Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads

Five articles and two excellent podcasts for your review.

The Challenge of Equity in California’s Municipal Climate Action Plans by Hillary Angelo, Key MacFarlane, and James Sirigotis a report from the Institute for Social Transformation at UCSC.

This report analyzes the inclusion and operationalization
of “equity” in 170 California cities’ and counties’ Climate Action Plans (CAPs). California’s municipal climate action planning landscape is unique for both its size and diversity, as aggressive statewide environmental legislation has put unique pressure on all cities—even (or especially) small and less well-resourced ones—to adopt climate/emissions plans.

Insurrection in the Eye of the Beholder by Hala Allan published in the Baffler.

The Insurrection Act. Its invocation is enmeshed with this country’s long history of racial injustice: “insurrection” has been defined, in practice, as either rebellion against slave power or ongoing racial injustice, or as resistance to federal laws mandating civil rights and integration.

The Inequality Engine by Geoff Mann published in the London Review of Books.

Piketty’s follow-up, Capital and Ideology, is a massive, globe and history-spanning attempt to figure out what’s inside the ‘black box’ that Capital in the 21st Century left unexamined. What makes it possible for inequality to persist, let alone get worse? Why don’t governments do anything about it? And since they so often don’t, why doesn’t runaway inequality provoke the mass resistance that might force them to?

Extinction Event by Simon Torracinta published in n+1 Magazine.

What can we expect in the fall? As pandemic lockdown orders extend further and further through the spring, there has been a great deal of speculation about how or whether college education would proceed. Rumors floated at different schools of cancelled or remote semesters, even of months-long adjustments to the academic calendar. But for all but the richest universities, the conclusion has never truly been in doubt.

Bonus Material

Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition interviewed on Intercepted Podcast.

The movement to defund the police in the United States is gaining unprecedented momentum as protests continue across the globe. This 2-part series taking with Ruth Wilson Gilmore is insightful and motivating. Iconic geographer and abolitionist Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of “Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California.” Gilmore is one of the world’s preeminent scholars on prisons and the machinery of carceral punishment and policing.

Floodlines: City of New Orleans

Floodlines: The story of an unnatural disaster hosted by Vann R. Newkirk II from The Atlantic.

This 8-part exploration of Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans offers a clear and complete narrative on what actually happened in 2005. Very well worth the time.

Categories
Environment Justice Reading

Sunday Reads

This week we begin with two stories about vigilante groups – the first from post-Katrina New Orleans and the second on the rising Boogaloo Movement today.

Post-Katrina, White Vigilantes Shot African-Americans With Impunity by A.C. Thompson published in ProPublica

“So far, their crimes have gone unpunished. No one was ever arrested for shooting Herrington, Alexander and Collins — in fact, there was never an investigation. I found this story repeated over and over during my days in New Orleans.”

The Boogaloo Movement Is Not What You Think by Robert Evans and Jason Wilson published in bellingcat

“In recent weeks, the term “Boogaloo” has gone mainstream after months of growing popularity in online far-right communities. Nationwide anti-lockdown protests have provided an opportunity for right-wing militias to rally, armed, in public.”

Technology

Mr Zuckerberg, Tear Down My Wall By Rebecca Liu published in Another Gaze

“It’s often hard to differentiate potentially powerful critiques of the industry from ostensibly critical stories that further entrench its hold. What might it mean, then, to acknowledge the omnipotence of technology without further reproducing the narratives that make it so powerful?” A critical look at Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s The Great Hack (2019) and Zhu Shengze’s Present.Perfect

Environment

‘Zombie fires’ are erupting in Alaska and likely Siberia, signaling severe Arctic fire season may lie ahead by Andrew Freedman published in The Washington Post

“On May 22, the Siberian town of Khatanga, located well north of the Arctic Circle, recorded a temperature of 78 degrees, about 46 degrees above normal. The typical maximum temperature for that day at that location is 32 degrees.”

People of Colour Experience Climate Grief More Deeply Than White People by Nylah Burton published in Vice

“Heglar says that too often, the white-led climate community leans on the idea of hope, which can lead to inaction. Hope is “such a white concept,” Heglar said. “You’re supposed to have the courage first, then you have the action, then you have the hope. But white people put hope at the front. Their insistence on hope for all of these years has led to exactly where? Nowhere.”

Being White

White Witness and the Contemporary Lynching by Zoé Samudzi published in The New Republic

“Central to the white argument for watching these videos is the idea that viewership begets justice or somehow emphasizes the notion that black life does matter and that black life is grievable (never mind that black people have long been in a near-constant state of grief and mourning over the violent negations of the lives of our kin).”

How to Subvert the Capitalist White-Supremacist University by Debarati Biswas published in Public Books

Blackademic life is a long history of survival in a space that is committed to the denial of black excellence. A look at three books: Lavelle Porter’s The Blackademic Life: Academic Fiction, Higher Education, and the Black Intellectual and Stefano Harney and Fred Moten’s The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study and Samuel Delany’s novel The Mad Man.

Keep America Christian (and White): Christian Nationalism, Fear of Ethnoracial Outsiders, and Intention to Vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election by Joseph O Baker, Samuel L Perry, Andrew L Whitehead published in Sociology of Religion

“Our findings affirm the continued importance of Christian nationalism, but with some important changes. Notably, we find that, beyond partisanship, xenophobia is the most important key to understanding continued support for Trump just prior to his 2020 reelection campaign. Further, [ ] xenophobia and Islamophobia explain a larger amount of the covariance between Christian nationalism and Trump voting. Some Christian nationalists are and will remain solidly behind Trump. Though we empirically affirm that Christian nationalism is not interchangeable with xenophobia or Islamophobia, the three are clearly symbiotic.”

NOTE: This is an academic journal article and is behind a paywall. Check your library to see if you can get a copy. Or touch base with me if your really interested.

Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads

I’ve been suffering from some boredom lately. In some ways it’s a good thing, but it’s definitely not something I’m not very used too. When I came across this article by Neel Burton, I had to give it a read. He writes, “How might we, mere mortals, best cope with boredom?” in Boredom is but a window to a sunny day beyond the gloom.

A close follow up to the boredom, is the benefit of walking. Ferris Jabr explores this idea in Why Walking Helps Is Think. Just today I took a 3-mile walk without headphones and I was surprised at home much creativity arose.

Another topic that I’ve been living with has to do with liminal space. I’m definitely in between. Claudia Smith takes this to driving, parking lots, and hotel hallways. When her narrative takes the reader down Westheimer, I can completely envision the space having spent a few months in Houston last year. Check out In Between.

Some of the finest investigative journalism comes from The Intercept. This piece is a wake up call for the environmental movement, particularly in light of the current administration. Makes me feel some solidarity with those in Oregon struggling to make a difference. Read A Canadian Energy Company Bought an Oregon Sheriff’s Unit by Will Parish and Alleen Brown.

Illustration: Alex Petrowsky for The Intercept

If you like their work, you can donate.

The last piece today is food for thought. It’s a criticism of the left and how they’ve lost their way. It’s not all to agree with, but certainly enough to turn a head. Umair Haque writes, “When the left gives up on its fundamental values of gentleness, decency, humanity, friendship, expansiveness, curiousity — and replaces them with spite, rage, intimidation, hostility, conformity, and tribalism…in what way is it different from the hard right?” in It Was the Worst Decade for the Left Since the 1930s. How Come Nobody Much Noticed — or Cares?

I hope you enjoy these pieces as much as I did.

Kenley

Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads

Skip the Super Bowl and spend some time reading! ?

  1. What does sea level rise really look like? Read some data and analysis. Sea Level Rise: It’s Probably Worse Than You Think
  2. Written from the perspective of being Black in a time of climate change. 15 Years After Katrina, a Fight Against ‘the Jim Crow of Climate Change’ Rages on in the Gulf Coast
  3. My candidate for president is Bernie Sanders. A look at him, Biden and Warren. Only Sanders Can Undo Trump
  4. For the librarian and educator audience. The title says it all. Information Privilege and First-year Students: A Case Study from a First-year Seminar Course Using Access to Information as a Lens for Exploring Privilege
  5. A short but important essay on practicing Buddhism and being Black. Sweeping my Heart

Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads (2020-01-12)

This first piece is a great read on public discourse and tech monopolies. I’ve read and respected the author Cory Doctorow for many years. You should look for other work by him! – Inaction is a Form of Action

In The Merchants of Thirst, Peter Schwartzstein takes us to Nepal to discover how difficult and costly it is for people to receive water. The dire nature should be a wake-up call for everyone.

This third piece was of particular interest to me because I know Marc Benioff. We can ask the question: is there such a thing as a good billionaire? Chris Colin wrote for Wired magazine The Gospel of Wealth According to Marc Benioff.

My final read for the day is a shorter piece from the NYT opinion pages. Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. by Kate Murphy digs into what it means to listen.

Gold bars
Categories
Reading

Sunday Reads (2019-12-29)

  1. A great piece that talks about why Twitter has been good for people of color. Twitter Made Us Better.
  2. Studying digital politics and online activism. On Digital Disinformation and Democratic Myths
  3. Another example of Trump tearing down long-held environment laws. A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths
  4. Something on topic for me this year. What ‘Harry Potter’ Teaches Us About Mental Illness and Empathy
  5. A positive story about my former City, and on a topic that I love. San Francisco’s Sci-Fi Renaissance
  6. How to Start Being Kinder to Yourself