Crushing it!

from Silicon Valley eco-fascists to Vatican eco-optimists. Also: Vermont's Climate Superfund!


I’m a techno-optimist (or was), but man, Silicon Valley has a problem.1 The annihilative eroticization of machine over humanity that drove the proto-Fascist Italian Futurists has its grip on too much of the Silicon Valley elite.

We see that in the openly fascist ravings of Balaji Srinivasan, who Gil Duran correctly warns is “the leader of a cultish and increasingly strident neo-reactionary tech political movement that sees American democracy as an enemy.” Srinivasan, a proponent of what he has dubbed “tech Zionism,” is a guru for brain-wormed tech billionaires and multi-millionaires like garbage dweeb Elon Musk, egghead accelerationist Marc Andreessen, and drunk asshole Garry Tan. (No, it’s not a coincidence these are all men.) Srinivasan regularly repeats the libertarian trope that concern about climate change is really just an excuse for centralized global government.

We see it in their deeply weird drive to build libertarian enclaves on the outskirts of the Bay area.

We also see that in Apple’s new soul-crushing advertisement, which steals the Hydraulic Press Channel’s schtick to celebrate creative destruction with queasy literalness. Apple CEO Tim Cook, reconnect with your human DNA, please!

Fortunately, there is still a strong current of techno-optimist eco-conscious pluralist-democratic sentiment alive in California, which is being realized (imperfectly) in its switch from gas plants to solar-fueled battery farms and by the rising movement for community solar and climate-justice investments.2

We’re still pretty far from the eco-socialist regenerative California imagined by Kim Stanley Robinson in Pacific Edge, but it’s not 2065 yet. There’s still time to beat the eco-fascists and fracking-fueled paperclip maximizers.

apple ad: *pushes your grandma into traffic* “this apple watch is your grandma now”

Although Hill Heat primarily focuses on federal climate action, there’s always much more happening at the state and local level than we can get to. Good thing Congress takes Fridays off!

The Vermont Senate is sending the Climate Superfund Act (S. 259) with a veto-proof majority to Gov. Phil Scott (R-Vt.) for his signature today. When signed into law, the act will force Big Oil companies to pay billions of dollars into a fund to support recovery from climate disasters like the massive floods that have crippled the state in recent years.

Yesterday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers welcomed New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham onto the executive committee of the U.S. Climate Alliance as the new co-chairs of the technically bipartisan (thanks to Phil) group of climate-hawk governors.

Next week, Pope “Laudato Si! Francis is hosting a global climate summit for sub-national leaders at the Vatican, organized by his Council for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Attendees include Newsom, Hochul, and Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. The White House’s Kristina Costa, Deputy Assistant to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and former White House advisor Gina McCarthy are also scheduled to attend, as are the mayors of Paris, London, Rome, Yokohama, Athens, Sao Paolo, and more. Climate scientists scheduled to hang with the Pope include Hoesung Lee, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Dan Esty, Gabrielle Dreyfus, among others.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel intends to sue Big Oil for climate damages. "I don't know that there's a bigger issue facing the state of Michigan than climate change," Nessel told Detroit News reporter Carol Thompson. “We are talking about billions and billions of dollars in damages and we're already starting to see that on a day-to-day basis. We know this is only going to get worse.” Nessel is now looking for law firms to work on the case for the state.

great reed warbler

Congratulations to Marcel Gomes, the executive secretary of Repórter Brasil, for winning this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize for exposing JBS’s cattle laundering to sell beef raised on Amazon deforestation.

In Carbon Dioxide as a Risky Asset, climate economist Gernot Wagner and climate scientists Christian Proistosescu and Adam Bauer demonstrate that standard climate economic models have grossly underestimated the risk of unchecked global warming to the global economy, in part by failing to ensure their estimates of climate damages match scientific models. Although the working paper was published a year ago, it has only now been published in the peer-reviewed Climatic Change journal. They find that global warming needs to be limited to 2°C, which means cutting more than 70% of global carbon pollution in short order—or we may find that reduction occurs because of global economic collapse.

We were at a party
His ear lobe fell in the deep
Someone reached in and grabbed it
It was a

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1  As Paulina Borsook wrote twenty-five years ago in Cyberselfish, Silicon Valley has always had the same problem.

2  Message to the bros: this is where the women are! Again, Paulina Borsook spelled it out ages ago.

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