Rigged and Rotten

A short run through some of the painfully obvious ways in which Disaster Capitalism – operating through US-idolising, Social Darwinist meritocrats – stretched out its slimy tentacles from No.10 Downing Street and fucked the shit out of the country. Happy Birthday NHS… Enjoy..

‘The Pro-Privatization Shock Therapy of the UK’s Covid Response’, Rachel Shabi

Remember the Amazon?

 

With the world’s attention turned, Bolsonaro is pushing for ever greater expansion into the Amazon. Worse still, with CV-19 having a potentially devastating effect on the indigenous communities, the Amazon may find itself without its fiercest protectors.

 

Not only does the Amazon capture vast tonnage of carbon (released when it burns) but it’s rooftop reflects heat through the albedo effect, just as the ice cover of Greenland does. Meanwhile, as we drive to extinction the uncountable number of species held within the planet’s richest biosphere, the livestock and mining practices which replace so much of this forest are major polluters.

 

Lovejoy and Nobre (2018) suggest that if deforestation reached 20-25% of the Amazon’s original forest area, the southern, eastern, and central regions will become savannah, with enormous consequences for the water cycle on a global scale causing major climatic disruption. Savannah is itself a stable state and, once established, represents forest that can not be restored.

 

Here’s a short piece on the immense threat Bolsonaro poses to us all:

 

‘Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro is devastating indigenous lands, with the world distracted’, Brian Garvey & Mauricio Torres

“Playing the refs”

If you’re not abreast of these phenomena, than you’re simply not involved. Enjoy…

‘Trump Is Doing All of This for Zuckerberg’, Zeynep Tufekci

“Playing the refs by browbeating them has long been a key move in the right-wing playbook against traditional media. The method is simple: It involves badgering them with accusations of unfairness and bias so that they bend over backwards to accommodate a “both sides” narrative even when the sides were behaving very differently, or when one side was not grounded in fact. Climate-change deniers funded by fossil-fuel companies effectively used this strategy for decades, relying on journalists’ training and instinct to equate objectivity with representing both sides of a story. This way of operating persisted even when one of the sides was mostly bankrolled by the fossil-fuel industry while the other was a near-unanimous consensus of independent experts and academics.”

”Impartiality”

In a time of demagoguery, “impartiality” and “establishing the facts” are contradictory terms. Another sterling example of the Fourth Estate failing the people, speaking for power and making a mockery of the facts. Enjoy 😏

‘Why is the BBC bending to the Government’s definition of impartiality?’, Owen Jones

“When faced with a very clear choice between yielding to government pressure or serving viewers by telling them the truth, BBC management, shamefully, chose the former,” says one Newsnight source. “BBC bosses believe this helps preserve the organisation. All it will really do is sign its death warrant.” 

A Podcast Recommendation

Carlos Doesn’t Remember, Malcolm Gladwell

 

This is the third time I’ve listened to Season 1 of Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History Podcast. It is every bit as moving as I remember and every bit as important.

 

Episodes 4-6 are a stand alone set addressing education in America and the jaded American belief that their state is a meritocracy.

 

Here is the first/fourth episode. Key takeaways:

Capitalisation

“talent is fragile”

Caroline Hoxby & Christopher Avery, ‘The Missing “One-Offs”: The Hidden Supply of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students’