should therefore be considered as a complementary approach to emissions cuts as a way to address climate change.

[…]

“Our results suggest that when used at the right dose and alongside reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, stratospheric aerosol geoengineering could be useful for managing the impacts of climate change. However, there are still many uncertainties about the potential effects of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering and more research is needed to know if this idea is truly viable,” added Dr Irvine.

[…]

The team are now researching the projected effects of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering on the water cycle in more depth to try to understand the potential benefits and risks to society and ecosystems.

I’m not a fan of the sulfate aerosol approach. There seems to be potential for real ecological damage from increased acidity in precipitation, particularly if it’s hitting ecosystems already weakened by the effects of a warming planet. There’s also the worry that the temporary cooling from the aerosol spray could slow efforts to adapt to climate change, and to transition to non-fossil energy sources. A reminder – if greenhouse gas levels continue to rise while the sulfate effect is keeping temperatures down, then as the aerosols precipitate out of the atmosphere, the planet will start warming faster, because there will be more insulation to trap heat. If we haven’t already massively changed how we respond to crises and to science, we could do more damage with this approach than if we did nothing at all. The proper place for something like sulfate aerosol distribution is after changes have already been made to our economic and political systems, and the work to seriously address climate change is already underway.

Doing this research is good, but it’s essential that we address the political/sociological elements of the problem.

Otherwise we won’t be solving the problem, we’ll be entering into a version of the Futurama “giant ice cube” approach, but with sulfur instead of ice. That’s not a road we want to go down.

 


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Vital quarantine reading – free audiobook on youtube right now!

I know one thing I’m adding to my to-do list for this quarantine! Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism is an important book about how wealthy capitalists use disasters to increase their wealth and power. The lessons here may help those of you confused by the way some people in power seem to be so incompetent that it’s like they’re trying to screw everything up. The answer may be that they are.

And the audio-book has been on Youtube since September of 2018! I had no idea! Understanding disaster capitalism is essential both to understanding how people like the Tories and the GOP seem to view the world, and one of the conflicts of interest that is probably interfering in efforts to actually do something about climate change.

Whether you go with the audiobook or any other format, I think this is well worth your time. As a bonus, here’s the UK’s Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson explaining their plans for the British economy:


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!

Confirmed case of COVID-19 in ICE concentration camp

This is one way that concentration camps can become death camps. People crowded together without adequate sanitation, health care, or even sleeping conditions is a KNOWN formula for spreading disease and increasing the death rate.

It’s also a great way to increase the rate of mutation within the camp, which gives better odds on a newer, more dangerous form of the disease coming out of them via guards and other staff. This, in turn, may become justification for other, more brutal “measures”.


Thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, layoffs have increased, job interviews have been indefinitely postponed, and many places aren’t hiring new workers. All of that means I really need help paying my bills and keeping a roof over my head. Patreon.com is a way for you to help with that, even if it’s just a little bit, and get some perks and extra content in return. You control how much you give, and how long you give it, and every little bit really does help. When lots of people pitch in, it can make a huge difference. Please help if you’re able, and share my work with others. Thank you!