On May 11, about 60 nerds gathered in SF’s McLaren Park to use their smartphones for science — logging almost 1300 observations of plants and animals from almost 250 species. Wow! It went so well that both the California Academy of Sciences and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area are…
“This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ‘72 (via uselesschildren)
I’ve spent the last few weeks all over the country, and often in a few places simultaneously. When I was in Park City, I was in Somerville. When I was in Fort Lauderdale, I was in Denver. To be fair, when I was in Brooklyn, I was in Brooklyn - but I was always in Harmontown.
List by Tom Giesen, an adjunct professor at University of Oregon. I edited it down some, for the entire post, visit here. I’ll add that, generally, I personally cannot see how we’re going stop the climate from changing. Too many people in the world are starting to want - and get - TVs, laptops, cars, and a single family home. Who are we to deny them?
1. Delayed consequences. Warming is a current phenomenon, but most of the damage is in the future, like a time-delayed bomb – we emit now and suffer the consequences later. Because it is a future event, neither citizens nor politicians feel sufficient urgency.
2. Belief in the necessity of growth! The sanctity of growth in the economy and in population is the real American religion. What all cities/communities want is more economic and population growth. But growth is now impossible without cheap and abundant fossil fuels, and they are finite and becoming prohibitively expensive – causing recessions.
3. Energy cornucopia! The “booms” in oil and gas are mostly just Wall Street bubbles like the real estate and internet bubbles of recent years. Conventional (cheap) fossil fuels are declining resources, and fracked, deep water, oil sands and arctic sources are prohibitively expensive. But no matter – the press is still full of empty chatter about the US out-producing Saudi Arabia and being energy independent.
4. Individualism. Devotees of individualism dislike cooperative processes, preferring go-it-alone methods. Cutting emissions requires a globally cooperative effort, and such cooperative projects might feel to individualists like unacceptable collectivism, and hence resisted.
5. Anti-intellectualism. Many in America have not moved beyond medieval science. Rationality does not often apply in scientific issues with political overtones, or with personal preferences, and hence global warming, the end of cheap oil, and other issues are falsely labeled as scientific frauds by opponents of science.
6. American exceptionalism. We imagine we are different from other nations, and many Americans accept that we are not subject to the same rules as other nations.
7. Failure of international cooperation. It is nearly universally believed that the solution to the problem of warming lies in global treaties involving all nations and dealing with emissions reductions and related equity/financial issues. It’s now 25 years since James Hansen warned Congress, and we have done nothing. Nothing.
8. Difficulties of monitoring and assuring compliance. How do you closely monitor emissions of a gas which quickly diffuses globally in the atmosphere? How do you closely monitor all production and use of fossil fuels? How do you monitor and control land use change (deforestation) before the deed is done? Etc.
9. Greed. Greed permeates political life: worldwide, governments’ subsidies to fossil fuel producers now total $100,000,000,000 a year, and subsidies to consumers are $675,000,000,000. The subsidies are like crack cocaine – the addiction is extremely difficult to treat.
10. Disinformation. The fossil fuel industry lavishly funds global warming deniers and skeptics – the “lavish” funding is chump change in view of current profits.
If we follow the path we are on, the path of no cutting back on emissions, and in fact the path of continued increases in the rate of increase of emissions, our civilization will very possibly collapse.
A map of American state stereotypes, generated by Google autocomplete.
In the months before a US Presidential election, the quality of political discourse hits new lows. Blue State/Red State tropes dominate the news cycle as the media gins up outrage over perceived injustices in the culture…
“When I first met with agents, they said, “Okay, you’re going to play plumbers and mechanics and bus drivers and farmers. Go.” And I was like, “Man… Fuck you. I can play anything, you son of a bitch!” My response to that was to get this three-quarter headshot—like, knees to head—with this huge foam latex cock about the size of my forearm and fist that I’d made for a play. I got a headshot taken with this thing hanging out of my fly and just looking defiantly at the camera. I sent it to everybody in town. [Laughs.] That was my response to being told I was gonna be playing bus drivers: “Oh yeah? Have you seen my dick?”—
Turning a chicken sandwich into Public Gay Enemy Number One makes LGBT people look superficial, vindictive and juvenile — everything that we as a community have worked hard to overcome. Remember, employers don’t want drama queens on the payroll, military service is serious business, and marriage is not a right society grants to spoiled children. While in a perfect world our equality should not depend on our good behavior, in a world where our rights too often hinge on political reality, the way our movement conducts itself matters.
The “movable middle” moves both ways, and they don’t like seeing people attacked relentlessly for their religion. Whatever the nuances, these voters see a man standing up for his beliefs against a politically powerful mob dead-set on driving him out of business. It’s un-American, and when fellow conservatives are finally standing up and speaking out for marriage equality as consistent with the sober values of responsibility and commitment, splashing a popular American company with metaphorical chicken blood in protest is nothing less than friendly fire.
Even if marriage equality activists “won” and Chick-fil-A went out of business tomorrow, what would be gained? True, some businesses may hesitate to donate to antigay causes in the future, but LGBT people would have handed antigay organizations a weapon better than money can buy — confirmation that gay people really are the thought police, willing and able to use the power of the state to impose our will on oppressed social conservatives. Instead of standing for an outdated and dying discrimination, Chick-fil-A would become a martyr for religious freedom.
In a free society there is room for disagreement on marriage, as there is room for disagreement on war, health care and taxes. Remember, this is about fried chicken, not cross burnings. After DOMA is repealed and civil marriage equality is the law of the land, there will still be people who believe that a marriage between two men is no marriage at all. While it may hurt some feelings that not everybody will want to dance at our weddings, freedom will still mean freedom for everyone — even Dan Cathy. But in order to get to that day, LGBT Americans should take a lesson from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.”
R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, in the Huffington Post.
Check it: this isn’t about my feelings. It’s not about Dan Cathy’s beliefs. It’s about where his company puts the money its customers give it. It’s about the fact that a chunk of that money goes to organizations that actively fight every attempt to get me my right to marriage, to groups that actively- as their primary function, as their stated mission- fool young versions of me into wasting the best years of their lives hating themselves for something they cannot and should not change.
If by avoiding being a customer, I can make less money go to those groups, then it is my duty to avoid being a customer. If I can tell other people to do the same, then it is my duty to tell other people to do the same. If one of our allies has an agreement wherein their toys are enticements for new customers, it is our duty to ask them to stop.
Nobody’s punishing a citizen for his personal beliefs. Nobody’s trying to reason with a frog puppet. Nobody’s angry at a sandwich.
(Also, drama queens do quite well in some fields [I can’t imagine PR or talent management without them, for example], marriage is and shall ever be available to spoiled adult children from coast to coast, and for the love of God, the fight for the right of GLBT servicemembers to serve openly was not an attempt to make military service more whimsical.)
I too believe that someday DOMA will be repealed and that civil marriage equality will be the law of the land. I’d like to see that day come soon. The groups Chick-fil-A donates millions of dollars to would like to see that day come never. So I’m going to do what I can to make sure that none of my dollars become any of those groups’ dollars. The end.
Yes, of course the conversation has gotten heated. Welcome to the internet. But trotting uninvited and uninformed into the argument isn’t helping, Mr. Cooper. You must forever conduct your personal business on the high plane of knowing what the hell you’re talking about.
It may be difficult for a gay Republican to understand this, but we’re not trying to win the personal approval of a rich old white guy. We’re using the free market to gain our own civil rights.
If you’re brand new to Pinterest and want to discover more pins apart from people you follow, Pinners would tell you to check out the Categories. Clicking the Categories menu lets you view whole sections of pins about your favorite interests, whether it’s “Food & Drink”, “Architecture”, or “Home…
And still no activism or politics catagory. Boo. Come on Pinterest, get with it.
Our mission, now that we have chosen to accept it, is simple: We want to make meaningful things go as crazy-viral as Keyboard Cat (and now you have that song stuck in your head). And you — yes you, right there, reading this sentence right now — can help.
So, really, there’s no better place for us to be than Tumblr.
On this here blog you’ll find some stuff that isn’t on our website, some stuff that is, some stuff we made ourselves, and some stuff you might’ve found for us (we’re big on attribution). It’ll be a hodgepodge, but it’ll all be totally Upworthy.
If you’re still not sure what that will look like, we compiled this handy list of aspirations for you …
Occupy shone a bright light on the closed-door activities of ALEC (The American Legislative Exchange Council), and the real impact of the laws it writes (e.g. the as-yet unpunished death of Trayvon Martin thanks to ALEC’s “Stand your ground” law).