We’ve heard lots of big claims from oil companies about their commitment to sustainable energy production, but those are all words. Their actions are still to extract fossil fuels which undercut all their efforts to produce renewable energy. The simple reason oil companies are still killing the environment is profit. So to get them to actually live up to their words we need to ensure that oil makes little money. Step one should be to cut market-manipulating subsidies governments give to oil companies.
The best way to hurt oil companies in the meantime is to cut back on your use of gas. Also, remember to vote for politicians that support public transit and clean air.
In terms of electricity generated from clean energy sources, BP has made the most progress of any of the oil companies — but even then, its global renewables capacity only adds up to 2,000 megawatts, the equivalent of about two gas-fired power plants.
Mei Li, a co-author of the report, suggested that the ability to continue profiting from fossil fuels was the chief reason that oil companies haven’t lived up to their climate promises. Wall Street is more likely to reward quarterly profits than moves to overhaul a business over the long-term. “They do not have the incentives to force them to make a clean energy transition,” Li said.
Climate change deniers have clearly set back human progress and delayed us in reducing emissions, obviously that’s no good. What is good is that they barely exist anymore. The science has always been done properly around climate change and people are living the chaos that climate change has caused; it’s as impossible to deny as a round Earth. Conversations are no longer hijacked by people who deny climate reality, and that’s a good thing.
How do we know this? Some researchers set out to determine how present climate change denialism was online only to find it declining. A really need potential spinoff from this research is how to look into other aspects of people denying science and how to engage them to better understand reality.
In a study out this week in the journal Nature Scientific Reports, researchers found that outright denying the science is going out of fashion. Today, only about 10 percent of arguments from conservative think tanks in North America challenge the scientific consensus around global warming or question models and data. (For the record, 99.9 percent of scientists agree that human activity is heating up the planet.) Instead, the most common arguments are that scientists and climate advocates simply can’t be trusted, and that proposed solutions won’t work.
It took Cook and his team about five years to create a machine learning model that was able to reliably detect real-life climate misinformation claims. “Misinformation is messy and doing content analysis is messy, because the real world is always a bit blurry,” Cook said. First, they developed a taxonomy to sort arguments into broad categories — say, “climate change isn’t bad” — narrower claims (“carbon dioxide is not a pollutant”) and even more specific points (“CO2 is food for plants!”). Then they fed common climate myths into the machine until it was able to recognize each one consistently out in the wild.
Delivery apps make ordering food easier and cheaper for consumers, but it costs the workers. By offloading the costs of actually delivering food onto labour the app companies like Uber have few expenses they need to cover, thus the appeal to investors. For the first wave of food delivery apps the companies used venture capital to pay delivery workers, but that money ran out and the rates workers were paid decreased.
Now, around the world, delivery workers are fighting back and organizing. In New York City there’s been a massive effort by delivery workers to help each other in more ways than campaigning against the app companies.
Workers developed the whole system â€” the bikes, repair networks, shelters, charging stations â€” because they had to. To the apps, they are independent contractors; to restaurants, they are emissaries of the apps; to customers, they represent the restaurants. In reality, the workers are on their own, often without even the minimum in government support. As contractors and, often, undocumented immigrants, they have few protections and virtually no safety net. The few times city authorities noted the delivery workerâ€™s changing role, it was typically with confused hostility. Until recently, throttle-powered electric bikes like the Arrow were illegal to ride, though not to own. Mayor de Blasio heightened enforcement in 2017, calling the bikes â€œa real dangerâ€ after an Upper West Side investment banker clocked workers with a speed gun and complained to him on The Brian Lehrer Show.
We are what we eat, and what we eat can change the world. All of us can make tiny changes in the kitchen to help reduce the harm modern food consumption does on the planet. Over at Eater they explore some ideas that people can try in their kitchen to improve their diet while also improving the planet. The really neat thing in this article is that it promotes us to learn from lockdowns during the pandemic when we all ended up making more home cooked meals.
Do what you can keep doing
Since the pandemic began, many of us have adopted efficient shopping and cooking practices out of necessity, but maintaining those habits post-pandemic could help make our lifestyles greener (and easier) in the long run. Look for stores reintroducing self-serve bulk sections and invest in quality food containers to continue saving money on ingredients in bulk, cut down on packaging, and reduce the number of trips to the store. Even if you return to the office, continue prepping meals on weekends and remain flexible with how you use ingredients to ensure you always have a decent meal after work. Clean the kitchen faster by integrating composting into your cooking routine, and reorganize your fridge to keep perishable ingredients visible to avoid food waste in the back. And pass down all these good habits to your kids, along with family recipes, to make them great helpers in the future.
Maps are all around us and you probably use them more than you think, and maps change the way you think. Knowing that the abstracted representation of the world (the map) is not the actual place (the territory) is an important distinction that we need to make. Another, easier, way to think about this is by knowing that the menu is not the food.
With how much we rely on maps in the modern era we should consistently think about what the map is telling us – and not telling us. Over at ArchDaily they have a good article exploring how maps have been used to change how we think,
Maps aid us in navigation and help us make sense of the vast scale of our world, but they also have many limitations. The Mercator Projection is a well-known example of a map thatheavily distorts reality,making Greenland, for instance, appear the same size as South America when it is only one-eighth as big. The field ofurban planninghas throughout its history relied onmapsto aid in the layout of urban settlements and design of urban environments, but thesemapshave also tended to be disconnected from the myriad of experiences of those â€œon the groundâ€, asmapscan fail to take into account the complex nature of an urban area.