Thread by @MuhammadLila: Something amazing just happened, and it didn’t make a single headline. It happened in a place you’ve probably never been, to a family you’ve…
Something amazing just happened, and it didn’t make a single headline.

It happened in a place you’ve probably never been, to a family you’ve never met

And it's the best story you'll read.

A Thread.

(Hint: It involves sports, refugees, and what it means to be Canadian.)
by:MuhammadLila  from:Twitter  refugees  heartwarming  IceHockey 
5 hours ago
Facial recognition can't tell black and brown people apart — but the police are using it anyway
Further research by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in December 2019 examined facial recognition systems provided by 99 tech developers around the world. They found people from ethnic minorities were 100 times more likely to be misidentified than white individuals. Shock. 

So how does NeoFace, the facial recognition system currently used by the Met, fare when it comes to correctly identifying ethnic minorities? Well, we don’t know, because the Met have repeatedly refused to test that aspect of the software on at least four different occasions, using excuses like “limited funds”, despite being aware of facial recognition’s racial blindspot since 2014. 

But we are aware of the general (in)accuracy of their software, thanks to FOI requests from campaign groups. Which currently stands at error rate of 81%, according to independent trials. That’s four out of five people wrongly identified by the Met’s facial recognition system who then face being hauled away by officers. And when those individuals are from demographics who are already seen as suspects, you’re looking at a situation that will not only result in tragic miscarriages of justice: it will actively encourage them.
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We don’t need to stretch the imagination to envisage what that future would look like either. It’s already here. The Met have been trialling facial recognition since 2016, including deployments at Notting Hill Carnival and Romford. Civil liberties organisation Big Brother Watch were present during a Romford trial in 2018 and not only discovered the technology had a 100% inaccuracy rate, but witnessed the Met stop a 14-year-old black schoolboy after facial recognition wrongly matched his image to an individual on one of their watchlists. He was held by four plainclothes police officers, questioned, searched and fingerprinted to check his identity. 

It didn’t matter that the police got it wrong; the boy’s data had already been sucked into their discriminatory databases like the (illegal) Gangs Matrix, where innocent people are flagged up as potential offenders simply because they press play on a drill track on YouTube. As a result young black men face penalties like being unable to access benefits, higher education and social housing. Imagine queuing up a 67 song and a year later being blocked from going to university. It’s a violation of the most fundamental rights to privacy and freedom of expression going.
by:MoyaLothianMcLean  from:GalDem  surveillance  police  race  FacialRecognition  MetPolice  geo:London 
11 hours ago
Facial recognition cameras will put us all in an identity parade
Yet, while the deployment seems small-scale and “targeted”, the technology is inherently indiscriminate. Live facial recognition of the kind the Met is deploying detects all faces on video footage and then compares the faces against watchlists. That’s why some have compared it to a virtual identity parade. When you walk past such a facial recognition camera, you are effectively standing in a lineup, with other pedestrians, alongside those suspected of crimes. Given that the system inevitably processes the biometric data of everyone, live facial recognition has the potential to fundamentally change the power relationship between people and the police – and even alter the very meaning of public space.
by:FrederikeKaltheuner  from:CommentIsFree  biometrics  FacialRecognition  police  MetPolice  geo:UnitedKingdom 
yesterday
Without the BBC we could be facing a post-truth dystopia
We have seen that danger in Britain, not least in a Brexit referendum campaign in which contempt for the facts was a central feature, but we have not sunk as deep. Part of the explanation lies with the BBC. For all its flaws, it still serves to hold the ring, to demarcate a clearing in the forest of claim and counter-claim, where certain facts can be established. Once the BBC declares something to be a matter of fact, rather than partisan dispute, that itself becomes a fact, around which politicians and public figures have to negotiate.

You could see that in the MMR crisis, in which the BBC eventually made clear the scientific consensus had declared vaccines safe. Or its stance on the climate emergency, now the broadcaster has decided it need not pretend this is an issue to be debated between two equally respectable sides.

To be sure, the BBC took too long to get there, falling into the trap of both sides-ism, just as it gets other things wrong. One former BBC News executive witheringly describes a BBC worldview that is remainer-ish on Europe and status quo-ish on domestic policy, which “meant it never got Brexit in 2016 or Boris in 2019”. Things are likely to get worse with next week’s cuts, which will further reduce BBC News, says that ex-bigwig, while investment “goes into questionable extensions of the BBC brand”. Meanwhile, trust in BBC journalism is falling.
by:JonathanFreedland  from:CommentIsFree  BBC  journalism  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom 
3 days ago
Sundance 2020: How VFX Saved ‘Welcome to Chechnya’
But France had to solve one serious issue with filming this unfolding narrative. “I was not the first person to go in as a reporter to try and tell that story,” he said. “What I and all the other reporters found were people running away who were too frightened to allow their stories be told. They knew it was not enough to get away. This isn’t a campaign to send into exile queer Chechens. This is an ethnic cleansing of a sort. This is an effort to liquidate LGBTQ Chechens, as a way to cleanse the blood of the Chechen people. Even should they arrive in the West in Paris or Toronto or Berlin, if it were known they were still alive, they would be pursued. They are living constantly in the shadows, and only allow people to film them in the shadows.”
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And so the director dove into a six-month R&D period, trying multiple approaches. He reviewed the ways to preserve their facial reactions, from rotoscoping and animation to filtering and overlaying systems. Some would not render his subjects sufficiently disguised, “or made them caricatures of themselves that would allow people who knew them well to recognize them,” he said. “I did not want to stylize them to the point of limiting the humanity they presented. I didn’t want to interpret through an artist’s pen. I wanted to find it and hold it, the highest standard of disguise, so even their mother won’t know who they are.”
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The winner, the approach that scored the best — identical to an undisguised face — was face replacement. This technique had never been used in a film before. “It is an inversion of deep fake technology used by journalists to manipulate images,” said France, like online video of Barack Obama calling for nuclear genocide, the technology that imposes a library image of a well-known person to map over somebody saying outrageous things. France asked 22 people — mostly queer activists in New York — to lend their faces as a physical shield to protect the people in the film.
by:AnneThompson  from:IndieWire  DavidFrance  geo:Chechnya  democide  LGBTQ  documentary  DeepFakes 
3 days ago
Content Marketing in renaissance Venice
Veronese used the stories from the Gospels as an excuse to stage sumptuous feasts in sixteenth-century dress inside grandiose and theatrical architectural perspectives, producing realistic representations of social life at the highest level.

One of his most famous works is Supper at Emmaus.

You can see clearly, slap-bang in the centre of the painting, a beautiful, fine wine glass. This is odd, because glass like that didn’t exist in Jesus’s time.

The reason for this is that Veronese was in fact, was creating a piece of branded content.

Venice at the time was one of the global centres of glassmaking, its quality and variety preeminent. How it was produced was a jealously guarded trade secret. No glassworker was allowed to leave the city without permission, or risk his family being imprisoned or even his own assassination.

Veronese’s brief, was to spread the word about this, helping to maintain a price premium for Venetian glass:

Get people rich enough to afford fine glassware to believe Venetian glass to be the state-of-the-art by creating great art which demonstrated its quality and beauty.
by:MatthewKershaw  from:Medium  from:Iris  geo:Venice  marketing  history 
3 days ago
Puberty blockers can be 'life-saving' drugs for trans teens, study shows
Those who underwent the puberty-blocking treatment had lower odds of lifetime suicidal ideation and past-month severe psychological distress, compared to those who wanted the treatment but did not receive it.
by:JenChristensen  from:CNN  transgender  puberty  MentalHealth 
4 days ago
What my attacker’s conviction taught me about taking on the far right
While our criminal justice system disproportionately locks up poor people suffering mental distress, or gives black men life-destroying jail terms for nonviolent drug offences, then perhaps there is little to mourn from a homophobic fascist being incarcerated. But again, what will be achieved?

The Ministry of Justice boasts of multiple programmes that help deradicalise prisoners — they are “tailored towards each individual”, a spokesperson claims. Yet as Chris Daw a barrister and writer on criminal justice issues, tells me: “In broad terms, the whole of the prison system is a complete failure when it comes to deradicalisation.”

Whether extremists are locked away for months, years or decades, Daw says, they are not deradicalised: often it’s quite the reverse, as they associate with people sharing views similar to their own
by:OwenJones  from:CommentIsFree  fascism  geo:UnitedKingdom  justice 
4 days ago
If defending life on Earth is extremist, we must own that label
The police have always protected established power against those who challenge it, regardless of the nature of that challenge. And they have long sought to criminalise peaceful dissent. Part of the reason is ideological: illiberal and undemocratic attitudes infest policing in this country. Part of it is empire-building: if police units can convince the government and the media of imminent threats that only they can contain, they can argue for more funding.

But there’s another reason, which is arguably even more dangerous: the nexus of state and corporate power. All over the world, corporate lobbyists seek to brand opponents of their industries as extremists and terrorists, and some governments and police forces are prepared to listen.
by:GeorgeMonbiot  from:CommentIsFree  police  dissent  ClimateChange  ExtinctionRebellion  PritiPatel  Prevent 
6 days ago
The Road to Auschwitz Wasn’t Paved With Indifference
The belief that atrocities happen when people aren’t educated against the evils of bystanding has become part of our culture and how we think we’re learning from history. “Don’t be a bystander!” we’re exhorted. “Be an upstander!” we teach our children. But that’s all a big mistake. All of it: It’s false that doing nothing creates moral catastrophes; it’s false that people are generally indifferent to the plight of others; it’s false that we can educate people into heroism; and it’s false that if we fail to transmit these lessons another Holocaust is around the corner.

Instead, the facts are more quotidian: Terrible things happen when people collaborate with terrible perpetrators; most people are generally helpful to the extent that their circumstances and temperament allow (unless they’ve been taught to hate); being a bystander is often morally permissible; being a hero is exceptional and instinctual (not taught); and what history teaches us is both easier and harder than the supposed dark dangers of bystanderdom. What history teaches us is: Don’t perpetrate; don’t collaborate. If you can be heroic, that is laudable. Those lessons are hard to learn, but effective and easy enough to follow to avert most vast moral crimes.
by:RivkaWeinberg  from:TheNewYorkTimes  Shoah  fascism  activism 
6 days ago
A better git log (Example)
git log --graph --pretty=format:'%Cred%h%Creset -%C(yellow)%d%Creset %s %Cgreen(%cr) %C(bold blue)<%an>%Creset' --abbrev-commit
by:FelipeKiss  from:CoderWall  git  reference  work 
7 days ago
Nul points for Britain in the EU revision bong contest
Why, even in their moment of triumph, do the Brexiters need this self-pitying narrative? It is another episode in the blame game that has been implicit from the start of the Brexit saga. Brexit is inherently anticlimactic. This is not just because the botched process of negotiating withdrawal has turned the gush of liberation into a dribble, with Independence Days (29 March; 31 October) coming and going like a millenarian preacher’s predictions for the end of the world. It is not just because the special memorial 50p coins had to be melted down. It is because the act of liberation itself is fundamentally spurious.

Revolutions unleash euphoria because they create tangible images of change and inaugurate, at least in the fevered minds of their supporters, a new epoch. Brexit can’t do either of these things. The problem with a revolt against imaginary oppression is that you end up with imaginary freedom. How do you actually show that the yoke of Brussels has been lifted? You can’t bring prawn cocktail-flavoured crisps back into the shops, or release stout British fishermen from the humiliation of having to wear hair nets at work on the high seas, or unban donkey rides on beaches, or right any of the other great wrongs that fuelled anti-EU sentiment – because all of it was make-believe.
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The divisions and anxieties created by Brexit will not end on 31 January, but even if they did, it would be a peculiar mode of national rejoicing: a prime minister celebrating the fact that the pain he is primarily responsible for inflicting is going away.
by:FintanOToole  from:CommentIsFree  Brexit  politics  MarkFrancois  BorisJohnson  stupid 
7 days ago
'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of Gondwana rainforests burn in bushfires
At least 80% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area and more than 50% of the Gondwana world heritage rainforests have burned in Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

The scale of the disaster is such that it could affect the diversity of eucalypts for which the Blue Mountains world heritage area is recognised, said John Merson, the executive director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.
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It was revealed this week that a rescue mission by NSW fire crews was able to save the only known natural grove of Wollemi pines, so-called “dinosaur trees” that fossil records show existed up to 200m years ago.
by:LisaCox  by:NickEvershed  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  geo:Australia  WorldHeritageArea 
8 days ago
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the UK media’s vicious racism
Not all racism is overt. Much of it is subtle, quietly shaping the way people are seen, talked about, and treated. Some, like Piers Morgan, have argued it’s not racist to talk about Markle’s DNA as “exotic,” but this term has colonial roots, long working as a form of othering. Acknowledging this would mean really grappling with the insidious ways racism operates in the UK, undermining the notion that it is fundamentally a “tolerant” and “progressive” country.
by:MayaGoodfellow  from:Vox  MeghanMarkle  journalism  race 
8 days ago
There’s a reason why the royals are demonised. But you won’t read all about it.
But trust in [journalists converting the royals] is further compromised by the fact that none of the major players filtering this story for our consumption is exactly a disinterested bystander. All three of the major newspaper groups most obsessed with Harry and Meghan are themselves being sued by the couple for assorted breaches of privacy and copyright. There is, to any reasonable eyes, a glaring conflict of interest that, for the most part, goes undeclared.

For some years now – largely unreported – two chancery court judges have been dealing with literally hundreds of cases of phone hacking against MGN Ltd and News Group, the owners, respectively, of the Daily Mirror and the Sun (as well as the defunct News of the World).

The two publishers are, between them, forking out eye-watering sums to avoid any cases going to trial in open court. Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on.
by:AlanRusbridger  from:CommentIsFree  PrinceHarry  MeghanMarkle  journalism  geo:UnitedKingdom  DailyMail  DailyMirror  TheSun 
8 days ago
Trans excluders at the “Inclusion Gathering” shock
Edwina Peart wrote, It is one of my goals as diversity and inclusion coordinator that Quakers sit with issues around gender diversity and trans inclusion and ultimately reach a position. I feel that momentum is building through the strands of work that are occurring under this theme. However, this cannot develop into an active standpoint without the inclusion of the Gender Concerned group. This is an opportunity for deep examination of their position and an analysis of its base. It will encourage us to consider how we can be inclusive and welcoming of trans Friends living their gender truthfully. I do not think a position will be achieved without acknowledging, laying bare and ultimately allaying the fears of some cis gendered women and men.

I found that disrespectful. One “allays” fears that are groundless. Meeting with and hearing anti-trans campaigners, I do not hear fears. Yes, they talk of individual trans women who have committed crimes as if we should all be judged by the worst acts of the worst of us, but what I hear is righteous anger. They think it is part of the systematic disrespect the Patriarchy shows women that they should have to share spaces with trans women, and women’s spaces are valueless if trans women might be there. I am aware Heather in particular finds the thought of chest masculinisation surgery, which she would call double mastectomy, revolting.
by:ClareFlourish  transphobia  Quakers  feminism 
8 days ago
The left can’t sit out the ‘culture wars’. It must learn to fight them better
This preciousness was evident in Lisa Nandy’s latest Labour leadership election campaign speech, in which she criticised Labour under Jeremy Corbyn for letting Brexit become a “false culture war”. Nandy believes that Labour should have somehow stayed above the fray. But to declare that the Brexit culture war is “false”, to believe that it is a choice whether or not to engage in it, seems naïve. It’s like being in a real war, coming under enemy fire and suffering heavy casualties, but refusing to retaliate because you don’t agree with the premise of the offensive. Wars are either happening or they are not.

And the culture wars are happening. If anything, what’s “false” is the idea that one can treat them as a sort of political artefact that can be picked up and played with or discarded in order to pursue the things that really matter. If anything, Labour did not spar enough.

Underlying the disdain for culture wars is the mistaken belief that they are happening somewhere else, away from the serious business of high politics. But just as military conflict is a continuation of politics by other means, so are culture wars. The “false” tussles to which Nandy was referring played out on the ground, affecting people’s lives.
by:NesrineMalik  from:CommentIsFree  LisaNandy  Brexit  PoliticalCorrectness  censorship  Conservatives  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom 
8 days ago
Greenpeace included with neo-Nazis on UK counter-terror list
Among the groups listed with no known link to terrorist violence or known threat to national security are Stop the War, the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, vegan activists, anti-fascist groups, anti-racist groups, an anti-police surveillance group and campaigners against airport expansion. Communist and socialist political parties are also on the list.
by:VikramDodd  by:JamieGrierson  from:TheGuardian  police  fascism  dissent  Prevent  geo:UnitedKingdom 
10 days ago
If Big Ben bongs on Brexit day, every hammer blow will push this country further apart
Losers’ consent depends on several factors: the clarity and legitimacy of a result. That the mandate it confers will not be exceeded. The grace with which the winning side treats the losing side. The efforts made to reassure those who believe the result will hurt them. Every single one of those elements has been entirely absent from the handling of the referendum result.

So when Brexiters bemoan the lack of consent, let them also consider what they have done to procure it. What compromise have they offered, that reflects the narrowness of the result? What efforts have they made to reassure the public there was no improper interference? The Russia report is still suppressed.
by:AlexAndreou  from:iNews  Brexit  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  NigelFarage  BorisJohnson 
11 days ago
Climate crisis fills top five places of World Economic Forum’s risks report
The World Economic Forum’s annual risks report found that, for the first time in its 15-year history, the environment filled the top five places in the list of concerns likely to have a major impact over the next decade.

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum, said: “The political landscape is polarised, sea levels are rising and climate fires are burning. This is the year when world leaders must work with all sectors of society to repair and reinvigorate our systems of cooperation, not just for short-term benefit but for tackling our deep-rooted risks.”

After a month that has seen bush fires raging out of control in Australia, Brende said there was a need for urgent action. “We have only a very small window and if we don’t use that window in the next 10 years we will be moving around the deckchairs on the Titanic.”
by:LarryElliott  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  WorldEconomicForum  politics  economics  capitalism 
13 days ago
The trespass trap: this new law could make us strangers in our own land
But when you examine the proposals more closely, you begin to realise that they don’t stop at the persecution of travelling peoples. The way the questions are framed could enable the government to go much further than the official purpose of the consultation, potentially launching one of the most severe restrictions on general freedom in the modern era.

The consultation is everything such exercises are not supposed to be. It is confusing and heavily slanted. It is pitched in such a way that, however you might answer the questions, you are forced to agree with a profoundly illiberal idea.

For example, the first question asks: “To what extent do you agree or disagree that knowingly entering land without the landowner’s permission should only be made a criminal offence if it is for the purpose of residing on it?”It’s a perfect trap. If you agree, you consent to the curtailment of the traditional rights and lives of Roma and Travellers. If you disagree, you consent to the criminalisation of something much wider, which, throughout English history has been a civil matter: trespass on land.
by:GeorgeMonbiot  from:CommentIsFree  trespass  geo:UnitedKingdom  Roma  Gypsies 
13 days ago
Brexit will soon cost the UK more than its total payments to the EU - Business Insider
Brexit will have cost the UK more than £200 billion in lost economic growth by the end of this year — a figure which almost eclipses the total amount the UK will have paid towards the EU budget over the past 47 years.

According to research by Bloomberg Economics, the cost of the UK's vote to leave has already reached £130 billion, with a further £70 billion likely to be added by the end of 2020.

The analysis, carried out by economist Dan Hanson, found that business uncertainty has caused the UK's economic growth to lag behind that of other G7 countries since the 2016 vote.
by:ThomasColson  from:BusinessInsider  Brexit  politics  economics  geo:UnitedKingdom 
14 days ago
When I Die and People Write About Me
Apropos of nothing in particular, I have some thoughts about my (hopefully not imminent) death, and the people who will decide to write things about me immediately thereafter. Consider this piece a bit of advance planning.
by:JohnScalzi  from:JohnScalzi  death  obituary 
14 days ago
Avoid UK recession by kickstarting green economy, says thinktank
In the event of a recession, [the New Economics Foundation] said the government should spend at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP), or around £30bn, to decarbonise the economy, by investing in renewable energy projects, planting trees, transport infrastructure, electric vehicles, and retrofitting homes with new insulation. For a larger economic shock, as much as 3% of GDP, or around £50bn, could be spent.

Leading economists including former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers and the former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, have called on governments around the globe to prepare for future economic shocks with readily available blueprints to raise government spending.
by:RichardPartington  from:TheGuardian  economics  GreenNewDeal  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics 
14 days ago
How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change
Step 1: Ditch the shame.
Step 2: Focus on systems, not yourself.
Step 3: Join an effective group.
Step 4: Define your role.
Step 5: Know what you are fighting for, not just what you are fighting against.
by:EmmaMarris  from:TheNewYorkTimes  ClimateChange  MentalHealth  activism 
14 days ago
Meghan Markle And Prince Harry UK Royal Reporters Coverage Compared To Kate Middleton And Prince William
Britain’s royal correspondents, they said, are seen as reliable sources of information. "This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting," they wrote. Removing themselves from "royal rota" coverage has sparked an outcry among UK media and drew a protest from the National Union of Journalists.

This isn't a new complaint from the royal couple — they just took an unprecedented step to do something about it. Harry and Meghan have said publicly that they believe they have been treated unfairly by the UK press since the moment news broke of their relationship — that they are bullied, that there are racist undertones to coverage of them, and that they have been held to a different standard than Harry's brother and sister-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Prince William and Kate Middleton).

The UK media outlets that currently make up the royal rota are the Daily Express, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror, the Evening Standard, the Telegraph, the Times, and the Sun.

Here is a look at 20 stories from these outlets that appear to show a double standard between press coverage of Meghan and Kate. BuzzFeed News has reached out to all of the outlets featured below for comment.
by:EllieHall  from:Buzzfeed  monarchy  journalism 
15 days ago
Lab-grown food will soon destroy farming – and save the planet
Research by the thinktank RethinkX suggests that proteins from precision fermentation will be around 10 times cheaper than animal protein by 2035. The result, it says, will be the near-complete collapse of the livestock industry. The new food economy will “replace an extravagantly inefficient system that requires enormous quantities of inputs and produces huge amounts of waste with one that is precise, targeted, and tractable”. Using tiny areas of land, with a massively reduced requirement for water and nutrients, it “presents the greatest opportunity for environmental restoration in human history”.

Not only will food be cheaper, it will also be healthier. Because farmfree foods will be built up from simple ingredients, rather than broken down from complex ones, allergens, hard fats and other unhealthy components can be screened out. Meat will still be meat, though it will be grown in factories on collagen scaffolds, rather than in the bodies of animals. Starch will still be starch, fats will still be fats. But food is likely to be better, cheaper and much less damaging to the living planet.
by:GeorgeMonbiot  from:CommentIsFree  food  farming 
15 days ago
Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads is reckless
Bosworth started his missive by explaining why Facebook would not use its own tools and practices to decide the outcome of the next election, even if that meant the election of a lying candidate. Facebook will, it seems, only put its thumb on the scale for a candidate or campaign when paid to do so, as a vehicle for targeted advertising.

Bosworth’s memo provided an early smokescreen for an announcement later in the week that Facebook was holding fast to its policy of not fact-checking or removing untruthful statements in political advertising. For those concerned about the fairness of elections, this was a disappointing response. Even a very low bar for claims would be better than no bar and, much more importantly, an agreement to stop using the targeting methods which segment voters on an individual level would limit the vast opportunities to run dishonest campaigns.
by:EmilyBell  from:CommentIsFree  Facebook  politics  propaganda  USElection2020 
15 days ago
Steve McQueen: lack of diversity could ruin Baftas' credibility
“After a while you get a bit fed up with it,” he said. “Because if the Baftas are not supporting British talent, if you’re not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don’t understand what you are there for.

“Unless the Baftas wants to be like the Grammys, which is of no interest to anyone, and has no credibility at all, then they should continue on this path,” he added, referring to the criticism of the Grammys for consistently snubbing black talent. “If not then they have to change. Fact.”
by:LanreBakare  from:TheGuardian  race  film  BAFTA  SteveMcQueen 
15 days ago
Harry and Meghan were meant to embody post-racial Britain. So much for that.
Everything that could have predicted the pair’s joint decision to step back as senior royals can be directly traced back through all the sensationalist and derogatory headlines written about Markle. She couldn’t even enjoy avocados without being framed as a drought- and murder-fuelling traitor, set on bringing down the monarchy. Harry, to his credit, has been by her side every step of the way, challenging traditions by demanding an end to the tabloids’ abuse of her, which sadly had little impact. If anything, it gave the news cycle more to talk about — but his actions were nonetheless commendable.
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News outlets speculated on everything from whether the wedding would end prejudice against mixed-race relationships, to whether it would boost business for black female entrepreneurs. But it didn’t take long for the tabloid onslaught, or for Markle’s mere existence to become a tokenistic rhetorical device for those who claimed our country didn’t have a problem with race. How could we possibly be racist if we have a black princess?

As a successful, mixed-race woman from California, Markle became the media’s new punchbag, and her family weren’t spared media intrusions either. The contrast in treatment towards each of her divorced parents, however, was glaring: dog-whistles for her black mother, and sympathy for her white father.
by:AmnaSaleem  from:CommentIsFree  MeghanMarkle  racism  journalism  monarchy 
15 days ago
Australia is built on lies, so why would we be surprised about lies about climate change?
Early within the bushfire season we saw efforts to pretend it wasn’t really that bad, and that it was just those damn inner-city elites complaining, as they always do (it wasn’t). As things got worse, we were told it still really wasn’t that bad and that it definitely had nothing to do with climate change (it does). Then we were told it is that bad, but it was all the Greens’ fault (it wasn’t). Then we were told the government is giving everything the fire services have requested (they haven’t).

Then finally we have been told the Coalition government has never denied climate change and its links to fires (they have, and do), just as various Coalition members went on air telling us that there was no such thing as climate change.

I am not surprised by politicians showing such contempt, not just for the nation, its environment and its citizenry, but for reality itself – because that is the basis of how this country was formed. It has served countless politicians exceptionally well in the past.

Australia was founded on the lie that this country was terra nullius. It was founded on the lie that white men are the superior species. It was founded on the lie that the country was previously “unsettled” and that importing animals, plants, pests and unsustainable farming practices was how best to “settle” this “wild” land. It was founded on the lie that this is a “lucky country” and the land of a “fair go for all”.

Within my lifetime, I have seen the same lies play out to justify the Northern Territory intervention, to attack land rights, to justify inaction on climate change, to deny the stolen generations ever happened, to dehumanise and delegitimise the plights of Indigenous peoples, the unemployed, the entire “left”-leaning population.
by:LukePearson  from:CommentIsFree  AboriginalPeoples  geo:Australia  ClimateChange 
16 days ago
Greta Thunberg: At Davos we will tell world leaders to abandon the fossil fuel economy
since the 2015 Paris agreement, 33 major global banks have collectively poured $1.9tn (£1.5tn) into fossil fuels, according to Rainforest Action’s report. The IMF concluded that in 2017 alone, the world spent $5.2tn subsidising fossil fuels. This has to stop.

The world of finance has a responsibility to the planet, the people and all other species living on it. In fact, it ought to be in every company and stakeholder’s interest to make sure the planet they live on will thrive. But history has not shown the corporate world’s willingness to hold themselves accountable. So it falls on us, the children, to do that. We call upon the world’s leaders to stop investing in the fossil fuel economy that is at the very heart of this planetary crisis. Instead, they should invest their money in existing sustainable technologies, research and in restoring nature. Short-term profit should not trump long-term stability of life.
by:GretaThunberg  by:JeanHinchliffe  byLDanielleFerreiraDeAssis  by:JoelEnriquePeñaPanichine  by:RobinJullian  by:LuisaNeubauer  by:LicipriyaKangujam  by:DavidWicker  by:JuliaHaddad  by:OladosuAdenike  by:IqbalBadruddin  by:ArshakMakichyan  by:HollyGillibrand  by:AlejandroMartínez  by:IsabelleAxelsson  by:SophiaAxelsson  by:EllJarl  by:MinaPohankova  by:LinusDolder  by:VanessaNakate  by:TokataIronEyes  from:CommentIsFree  ClimateChange  neoliberalism  capitalism 
17 days ago
How a plant saved a Japanese island
Moist-looking wood chips soon fly as Kawauchi hacks away at the trunk of a cycad tree, or sotetsu as it’s known here in Japan. She’s trying to get past its diamond-patterned flesh to the core, just as her grandparents taught her many years ago. In almost every other part of the country, people avoid having anything to do with these highly toxic trees; when eaten raw, cycads can cause internal bleeding, liver damage and even death. But on Japan’s far-flung Amami Oshima island, located some 300km between the tip of Japan’s south-western-most main island, Kyushu, and Okinawa, things have historically been quite different. Part of the Ryukyu Islands and lying closer to Taiwan than Tokyo, Amami Oshima is tropical enough that cycads thrive. Often mistaken for palms because of their stout, cylindrical trunks and long, fan-like leaves, cycads have been around for the past 280 million years and are considered to be living fossils. In fact, these fern-shaped fronds were so abundant during the Jurassic Period that the era is often called “The Age of Cycads”. And while dinosaurs had no problem digesting the neurotoxin found in cycads, it remains deadly to humans. But for the 67,000 residents of Amami Oshima, cycads have served both as staple and a source of survival in dire times. Over the centuries, the islanders have quietly developed a way to harvest these toxic trees and remove the poison through a labour-intensive, four-week process. They start by cutting the pith from the trunk, grinding it into a flour and then washing and drying it vigorously and repeatedly to leach out the natural toxins. This combination eventually yields an edible sago starch known as nari, which can be used to make noodles or added to rice.
by:JamieLafferty  from:BBC  geo:Japan  food  cycads 
18 days ago
Michael Gove Confirms Plans For Freedom Of Information Crackdown
Michael Gove has confirmed he wants to make it harder for the public to find out about the inner-workings of government by cracking down on freedom of information laws.

It has been reported the new justice secretary wants to amend the Freedom of Information Act. And speaking in the Commons today, he said he wanted to "revisit" the legislation brought in by Tony Blair.

Critics have attacked the proposal as a blow for transparency. Labour MP Chi Onwurah asked Gove if the reports were true, "what he has to hide?" And Lib Dem Tom Brake said Gove should be "embarrassed".
by:NedSimons  from:HuffPost  MichaelGove  FreedomOfInformation  politics  Conservatives  geo:UnitedKingdom 
20 days ago
How Ikea plans to be climate positive by 2030
As the world’s largest furniture retailer, with 9,000-plus different products for sale in each store, the company uses materials at a massive scale. In a year, to make every bookshelf and coffee table and dresser and all of the other wood and particleboard products it sells, for example, it uses around 18 million cubic meters of wood, enough to fill 7,200 Olympic-size swimming pools.

The brand already sources most of its wood from FSC-certified forests; some wood comes from plantations, including locations in Slovakia where fast-growing poplar trees grow on partially degraded land where it would be harder to grow other crops. Other wood is sourced from sustainably managed forests. If it’s grown and harvested in the right way, wood isn’t a bad material choice, since it’s renewable and takes up CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows. “Wood stores carbon as long as it’s intact,” says Rod Taylor, global director of the forests program at the nonprofit World Resources Institute. “But then the circular economy becomes really important, because if it’s a cheap throwaway product—like some of Ikea’s products—its half-life in storing carbon will be relatively short.”
by:AdelePeters  from:FastCompany  environment  ClimateChange  Ikea 
20 days ago
Snitch tagging is ruining Twitter
Gather 'round, friends. Grab a seat. Everybody comfortable? Good, because we need to talk. 

*takes a deep breath* 

Y'ALL NEED TO STOP FUCKING SNITCH TAGGING.

Don't give me that look, you know good and gotdamn well what snitch tagging is. It's when you're minding your own business, shit talking someone on Twitter (which is exactly what that godforsaken website was made for, by the way), AND THEN SOMEONE RUINS YOUR FUN BY TAGGING THE SUBJECT IN THE FUCKING THREAD.

It's basically the opposite of a subtweet, and subtweets are what fuels Twitter.

Prime example of snitch tagging: that time someone tagged Elon Musk in a tweet about him by Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast.
by:MJFranklin  from:Mashable  reference  Twitter  SocialMedia  netiquette 
20 days ago
'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession
A recent survey of commercial beekeepers showed that 50 billion bees – more than seven times the world’s human population – were wiped out in a few months during winter 2018–19. This is more than one-third of commercial US bee colonies, the highest number since the annual survey started in the mid-2000s.

Beekeepers attributed the high mortality rate to pesticide exposure, diseases from parasites and habitat loss. However, environmentalists and organic beekeepers maintain that the real culprit is something more systemic: America’s reliance on industrial agriculture methods, especially those used by the almond industry, which demands a large-scale mechanization of one of nature’s most delicate natural processes.

Honeybees thrive in a biodiverse landscape. But California’s almond industry places them in a monoculture where growers expect the bees to be predictably productive year after year.

Commercial honeybees are considered livestock by the US Department of Agriculture because of the creature’s vital role in food production. But no other class of livestock comes close to the scorched-earth circumstances that commercial honeybees face. More bees die every year in the US than all other fish and animals raised for slaughter combined.
¶¶

This year Arp’s bees, like more than two-thirds of the United States’ commercial honeybee population, will spend February in the toxic chemical soup of California’s Central Valley, fertilizing almonds one blossom at a time.

Pesticides are used for all kinds of crops across the state, but the almond, at 35m lb a year, is doused with greater absolute quantities than any other. One of the most widely applied pesticides is the herbicide glyphosate (AKA Roundup), which is a staple of large-scale almond growers and has been shown to be lethal to bees as well as cause cancer in humans.

On top of the threat of pesticides, almond pollination is uniquely demanding for bees because colonies are aroused from winter dormancy about one to two months earlier than is natural. The sheer quantity of hives required far exceeds that of other crops – apples, America’s second-largest pollination crop, use only one-tenth the number of bees. And the bees are concentrated in one geographic region at the same time, exponentially increasing the risk of spreading sickness.
by:AnnetteMcGivney  from:TheGuardian  environment  extinction  BeeKeeping 
20 days ago
Germany's dialect iron curtain still divides the country, study finds
For an article in the science journal PLOS ONE, published on Wednesday, Adrian Leeman, Curdin Derungs and Stephan Elspass compared metadata provided by more than 770,000 people in Germany, Austria and Switzerland who had taken part in an online language quiz, with language surveys dating back to the 1970s.

On the one hand they found that German, Europe’s most widely spoken mother tongue and often described as its most diverse, is becoming more standardised, especially north of the River Main. Local expressions for non-professional football playing, such as pöhlen in Westphalia or bäbbeln in Saxony are slowly being replaced by the generic term bolzen, in what linguists call “regional levelling”.

Yet the old east-west border is proving an unexpected bulwark against linguistic change, especially when it comes to food. West of the former Berlin Wall, Germans call a pancake a Pfannkuchen; on the eastern side, they emphatically tuck into Eierkuchen or “egg cakes”.
by:PhilipOltermann  from:TheGuardian  lang:Deutsch  language 
20 days ago
Britain Is Changing. It’s About Time The Media Did Too
We can’t escape the fact that the makeup of Britain’s viewing audience and workforce is rapidly changing. And we can only continue to make the case for the BBC as a broadcaster of choice by cultivating inclusion and harnessing the power of our diversity. Put simply, we need to reflect and engage with the UK’s diverse communities both on and off screen, and to produce the inclusive conditions required for diversity to thrive. However, there is no getting away from the very real barriers that exist, which have slowed progress and led to the emergence of roles like mine across all industry sectors in an attempt to help circumvent them. Part of the problem is that these barriers cannot always be seen, but they can definitely be felt if your lived experience of being different has exposed you to them.  

All too often, those barriers are ignored because it’s easier to stick with the familiar, but it should come as no surprise then that we continue to see the same results. In the words of Einstein: “The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” It is why I am excited by the ways we are looking to innovate and create change at the BBC.
by:JuneSarpong  from:HuffPost  BBC  representation  diversity  journalism 
20 days ago
Will this be the decade we change the world… or ruin it?
In one scenario, our industry has unleashed its potential to drive cultural and behavioural change at scale. CO₂ emissions around the world have halved. Meat at the dinner table is a rarity. Water and air are getting steadily cleaner. People don’t own cars any more, but can access one when they need to – and because no-one owns a car, car parks have reverted back to being, simply, parks.

People spend less on stuff, but more than ever on developing themselves and their friendships. Holidaying by plane is now socially unacceptable while we await electric vehicles, but creative thinkers have capitalised on the decline in farming to drive exponential growth in rural tourism.

Advertising is celebrated as the industry that accelerated the change and a new generation of creative heroes have become household names.

In an alternative scenario, advertising has become the mouthpiece of irresponsible business. CO₂-driving behaviours remain unchecked. The only industry growing faster than fast fashion is air travel. Flooding costs the UK economy £2bn a year. The number of climate migrants is growing by millions every year and large parts of the world have already become uninhabitable. Advertising remains bottom of the poll of least-respected professions and some of our leaders face lawsuits from individuals and nation states, suing them for criminal negligence.

It’s worth us keeping these two scenarios in mind as we open our laptops and crack into our next briefs. For the sad truth is, of course, that of the work being put out by our industry most of it is more in service to the latter scenario than the former.
by:BenEssen  from:Campaign  ClimateChange  advertising 
22 days ago
UK could forfeit security council seat over Chagos Islands dispute
The UN general assembly endorsed the opinion in May and set a deadline for implementation of 22 November 2019, which the UK ignored.

“It must be in the UK’s interest to be seen to abide by international law, especially now the UK is in search of a new role in the world, following withdrawal from the EU and the uncertainty of our special relationship with the US,” Snoxell said. “To continue in breach of human rights and the rule of law will have implications for the UK’s reputation and permanent seat on the security council, as happened in November 2017 when for the first time the UK judge on the ICJ failed to be re-elected. It would relegate the UK to a minor part on the international stage if we lost our seat on the security council.”
by:JamieDoward  from:TheGuardian  UnitedNations  geo:ChagosIslands  CrimesAgainstHumanity 
23 days ago
Native American 'land taxes': a step on the roadmap for reparations
To help the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust rework the land, populate it with native fruits and herbs, transform into a community and to restore even more land to California’s Indigenous community, local residents and businesses can pay the organization a Shuumi land tax.

“Shuumi in our language means gift,” Gould explained. Non-Native residents can choose to pay the tax as a way to show support and gratitude for the Native people hosting them on their ancestral lands.

Over the past year politicians and presidential candidates have expressed an increasing desire to right historical wrongs against Indigenous people and black Americans. Scholars of Indigenous law and policy say the issue of how best to deliver justice to Native Americans is exceedingly complex – and the use of the word reparations in this context is often fraught. But grassroots programs in the Bay Area and around the country can provide insight into what form these types of social justice efforts could take.

For Gould, the Shuumi land tax is a way to begin undoing centuries of erasure. When she first began her work as an activist for Indigenous sovereignty two decades ago, she said, “most people thought that we were dead. That we no longer existed.”
by:MaanviSingh  from:TheGuardian  geo:SanFrancisco  geo:UnitedKingdom  reparations  NativeAmericans 
23 days ago
The union survived this decade. But only just
Labour campaigned against independence in the Scottish referendum basically on the grounds that the working class on both sides of the border had a common history and shared objectives: class, then, rather than nation. As Douglas Alexander, then the cleverest of the post-Blair-Brown generation of Scottish MPs, told me at the time, referring ironically to “the inherently progressive quality” of the Scottish aristocracy: “The reason we have a national health service is not because of … the Duke of Argyll, [but] because a Welshman, Aneurin Bevan, secured the votes of working people across these islands in the cause of a progressive ideal.”

This was true, but it ignored the uncomfortable fact that the duke and Alexander were now on the same, unionist side; and that the SNP, particularly its deputy leader, Nicola Sturgeon, now framed independence as the most pragmatic route to social justice rather than the best means of preserving and encouraging national identity. No longer could it be labelled a party of “Tartan Tories”. Labour support among the urban underprivileged, particularly in the party’s old strongholds in the western Lowlands, such as Coatbridge, began to collapse.

That the unionists won the referendum was little thanks to places such as these, each with their equivalents, just as brimming with disenchantment, in the English Midlands, south Wales and the English north. David Cameron’s too-quick reaction to victory, promising counterbalancing English reforms to those the unionist side had promised Scotland, had its consequences in the SNP’s near total victory – 56 seats out of 59 – in the general election of 2015. But how was deindustrialised England to find its cure or get its revenge? The answer came soon enough, in the form of Brexit and Nigel Farage. In 2014, Alexander had rooted the appeal of both Salmond and Farage in their easy blame of “the other” – Brussels in Farage’s case, and London/austerity/the Tories/Westminster (“choose your descriptor,” said Alexander) in Salmond’s.

Another similarity, not easily predicted, was how the fantastical version of English history embraced by English nationalism would equal and then overtake the Caledonian delusions that the SNP was beginning to shed. It had lain dormant inside the fog of British history since Empire Day was last celebrated, but now sprang angrily to life. There had been claymores in the north; there would be Spitfires in the south.
by:IanJack  from:CommentIsFree  geo:Scotland  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics  SNP 
25 days ago
Australia is becoming a nation of dread – and the world looks on with pity and scorn
On the beach at Mallacoota, families sat in the smoke under a sky of flame. It’s all on camera. The scene was repeated up and down the coast. At Malua Bay in New South Wales, children, their parents and grandparents were trapped for a day and night between fires and the sea. They’re safe now but it was a close call.

Already, these scenes are part of the national imagination. Among Australians of a certain age, they stir memories of a Hollywood potboiler about the end of the world filmed 60 years ago in Melbourne. On the Beach starred Ava Gardener, Gregory Peck and Fred Astaire. The remake stars us.

One of the duties of a leader is to find the words in times like these. So many have died. So much has been destroyed. But how can Scott Morrison speak to the experience of the country if he can’t admit we are living through unique times? He says instead: “We have faced these disasters before.”

Watch and act, Prime Minister. Watch and act.

If Morrison could face the truth, he might speak not only to his country but the world. If Australia were taking effective action against climate change, this catastrophe would give us the right to demand better of the great rogue states on climate, China and the USA.

We’re doing our bit, he says as the country burns and the world looks on with a mix of pity and scorn.
by:DavidMarr  from:CommentIsFree  geo:Australia  ClimateChange  politics  ScottMorrison  environment 
27 days ago
Convert half of UK farmland to nature, urges top scientist
Prof Sir Ian Boyd said such a change could mean the amount of cattle and sheep would fall by 90%, with farmers instead being paid for storing carbon dioxide, helping prevent floods and providing beautiful landscapes where people could boost their health and wellbeing.

Boyd said the public were subsidising the livestock industry to produce huge environmental damage. The professor spent seven years at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs before stepping down in August. Half of farmland, mostly uplands and pasture, produces just 20% of the UK’s food and would be better for used other public goods, he said.
¶¶

“If anybody asked me: ‘If there is one thing I can do to help save the planet, what would it be?’ I would say just eat a lot less meat. It’s the easiest thing to do. I’ve done it.”

People could reduce the meat they eat by 90% and have a perfectly balanced diet, Boyd said: “Freeing up 50% of the land would probably result in a reduction in the amount of livestock by about that amount, because it would be mostly livestock land we would be taking out of production.”

Farmers should be paid for changing the way land is used, he said. Current subsidies are largely based on the amount of land owned, but the government has pledged it will “move to a system based on public money for public goods” after the UK leaves the EU’s subsidy regime.
by:DamianCarrington  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  farming  geo:UnitedKingdom  IanBoyd 
28 days ago
The environment in 2050: flooded cities, forced migration – and the Amazon turning to savannah
‘Good morning. Here is the shipping forecast for midday, 21 June, 2050. Seas will be rough, with violent storms and visibility ranging from poor to very poor for the next 24 hours. The outlook for tomorrow is less fair.”

All being well, this could be a weather bulletin released by the Met Office and broadcast by the BBC in the middle of this century. Destructive gales may not sound like good news, but they will be among the least of the world’s problems in the coming era of peak climate turbulence. With social collapse a very real threat in the next 30 years, it will be an achievement in 2050 if there are still institutions to make weather predictions, radio transmitters to share them and seafarers willing to listen to the archaic content.

I write this imaginary forecast with an apology to Tim Radford, the former Guardian science editor, who used the same device in 2004 to open a remarkably prescient prediction on the likely impacts of global warming on the world in 2020.
by:JonathanWatts  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  futurism 
28 days ago
The spiralling environmental cost of our lithium battery addiction
But lithium may not be the most problematic ingredient of modern rechargeable batteries. It is relatively abundant, and could in theory be generated from seawater in future, albeit through a very energy-intensive process.

Two other key ingredients, cobalt and nickel, are more in danger of creating a bottleneck in the move towards electric vehicles, and at a potentially huge environmental cost. Cobalt is found in huge quantities right across the Democratic Republic of Congo and central Africa, and hardly anywhere else. The price has quadrupled in the last two years.

Unlike most metals, which are not toxic when they’re pulled from the ground as metal ores, cobalt is “uniquely terrible,” according to Gleb Yushin, chief technical officer and founder of battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies.

“One of the biggest challenges with cobalt is that it’s located in one country,” he adds. You can literally just dig up the land and find cobalt, so there’s a very strong motivation to dig it up and sell it, and a a result there’s a lot of motivation for unsafe and unethical behaviour.” The Congo is home to ‘artisanal mines’, where cobalt is extracted from the ground by hand, often using child labour, without protective equipment.
by:AmitKatwala  from:Wired  ClimateChange  mining  environment 
28 days ago
Science fiction and the unforeseeable future: In the 2020s, let’s imagine better things
The stories we tell about our future affect what we do when the future arrives, so science-fictional tales of weathering the crisis have the makings of a movement that allows us to do so.

Try this on for size: As the vast majority of Canadians come to realize the scale of the crisis, they are finally successful in their demand that their government address it unilaterally, without waiting for other countries to agree.

Canada goes on a war footing: Full employment is guaranteed to anyone who will work on the energy transition – building wind, tide and solar facilities; power storage systems; electrified transit systems; high-speed rail; and retrofits to existing housing stock for an order-of-magnitude increase in energy and thermal efficiency. All of these are entirely precedented – retrofitting the housing stock is not so different from the job we undertook to purge our homes of lead paint and asbestos, and the cause every bit as urgent.

How will we pay for it? The same way we paid for the Second World War: spending the money into existence (much easier now that we can do so with a keyboard rather than a printing press), then running a massive campaign to sequester all that money in war bonds so it doesn’t cause inflation.

The justification for taking such extreme measures is obvious: a 1000 Year Reich is a horror too ghastly to countenance, but rendering our planet incapable of sustaining human life is even worse.
by:CoryDoctorow  from:TheGlobeAndMail  ClimateChange  SpeculativeFiction  GreenNewDeal 
29 days ago
Revealed: microplastic pollution is raining down on city dwellers
The health impacts of breathing or consuming the tiny plastic particles are unknown, and experts say urgent research is needed to assess the risks.

Only four cities have been assessed to date but all had microplastic pollution in the air. Scientists believe every city will be contaminated, as sources of microplastic such as clothing and packaging are found everywhere.

Recent research shows the whole planet appears to be contaminated with microplastic pollution. Scientists have found the particles everywhere they look, from Arctic snow and mountain soils, to many rivers and the deepest oceans. Other work indicates particles can be blown across the world.
by:DamianCarrington  from:TheGuardian  microplastics  environment  pollution  AirPollution 
4 weeks ago
Stanford Researchers Have an Exciting Plan to Tackle The Climate Emergency Worldwide
The plan would require a hefty investment of around US$73 trillion. But the researchers' calculations show the jobs and savings it would earn would pay this back in as little as seven years.

"Based on previous calculations we have performed, we believe this will avoid 1.5° global warming," environmental engineer and lead author Mark Jacobson told ScienceAlert.
¶¶

The plan involves transitioning all our energy sectors, including electricity, transport, industry, agriculture, fishing, forestry and the military to work entirely with renewable energy.

Jacobson believes we have 95% of the technology we need already, with only solutions for long distance and ocean travel still to be commercialised.
¶¶

This proposal could earn push-back from industries and politicians that have the most to lose, especially those with a track record of throwing massive resources at delaying our progress towards a more sustainable future. Criticisms of the team's previous work have already been linked back to these exact groups.

But "the costs of transitioning have dropped so low, transitions are occurring even in places without policies," said Jacobson. "For example, in the US, 9 out of the 10 states with the most wind power installed are Republican-voting states with few or no policies promoting wind power."
by:TessaKoumoundouros  from:ScienceAlert  ClimateChange 
4 weeks ago
Sometimes I unplug my brainstem from the non-stop crisis liveblog that has become our life in the UK and become briefly conscious of how the…
Sometimes I unplug my brainstem from the non-stop crisis liveblog that has become our life in the UK and become briefly conscious of how the media, especially the BBC, has failed us on Brexit in a way that reminds me just a little bit of the collapse of Yugoslavia.

To destroy a successful, stable multi-ethnic state takes years of preparation, before the fuse is lit and events accelerate out of control. The people who set the fire then shrug, act like it was all casus fortuitus, and we all have to react to the new facts on the ground.

A small minority of wreckers can easily unravel a state if they pick at the right threads. But the key is getting the media to ignore wider context / analysis & just focus on the ‘bang bang’ like our non-stop liveblogs — “OMG, Gove just got in his car!”
by:LeeBryant  from:Twitter  journalism  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  Brexit 
5 weeks ago
Thread by @RebeccaRHelm: "Friendly neighborhood biologist here. I see a lot of people are talking about biological sexes and gender right now. Lots of folks make biol […]"
Friendly neighborhood biologist here. I see a lot of people are talking about biological sexes and gender right now. Lots of folks make biological sex sex seem really simple. Well, since it’s so simple, let’s find the biological roots, shall we? Let’s talk about sex...[a thread]
by:RebecaHelm  from:Twitter  gender  transgender  transphobia  biology  bundle:transphobia 
5 weeks ago
'Their eyes opened up': Tuktoyaktuk teens screen climate change doc at UN conference
It was only a few months ago that a group of teens from Tuktoyaktuk, N.W.T., formed a collective — Tuk TV — and began filming a documentary: Happening to Us. But what a few months it has been.

The teens recently returned from Cop25 — a United Nations climate change conference held in Madrid — having screened their documentary to attendees from around the world.

The film shows the impact climate change is having on the teens' hometown, where issues like coastal erosion are so dramatic the hamlet is preparing for relocation.

"They really showed concern," said Tuk TV's Carmen Kuptana. "Their eyes opened up when they saw what was happening to our land, and how young kids were really concerned about what was happening.
by:MackenzieScott  from:CBC  ClimateChange  IndigenousCulture  geo:Canada  geo:NorthWestTerritories 
5 weeks ago
Stormzy: UK is 'definitely racist' and Johnson has made it worse
Stormzy said the prime minister was a “figurehead” whose actions had made it more acceptable to say racist things in British society. “If the top person can openly say this racist thing – the ‘piccaninnies’ remarks, ‘watermelon smiles’, comparing Muslim women to a letter box – if that is our figurehead, the top man, the leader we have to follow, and he openly says these things, he encourages hate among others.”

He said since Johnson had been in office the situation had deteriorated, with people who hold racist views feeling emboldened to express them in public.

“Before, people had to hide their racism. If you felt something bad about about black people, about Muslims, you had to shut up. Now these people have the confidence to come out in public to say everything. This is scary to me, that scares the shit out of me.”
by:LanreBakare  from:TheGuardian  Stormzy  race  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  BorisJohnson 
5 weeks ago
The Tyranny of the 63 Million
If Trump is a martyr, who are his persecutors? You could watch the debate with the sound off and understand. All day, Republican speeches delivered by old white men alternated with Democratic speeches from women, people of color and young people. White men make up 90 percent of the Republican caucus and 38 percent of the Democratic one, and the day dramatized the representational gulf in the starkest visual terms.

With the sound on, you could hear fury and self-pity from the Republicans, along with, at times, outrage that Democrats would have the audacity to speak on behalf of American values. Clay Higgins, Republican of Louisiana, brought with him one of those color-coded maps Trump supporters love, showing how their fewer 2016 votes were spread over much greater expanses of land. “We’re not being devoured from within because of some surreal assertion of the socialists’ newfound love for the very flag that they trod upon,” Higgins said. “We face this horror because of this map.”

In a sense, he’s right: We face the horror of Trump because the structure of American democracy gives disproportionate power to a declining demographic group passionately convinced of its right to rule. Trump, with his braying entitlement, his boastful ignorance, his sneering contempt for pluralism, is an avatar of a Republican Party desperate to return to the 1980s, or the 1950s, or maybe the 1910s. He can’t betray America if, to those who fetishize the 63 million, he embodies it.
by:MichelleGoldberg  from:TheNewYorkTimes  DonaldTrump  geo:UnitedStates  politics  race  WhiteFragility 
5 weeks ago
J.K. Rowling’s transphobia is a product of British culture
But trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) ideology has been helped along in the UK by media under the leadership of Rupert Murdoch and the Times of London for years. Any vague opposition to gender-critical thought in the UK brings accusations of “silencing women” and a splashy feature or op-ed in a British national newspaper. Australian radical feminist Sheila Jeffreys went before the UK Parliament in March 2018 and declared that trans women are “parasites,” language that sounds an awful lot like Donald Trump speaking about immigrants.

According to Heron Greenesmith, who studies the modern gender-critical movement as a senior research associate at the social-justice think tank Political Research Associates, gender-critical feminism in the UK grew out of a toxic mix of historical imperialism and the influence of the broader skeptical movement in the early aughts — which was hyperfocused on debunking “junk science” and any idea that considered sociological and historical influence and not just biology. Those who rose to prominence in the movement did so through a lot of “non-tolerant calling-out and attacking people,” Greenesmith said, much like gender-critical feminism. “Anti-trans feminists think they have science on their side. It is bananas how ascientific their rhetoric is, and yet literally they say, ‘Biology isn’t bigotry.’ In fact, biology has been used as bigotry as long as biology has been a thing.”

TERFism has spread so far in the UK that many pundits even blamed the overwhelming Tory victory in last week’s election on trans people, claiming that trans issues are just a hyper-woke product of a political left that has simply gone too far. The claim is a stretch, given that trans issues were not a significant issue in an election largely dominated by the looming prospect of Brexit and that many of the loudest anti-trans voices in the UK are in the Labour Party.
by:KatelynBurns  from:Vox  transphobia  geo:UnitedKingdom  JKRowling  TERF  feminism  politics 
5 weeks ago
Alfie Meadows: police officer cleared of causing brain injury at student protest
Speaking after the hearing, Meadows expressed disappointment with the decision. “I feel like my almost decade-long struggle for justice has been at least partially vindicated by the panel accepting that I was almost killed by a police officer’s baton,” he said.

“But they have refused accountability. After almost dying at the hands of police they then tried to criminalise me and then over the course of a decade have tried to delay and deny accountability.”
by:DamienGayle  from:TheGuardian  PoliceBrutality  politics  geo:UnitedKingdom  dissent  protest 
5 weeks ago
Labour must remember that the ‘traditional working class’ includes minorities too
It is possible to call for a new kind of political and economic settlement in northern towns without throwing minorities under the bus. An attachment to place and locality is something that unites us. The roadmap of my family – from St Ann, Jamaica to Reading East in the embers of the empire – forms the story of not just who I am, but what Britain is.

Whether it fits Blue Labour’s narrative or not, minorities make up a large chunk of Labour’s “heartlands” too, and erasing our experiences for political clout is not only amoral but shortsighted. Ethnic minorities are more likely to be in precarious work and were hit the hardest by austerity, and as a result are just as entitled to the badge of “working class” as white people. Labour needs to dig deep and find what unites the working class in its entirety – it must emphasise what is shared.

This is essential for ethnic minorities’ survival, but also for Labour’s. Alienating minorities for short-term political gain is a risky strategy; in the 2017 election, ethnic minority voters made up one in five of Labour voters, but only one in 20 of Conservative voters. Punting a new socialism with a side of “legitimate concerns about immigration” could hit Labour at the next election and the one after that. Demographic change will bring more minorities into the electorate and they do not owe Labour their vote.
by:Kimberly  McIntosh  from:CommentIsFree  BlueLabour  race  immigration  politics  labour  geo:UnitedKingdom  GeneralElection2019 
5 weeks ago
Scotland isn't different, it's Britain that's bizarre
When people say that Scotland is different, that the social democratic aspirations of Scots are an anomaly, they are missing the point entirely. The social attitudes of Scots, and the policies of the Scottish Parliament, are pretty much standard for a European country. Scotland isn't the exception, it's the rule.

The thing that's weird isn't even England. Most English people are against privatisation, and though there is a small difference in attitudes towards social security, it's nothing that won't change over the years.

No, the thing that's an outlier is Britain. As the Radical Independence Campaign has pointed out, it's Britain that is the fourth most unequal developed country on earth, in which pay has in recent years fallen faster than in all but three EU countries, in which people work the third longest hours in Europe for the second lowest wages in the OECD despite having Europe's third highest housing costs, highest train fares and the second worst levels of fuel poverty.

It's Britain which has the least happy children in the developed world, the highest infant mortality rate in Western Europe and some of the worst child poverty in the industrialised world. It's British elderly people who are the fourth poorest pensioners in the EU. It's Britain which has the eighth biggest gender pay gap in Europe and child care costs much higher than most European countries.
by:AdamRamsay  from:OpenDemocracy  geo:UnitedKingdom  geo:Scotland  socialism  politics  neoliberalism 
6 weeks ago
The UN climate talks are over for another year – was anything achieved?
Few countries came up with new targets at these talks, and the hope is that next year more will follow. Strong public and political pressure will be needed, participants acknowledged, as these talks were characterised by squabbling over technical details. Brazil, Australia, the US, China and other major emitters were all accused of holding up progress.
¶¶

“The world is screaming out for action, but this summit responded with a whisper,” said Chema Vera, interim executive director of Oxfam International. “The poorest nations are in a sprint for survival, yet many governments have barely moved from the starting blocks. Instead of committing to more ambitious cuts in emissions, countries have argued over technicalities.”
by:FionaHarvey  from:TheGuardian  ClimateChange  politics 
6 weeks ago
Finland is winning the war on fake news. Other nations want the blueprint
“Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube … who are enablers of Russian trolls … they really should be regulated,” said Jessikka Aro, a journalist with Finland’s public broadcaster YLE, who has faced a barrage of abuse for her work investigating Russian interference, long before it was linked to the 2016 US elections.

“Just like any polluting companies or factories should be and are already regulated, for polluting the air and the forests, the waters, these companies are polluting the minds of people. So, they also have to pay for it and take responsibility for it.”
by:ElizabethMackintosh  by:EdwardKiernan  from:CNN  propaganda  geo:Finland  geo:Russia  SocialMedia 
6 weeks ago
The election in the media: against evasion and lies, good journalism is all we have
Coin one unforgettable message and stick to it. “Get Brexit done” was brilliant, never mind that the meaning of “Brexit” and “done” was far from clear: this is an age of simplicity, not complexity. Even the so-called mainstream media will do far more to amplify that slogan rather than question it. Try this stunt: slap the words on a JCB digger and drive it through a pile of polystyrene bricks … and watch as news editors obligingly clear their front pages for the image. They are making posters, not doing journalism.
¶¶

Old-fashioned press conferences should be kept to the minimum. A manifesto should say almost nothing. Gaffe-prone colleagues should be “disappeared”. If in real trouble, make things up. You’ll be amazed how readily even the best journalists will repeat unattributable fictions (see the “row” over the four-year-old boy in Leeds General Infirmary and what “happened” during the subsequent visit of health secretary Matt Hancock). By the time the journalists have corrected themselves and Twitter has spent 24 hours arguing about the truth, the world will have moved on.
by:AlanRusbridger  from:TheGuardian  journalism  politics  GeneralElection2019  geo:UnitedKingdom  LauraKuenssberg  BorisJohnson  MattHancock 
6 weeks ago
This was the decade climate change slapped us in the face
The real fight for Earth’s future is still just getting started. Since the Paris accord was adopted halfway through the decade, global carbon emissions have risen 4%. They are still climbing. The United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change dropped a bombshell report in 2018 that found that the world had already warmed by 1° Celsius and could exceed that precarious 1.5° threshold as soon as 2030.

Warming up a degree or two might seem like small beans, but consider this: at 2° Celsius of warming, nearly all of the world’s coral reefs could vanish. Tens of thousands of people could lose their lives each year to extreme heat at 2° of warming compared to meeting the 1.5° target.
¶¶

Small island nations like Kiribati are already grappling with the possibility of relocating citizens to other countries if rising seas drown their homes. Kiribati purchased land in Fiji in 2014 as its leaders contemplated “migration with dignity.”

In 2016, The New York Times designated the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe of Isle de Jean Charles as America’s first “climate refugees.” That year, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development gave Louisiana $48.3 million to resettle Isle de Jean Charles’ residents. Their homes once spread across 22,000 acres of land. Now, just 320 acres, or just over 1 percent, remain above water.

Isle de Jean Charles is not far from the site of 2010’s Deepwater Horizon spill. Scientists observed years later that the spilled oil weakened the grip of marshland vegetation that stabilizes the soil with its roots. With the damage, an already eroding Louisiana shoreline and sinking wetlands slid farther under the water’s surface.
by:JustineCalma  from:TheVerge  ClimateChange  geo:Louisiana  geo:UnitedStates 
6 weeks ago
Friday Reading S08E17
I promised an election free newsletter. And then I saw the result. So it turned out I lied. It’s fine. Apparently there are no consequences for that.

I feel like I’m trapped on an island of selfish racist people. I don’t understand how else to explain that we have voted in absolute droves for the party that shut our libraries, sacked our police officers, failed to fill our nursing vacancies, deported our friends and family.
by:MartinBelam  GeneralElection2019  politics  race  Conservatives  BorisJohnson 
6 weeks ago
We must adapt to climate decline
This clear Conservative victory and the wrong path that it sets us on and threatens to lock us into means that 2030 becomes unrealistic as a carbon net-zero and biodiversity loss-zero date. In fact we have to be thinking more about the way in which society is likely to decline or even collapse, because of the direction that, tragically, we appear as a nation to have chosen.
¶¶

We, the electoral and political arm of the green movement, must start to admit plainly that electoral and political solutions alone are not going to be adequate respond to the crisis we as a people (and a species) have now landed ourselves in. We need as a political party to start to spend some of our time looking beyond party politics.
¶¶

we all can no longer go on pretending that we are going to be changing society for the better in a green dream future, but need instead to get real about a last ditch effort to prevent an uncontrolled collapse, and a series of measures at every level to cope with the ecological horror stories that will define the virtually permanent emergency that is just beginning.
by:RupertRead  from:GreenWorld  ClimateChange  GeneralElection2019  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics  DirectAction 
6 weeks ago
It’s High Time to Redefine “Safe Sex”
When researchers adjust their definition of “safe sex” to account for the preventive effects of HIV-positive people having an undetectable viral load and HIV-negative individuals being on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), the proportion of men who have sex with men (MSM) who engage in sex that puts them at high risk for HIV transmission falls dramatically, aidsmap reports.

In other words, the old definition of safe sex may vastly overestimate the risk of transmission among gay and bisexual men.
¶¶

Traditionally, “risky sex” on the part of people with HIV is defined as sex without a condom (aka “barebacking”) with a partner who does not have the virus or is of an unknown HIV status. Forty-two percent of the men in the study reported such sex within the previous three months.

The researchers then narrowed the definition of risky sex, defining it as condomless sex between an HIV-positive man with a viral load over 200 and a partner who is HIV-negative or does not know his HIV status. Just 6% of the men in the study reported such sex during the previous three months.
by:BenjaminRyan  from:Poz  HIV/AIDS  barebacking 
6 weeks ago
Recognizing the Enduring Whiteness of Jane Austen
We frequently hear teachers and professors complain that the younger generations don’t like to read the classics anymore. This is of no fault but their own. I want to read Austen. I want to read as many dead white writers as I can. I have a voracious appetite to read literature from every historical period and place on this planet.

But I must read them from this body. This body built of colonization. This body built from the pillaging and massacring and dispossessing of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This body hundreds of years in the making which I now read from.

Those like, and unlike me, are there in those pages. Those details of Caribbean islands and the plantations housed there generating wealth from the labor of enslaved African people scattered about in a 19th-century British novel. Those details which, according to the Austen professor, aren’t strong enough to foster an argument.
by:MarcosGonsalez  from:Lithub  imperialism  literature  colonialism  slavery  JaneAusten  academic 
6 weeks ago
Who’s Spreading Disinformation in U.K. Election? You Might Be Surprised
Britain’s election is the first major campaign since Facebook said it would not fact-check political ads from candidates and political parties. Sam Jeffers, a co-founder of Who Targets Me, a group that tracks Facebook political advertising, said that since then, there had not been the flood of disinformation that many had feared.

Yet he said there were a lot of misleading online ads, some from new outside groups whose financial backers are not always clear to the public.

As of Dec. 5, no party or candidate in Britain had spent more than 750,000 pounds (about $1 million) on Facebook ads during the campaign, far below what candidates in the United States typically spend.

Yet Mr. Davey of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the group that tracks global disinformation, said posts spread among Facebook users were just as big a problem as political ads. The British election, he said, highlights the widening use of techniques to manipulate social media by candidates, parties, activist groups and individuals around the world.

With few rules around internet campaigns, Mr. Davey said, it is hard for voters to know what content is legitimate and where the material originates. There have been several recent examples where information originating from questionable sources online reached the mainstream.
by:AdamSatariano  by:AmieTsang  from:TheNewYorkTimes  GeneralElection2019  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics  propaganda  journalism  BorisJohnson  JeremyCorbyn 
6 weeks ago
Why Black Brits Are Considering Leaving UK After Election: 'If The Conservatives Win, I'm Gone'
“I fear a Johnson-led government because we’ve not had such an overtly racist prime minister for years. He doesn’t try to hide what he is. The fact he consistently refuses to apologise to Black people for what he’s done to our communities and the words he’s used is ridiculous.”

“Racism has ramped up since Brexit and my Black skin instantly identifies me in the way a burka instantly identifies a Muslim woman. … A friend of mine at work is going back home to Spain. EU citizens have been treated very badly since the referendum. I wish I could join him but it’s not much better for Black people in Europe either.

“Brexit appeared to have given the racists carte blanch to say out loud what they are thinking. I just knew I had to leave in order to enjoy my retirement.”

“When you have a media dominated by Tory sympathisers, the idea of them holding the likes of Johnson, Rees-Mogg and others to account is like believing in fairies. … As the prime minister he ought to be held to a much higher standard, yet he’s allowed to dismiss concerns around his racism, his xenophobic rhetoric, as free speech.”
by:NadineWhite  from:HuffPost  geo:UnitedKingdom  politics  BorisJohnson  GeneralElection2019  Conservatives  race 
6 weeks ago
The U.S. Has Almost No Official Presence at COP25 But Is Still “Obstructing Any Progress”
The proposal that U.S. is right now only sharing with heads of delegation and not putting it formally is a way to arm-twist developing countries, that if you want any decision on loss and damage process which can help people, you have to agree that we will continue to have a seat at the table, even when we are out of Paris Agreement. And even more worse is that you have to make sure that the liability waiver is extended to United States and its polluting industries.

This is worst I have seen in the last 10 years of me attending negotiations. It can’t get worse than that. It’s arm-twisting and bullying at the highest level, where United States, which is not meeting its emission targets, is not giving any money to Green Climate Fund and not now even letting a system to be created that can help people who face climate emergency now. I mean, look at the audacity of United States, the way they are behaving in these negotiations.
¶¶

Right now U.S. is in all streams of discussions that are happening, be it finance, be it loss and damage, be it adaptation. They’re everywhere. And everywhere they are obstructing and not allowing any progress to happen, and particularly on finance. Now, when we talk about this system that should provide money to climate survivors, they don’t want that system to be created. And this demand is not a new demand. Vanuatu, on behalf of small island states, made the demand for the first time in 1991.

It took us 22 years to set up a mechanism, called Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, in Warsaw in 2013, which had a very clear function: to mobilize finance and help these countries. Last six years, constant bullying and blocking by United States, joined by Australia and even European Union, did not allow even a group to be created that can discuss what the needs are, what the gap is, how money can be mobilized. And that bullying continues at this very moment.
¶¶

U.S. is busy protecting the interest of its own administration and polluting industries, so that they can never be held liable for the crisis they have caused. And U.S. is the biggest historical emitter, which means the largest country responsible for this crisis.
by:AmyGoodman  from:DemocracyNow  HarjeetSingh  AsadRehman  ClimateChange  geo:UnitedStates  geo:Vanuatu  pollution  bullying 
6 weeks ago
U.S. Army Releases Report on Cyber-Soldiers of the Future
The U.S. Army is hard at work imagining what the human–machine hybrids of the future will be able to accomplish on the battlefields of 2050. But the folks in charge of keeping America safe also have their concerns. Specifically, the U.S. Army is worried that humans are biased against deadly cyborg soldiers, just because we’ve all seen the Terminator franchise and it doesn’t work out very well for the humans.
by:MattNovak  from:Gizmodo  cyborg  futurism  military  geo:UnitedStates 
6 weeks ago
"Warning" by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit.
by:JennyJoseph  from:ScottishPoetryLibrary  poetry  aging 
7 weeks ago
Channel 4 "Complaints welcome" by 4Creative
Channel 4 continued its "Complaints welcome" campaign with a provocation on the cover of the Metro.

Using an actual viewer complaint about the broadcaster, the copy that was splashed across the newspaper reads: "Channel 4 are morons and I hope they read this." The campaign reinforces Channel 4’s remit to stimulate debate and challenge the way people see the world.
from:Campaign  language  slur  reference  Channel4 
7 weeks ago
Climate change: how China moved from leader to laggard
The country is both the greenest in the world, but also the most polluting. It has more wind and solar power than anybody else, yet it is also the world’s biggest builder of new coal plants. Last year, its emissions hit a record high, accounting for more than half of the global increase in energy-related CO₂ emissions in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency. This year, Chinese emissions are expected to grow about 3 per cent from 2018.

“Everything is at stake for the planet, because the Chinese economy is so much bigger than any other,” says Adair Turner, chair of the Energy Transitions Commission. “Even the whole of Europe is considerably less than Chinese emissions.”

He points to China’s current pledge, that its CO₂ emissions will peak by 2030, and says it is nowhere near ambitious enough. “Let’s be clear, if that was all China ever did, then we are on the path to climate disaster,” says Lord Turner
¶¶

One of the targets of this nationalist ire has been Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenage activist who is revered as a climate hero in some parts of the world. “Many netizens see [Greta] as representing the general liberal western agenda,” says Mr Li. “There is this larger perspective that the west is ganging up against China.”
by:LeslieHook  from:FinancialTimes  ClimateChange  geo:China 
7 weeks ago
Denmark wants to break up ethnic enclaves. What is wrong with them?
Danes and other Europeans raise two objections to ghettos. First, the very existence of poor immigrant districts undermines public support for their generous welfare systems. When groups lack solidarity with each other, “then it’s very easy to be annoyed about paying 45% in taxes,” says Kaare Dybvad, the Social Democratic housing minister, who took office after the leftist parties won the general election in June. That claim is hard to prove or disprove. But a second objection is easier to examine—that ghettos harm their residents, in part by keeping them poor.

Most of Denmark’s designated “ghettos” are large housing developments outside city centres, far from well-paid jobs. The government steered both the guest workers recruited by Danish firms in the 1960s and 1970s and the refugees who arrived from the 1980s to such areas. The country’s ghettos are partly its own creation.

The 15 areas designated as “hard ghettos” have serious problems. To qualify, they must meet two of the following four conditions: 40% of working-age residents must be out of the labour market and not in education; the proportion of residents with criminal convictions must be at least triple the national average; the share of people with no secondary-school diploma must exceed 60%; and the average taxpayer’s income must be under 55% of the regional average. Moreover (and this is where the law is most controversial) more than half the population must have a non-Western immigrant background.

Denmark is delineating ghettos not to contain immigrants, as the original ghetto in Renaissance Venice was designed to contain Jews, but to push them out. In Mjolnerparken, the plan is to renovate and sell enough apartments to bring the share of subsidised units to below 40%. Tenants who are priced out will receive help to move into public housing in non-ghetto developments around the city. Mjolnerparken’s fortress-like courtyards will be opened up, to allow more flow-through to the wealthier surrounding areas.

Such a bold policy suggests that the evidence for ghettos being bad is overwhelming. In fact, it is mixed. In the 1920s, at the end of a wave of immigration to America, sociologists at the University of Chicago argued that ethnic enclaves facilitated assimilation. Immigrants first settled in big cities, drawing on the knowledge and contacts of their former compatriots. Over generations, they adapted culturally and climbed the economic ladder, mixing with the native population.

Later, economists weighed in. In a paper in 1997, “Are Ghettos Good or Bad?”, David Cutler and Edward Glaeser, both at Harvard, noted that theoretical arguments could point either way. On the one hand, ethnic enclaves limit their residents’ exposure to economic opportunities and cultural knowledge outside their own ethnicities. On the other, they give new immigrants access to information and connections acquired by earlier arrivals, and may provide them with role models.

There is evidence to support both theories. In a paper in 2003, Per-Anders Edin, Peter Fredriksson and Olof Aslund, all economists, made use of a natural experiment in Sweden’s refugee policy. In 1985-91, facing a national housing shortage, the government settled refugees in any municipality that had room. Low-skilled migrants initially flourished when they moved to enclaves of their own ethnicity. For highly skilled ones, there was no impact. The lower-skilled members of an ethnic group may have benefited quickly from contact with the higher-skilled members of that group—more than they would have benefited from being dumped in a largely Swedish district. But the higher-skilled members of that ethnicity would have prospered surrounded by Swedes.
from:TheEconomist  immigration  race  geo:Denmark  politics 
7 weeks ago
I celebrated Native American Heritage Month by ruining a comedy podcast
I had two options in responding to this ill-conceived invitation. I could say no, and kick the can down the road for the next unsuspecting Native guest, passing on a legacy of microaggressions for future Native comedians to deal with from here to eternity. Or I could go on the show and risk my career.
¶¶

The easy and all too common thing to do when confronted with this type of racial misstep would be to screencap the invitation, post it on Twitter, and bathe myself in internet mob justice like hot shower water on a cold morning. The hard thing to do would be to calmly educate Nick, Heather, Matt, and their listeners about why what they did was wrong. The first option is tempting, but dunking on people won’t change their minds. The second option, to have a serious dialogue, is harder than beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania with my hands tied behind my back. Would Nick and Heather even engage in this difficult conversation or would they brush if off like the millions of internet commenters who treat even the smallest amount of criticism like Dracula treats garlic? I had one shot at this, and if I wanted the conversation to be anything less than a total disaster, I had to thread a needle the size of an anthill with a piece of thread thicker than the Golden Gate Bridge.
by:JoeyClift  from:AVClub  IndigenousCulture  genocide  race  rape 
7 weeks ago
Voters left in the dark over money behind online election ads
One of the groups, Capitalist Worker, began advertising on Facebook at the end of November, campaigning against the Labour party’s sweeping nationalisation plans and criticising Jeremy Corbyn, the party leader. Since then, the group has spent more than £14,000, largely targeting men aged between 18 and 34.

The sum spent by Capitalist Worker is more than many other registered non-party campaigners, although analysts point out total amount spent on ads is not necessarily the most important indicator of their impact online.

Capitalist Worker’s Facebook page, which oddly displays a picture of New York’s Grand Central station, gives no information that would identify those pushing the messages or the provenance of their funding.

However, an entry on the Electoral Commission’s website, where the group is registered, shows it is linked to Brian Monteith, a Brexit party MEP and communications director for the pro-Brexit lobby group Global Britain.
by:JemimaKelly  by:CynthiaOMurchu 
7 weeks ago
The Most Awkward Time of Year
Dear Roll Model,

I want to have a Christmas gathering at my house and invite someone I met through my kid’s school. She’s super rad, we have the same sense of humour, and I really want to be friends with her. Here’s the thing: my kitchen and living room are up an ENTIRE flight of stairs. She uses a wheelchair, but once I saw her with arm crutches. I think she can walk? But maybe not really? Anyways, I have no idea what to do. I want to invite her but feel like an asshole because my house isn’t accessible. I don’t want to not invite her, because that also makes me an asshole. I don’t want to ask her if she can walk, because then I’m DEFINITELY an asshole.

What the hell do I do.

Signed,

Ball of Anxiety
by:JessicaVliegenthart  from:TheRollModel  disability  accessibility 
7 weeks ago
Climate crisis reality check
Here, then, is what an effective “Green New Deal” might look like:

1. Formal recognition of the end of material growth and the need to reduce the human ecological footprint;

2. Acknowledgement that, as long as we remain in overshoot — exploiting essential ecosystems faster than they can regenerate — sustainable production/consumption means less production/consumption;

3. Recognition of the theoretical and practical difficulties/impossibility of an all-green quantitatively equivalent energy transition;

4. Assistance to communities, families and individuals to facilitate the adoption of sustainable lifestyles (even North Americans lived happily on half the energy per capita in the 1960s that we use today);

5. Identification and implementation of strategies (e.g., taxes, fines) to encourage/force individuals and corporations to eliminate unnecessary fossil fuel use and reduce energy waste (half or more of energy “consumed” is wasted through inefficiencies and carelessness);

6. Programs to retrain the workforce for constructive employment in the new survival economy;

7. Policies to restructure the global and national economies to remain within the remaining “allowable” carbon budget while developing/improving sustainable energy alternatives;

8. Processes to allocate the remaining carbon budget (through rationing, quotas, etc.) fairly to essential uses only, such as food production, space/water heating, inter-urban transportation;

9. Plans to reduce the need for interregional transportation and increase regional resilience by re-localizing essential economic activity (de-globalization);

10. Recognition that equitable sustainability requires fiscal mechanisms for income/wealth redistribution;

11. A global population strategy to enable a smooth descent to the two to three billion that could live comfortably indefinitely within the biophysical means of nature.
by:WilliamERees  from:EcoHustler  ClimateChange  GreenNewDeal 
7 weeks ago
Why Publish a Dire Federal Climate Report on Black Friday?
“If the United States were to try and achieve the targets in the Paris Agreement, then things will be bad, but we can manage,” he said. “But if we don’t meet them, then we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of lives every year that are at risk because of climate change. And hundreds of billions of dollars.”

If you think the Friday after Thanksgiving seems like an odd day to publish such a major report, you’re right. The assessment was originally scheduled to be released in December at a large scientific conference in Washington, D.C. But earlier this week, officials announced that the report would come out two weeks early, on the afternoon of Black Friday. When politically inconvenient news is published in the final hours of a workweek, politicos call it a “Friday news dump.” Publishing a dire climate report in the final hours of Black Friday might be the biggest Friday news dump of them all.
¶¶

a White House spokeswoman did send me a lengthy statement saying that “the United States leads the world in providing affordable, abundant, and secure energy to our citizens, while also leading the world in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.” (This is only true if you start counting in 2005, when U.S. emissions peaked.) The spokeswoman said this new assessment was based on the “most-extreme scenario,” and promised any future report would have a “more transparent and data-driven process.”
by:RobinsonMeyer  from:TheAtlantic  ClimateChange  politics  geo:UnitedStates 
7 weeks ago
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